Where Personal and Professional Life Collide...

My life in 8 words: Organized chaos, by preference. Exhausting, but never boring

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Why representation is important - and not just for those represented
citron presse
As a pre-teen (mid-1970’s), I read an SF story that had two characters, a man and a woman, in post-coital discussion. And one of the things that was mentioned in passing was the fact that, “back when,” it hadn’t been acceptable for people of the same gender to have sex. And good lord, how awful for those on single-gender missions!

It was, even at the time, a kind of heavy-handed social interjection, although not (if I recall correctly) out of character or out of place for the scene. But the point is, as a young child I came across a passing mention of homosexuality being socially acceptable. So I - casually, without drama - accepted it, too.

That’s how we shape the future. By showing it what it needs to look like.

Not every representation will be note-perfect. Not every representation will be all-inclusive. And no matter how well it's done, there will still be negative comments. This is true about every creative endeavor. But the fact that it's important means we should expect and do more, not less.

From everyone.

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A non-writing friend asked me a while back why I had so many incidentally gay characters in my stories. Meaning, characters whose gender preferences or sexuality was referenced on the page, but not as a plot element. (I have occasionally been asked the same thing about non-white characters at other times.) Their question was whether I was trying to make a point.

My answer was the world has plenty of incidentally gay people, so it seemed to me that fiction ought to as well.

Not that I think I get it right. No one ever really does, least of all me. But it's absolutely worth the effort.

So, yeah. What you said.

My 4 and a half year old has starting asking questions about love, marriage, relationships, babies, step-families etc. Why do people get married, how come not everyone has a mummy or daddy and how come some people don't have children?
To show her what happens when people get married I showed her some different you tube videos. Because even though we've talked about love and babies, this is really the first time she's brought up getting married, and even though I have friends in distant places of different sexual and gender identities than my own, my daughter mainly interacts with hetero people.
She thought it was awesome "how the two daddies held hands when they married", how "the two mummmies cried" and flubbed their words because they were so nervous and happy and "the mummy and daddy are like you and daddy, may I see your wedding video?" (I know there are many different kinds of weddings/marriages, but I kept it simple to start with.)
After watching all three videos, she said, "I'm going to marry another mummy because mummys are lovely and I want to be one too."
To me its normal that every consenting adult should be able to love/marry any other consenting adult they choose, I'm hoping my daughter grows up to know that too.

Despite the prevalence of so much ignorance still, I have to believe that the message or equal rights for all people is slowly filtering down through the masses.

I don't think she has a prayer of growing up not knowing it. :-)

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