Dear 2017…

Ah, 2016. I don’t know very many people who will miss you. You were horrible in so many ways.

How to approach 2017?

Honestly, I don’t know.

I don’t know how I’m going to deal with 2017. I don’t even know how long it will take me to process 2016. I don’t know much of anything right now. But here’s what I do know. dear-2017

I know that as writers, we have a responsibility to keep creating our art. Oppression and bigotry will rear it sugly head in a way that we haven’t seen in a while and people out there will turn to our books and stories to find acceptance, a bit of faith, nonjudgmental friends, and themselves. Years ago, before the gay rights movement, the LGBT community turned to books to keep themselves from feeling isolated, to remind themselves that they were not alone in the world. That they weren’t freaks that had no business among society.

There were others in the world like them. And those others were right there on those pages, between those covers.
As much as we want to say that we—the collective “we”—will never go back into the closet, the reality is that there are going to be people who will feel too unsafe to stay out of the closet. It is for those people, as well as for the people who are brave enough to stay out, that we must continue to write.newyear

I sometimes wonder, what’s the point? There are so many books out there, mine don’t make the slightest dent. But where LGBT literature is concerned, it’s important to add as much as we can to the body of work that people can read. And reading may serve different purposes. Some may want to read to learn about our past. Some may read to figure out how to navigate the complexities of being gay in a predominantly hetero world. Some read simply to escape and fantasize. All of these reasons are legitimate, and it’s important that we provide positive images of ourselves as women and as lesbians.

So, as trying as the times ahead may be, this is the time for us to stand together and have each others’ backs. Part of that is to keep writing. Our writing may transform, but that’s okay. As long as we can provide strength and entertainment.

Here’s hoping for a better 2017.

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14 thoughts on “Dear 2017…

  1. I agree with you, wholeheartedly. Times are about to get tough again, in a way only those of us who are older remember. All lesbian authors need to spread our words as far and wide as possible, to reach the dark corners of despair where it’s so much safer to be in the closet.

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  2. Well said. I agree on every level. Current and future readers need the words and stories from the wonderful authors of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and please keep writing.

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  3. I realized recently that I need to add a lot more happy/light/escape/fantasy into my reading lists, and leave the heavy subjects alone for a bit. Life is a heavy subject at the moment; I’m going to need something different in my books and film.
    But there’s definitely not enough lesfic out there. There is a whole lot more than I realized six months ago, but there is never enough. And these changing times are going to require books with new settings and new scenarios and new problem solving, so that we all can come to understand our new situations and learn to cope, individually and as a group. So I plead with all you lesfic writers out there, please continue to write, and produce, and create. I’ll do my part by reading as many works as possible, and then promoting them to the world. These changing times are creating a million new issues for our protagonists to overcome, and I can’t wait to read how they do it!

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  4. Well said, R.G.! 2016 has left me, first numb and then pissed off as bloody hell. (If those sound like stages of mourning, they are.) Whenever this sense of being marginalized hits me, I remind myself of our solidarity–and our words, those that I read and those I write myself, are vital and inspiring links to that solidarity.

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