I’m not going to talk about what happened this week. But I am going to talk about what should happen, and what needs to happen.
Immediately after reading the rant by said individual, I went on a search. I wanted to find a group of SF/F writers, from all walks of life, who support LGBT issues, particularly in SF/F literature, and join up. I didn’t think this would be hard to find, and assumed that there was some magic place for support, celebration and the furthering of such material within the community already.
I was surprised not to find anything. And it occurred to me that if we’re actually going to make a difference in the SF/F community, and the writing community at large, then we, as writers who support (and as I said before, celebrate) differences in gender and sexuality, then it’s our frakking responsibility to have our own group. Because a hundred united voices scream a whole lot louder at once than intermittently.
Here’s what I envision:
- A group of writers from all walks of life–gay, lesbian, straight, bi-sexual, transgendered–dedicated to ensuring that all voices in SF/F are heard, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Further, an understanding that one’s sexual orientation and gender are not perversions of a “norm”–they are simply shades of what make each individual, real or fictional, beautiful.
- A site created for the encouragement, recognition, and celebration of authors, bloggers and writers willing to portray those subjects in text and make contributions to the literary genre/community.
- Proud badges to display on websites/blogs, etc.
- Some kind of pledge to uphold the ideas, and offer support in times of crisis and in the face of bigotry.
I think it’s also important to consider this to be a group that is solely for something, rather than reactionary. It would be a safe haven. A place of peace, support, respect, and education. Being a part of this community would mean engaging in respectful dialogue intended to educate. We’ve got to be better than the opposition; we’ve got to make them look like the hate-filled, bigoted jerks that they are by simply refusing to stoop to their level.
I’ve said before that I believe SF/F to be the best genres for the advancement of LGBT issues because, come on people, we have the chance to bring it out of our own world! We can, with the stroke of our pens, create entire worlds where we can do and say things that could never fly in our societies. It’s a chance to rewrite it as we want, and that’s some incredible power.
Now, this is my hope. Maybe there’s a group out there that I’m missing. If I am, please correct me and let me know, and sign me up. If not, then I’m making one. It’s especially important to me that this be an alliance between LGBT writers and straight writers, because together I believe we really can make an impact.
If you’re interested, or know of any people interested, in working to help create such a place online, let me know. You can email me at natania.barron @ gmail.com, or DM or @ me on Twitter.
The most solid comfort one can fall back upon is the thought that the business of one’s life is to help in some small way to reduce the sum of ignorance, degradation and misery on the face of this beautiful earth. – George Eliot