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You're Queer! Why Aren't Your Books?

This year has flown by and it’s already Pride month again! And also my birthday month! But mostly Pride! Not because my birthday isn’t important, but because the topic of this particular blog post is mostly Pride related.

It’s not my first Pride month since I publicly came out as bi/pan, but it is the first one where I am actively trying to be more involved in the queer community. I was very hesitant about that the last few years because I was a bit of a late arrival and I honestly wasn’t sure how welcome I would be. I didn’t really come to acknowledge myself as bi/pam until I was in my early 30s, which means I spent most of my life thinking of myself as a straight woman.

Nothing wrong with that! But it does make it a bit hard to know exactly where I fit into the community or how involved I should be. Especially since by the time I realized this about myself, I was already married to a man and in a relationship that very much appeared straight from the outside. It seemed weird to make a big deal about my sexuality when I was already married and had no plans to change that. I was monogamous, not planning on dating, so why bother dealing with something that wouldn’t do anything to change my life or the status quo? Would anyone ever accept me as a queer person if I was in a straight passing relationship?

I was pretty worried about those things, as well as the reaction I might expect from my friends and family, so I came out slowly, mostly to the people closest to me first and then to the strangers on the internet because sometimes it’s easier to be yourself in front of people you don’t know and skip that sticky middle ground of people who do know you but not well enough to respect you or your choices.

It also impacted my books, where I wanted to write stories that included queer characters, but I didn’t feel comfortable yet making those characters my MCs. I was worried about the people who didn’t know yet about me being bi finding out through my books, and I was worried readers wouldn’t think I was queer enough to tell those stories. So, I wrote straight main characters and queer side characters. I think that was the right decision for me at the time, but it has had some long term effects that I didn’t necessarily see coming.

The biggest of which is that now that I am out to pretty much everyone and starting to feel a little more like I belong in the community, I have no queer books to show. I do have some written or in progress, but the books that are out now are the ones I wrote when I was still figuring things out, so they might not be what people expect from a queer author.

I still feel a lot of conflicting feelings about Pride and about how queer I am and where I belong in the community, but every year gets a little better. I am more confident this year than I have ever been in the past and I know the day will come in the future when I will be able to talk about my own queer books during Pride month. I’m looking forward to telling those stories and finding my place in the community.

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