AWP 2015: Queer Writing Matters

April 3, 2015 § 1 Comment

Alison Bechdel

Alison Bechdel

From Special Projects Editor Sarah Einstein:

As a young, queer person in a small Appalachian city, I felt isolated and at risk. I could not imagine a world in which I could say what I have just said, that I am queer, and not be in danger for it. And then, as a high school senior, I discovered Alison Bechdel’s Dykes to Watch Out For. There, in the comic strips, were other queer women living not only safe lives, but lives connected to one another. That they had a community shocked me. Until then I had, at best, thought perhaps I could go my whole life without ever being discovered and punished for who I was. Dykes to Watch Out For let me know that this wasn’t the best I could hope for. That there were communities of queer people living full and happy lives as queer people. For a couple of years, these cartoon strip lesbians were all the community I had, but they were enough. They made me less afraid and gave me a future to hope for.

Queer writing matters. One of the reasons Brevity wanted to do the special gender issue is because we understand the importance of finding authors like ourselves when we feel alone in our identities. Another reason is that we think it’s equally important to find authors who are not like us at all, in order be more empathetic people who can look beyond our own experiences.
We urge you to attend some of the queer events at AWP, to support queer writing and queer publishing and queer presence at the conference. Here is a handy list, compiled by the good folk at Lambda Literary. We hope to see you there:  queer-events-at-awp

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