Friday, August 24, 2012

Follow the Rainbow Blog Hop - What Writing GLBTQ Literature Means to Me


The Rainbow Book Reviews Blog Hop

I'm happy to be taking part! Come join the conversation, leave a comment on this post complete with your email address for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift certificate! The winner will be chosen randomly among the commenters.


Lesbian Love Stories with a Happy Ending

 I love books, that much is self-evident. The written word carries magic. Memories of stories read are like bookmarks to critical events and times in my life.

In the early, tentative days of my own coming-out, LGBT literature proved to be a safe, welcoming world for me. I dove into everything I could find at the time in the local Women’s Archive and the university’s Women’s Studies section, non-fiction, psychology, feminist studies--love stories and mysteries.

 All these years later, I’m still amazed to find many of the authors who have accompanied this important period in my life, on Facebook and Twitter.

When you live in a small town, chances are the library or book stores don’t have an LGBT section. That was true especially fifteen years or so ago. Discovering these stories was a revelation. At the time, high speed internet at home wasn’t a given for me, so neither was searching for books online.

 I’d been writing pretty much since I knew how to, so these exciting changes in my life and reading patterns wound their way into my stories, too. While I was still pursuing a career as a psychologist, I had the chance to put my writing up to the test with an audience in online communities. I found friends, for the first time a peer group, and ultimately, my wife.

These stories that connected us were the missing link.

 Writing, to me, is about definition and diversity. As much as I loved the characters in the books mentioned above, as much as they helped me find where I wanted to go, there were still blank pages left to fill. Like every writer, I want my readers to connect emotionally with my characters, to care. That happens when they find a piece of themselves reflected, and for that to happen, we need many different writers and stories. Even now that the internet makes it easier to network and find literature, there’s still more to be done for visibility.

I believe that we can make a difference, one story and hopeful outcome at a time, even when the political dispute is often frustrating and painful. We define ourselves and hopefully, entertain and inspire along the way.

 

 Seen in Montreal: Diversity enriches.

46 comments:

  1. I agree with "I love books, that much is self-evident. The written word carries magic. Memories of stories read are like bookmarks to critical events and times in my life." =) now is not like olden days like you said. Hope to see more open world in the future where happy endings are PDA (public display of affection!)

    jessica_klang(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for being the first to comment! Those changes may take time, but we'll get there.

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  2. Thanks for participating in the blog hop. I'm finding a lot of new-to-me authors and it's interesting to read what their writing and characters mean to them.

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    1. You're welcome! It's great to hear from other writers and readers about their take on the subject.

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  3. I always love these blogs hops, getting to know new-to-me authors and a deeper understanding of my favorites :)

    kimberlyFDR@yahoo.com


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    1. It's the first time I'm taking part, and I love it. Thanks for commenting, and maybe you'd like to check back in November, when Autumn Leaves comes out. :)

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  4. Many people have commented on that sense of "where are the stories for me?" or even "wow, you mean there are stories for me?!" I am optimistically feeling that we're heading into a world in which "there are so many stories for me - where do I begin?" is the commonality.

    Ryal
    ryalwoods@gmail.com

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    1. That would be amazing, right? It's the same with movies. A lot of stories need to be written.

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  5. It just seems that there's more nuance and range of human experience presented in LGBT stories sometimes. Removing the binary sexuality can make the narratives more interesting.

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. I agree. And there are many readers out there who like to explore the full range of human experience in their reading, no matter what their own background is.

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  6. thanks for participating in this hop and it's greating reading author's POV on writting GLBTQ fictions...

    lohahmooi(@)hotmail(.)com

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    1. You're welcome! I agree. It's important, but also a lot of fun to be part of this conversation.

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  7. "The missing link.." so apt and so thoroughly correct. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you! For many younger kids in fandom, gay characters in TV shows and subtext is a fact of life these days, which is a good thing. Back then, it meant a whole new world.

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  8. Thanks for the post, Barbara. I enjoyed reading it.

    Thanks,
    Tracey D
    booklover0226 ar gmail dot com

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  9. Loved your post. Thanks for participating in the Hop.

    gisu29(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  10. Great post. I love reading and write MM stories but love reading ff, mm, mmf, mfm, etc... stories. I just wish I'd found them sooner ;c) It's nice to meet a ff fan/author.

    Tempe
    tempeste.oriley@gmail.com

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    1. Thank you! I just think that avid readers are open to many stories. I actually wrote m/m fanfiction years ago..f/f is more my writing 'home', but a well-written story and engaging characters are always interesting.

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  11. I haven't read much f/f but what I have read, I enjoyed. Growing up my small town library didn't have more than 20 or so "bodice rippers" let alone anything in GLBTQ. I found those a few years ago while cruising the kindle store and I haven't looked back since.
    kaylyndavis1986@yahoo.com

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    1. There's a Women's Archive in the city where I went to university. They have a lot of non-fiction, but also mysteries, etc. It was like discovering a treasure. Online, I found many like-minded through fanfiction.

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  12. Thanks so much for participating in the blog hop!
    OceanAkers @ aol.com

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  13. I'm enjoying this blog hop and all the different answers everyone is giving to the same question. Thanks for participating :)

    penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. It's a lot of fun! I'm glad to be taking part.

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  14. Love this hop, all the interesting new books!

    elaynelost at yahoo dot de

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  15. Wonderful post! Thanks for the great words.
    Yvette
    yratpatrol@aol.com

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  16. I believe that we can make a difference, one story and hopeful outcome at a time, even when the political dispute is often frustrating and painful. We define ourselves and hopefully, entertain and inspire along the way.

    Yes! THIS. If we keep hammering down the barriers, as someone put it on another post, it will become easier for all to be accepted. I liken it to walking a path through the woods. Walk it enough, and it becomes visible for the next person to follow. :-)

    akasarahmadison at gmail dot com

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    1. I like the analogy of the path in the woods! We may not change everybody's opinion, but many people are interested in exploring the path once they know where to find it.

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  17. Count me in please, I think making a difference begins with small steps, like writing and reading m/m romance books and showing that love is all the same.

    Jibriel.O AT web DOT de

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    1. It definitely is! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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  18. One has to start somewhere and I agree with Sara, this is a good place!

    anzuazura at yahoo dot de

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  19. New to follow you on Twitter & glad I did. Pick me! I read more than I write & love writing book reviews. Thank you. (Scarberryfields on Twitter)

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    1. Glad to see you here! You do a great job promoting fellow authors. :) On this blog, the winner will be chosen randomly, and I'm going to post about it once that's done.

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  20. Thanks for joining the hop!
    seritzko AT verizon DOT net

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  21. Hi. Great post. Thanks for being on The Blog Hop.

    Chris
    ceagles48218@yahoo.com

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    1. Thank you! I'm happy to be taking part.

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  22. Great post, books can open whole worlds and provide great comfort :)

    Lilly
    Lillywriting@gmail.com

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  23. Thanks for participating and for showing me the photo, I love it!

    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  24. Thank you! It's very impressive when you're standing right in front of it.

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