Why Gay Representation is Important
Anyways, here’s what I’ve been up to the past few days. I made some incredible strides with Nighthawks, the sequel to Bloom. I also did an interview with @Unm4sk3dPodc4st because they’re amazing. And I’ve been reading a bunch of great books.
I’ve also started on my new, new, NEW story that I’m doing in a CINDERELLA ANTHOLOGY!! It’s called “Call me Eli” and it’s my LGBT take on Cinderella with a trans MC. (Though no Cinderella will ever be as good as the one with Brandy in it. FOR REAL).
The point is, I write a lot of gay stuff. And man, growing up being gay was hard. I’m a child of the 90s. I didn’t have much representation.
Which was incredibly difficult, considering my family was very religious. I grew up with this family who was homophobic and racist and abusive and it took me a long time to break out of this sort of box they’d shoved me into.
The first time I ever came out, I didn’t actually even come out. My brother found out from some asshole at my high school that I was dating a girl and I considered myself gay or bisexual or something. Then he told my abusive mother. I never even got to come out on my own.
After she called me all sorts of bad names and asked me if I was fucking all of my female friends. She forced me to quit my job because freedom “made me gay”. Then she made me break up with my girlfriend. THEN she forced me out and I lived with my brother for a little bit.
And trust me, my eldest brother was no picnic either. He constantly called me a loser and told me I needed to be medicated. He also called me lazy and unmotivated and a piece of shit. So. YEP. Everyone in my family is REALLY this delightful.
I kept talking to my girlfriend. Even though my mother was trying her damndest to take everything away from me. She cancelled my phone, cut off the internet, wouldn’t let me take my computer to my brother’s. It was a nightmare.
Eventually, I went right back into the closet and pretended to be straight. I legitimately did break up with my girlfriend and my mom let me move back in. And let me tell you, my life has been one gigantic circus of trying to win this woman’s approval.
But now, sitting here at my computer writing this post to tell you guys my story and why gay representation is SO fucking important, her approval means less than shit to me.
She’s told me “I’m proud of you” more times than I can count. Because I got out and she wanted to bring me back in. I’m on the other side of what were the worst years of my life. I moved 3,000 miles across the country. I have a wonderful partner. I have everything.
Now that I’m sitting here, alive, and well, and beginning to heal. I want to give back. I want this new generation of young ones to have the representation they so desperately need.
So that’s it. That’s why I do it. That’s why I write gay literature, that’s why I write female characters (ESPECIALLY FEMALES IN STEM CAREERS), and that’s why I write POC and trans characters. No one should EVER have to feel as alone as I did.
And no more of these tragic gays. There is already too much suicide and self-harm and mental illness and homelessness among the gay community. What we need now is hope, acceptance, love, and even curiosity.
In other words, if you’re homophobic, transphobic, acephobic, Anti-LGBTQIA+ in ANY way. Don’t read my books. I don’t want to hear about your bullshit. I don’t want my characters, who are seriously like my children, to be bullied by people who didn’t even try to understand them.
And I don’t want ANYONE in the LGBTQIA+ community to ever feel like suicide or self-harm is the answer. I feel very strongly about this and I will continue to write literature that normalizes the LGBT community. So, like, buy my books, I guess :P. http://desdemonawren.com