I won’t lie. Last week was a horrible, terrible, very bad week for Mark and I, and for most everyone we know. And it’s not just because a Republican won the white house. That’s happened before. Not my team, not my party, but it’s how America works.
This was something deeper. Darker. The man who won did so on a platform of lies, fear, and hatred. He won by denying things he’d said before that we have on tape with a straight face. He won with the help of the Russian government, and of our own FBI. And he demonized people I love and care about.
How do you respond to something like that? How do you find a way to accept that none of this mattered to almost half of the voters–that they looked at the temperament of this nasty man and said ‘That’s my guy’? How do you reconcile this fundamental rejection of American values – diversity, inclusiveness, truth – with the country we thought we lived in?
I still don’t know.
But I do know one thing I can do. I can write.
We have made great strides these last two decades. And part of the reason is fiction. Will and Grace made it okay to be openly gay in this country in a way it hadn’t been before. Glee opened more doors, both for me as a gay man (Kurt and Blaine… OMG!) and for lesbian, bi and transgender folks.
And closer to home, queer romance has opened minds all across the country and the world to the love between people who live outside the “traditional” model. What we do as storytellers matters, and sometimes it can change the world.
In the short run, I have no grand plan. All I can do right now is channel my fear and pain and rage into my writing. I can take this poison that fills my soul and bleed it out onto the page. My River City story this week took the brunt of this. The story has nothing to do with the election, but everything to do with pain, and suffering, and it’s what I needed to write.
In the long run? I don’t know yet. All I know is that I have to keep telling my truth, and write the world as I think it could be.[
After all, we all need a little hope.