Thursday, December 22, 2016

Moving Forward

Hello wondrous people! This is going to be an odd post for me. Odd, terrifying. Mostly terrifying.

I've spent much of my life pretending I wasn't a thing that I was. Or at the very least, I wasn't as much of it as other people. Or maybe I wasn't that thing at all and I just thought I was. That there were qualifiers on the identification that I didn't meet.

I thought I was a fraud of some kind. I'd been stealthily "out" with a few people. Close friends, but not family, though I'd made some overtures of explanation I'd never just said one way or another in spite of opportunities to do so. After the election, and everything that came with it, I knew I could easily have just said, "Oh hell no, I'm never coming out now." But I can't do that. I'm done being uncertain. I'm done being anyone other than me.

So, here it is. Hi, my name is Ash and I'm demi & bi. (I was trying to come up with a demigod related pun and failed, sorry.)

As a kid, the only books I read with gay characters were the ones where those characters died, or were horribly scarred and/or torn from their love interest. They didn't get happy ever afters. The only reference I had for girls who liked other girls was couched in language meant to entice men. I didn't want to be looked at like men looked at those girls. I didn't think I could be one of those girls because I just...wasn't that. The image. The representation I'd been shown.

I rejected it so hard. I rejected myself.

I am so proud to see that the world of fiction has expanded. That there are little girls now who get to see themselves in books. That maybe those little girls won't have to muddle through years of confusion and self-doubt, they'll get to know who they are and know it's okay. That's amazing to me.

For me, self-acceptance means that I am finally writing about girls like me. I've always tried to write the books I wanted to read as a kid, and now, I think I'm also going to write the books I needed to read as a kid.

The writer community has been amazing. The first people outside of my tight cell of friends I told were fellow writers, who were incredibly encouraging when I decided to come out to my family. Which went really well, actually. It was very anticlimactic to be honest, but I am totally okay with that.

So, thank you fellow lovers of Colin (you know who you are), for supporting me.

Thank you writers at large for being awesome.

Thank you family for being totally cool. 

Next year is going to be hard, and probably the next four years, but knowing I have the support of an amazing group of people is going to help get me through that, and I truly hope that someday, one of my books does the same thing for someone else.

See you all in the New Year!

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