When AJ first talked to me about the idea of a Queer Romance Month, I thought it presented a fantastic opportunity for anyone on the MOGAI spectrum, both for our visibility as a group and to make our individual voices heard.
And QRM delivered. In spades. Far beyond what I had imagined it could do. In both the posts and the discussions in the comment sections it exceeded every one of my expectations.
I wasn’t looking for anything more personal than that. I already knew I wasn’t cis, I’ve known even longer I’m not straight; I’d made peace with my otherness a long time ago. That I didn’t fit into any of the LGBT groups in my life might have been harder to accept, but I’d made, well, at least a truce with that, too. Discovering the internet in the nineties helped a lot. It gave me a space in which I could be who I was without having to deal with being categorized by my appearance. So, yeah, I wanted to participate in QRM. Maybe what I had to say would even help someone else. But I wasn’t expecting any immediate, personal impact.
Man, was I ever wrong.
I’ve used the word queer to describe myself for a good number of years now, because
- one, bisexual/bigender is a mouthful;
- two, I’d have to explain at least the bigender thing to an exhausting extent; and
- three, most people don’t want to know that much.
Having the Q added to the LGBT salad of letters seemed right and good, but it didn’t change anything for me personally. I’d never met anyone like me (still haven’t), and I’d met few enough people who identified under the Q for lack of fitting anywhere else that I didn’t think of us as a group in any real, visceral sense.
QRM changed that, up close and personal. It’s not going to make me want to have tea parties every day now, but the simple knowledge that there’s an interconnected group of people outside of my immediate circle of family and friends, who I could meet face to face and still be a part of is joyful and liberating. Finding your ‘tribe’, regardless in which area, makes the heart sing.
So, thank you for making my heart sing. I’m more grateful than I can say to everyone involved, for investing their time, knowledge, emotions and (sometimes very personal) experiences to make QRM so much more than I thought it would be. Thank you especially to Alexis Hall, who conceived of and followed through with the idea (after the format of Read-a-Romance-Month), and without whom QRM wouldn’t have been born.
Queer Romance Month–no you, all of you–blew me away. And I’m hoping very much that we can do this again next year.