I came upon writing LGBTQ fiction quite by accident. BROOKLYN, BURNING, generally considered an LGBTQ novel–which I’m okay with, obviously, if you’ve read the author’s note or are familiar with the cast of secondary characters, all of whom identify as LGBTQ–started as something of a feminist rant. It turned out that the idea I had about veiling gender in two central characters made a much larger and stronger statement than I initially thought it would.
I was at work on a first draft of BROOKLYN, BURNING—maybe a few thousand words in—and I still wasn’t certain I’d keep the genders of the burgeoning couple hidden. (The hidden genders were a happy accident at first, a symptom of writing in an epistolary style, rather than the epistolary style being a handy tool meant to hide genders.) At the same time, I got involved in a short-lived debate on a listserve about dress codes—specifically, requiring dresses for girls at a high school graduation ceremony. I was shocked that some people were okay with this antiquated thinking. That’s when I decided once and for all never to reveal the genders of Kid and Scout.~ read more ~