I’m drawn to the struggle of LGBTQ individuals. I’m not LGBTQ, myself. And none of my children or close friends have confided to me that they are LGBTQ people. I am merely an ally, with no motivation other than my strong desire that all human beings enjoy the fullest scope of human rights.
The struggle of an LGBTQ person to live authentically without prejudice and fear is at the root of human existence. What is more integral to personhood than the freedom to express one’s gender as one experiences it? And then there is the question of love. Every individual deserves to love the person of his/her/their choice without the judgment or interference of others.
Writing has long been my way of expressing my commitment to people who have been viewed, with respect to gender identity and sexuality, as nontraditional. My earliest books were gay romance, both New Adult and Young Adult. The stories often dealt with bullying and being bullied—my characters learned lessons and changed their ways and grew emotionally. I soon moved on to including YA lesbian fiction in my writing, consistently addressing serious societal social issues.
In my most recent books, I have been drawn to the struggle of transgender individuals. My adult novel, Scarred, illustrates how twenty-one-year-old Vedie expresses his gender in a unique manner. Although he sees himself as a man, he frequently, and publicly, cross dresses when he is moved to express his more feminine qualities. However, he consistently conducts certain parts of his life in male attire. He is always Vedie, a sweet and gentle man, yet the public condemns him for his unconventional gender expression.
(Scarred has received two Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards…)
I have several books signed to small publishers that deal with the YA transgender experience. All Boy, the story of an eighteen-year-old transgender man who relocates to a prep school far from home to complete a fifth year in high school as his true gender, is contracted to Lakewater Press for a 2018 release. My Crunchy Life, the story of a trans girl in the midst of her transition and the confused boy who falls for her, is signed to Harmony Ink Press for a 2018 release. Also signed to Harmony Ink Press is the story of a young trans teen, barely out of middle school, who suffers with gender dysphoria, social isolation, and family disapproval and ultimately attempts suicide, titled The Princess of Baker Street. This novel is due to be released in early 2019.
In my November guest post on Alpha Book Club, I will outline All Boy. You will meet Jayden, the trans teen boy who has moved to Boston to attend prep school, and Callie, the teenage girl who falls in love with him. Callie, however, experienced a social media humiliation at her former high school that has left her unable to trust, and when their relationship is publicly tested, it doesn’t hold together well.
Also watch for my early 2018 YA release from Harmony Ink Press with co-author Raine O’Tierney, titled the Sound of Silence.
That’s what’s up!!