I had my first real book event for OUT on Sunday. It was not the hugest crowd in history, but I was in a room full of people who supported me and loved my work, so all in all, a good Sunday.
I started to sign books, and the phrase 'be who you were born to be' popped into my head. I realized that this phrase is really a great mantra for the book. It also speaks to the controversy surrounding LGBT rights and the general climate of treatment in the world of LGBT people.
Someone at the book signing said that the idea for the book "blew my mind" and reframed the conversation about LGBT rights, gay marriage, all of those things. I was so happy, because that was exactly what I wanted. I wanted to write a book that would (or at least could, given the right exposure) change the conversation, redirect people away from the ridiculous arguments that seem to pop up every time the issue is discussed.
Here's the thing: people are born to be who they are. We all come with a blueprint. Being LGBT isn't any different than being blue-eyed, Asian, female, or tall. Nobody chooses those things. We are what we are, a complete and wonderful package born onto this earth to do our thing, whatever it is. It's a shame that some people make it so tough for us to do and be who we were born to be.
As to reframing the conversation, here's why I think the book could do that: it asks readers to put themselves in the shoes of a couple forbidden to love. The anatomy makes little difference; the fact that their world says they can't be together is the important point. But to people who are on the fence about LGBT rights, this could show them WHY it's crticial. The book can speak to the human condition of being told by society that who you are, who you were fundamentally born to be, is wrong or doesn't matter or can be changed.
And this is something that must change. It will change. I want to do what I can to make that happen.