BY BETT NORRIS
In honor of Pride month, Cleis Press started a new project using the hashtag #OutWriters on Twitter. Sure, June is over, but that’s no reason not to join in.
So far, there have been well over 1,250 tweets from more than 400 different Twitter accounts. All have been sharing just why LGBTQ literature is important.
Cleis Press says that this a seed of an idea has become a movement and, as with every movement, there must be swag, and there must be fundraising. To that end, A T-shirt has been designed by Alison Tyler, using a quote from one of my favorite people, Nathan Burgoine. It says, “Not every princess is blonde. Or white. Or a girl.” All proceeds will go to LGBTQ non-profits, so you help the cause and get the killer shirt that talks to people so you don’t have to bother.
The movement goes beyond books as well, discussing the special importance of LGBTQ literature to help kids see themselves and their stories to feel a sense of belonging, a sense of community.
I can tell you why LGBTQ literature is important to me. Without it, I would have had no other way to discover who I was, that what I am is OK, even kind of great, that I could pursue my dream of writing without abandoning who I am. I got to see my life, our lives, portrayed in books. It could be that this literally saved my life. It certainly ensured that my life would be about writing.
So keep it going. Read the #OutWriters tweets and post one yourself about what having ourselves represented in our own literature is important to you. Hey, until now we were pretty much ignored by all of written history and literature, so why not make our own?