The annual sojourn to New Orleans is over for another year—the bags are unpacked, the laundry done and the re-entry into our other lives started. We have much work ahead of us, many contacts to sort and things to think about and organize. Projects and ideas swim around us, just waiting to be tackled. And with the support of the new friends we made last weekend, tackle them we will.
What makes gatherings like this so necessary is the community building and the absolute treat it is to be around others who “get it.” Oh, you may be able to discuss writing and your story problems with your partner or your friends, but unless they’re professional writers, they don’t really understand. And they sure as hell don’t like to talk about it as much as we do.
And while we build our community, we tell our stories. Be they historical, horrific, erotic, non-fiction, mysterious, literary or romantic, those tales need to be told. Lacking an oral tradition (get your mind out of the gutter, please), no one will chronicle our community, its history or its problems except us. Do you think straight people will write about us? What’s more, would you really want them to? Anyone or anything that helps us with any aspect of that process is a step forward for the entire queer community, whether they read or not.
That’s why it’s such a privilege to be a writer, to be someone who sets down the story, who desperately attempts to get it right so that others may understand. I’ve often been accused of taking myself and gay lit too seriously, and I don’t comprehend that. How can you not take it seriously? Good or bad, it’s the record of who we are.
So until next year, we’ll keep pecking away at our keyboards, producing works of absolute genius as well as drooling stupidity,because that’s what we do. And you’ll read about many of them here. Please keep coming, please keep leaving comments—positive and negative—and please support your favorite authors, no matter who they may be.
We are in this together, after all.