I support lgbt rights, but National Coming Out Day is a little bit of an odd concept for me. You can’t really participating by “coming out” if you’re straight or if you’re already “out,” and if you’re not, I’m not sure if you want to begin that talk with “So Mom, you know today is National Coming Out Day, right?” Although, who knows, maybe you do.
In any case, in honor of National Coming Out Day, I’m reposting one of the answers from my interview with Kindle Author:
During the course of writing (Angel) I only had to focus on telling the story the best I knew how, and crafting it as a workable novel. Once I’d finished it, I found that I had to contend with having written a love story between two men, one of whom is a Christian minister. I had to figure out how to sell and market it, and how people might react to that or try to present it. I’m not a person who courts controversy, and I don’t personally feel as though what I wrote is controversial. I tried to write something beautiful. As a straight person, I’ve taken for granted not having to size up anyone’s views about sexual orientation before I talk about my life. Now when people ask me about the novel, I find myself trying to gauge how they might react and how to frame it before I speak, and it’s given me a certain empathy. I won’t say I wasn’t empathetic to lgbt people before (I couldn’t have written Angel if I wasn’t), but I didn’t have any personal taste of what it must be like to have to think about how someone might react to you when you speak about the events of your life. Sometimes people ask me what the book is about and I tell them and I feel a bit of a silence come over them. They’re surprised. I feel their discomfort. I suppose it is possible that there will be some people who have strong feelings against homosexuals who might put me into a certain category and decide they don’t want to try my other non-fiction books. I hope that doesn’t happen. In any case, you can’t live in fear of things like that or you won’t ever say anything worth saying.