Today is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
Here is the international website for IDAHO. For a little more reading that's related locally, there is a website for IDAHONZ, The Hand Mirror has a Round Up available and Julie has posted about "IDAHO: Trying To Do". I may add in more linky bits throughout the day when I find them.
This year's theme for IDAHO is "As I Am". As I have been attempting to turn my posting here at PT more towards being in relation to my writing, I would like to talk about IDAHO in relation to that:. I am a writer of science fiction and fantasy; I am a writer of feminist science fiction and fantasy; and as a natural extension of that, I am a writer of queer science fiction and fantasy. Take me, and my writing, As I Am.
To me, IDAHO is more than just speaking out against hate for gay, lesbian and trans people. It also includes intersex, bisexual, asexual, agender, pansexual, pangender, androgyne, genderqueer and other non-binary people. A little difficult to put into a neat and snappy acronym. Whoda hoti? IDAHOTI!
Exploring queer themes in my writing seems to have come about quite naturally. I never made a conscious choice to write queer themes and characters. Everyone deserves a voice. I'm not waving my little flag of "Hey Look At Me! I'm a Good Little Ally Over Here!". I certainly don't do it for the attention or grand publishing opportunities - queer themes are not universally accepted in SFF, and that's where great friends and support groups like The Outer Alliance are very helpful.
This is not to say I don't, and won't, screw up. Look mah, I can't be wrong, I have queer friends! Uh huh. The first rule of queer club is Check Your Privilege At The Door. There are some topics I am more conversed on, and I am always willing to stop, listen and learn. And yes, I know queer folk are not my "teaching moment". I make no demands of their time or comfort, I know what Google is, and I can read.
I must be on the right track because two of my three published stories involve lesbian characters, and I am proud to have a piece coming out (pun intended) in Khimairal Ink, a magazine devoted to lesbian SFF. I have also written stories with intersex, genderqueer, and agender characters, and I am eager to see how well they will be accepted.
I know that getting published with queer themes is a challenge, but if NK Jemisin and Catherynne M. Valente - two writers that I admire, respect and enjoy - can do it, so can I. There are editors, publishers and magazines out there brave enough to take a stand.
Some of these SFF magazines include:
Expanded Horizons - devoted to diversity in theme and author. This includes women, PoC, diverse ethnicities, queer people, and people with disabilities.
Icarus - The Magazine of Gay Speculative Fiction
Fantastique Unfettered - the fantasy magazine of M-Brane Press
M-BraneSF - the science fiction magazine of M-Brane Press
Crossed Genres - slushing and publishing for diverse themes monthly.
Semaphore - Of course! The place I got my start, and with a lesbian protagonist. (though the editor is going on hiatus for their OE very soon!)
These are magazines I have either submitted to, or am considering submitting to. There are many more who are open to queer themes, and a more comprehensive list can be found on The Outer Alliance's Market List Wiki. If you know of any other SFF magazines that welcome diversity, I'd love to hear about them.
My discussion about who I am would not be complete without the person who taught me how FABULOUS and great it is to be queer, and how it's OK -WONDERFUL DAHLING - to be "As I Am":