I often speak of October as being my favorite month because of Halloween. And I stand by that. Halloween is the best holiday. Fight me. But not really. That’s mean and I love you.
Another reason that October is an important month is that it is also LGBT History Month. If you hadn’t noticed, I am part of the LGBT community. I know that everyone is probably clutching their pearls and gasping or fainting, but facts are facts. I’m here, I’m queer, I’m about tired of LGBTQIA people facing discrimination and inequity and inequality every day.
I’ve been thinking about what I would want to post on my author website blog about LGBT History Month for a while now, and I was struggling with it. What could I have to write that would have an appropriate amount of gravitas, but also be interesting to read? Then, I remembered…I’m a freaking writer. Being queer and a writer is one of the greatest things in the world. It’s like being any marginalized person who creates art and sends it out into the world.
Being an artist, creating something that will live on long after yourself, has been important in every era of human history, but especially for marginalized peoples. Art informs. It teaches. It builds bridges. It rebels. It normalizes. It creates discussions. It says: “fuck you,” to the people in power who need to hear it the most. Art, in and of itself, is a form of rebellion, because it recognizes no rules besides those it imposes on itself.
Art is putting on drag and throwing a brick at riot police who are oppressing a community.
Art is women putting on pussy hats and pink shirts and marching in the streets of Washington, DC (and other cities) and refusing to be classified as lesser.
Art is a clever, homemade sign held up to the face of oppression and ignorance.
Art is speaking up when everyone is shouting you down.
Art is holding onto a lunch counter in peaceful protest as police try to drag you away and throw you in jail for doing absolutely nothing wrong. Even if they get water cannons and batons or show up at your house in the middle of the night with nooses and burning crosses–no matter the level of violence, you stand your ground.
Art is recognizing and calling out the nonsense people in authority try to make you believe.
Art is giving money you could be spending on a fancy meal to a presidential hopeful’s campaign because you believe they will help lead your nation out of dark times.
Art is, obviously, writing a book about people like yourself–people that bigoted persons in power would want you to believe are not worthy of dignity, respect, and rights.
Art is painting rainbows over the words “Faggot” and “Dyke” and “Tranny” on a brick wall.
Art is being courageous when you have every right to be afraid. Or, maybe it is being courageous even though you are terrified. It’s doing what needs to be done, regardless of how it makes you feel or how it might impact you personally, because you know the long-term effects outweigh anything that might come from your rebellion.
Art takes many forms. All of them are amazingly beautiful and inspiring.
Even bad art is pretty freaking good.
I’m a writer. So, how could I not have something worth saying?
The thing I think that I would want to say most about LGBT History Month is this. We are not alone. The loud voices screaming against us are far fewer than the ones shouting for us–though the volume may make it seem untrue. We are only alone if we do not remember that we are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, demisexual, pansexual, gender queer, gender non-conforming, black, white, brown, Latinx, Asian, Muslim, Christian, male, female, neither, both (and all of the people I may be forgetting to list); We are louder and more powerful than the opposition, but only if we show each other the love, respect, and dignity others would deny us.
Don’t forget that people like you do not always look like you. They do not always have the same skin tone or hair color or genitals or body type or religion. We must be inclusive within our own community and celebrate the diversity within our community. We must love and respect each other.
Please. Be kind. It literally costs nothing except time and patience and a little bit of being empathetic and compassionate.
When you think about it, those are the most rebellious things you can be.
And, if you want to support LGBTQ+ stories, here’s a list to get you started:
Tremendous Love & Thanks,