Friday, May 20, 2016

A to Z II - Q is for Queer

Good morning! Another day is upon us, which means it is time for another letter in my personal A to Z challenge. Going in chronological order, today's letter happens to be the letter q. Q is for queer.

I know I've spoken a few times about Joe being bi.

I've always branded myself as a writer of LGBT romance. As a member of the LGBT community, it's important for me to feel that we are represented in the literary world.

In the original Trajectory, there is nothing queer about Joe or the story line. I did myself and our community a disservice. I had always known Joe was bi. In the original NaNo manuscript, he was bi, but that got edited out when I hacked the story down from a novel to a short story. Again, I did us all a disservice.

When VHP and I decided to revisit Trajectory, the first thing I wanted to do was really explore Joe's identity and sexuality. Not to make the story erotica, per se, but to bring back his LGBT roots, so to speak. He is queer, and that is a theme that I wanted to make predominant in the story. I wasn't going to do away with Claudette; she is Joe's rock. Queer or not, Joe cannot live without her. However, I needed to do more than just state the fact that he was bi. I needed to do more than just have him discuss his fears of having the team find out. I needed him to live it. I needed him to live in his authenticity. I needed him to live in his queerness.

Michael was actually a character from another story. I had planned on bringing in a male character for Joe, just not necessarily him. However, my characters are headstrong little buggers. They don't listen very well - they love to do as they please. So, Michael decided to jump into Trajectory. His move was seamless. What I thought would be awkward and potentially stagnate the story was the polar opposite. He is a wonderful unexpected element. He is the giant monkey wrench, and I love how he mucks everything up. He brings out Joe's queer identity, and he forces Joe to face his fears head on. It is a beautiful thing.

If you were to look at Trajectory from a quick glance, you'd never expect it to be a queer story. Even as such, it might make you cringe at first (once you discover the true dynamic between Joe and Michael). However, once you really read the story, once you get into the meat of the book, Trajectory in all of its queer glory is absolutely wonderful. It's the queer story you never saw coming with the queer message you'd never expect.

Queer is not a bad word. Especially in this case.

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