Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Outer Alliance Pride Day

September first is a special day for me for several reasons. I always connect this month with beautiful melancholy of a summer spent well, while the remnants of its warmth hang in the leaves as they change color and the day slims away. It’s a period of change and pacing down as well as the month, when most of my ideas come forth and fully develop. Right now I have yet another reason to celebrate and this is the official Pride Day of “The Outer Alliance”.

As a member of the Outer Alliance, I advocate for queer speculative fiction and those who create, publish and support it, whatever their sexual orientation and gender identity. I make sure this is reflected in my actions and my work.

I never thought that I would find an altruistic trait in my whole personality, so I am amazed at myself for my involvement with the Other Alliance, but some things are worth standing up for. The 21st century is supposed to carry enlightenment, understanding of differences and to dispel discrimination, yet when form of discrimination is overcome another ascends to take its place. I am not a great thinker and though I can muster a few sentences with a bit of weight on top, I can’t submerge myself and explore the philosophies of life as detailed and argued as I wish, so I will let the more experienced writers and thinkers relay what they perceive about the sexual discrimination in literature.

How many novels feature main protagonists in speculative fiction, who have an alternative sexuality? How many novels are acclaimed? Are any of these novels accepted to begin with? The answers to these questions are not very pretty at least for me and I wish to change things, because alternative sexuality does not equal deviation that must at all costs be shied away from the larger public. How is a hero or a heroine, whose sole difference from others is their interest in the same sex worse than all the villains in speculative fiction, who kill, torture and maim in the most gruesome ways? I don’t know. If speculative fiction readers have accepted the latter, then why not the first?

Being different is not easy. Being homosexual is even harder with the extent of homophobia today and I wish to feel comfortable in my second home, literature, which I always perceive as the unity of intellect and empathy and where one shouldn’t feel unwanted or unaccepted for being different. And I want to help through my work and behavior and also through the Outer Alliance that homosexuality is not the Grimm Reaper, waiting to drag the established set of morale to hell.


T.D. Newton said...

Well said.

I think the last novel I sampled with alternative sexuality in the main character was The Steel Remains but I didn't get too far in it. One of those had-to-return-to-the-library situations. It might be "deviant" rather than just "alternative," I'm not sure.

I do agree that there is still a level of discrimination in literature, a medium supposedly unbound by that sort of thing. I find it incredibly odd.

Harry Markov: daydream said...

Thanks for stopping by. It's a hard topic to address and sound civilized and rational.

As well as your experience. There are always deviant novels and I am referring to the infamous Anne Bishop, who certainly like to fill pages with sex... What the OA aims is to introduce queer to fiction as an alternative. Sex isn't the focus.

And yeah literature seemed against these prejudices, but as you see it needs a small push to accept leading queer characters and the nature of their relationships.

T.D. Newton said...

Well, it's just like X-Men, right? Mutants are not the norm, but if you create a world where they are, then it is some impossible reality. I'm not saying "alternative sexuality" is equivalent to being a mutant, just that its status as an "alternative" defines it not the norm... it's tough to showcase how "unusual" it is with a default that way.

Harry Markov: daydream said...

That is quite a good way to put it. I couldn't have said it better, though I wish it was easier to atune people to the idea and concept. You are quite the man with comparisons.

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