Before we get started, please allow me to introduce myself. I’m Bran L. Ayres, I’m a 38-year-old non-binary writer and parent of three young nerdlings. I’ve had an intense relationship with science fiction and fantasy since I was very young. I started writing seriously in high school and after years of playing about I got serious and published my first sci-fi novel. Since then I’ve written a steampunk novel and short stories along with fanfiction and various articles.
NOTE: Throughout this column I will use the acronym MOGAI (Marginalized Orientations, Gender Alignments and Intersex) as I feel it is a more fully inclusive term than LGBT+. This is a personal preference.
But enough about me. Let me explain the purpose of this column and what I hope to accomplish with it.
We hear so much about the need for diversity, especially here on this site. Diversity of every kind is in high demand, yet so much of what is out there doesn’t reflect true diverseness. You hear talk of authors meeting ‘quotas’ or tokenizing various races and orientations. Not long ago there was a huge backlash in the community over the m/m genre and who comprises its actual audience over the intended audience. These kinds of issues affect all of us and often in a negative way.
So how can we as authors achieve diversity in our writing and does being queer ourselves give us an instant pass on all MOGAI matters? I’ll be delving into this and other challenges we face as queer authors; from finding agents/editors who are MOGAI friendly, to finding your ideal audience and where, to starting your own local writing group. Once a month I’ll cover how to write an orientation or gender identity and do so authentically and compassionately. I’m also open to answering writing related questions. You can submit them to me personally at: [email protected].
It is my hope that by exploring all orientations and genders we can gain insight into each other and learn to reflect true diversity in our writing.
Next time we’ll be talking with Ryan Vance and Kayla Bashe, a couple of queer sci-fi/fantasy authors, about the challenges they’ve faced in the industry.
Bran is the author of The Jeweled Dagger, Masquerade, The Silver Peacock series, Savior and the free-to-read Corsair and Corsetteer series. They live in a little house in Southern Missouri with their three nerdlings, one aging dachshund, and four cats. You can find Bran on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Patreon, Instagram, Pinterest and their website branlindyayres.com.