A SF/F writers LGBT alliance group?

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

  • http://asherose.wordpress.com asherose

    I don’t think there’s a group. But I do remember seeing, somewhere on the web, a list of SF/F writers who had supportive attitudes in their fiction about these issues. The criteria appeared to be characters who were subtly or overtly in alternative relationships of any type, and a general attitude of positivity there, ranging from matter-of-fact acceptance to outright exploration of the ideas.

    It was a big list.

    Some of the top authors, off the top of my head, on that list were Barbara Hambly, Lois MsMaster Bujold (whose work I can’t recommend enough; specifically to this subject, Ethan of Athos, but her entire body of work also), Heinlein of course, Robin McKinley, Robin Hobb, etc etc etc.

    I would so join this group.

    Kathleen
    http://www.kathleendale.com

    • http://www.aldersgatecycle.com Natania

      @kathleen I definitely think bringing it one step further than a list, by helping to provide a network of pledged writers, would make a big difference. It’s not just for writers, either, but for readers of SF/F. Knowing that there are intelligent, thoughtful and respectful writers out there for your cause really could make a remarkable impact.

  • http://www.mbranesf.blogspot.com Chris

    I’ll join. Let’s be in touch about what needs to be done and what I can do to help. I’ll link over to this from the M-Brane blog also.

    • http://www.aldersgatecycle.com Natania

      @Chris Absolutely! I think I can lay some of the groundwork, put a blog together and get some basic design, but any help would be sincerely appreciated. Thank you! :)

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  • http://www.mbranesf.blogspot.com Chris

    If you can get the basic groundwork going on, I will commit to contributing some blog content as well as promoting the group at my own sites. If there are any sort of activities that the group will eventually undertake, I am into assisting in whatever way I can. I’m going to be trying do a lot of outreach to LGBT-interested readers in the coming months anyway since I have this gay sf anthology coming out soon, so I should be turning up at least a few more people who would like to join this alliance. Let’s stay in touch about it.

    • http://www.aldersgatecycle.com Natania

      @Chris That is awesome. I truly appreciate it! I will definitely keep in touch.

  • Mike Griffiths

    This sounds like a great Idea dn something that would probably be a lot of fun too. If there is anything I can do to help out, please let me know, even if it is just spread the word etc.
    Thanks for the motivation you express and the time you spend making such things happen. I’m with you 100%.

    Mike Griffiths

    • http://www.aldersgatecycle.com Natania

      @Mike Wonderful! The more the merrier.

  • http://www.brainharvestmag.com Caren

    We’d be willing to help support this too, over at Brain Harvest.

    • http://www.aldersgatecycle.com Natania

      @caren That’s excellent! I will be in touch in the next few days as I ramp this up. We’re working on getting a name, then getting a domain, etc… I’m excited. :)

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  • http://cesartorres.net/ Cesar Torres

    Hey Natania, I am also willing to contribute my help. I can provide writing/publicityhelp, as well as grass-roots organizing to build the community and mission. I blogged about joining the effort over at my blog in today’s post. You can read it here http://cesartorres.net/blog/?p=1164.

  • http://mariadkins.com Mari Adkins

    I’d be a member.

  • Sara

    This sounds like a wonderful idea, would love to be involved.

  • http://BartonPaulLevenson.com Barton Paul Levenson

    I’d be willing to join. My orientation, not that it matters, is bi leaning toward hetero.