I recently read aloud the first two chapters of my work-in-progress, Part Time Lesbian. It’s a story I’m working on the side of another that I’ve uncovered and will eventually strive to publish, because I do think the other is my best work. But we’re talking about something else, so let me get back to that.
Anyway, when I had finished reading the chapters, I was greeted with a small round of applause and several blank stares. I understood that I would probably receive this type of response considering the nature of PTL. I mean just the title itself is controversial even to lesbians! Not to mention, at the end of the first chapter the main character explains how she gets pissed at her mother and says she’ll probably go to hell for that along with all the other blasphemous things she’s said. The topic of gay rights and acceptance and tolerance is a touchy one, but by writing this story I’m hoping to change that in soe way. I know it’s a long shot, but I have to try the best way I can, and what I’m good at is writing.
I really need to just get to the freaking point.
After the meeting, a woman approached me and said she didn’t agree with what I wrote. She said it was offensive and didn’t find it funny at all (it’s worth mentioning the story is told in a sarcastic tone). What she was saying was that because it didn’t match up with her beliefs I should not have written it. To which I replied, “If I cared about offending anyone then I would have written nothing.” I took a line out of my own book and threw it back in the woman’s face. I left feeling really irked about the whole situation. Who was she to tell me what I could and couldn’t write, or what is acceptable. If all writers worried about offending someone then nothing would be written, because on some level every book is offensive. It could be in the form of a whiny teenage girl who enters an abusive relationship with a vampire, or it could be in the form of a girl who goes against her extremist parents who are part of the church of LDS. You have to not care whether or not you’ll offend someone, because only then can you make something meaningful. If you never challenge a belief, you will never move forward. And remaining stagnant is pretty boring.