And so it goes. 

And so it goes. 

Words about stuff about words. 

Can fiction change minds?

I decided to write OUT because of a pretty selfish reason: I thought my son, who is gay, should be able to love whomever he chose to love. I also selfishly wanted him to be able to get married, and have kids if he chooses. Because of this, I started to think through what it must be like to live in the United States, a place founded on inalienable rights, a place known for freedom, to live here and know that most people don't want you to be treated like a regular human being. 

But how to make that point? Not with political rhetoric, that's for sure; nobody's listened to that for quite a while. What would maybe, possibly show people what it would feel like to be told you can't love the person you love? How could I do that? 

With fiction. People have done this for as long as humans have put pen to paper or chisel to stone. We've told stories to help change minds, to broaden viewpoints, and most importantly, to humanize issues that seem detached from the human experience. 

John Steinbeck did this eloquently with GRAPES OF WRATH; until he wrote so passionately about the Okie experience, few people truly understood in their hearts the pain and horror these people endured. Did his book changes minds? I have think so. LORD OF THE FLIES is a very human story about a group of boys stranded on a desert island. They lose their humanity while they wait to be rescued. But one character, Ralph, shows the innate goodness of humanity, and he survives, barely, with his morals intact. There are hundreds or thousands of examples. These people have changed minds and changed the world. 

I have no illusion that my book compares to those. But I do know that what I attempted was to bring this issue of sexual orientation to a human level of discussion. If the way you are, ie, attracted to people of the opposite sex, was criminalized, how would you feel? What would you do? Would you just obey the laws because they're laws, or would you question them? 

That's the discussion I want to begin. But I want to do it with a human love story, the thing that has the strongest power to heal and to change us. Have any books changed the way you see life? 

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