June is Pride Month. It’s a time for the LGBTQIA community to celebrate the freedom to be themselves. It can be done in any number of ways with everything from parties to parades.
In this day and age, most of us are familiar with the terms gay and lesbian and bisexual which takes care of the L, G and B of the acronym. That leaves the TQIA. For those who may not be aware, the T is transgender, Q is questioning, I is intersexed and A is asexual.
I love that our society has evolved enough that we recognize that people don’t fit into a simple box. We’re not all gay, straight or bi. Some of us are, but there are many more of us who are not. Many people are questioning their sexuality or have realized they fall on the asexual spectrum while others are intersexed.
I’m grateful to live in a time where we are dedicated to helping people feel less ashamed of who and what they are even though I don’t fall anywhere in the LQBTIA equation. I wish we didn’t have to single out one month for celebrating. I would love to see the day where sexuality isn’t something we worry about in others. It would be nice to have a normal that made it as unimportant to judging someone as their height or eye color. Meaning, we know these things about each other, but we don’t let it affect our assessment of their character or our interaction with them.
I am 100% straight. I’ve never questioned who I was or questioned my sexuality. From the minute my sexuality awakened, I knew I liked boys. I dated boys, loved boys and ultimately married a cute little nineteen-year-old boy who was the sweetest guy ever. Twenty-four years later, I’m still married to that guy. One of our daughters is gay and recently married a woman. When our daughter came out, it was with little fanfare. There was no big announcement. We’d suspected. We asked, she admitted it, we told her we supported her and that she should always be proud of herself, and life moved on.
Thanks to my very gay daughter, I’ve been exposed to things I never knew about. My daughter introduced me to the first transgender person I had ever met, a young boy named Josh. She also introduced me to the wonderful world of drag and showed me her alter ego Apollo. The first time I saw Apollo, I told my daughter, ‘You make a really hot guy’. It must have been the right thing to say because she laughed and told me I was the best mom ever. I may be biased, but I stand by my assessment of Apollo.
I think a combination of living in this time and having a gay child has directly impacted my writing. When I first started out, I wrote romance novels with a male and female couple. Now, I’ve written characters who are gay and bisexual and this year I released The Truth Inside, my first book with a transgender male lead.
In the past, the romance genre has primarily been about straight couples, but LQBTIA romances are gaining popularity. I’ve been reading male/male romances for years and have just started trying my hand at writing them. While I’m sure this may offend some people, I don’t care. I may not be LGBTQI or A, but that’s not going to stop me from showing my pride damn it.