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Opinion: What Will Happen to Our LGBT Literature?

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One reason I’ve been writing all these years has to do with helping us feel good about ourselves. I’d like to think the cultural work that’s proliferated from the latter half of the twentieth century through today has contributed to building our strength so we could accomplish all we have. If the pendulum of history swings against us like a wrecking ball from the future, we’ll need the writing, the photographs, the women’s music–to stay strong, to be queer strong, just as we need it now.

But will our stories be available twenty, fifty, a hundred years from now? I believe they should be, but hadn’t thought much about it until a discussion I had with K.G. McGregor, popular author and President, Board of Trustees, Lambda Literary Foundation. And then I thought, yeah, of course we should do some planning for a far away day when, who knows, we may be outlawed again.

McGregor pointed out that our book rights would disappear into the ether (not the ethernet) unless we plan now to conserve them. We all need literary (or artistic, etc.) executors devoted to our queer arts, who will ensure that our heritage is sustained. But we need to do something besides name executors in our wills. What instructions should I give the women to whom I’ve entrusted my life’s work?

Full Story at LGBT Weekly

1 thought on “Opinion: What Will Happen to Our LGBT Literature?”

  1. The items that make it into print can be reasonably sure of survival, even as they get progressively harder to find. Not too sure about electronically published only items as they are dependent on survival of companies. If Amazon is bought in the future, or goes bankrupt, will individuals copies of Kindle stories they “bought” remain available in cloud storage? If not then the only copies will be in their devices and when those fail without other backup then the items are gone. I do note that the current LGBT books I have are published on much better paper and are better bound than the old “Badboy” paperbacks so should last longer in readable form.

    Certainly secondary level publishers do not last forever so authors should make sure that their contracts clearly state that all rights return to the author if the publisher ceases operation for any reason or is sold.

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