I’ve written two essentially cheerful and comforting books about essentially cheerful and kind queer people. INTO THE BLUE has cheerful queer, demi, ace, bi kids on the ocean. STORM SEASON has cheerful queer, bi, wlw, trans people in the Australian bush. I write people I would like to be, people I would like to be friends with. I write people I am already friends with. I want my characters to be content with their lives with or without the love story they’ve tumbled into. Conflict comes from their characters and their love and priorities, not from their queerness. The stories are intended to be not just a happily ever after for LGBTQA characters, but a happily ever every day ever.
I’m not saying that being queer isn’t rough. We suffer real fears, disappointingly finite familial love, internalized homophobia, sorrows and loneliness. Queer people grow up both early and late. Queer people have to learn not to hurt themselves. Queer people have to remind ourselves we are good and valuable and worth love. I’m also not saying that being queer makes us better and more thoughtful (though it should). Many cis-gendered queer people are transphobic, many white queers are racist. We need to be awake, we need to care for ourselves and one another.
But I am saying that it’s not all rough. This comforting existence I write about is also my lived experience. I am surrounded by queer people who look after one another and love one another as family. I live with my wife and kids and the neighbours treat us as their own. I have been loved and welcomed by every long term girlfriend’s family, regardless of religion and beliefs. My colleagues are disinterested in a good way. My kids are spoiled by queer family and friends and welcomed by all. Their schoolfriends accept that the kids have two mothers without blinking. They are loved. It’s all love is love is love around here.
I am deeply privileged. I have fought through some nasty times to be here and things got better and I’m still fighting for me and for others. It’s a good place. But it’s not just privilege that makes this queer life a good life. It’s friendships and found family and ordinary days and personality and careers and hobbies and love.
We don’t all get a romance novel. But I hope that queer people (and less queer people) read my books and mostly take away that real queer people do get to live in this world and be happy.