Exciting times for Queer Literature

The revolution is still happening. More power to you, folks. (Glad to see EW running something like this.)

I grew up in Nigeria in the ‘90s, and we were under military dictatorship for most of that. So we had a lot of military curfews. We had a lot of violence happening, and that was oddly what I was using to calm myself down. I was like, “You know what this is like. You know what it’s like to have a curfew. You know what it’s like to not be able to go outside.” [Laughs] Which is a really messed up way of reassurance. It’s been so much worse in your lifetime. But at the same time, the one thing that I have learned in, I think, trauma and grief, and when there’s a lot of loss, and it’s really loud in the world, is that the world actually doesn’t stop. People are saying a lot that, “Oh, this thing has stopped the world.” And I’m like, “It hasn’t, because people are still doing things.” And I think for anyone who’s suffered a loss, it’s something that we know intimately, is that even if your world has stopped, the rest of the world doesn’t. And that’s one of the most heartbreaking things about grief, is that everything just keeps moving on.

The kids who need queer books still need them. They probably need them actually more than they did before. And so that I think gave me a little bit of permission to be like, “Okay, this is still important.” I think in any revolution, I suppose everyone has a particular role. And I think there’s often a lot of guilt about not being more on the front lines, or being safe or all these different things. But I think as storytellers, one of the things that I try to keep in mind is, I can just find my pocket, and I can fight from that pocket, and do my job that I’m here to do.

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