The events of last week in Paris bother me more than I can possibly say. It is difficult to process the horrid murders of innocent people whose only crime was speaking (through cartoon) their point of view. The scope of evil in the world is at times unfathomable. I suppose it’s why I love fiction. I want to lose myself in pretty stories with beautiful endings full of hope and love. Ruthless killing in the name of religion versus a well written romance celebrating the miracle of love? Easy choice.
I don’t just read love stories, I write them. And I don’t write mainstream romance, I write MM. I am very aware there are many who might not “approve” of my subject matter, but I don’t care. I write what I do because I feel passionately about LGBT equality. I’m not interested in refuting anyone’s view on religion or politics. I understand there are many factors dictating an individual’s belief system. If it works for you, fabulous. You’re a Republican, I’m a Democrat. So what? However, I don’t feel quite so nonchalantly about LGBT equality or freedom of speech.
I am a proud parent of a gay young man. It is my duty to stand tall and proud with my son. To demand he be treated fairly and live a beautiful life free of prejudice. One way I feel I can support him is through writing. When I write a love story between two men, my goal is that my words carry a message of hope. The more people who are made aware of the beauty of love regardless of sex or skin color, the closer we are to acceptance. Not everyone will agree. Not everyone will read these stories, but the fact is… many will. They may dissect characters and decide they like one story over another but who cares? A dialogue has been opened. My words are published alongside others whose stories are different but carry that same message of hope.
In the words of Harvey Milk, “Hope will never be silent.” Silence is death, while complacency is only a slower killer. Fear cannot win where there is hope. I truly believe this. The senseless gruesome killings at Charlie Hebdo last week were meant to silence free speech and incite fear. Hope speaks louder. It moves forward and embraces change. It respects boundaries where needed and breaks through those whose time has come.
I am only a writer, a mother, a wife. A single voice in a vast, wide world filled with too much hate, violence and vitriol. But somehow, I’m crazy enough to think my voice matters. Somehow, I want to encourage others who agree that every human life matters regardless of whether you’re gay, straight, bi or trans, to raise their voice in whatever way they are able to support the rights of those who live in fear. I am a vigilant parent. I won’t accept that my son isn’t worthy. I won’t accept that he shouldn’t have the same rights as his brother and sister. I won’t accept that he should ever lose sight of his place in this world or that he should lose hope. Not if hope can lead to a beautiful and promising tomorrow.
So I write.