Almost all writers have heard the phrase “write what you know.” It’s the kind of common sense advice that is too soon disregarded; not that we are to be limited by our experience, but that we should let that experience inform and guide our writing. And if a certain topic lies outside our realm of experience, it is usually possible to expand our realm of knowledge – after all, what else is the internet good for? (Actually, don’t answer that.)
The point is, it can be difficult for writers to force a perspective to which they cannot relate, and stories ought to be at least as varied and diverse as the authors who wrote them.
Unfortunately, that is often not the case.
[Note: For those confused by any of the terminology used in this post (and I don't blame you; it's confusing), here is a good glossary for all things LGBTetc., compiled by Charlie the Unicorn, who runs a quality blog here: http://unicornsareace.wordpress.com/ Any additional questions are, of course, welcome in the comments.]
The LGBTetc community is a big part of my life – and it’s no small wonder, considering how many of the letters in the (rather too long to post here) initialism I can claim as my own. I take a T or two for transgender/transmasculine, a G for gay, another for genderqueer, a couple of A’s for asexual and aromantic, and a P for pan-attractional,1 because why not?
It should be obvious then why it is that LGBTetc issues are a rather primary concern in my life; not only are they dealing with what I perceive to be basic human rights and dignity, but every battle, every court case, every news story involving the queer community has the potential to directly affect me or someone I love. That being said, it’s possible that I’m going to find myself writing about queer issues a lot, so I thought that I might use my first proper post to address some of the basics of queer identity as I see them, for the benefit of the uninitiated:
Hi, all! Welcome to the HUHC blog, and my attempt at composing an intro post (these are always more difficult to write than I anticipate!). My name is Ken, and I’m currently a freshman here at Hofstra, majoring in both classics and computer sciences – and enjoying myself more than is strictly necessary in both areas of study.
Writing is one of many interests that I plan to put to good use here; others may include (but are not limited to) reading (I brought over 300 books to campus with me; just the essentials, really), language and culture (currently studying classical Latin, ancient Greek, and modern Japanese), philosophy (I love nothing more than the hashing out of important ideas over tea), and technology (I’m a computer programmer who drools over laptops but isn’t quite accustomed to having a cell phone). I am also very involved with the LGBTetc (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and the rest; there are many more letters, but I can’t reasonably list them all here) community, both on campus and off, so I’ll be sure to write a bit about that as well.
I certainly hope my contributions here manage to spark both interest and dialogue; this blog is called “The Conversation,” after all – so please, don’t hesitate to join in!