Representation Matters

I'm in a conference room at my wife's workplace, Temple University, here to celebrate the investiture of the university's new president and go to the homecoming game.

Every so often, Wendy pops her head into the conference room to introduce me to one of her colleagues. She's proud, I think, of me, and excited that she has a wife to show off. :)

She's finally in a workplace where she doesn't need to hide who she is or who she loves.

That wasn't the case when we first met.

Back then, Wendy was working for a Christian college where it was technically okay for a community member to be gay but only if they didn't act on it.

WTF?

Wendy, on faculty for 20+ years, could have been FIRED for holding my hand in public.

Yep. In 2017, this was the case, and it remains the case today. And firing Wendy would have been completely legal.

I hope someday she'll let me help her write the story of how she ended up being subjected to microaggressions—and worse—for more than two decades—and how and why she finally made the decision to leave.

The world needs to hear that story.

And the world needs to hear the stories of Beck, Curtis, Elena, Kathy, Amy, Hannah, Lauren, Madeline, Stefaan, C, Melody, Ellie, K, Janet, Chris, Charli, Brittany, and Emily, the eighteen queer writers I've been privileged to work with over the past two years. 

I've learned so much from these writers. About the diversity of LGBTQ+ stories. About the horrific treatment of queer folx at the hand of "Christians."

About the judgment of friends and family. About chosen family and about how important it is to find and create queer-centered spaces.

As someone who came out later in life, my experience is different from many of theirs. I recognize that I still enjoy a lot of privilege:

I have white skin.

I have an Ivy League education.

I have financial resources.

And yet, I no longer have the privilege of walking through life not worrying about whether it's safe to hold my partner's hand or otherwise show them affection in public.

For just a minute here, I want to talk to you, my straight friends and colleagues:

Can you even imagine what that feels like???

Or what it's like to have eyebrows raised when you check into a hotel with your partner and you request a king bed.

Or to be almost ALWAYS asked at a restaurant whether you want separate checks.

These are some of the reasons why I'm launching a community exclusively for queer writers.

A community where:
  • Queer writers won't be the only queers in the room.
  • These writers can speak their truth and not worry about being judged.
  • They can raise their voices, write their stories, and become published authors.

Because the world needs more LGBTQ+ stories.

Representation matters.

LGBTQ+ stories really do matter.

And I'm committed to shepherding more of them out in the world.

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