Guest post by Kim Flowers
As I’m writing this, I’m watching re-runs of The L-Word. Tasha is under investigation for homosexual conduct in the military. She goes to a fellow soldier for help and gets turned away. It’s amazing to see how much things have changed in such a short time. This episode first aired in 2008, and in Sept. 2011 DADT was repealed. It’s crazy to see how ridiculous the old restrictions on LGBT soldiers really were, and amazing that those days are really over!
It also brings up a question I’ve been thinking about when it comes to my book: when more rights are gained for gay people, will the records of what we went through before become outdated? My upcoming novel, The Divide Book 1: Uprising is a dystopia in which the nation has been divided into so-called normal towns and walled Gay Communities. In this negative version of the future (which I started writing well before I’d even heard the first preacher actually suggest separating LGBT people in the exact same way), the government will force everyone to go through The Normal Verification Test at age 18. Anyone who is queer is labeled “gay” and banned. My main character is a 17-year-old lesbian named Serenity who lives in a normal town. Serenity is desperate to keep from being banned, and doesn’t want to be separated from her family forever. She meets another teen lesbian online named Dawn who was born in a Gay Community, sneaks inside the community walls, and soon joins the revolution to end The Divide between gay and straight. This book is a metaphor for what queer teenagers have to face today in everyday life, and hopefully a good story about a person who fights for what she believes in.
But what if the Supreme Court decides to recognize same-sex marriage nationwide this June? Does this mean everything will actually be different in the whole country? Will it be pointless for me to write Book 2? Should I hurry up and finish it just in case, or wait to see what happens? Am I totally going to choke on the sequel? Hey, look, Shane’s got three straight chicks hitting on her in this episode ... *distraction*
It’s a good thing my wife turned on these re-runs, because based on what I’m watching, I think it’s safe to say all LGBT entertainment will still be relevant no matter what happens this summer in the Supreme Court. All of us who write and read queer literature, as well as enjoy and create other forms of entertainment, are making our mark on history, even if it’s fictional. The works being created now show the experiences we’ve lived and will echo through new generations. Yes, DADT has been repealed, and no one will have to face what the character Tasha had to ever again, but there are still gay soldiers who feel they have to hide who they are to avoid harassment, as well as those who are straight and don’t feel comfortable serving with gay peers. If marriage is legalized nationwide this year, I’m going to the court house with the woman I already consider my wife, but I’m also going to finish writing my book series if I haven’t already, because there will still be queer teenagers who need stories they can relate to.
Laws are finally being passed to give LGBT people the rights we deserve; some state by state, and some nationwide. But there are straight people who think these laws are going to somehow destroy the nation or world, and that granting gay people rights is some kind of apocalyptic sign. So I guess the only way to try to change those hearts and minds is for us to fight for what we believe in. If we live our lives as an example to others, maybe they’ll realize the former stereotypes about LGBT people are as stupid as the idea that a gay person can’t be a soldier. My upcoming book is dedicated to all queer teens who are still in hiding ... our own revolution is being fought right now, and you can join.