There are times when it’s difficult to be in this space. As a writer of LGBTQ characters. As a person who presents female. As a non-white individual who struggles to share different cultures without preaching. As someone who battles with Aspergers and brain wonkiness and has to deal with the minefield of people’s conflicting statements and as always, the confusion of sarcasm.
I’ve been told I shouldn’t be here and a lot of other things by other people. Usually to my face but also through badly hidden whisper campaigns because you know, my existence in this space is offensive to some. Trust me, I can’t count the many ways it’s been relayed to me that I “don’t belong here” or that “I’m not really a writer” or “I should just stop writing, stop talking, stop being here”.
I’d love to say fuck you to all of them. But I try to stay above stuff. I don’t always succeed. My gut instinct is that fuck you. I hate bullies. I hate people who only “talk” to another author if they believe they can get something from them or believe it somehow raises their cachet. Truth: It doesn’t. Readers find the writing they like and as writers we have to find the stories we want to tell. No one can make you popular or unpopular based on your stories.
But it can be influenced by behaviour and well, how we treat people.
When I first started out, I paid attention to the authors who only speak to people they feel are their financial equals or better, dismissing others around them. This told me who to avoid and how I shouldn’t behave. I still pay attention to this because it’s kind of like someone being nice to you but treats the waiter like shit. My opinion of someone often isn’t formed by how they treat me (although that’s got something to do with it) but more importantly, how they treat others.
Mind you, some people I adore tell me they were scared of me which is hilarious. I’m going to assume it’s because most of the time, I’m off in my own little world and not paying attention to what’s going on. My mother says I sometimes look like a dragon debating whose head to nip off for breakfast. I swear to God, this is not true. Mostly because really the head’s got a skull and bony bits are hard to crunch through. It’s not like salmon bones.
There’s no “little people” in this world. Just people who try to make other people little or less. I hate those people the most. I’d say hate is a strong word. I’m just gonna lay it out there because dudes, sometimes the behaviour is just horrible.
It’s an assault on a person, the diminishing of a person’s worth. It’s the reducing of a soul and mind to nothing more than a fish or a rock. And yeah, I fucking hate it when I see it and not going to lie, usually cements my opinion about the person doing it.
Am I perfect? Fuck no. Do I dislike some people? Hell, yeah. I can give you a list. But I’m also not going to seek them out and shove them into the darkness. I can dislike someone and remove them from my life, my awareness. AND act civil to them when we interact. It’s not hard. We’re thinking creatures. We’ve got thumbs! We can comport ourselves with a modicum of decorum and be socially shallow for a few minutes.
Still, we have to speak up against the diminishing of a person. I can disagree with someone’s opinion but still respect their existence.
That said, assholes seeking to destroy society and our homeland are exempt from this. In my mind. I will forever rail against this because well, they seek to diminish not just one but many.
So I leave you with one thing… you’re worth being nice to. Being civil to. Being civil in return or maybe even being civil first. Our behaviour should not be dictated by the way others behave and if a foul bitterness rises in you at something someone says or writes, stop and assess. We have to right our own ships… or we will never reach the stars we’re aiming for.