Who are all these LGBTQ+ posts for, anyway?
I’ve been asked why I write so many of them, and on the first of this month I talked about why I’m writing a bunch of LGBTQ+ posts in June. (Hint: Because it’s Pride month.) But lately I’ve been thinking that why may not be the most important question. I think who is the key word here: Who am I writing all these LGBTQ+ posts for, during June and throughout the rest of the year?
“Write the book you want to read” is an oft-repeated piece of writing advice, and I think this saying holds true for bloggers as well. Like, if you wouldn’t read the content on your own blog, then what are you even doing on WordPress / Blogger / whatever blogging platform you use?!
In my case, I’m writing the sort of blog that wee!Engie would’ve loved to read. The sort of posts that I would have DEVOURED five or six years ago. Hell, sixteen-year-old me would’ve probably loved what Musings From Neville’s Navel has become, because sixteen-year-old me still had a lot of issues to work through re: internalized homophobia and feeling isolated.
I didn’t have this sort of resource when I was just beginning to question my sexual orientation, but I wish I had. Absolutely no one IRL talked to me about LGBTQ+ things, and I really only began to use the Internet a lot when I was about fifteen. And even then I didn’t have many online friends yet, so I was pretty much limited to Wikipedia-ing things I was curious about.
(Yes, “Wikipedia-ing” is now a verb. BECAUSE I SAID SO.)
I would’ve loved to find a blog – or any kind of website – like Musings From Neville’s Navel back in middle school. A blog that talked about coming out? A blog that published weird ramblings about current events within the LGBTQ+ community? A blog filled with GLORIOUS REVIEWS OF QUEER YA NOVELS?! Oh, man. Yes. BRING IT ON.
I write the blog I want to read now, but I also write the blog I wanted to read then. I write all these LGBTQ+ posts because there are kids out there who are just a few years younger than myself, who are just beginning to figure out this whole queer thingy, or who are feeling confused, and I’d like to help them.
Until we either invent a time machine or the Doctor pops by for a visit in his TARDIS, I can’t go back in time and talk to my younger self – but I can talk to people who are the same age now as I was a few years ago, and that’s the next best thing. I can’t tell you how pleased I feel whenever some kid in middle school (and more rarely, elementary school) leaves a comment on one of my posts saying “thank you for writing this” or “this is exactly what I needed to read today” or “oh my gosh, I’ve been trying to figure this out for a while now and you just explained it so well.”
I suppose there are a bunch of “who”s I’m writing these posts for. Straight allies who are trying to educate themselves. Queer people, particularly those in high school and college. (Because I’m always looking for more LGBTQ+ friends! Wheeeee!) But most of all, I think I write these posts for wee!Engie and, by extension, any and all LGBTQ+ kids who happen to stumble across this blog.
Like, it’s the right thing to do, isn’t it? There is sooooo much in life that I still don’t understand – I am only eighteen years old, after all – but I can write about what I do know and the experiences I have already had. I love love love it when some younger kid says that my LGBTQ+ posts on this blog were helpful to them in some way, that they’ve been thinking about [insert topic here] and my post about [insert that topic here] was reassuring in some way. Because that’s my goal. To pay it forward, you know?
To all the LGBTQ+ kids who might be reading this: You’re adorable and awesome and the Actual Best, all right? [Pats your tiny cute heads in a way that is hopefully friendly and not at all condescending] The best, OK? THE BEST.