New Look, New Writing

I’ve changed the look of the site so that it’s more focused on my writing and less just like a personal blog. The blog will still remain for updates and the occasional anecdote I’d like to share, but I don’t want it to be the focus. I’ve updated my list of publications since many of the journals that published my writing have closed. I used to joke that I was the grim reaper of literary magazines—since so many journals seem to go defunct right after they publish me. But I guess that’s just the nature of publishing, whether online or print.

But here are some newer publications:

  • I have a flash in Fanzine that was inspired by an article I read online about gay people being more haunted than straight people. Yes, it was a real article and not a parody.
  • I have a short coming-of-age story told in fragments in the newest issue of Gone Lawn. I’m very proud of this one.

I’m currently in the brainstorming stage of a novel, sort of. I’ve never written a novel before, apart from a godawful fantasy when I was in high school that was really more like fan fiction. I’m starting with the characters since some of them have been in my mind for many years. I’m just letting them wander and interact now. Let’s see where this goes.


I’ll Be as Universal as You Want Me to Be

Originally published in Metazen (now presumably defunct, RIP), my story, “Year of the Queerling,” has been included in Best Gay Stories 2015. The anthology is now available for pre-order and will be published next month by Lethe Press.

Many gay writers wonder if they identify as a “gay writer.” Taken literally, this is silly. Of course you are a gay writer. However, it’s not the literal term that brings about such conflicted feelings, but rather the label used in terms of the literary landscape, readership, and what you see on bookshelves. It’s really the same question women writers face: Is what you write “women’s fiction”?

Many writers, more so than anyone else, have a great fear of being pigeonholed or put in a box. “We are not gay writers,” they say. “We are merely writers.” In other words, they don’t want to write only for a gay audience; they want to write fiction that transcends category and can be enjoyed by anyone of any sexual persuasion or background. Many will say this proudly, even though I think most of these sentiments arise from a great fear—fear of not finding a more mainstream readership (see: the straights) and fear of not being taken as seriously because of that. You write “gay fiction,” therefore, your perspective is somehow limited or bound by certain tropes of a genre. It can’t cross boundaries. At best, it may garner a cult following with a very particular readership.

It reminds me of a question once posed to Toni Morrison: Can she just not write about race issues for once? She looks puzzled at first, then feels insulted. Can she? Of course she can! She’s Toni Morrison. But Ms. Morrison wasn’t insulted because the question inferred that her writing abilities may be limited, no—she was insulted because the question inferred that the white perspective is the only valid perspective to write from, the only perspective that can be viewed as universal and possible of transcending category.

I admit: I used to feel the same way about these labels. I was that kind of writer. I understand these fears and where they come from, but I no longer care. I’ll just let the readers and publishers decide what words they want to use to describe my writing.