Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia
Today begins the Second Annual Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Today is officially the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Last year, I participated by talking about diversity in the workplace, diversity in my own company, and diversity at The Ravens Crossing.
This year, I am taking things more introspective. Getting a little personal.
I grew up a teenager of the 80’s in and around Los Angeles. My own experiences were incredibly diverse, including my friends. I never knew a closet existed, not until I was older.
When I began my own family I knew I wanted my kids to be raised in a home that was totally accepting of whoever they were. Let me just say, many years ago, this was easier said than done. But, I managed to do it. I surrounded my kids with diversity and made it all just part of what the world was about. And no topic was taboo in our house. If you ask my kids, they’ll assure you that there have been many an odd conversations in their life and probably expect to have many more.
So, that’s the set up.
My reality was challenged when I realized I had gender non-conforming kids. Let me interject that I fostered this with toys, clothing, etc. And I am only painting you one part of the picture, because honestly, I could write a book about my journey.
At times, life was joyous. At other times, I found it heart breaking when we encountered ignorance. I even found myself caving to societal pressure on a few occasions. It was difficult to maintain my resolve, so I made sure we lived in well-known LGBT neighborhoods and had countless friends in the community. I never tolerated bullying and I was outspoken every time I encountered intolerance. But, I am not perfect. I had my own moments of doubt. Thankfully, my kids are amazing, as all kids are.
First, I find it astonishing that I have college age kids now. I don’t feel that old. My kids and I spend a lot of time together—we like the same music, movies, clothing, and we work together on several grass roots campaigns to wipe out homophobia and pass marriage equality in all 50 states.
I write LGBTQIA fiction for a living. Everyone in my family is aware of this and I am lucky that they all support me. I am also fortunate that I don’t have to hide who I am, what I do, or who I love. But, that isn’t the reality for so many people. I cannot fathom what that must be like. It is so far removed from my own reality, that I often have difficulty wrapping my head around it. I cannot imagine throwing a child out of my home because of their DNA.
The choice is about how one deals with diversity. Does one accept it? Embrace it? I believe we are beyond the tolerance/intolerance debate. We are at the point of acceptance. I want more for me, my kids, my family, and my friends. I don’t want to be tolerated—I want to be accepted.
Wiping out Homophobia and Transphobia takes grassroots movements. It takes social interaction. It’s one person helping one other person. Pay it forward.
Help me, by helping others. Check out the other authors and websites participating in the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia. There are lots of prizes being given away too! Who doesn’t like to win stuff?
So, if you’d like a chance to win The Ravens Crossing: Book One, Book Two, and Book Three just leave a comment below (with an email address). The contest runs May 17 – 27, 2013. I’ll announce and contact the winner on May 28, 2013.