Tuesday, May 17, 2011

IDAHO: International Day Against...Hate Of (all types)

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":


  1. At the risk of sounding ... ummmm .. whatever the word is (brain gone bye bye again) ... you, Amanda are absolutely amazing!!! You definitely da hoti.

    I wanted to join in today, but I just haven't quite got the wherewithal to get writing.

    "I'm not waving my little flag" Those of us who speak out about such matters are always at risk of the "cookies" response. But I think everyone I have read in these forums does what they do .. does .. because it is what they believe in. When you put effort in to "do good", it is nice to get a compliment or two, but it is not sought or needed.

    One thing this particular issue really highlights for me is just how much of a duality exists in people's minds - male or female. Queer or straight. It has never been that simple. Our society has tried to pretend it is, but it never has been. And I absolutely love it.

    Possibly because I have never been a "normal" male.

    The As I Am theme can spread into all sorts of other areas, as it should. Who cares where on the spectrum (of anything) you sit. Good is good. I yam what I yam. And pretty damned proud of it too.

    Love to all.

  2. OMFG!! I read this post at work where the video wouldn't play. There are no words enough to describe how this makes me feel.

    Thank you thank you thank you. Freddie - he was just so incredibly amazing.

    (captcha for Freddie's piano playing: plingly)

  3. LOL Plingly! What would you call it when he played with his bum, I wonder?

  4. you are awesome.
    great post, and thanks for doing such a great job of explaining the need to step up and speak, without stepping over lines or demanding cookies.

  5. Thanks for this post, Amanda :) And there are definitely some great publications out there.

  6. I wish it was IDAHOTI!

    Great post Amanda. And awesome links. Thank-you! And yay, for Freddie.