Calling In Debt and Lifting Up Marginalized Voices

*sigh* I wanted to do a book review, since I’ve got about three waiting in the wings but that just seems so wrong in the wake of the US election.

As one of my friends put it: It’s a weird time to be a moderate.

The day after, when my initial shock, anger, and fear had died down, I took a good hard look at my moral positions, my identity, and what I could do with those in the short term.

To make a long story short, I came out on Facebook as a lesbian to a large group of people, some of whom voted for Trump, who didn’t know this about me. And I did it in an angry, blaming open letter, in which I told Trump supporters that they owed it to me to fight for my rights and safety as a gay person–that they owed it to fight for the safety and freedom of all Americans.

What may not have come across was that they owe this debt because they helped elect a man whose followers have already acted against minorities, sometimes with vandalism and sometimes with deadly assault. They helped elect a man who has promised to occasionally follow in Hitler’s footsteps but, at the least, will lead a government intent on revoking and oppressing rights and equal treatment of the non-White, non-Christian majority.

So, yeah, when you help elect someone who has this effect, you should try to minimize the damage. And you should get used to people being angry with you.

And even though Trump may have one or two decent ideas like killing the TPP or protecting social security, and…I can’t think of any others off the top of my head, this does not, in anyway, balance out the hateful rhetoric that has put people in danger even now.

And when he appoints an anti-Semitic, alt-right misogynist as a senior adviser, I can’t help but feel like it’s “not going to be so bad,” like so many people want to say.

After I posted this statement on Facebook, I received an overwhelming amount of support both in the comments and privately. Friends and family reached out to me to lend their support–including Republicans and third party voters.

It was terrifying to come out on Facebook–especially because this may also mean coming out at work or to people I didn’t know well enough to guess their reaction. It was absolutely nerve-wracking and to have people contact me specifically to lend their support was worth all the anxiety and fear.

I’m white, I have a good job with a company that’s promised the ACLU they won’t retaliate against me for my sexuality (because that’s legal in Arizona), and I’m secure in my home. With a Trump presidency motivating me, I’ll be out of Arizona in about three years, moving somewhere my rights are enshrined on the local level.

I have the privilege to be out, to make this fight personal when possible, and to leave. Many don’t and I cannot stand by in my comfortable, straight-passing life while those who will suffer far more than me are forced to remain in the closet for their own safety.

Because this is personal. And it isn’t over.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here are some book recommendations for those who might want to broaden their horizons a little bit:

YA Fantasy and Sci-Fi (from Diversity in YA, which has a ton of amazing book lists)

NOT YOUR SIDEKICK by C.B. Lee, THE UNINTENTIONAL TIME TRAVELER by Everett Maroon, and DREADNOUGHT by April Daniels (an ownvoices book coming in 2017) also apparently have some amazing trans rep. I’d recommend reading up on GOOD trans rep (you may need to research this, it’s not all good) because those are the people on the LGBTQ+ acronym that may suffer the most.

If you’re on Twitter, follow @findmereading, @_diversebooks, and go through hashtags like #ownvoices, #weneeddiversebooks (also, #wndb), and #diversebookbloggers to find people who will actively and regularly promote diverse reads.

Adult Sci-Fi and Fantasy (these are on my TBR, they were recommended by a diverse book blogger but I haven’t read them YET):

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

The Ghost Bride: A Novel by Yangsze Choo

Fledgling by Octavia Butler (anything by Octavia Butler, really)

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor (also anything by Nnedi Okorafor, who writes ownvoices books)

and many, many others if you only have the power to Google.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: JA Goodsell

I write YA fantasy, blog about it, and then take my dog out for therapy. My current manuscript is ANATHEMA, a story of two sisters caught up in a war between the gods. Find me on Twitter at @JAGoodsell or Instagram at books_and_dogs

4 thoughts

  1. I love reading your coming-out story and (hopefully this won’t seem too preachy :/) wanted to say how awesome it is that you did so: I can imagine it took a lot of courage, and it is awesome to hear that the response you received was predominantly positive. Thank you as well for the list of books: I’m currently struggling to stay afloat in the midst of Dostoyevsky’s ‘The Brothers Karamazov’, and like most of us, have a ‘to read’ list that’s as long as my arm, but all of these will definitely be going on it. Congratulations again on your bravery and your honesty, and thanks for this post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the support! I’ve been so heartwarming overwhelmed by everyone expressing all these words of kindness. ❤
      I'm adding a lot of these to my TBR too. There just isn't enough time in the day to read everything!

      Liked by 1 person

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