On the power of Queer storytelling

Pride season is upon us and the lit media eye, when not focused on Covid or the the horrific/noble/painful/uplifting shitshow that is America right now, is turning to Queer publishing and awards. This author interview is a good read and outlines how Queer storytelling is keeping the world from sweeping the AIDS crisis under history’s rug.

I started the novel in 2013, during the Obama years—a different time, a different world. I finished the novel long before the outbreak of COVID-19, and it’s been very strange and surreal to experience my novel coming out during this global emergency and chaos. I don’t want to draw any quick or simple parallels between this and the AIDS crisis—40,000 people died of AIDS and six years passed before Reagan even mentioned AIDS in a speech. Still, I think we very much should look back at that time—to learn from the queer community and AIDS activists, how to survive a cruel, and in this case, highly incompetent, administration. I’m wary of messages in books—but maybe aspects of the novel will resonate differently now: how will we support each other, how do we build community and embrace compassion and kindness, what kind of society do we want to be?

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