It’s hard to believe, but it’s time for GCLS again. This year, the lesbian writers’ conference is in Washington DC. I’ve never been to DC, so it’s going to be fun finally getting to see my country’s capital (even though we’re going to hell in a hand basket).
This year’s con is going to a strange one, though. There’s going to be some tears and somber moments as we remember lost sisters, particularly Sandra Moran, who we lost to a heinous and much-too-short battle with cancer late last year. And I know several other fellow con-goers who recently lost loved ones.
But I think, too, that everyone wants this conference to be, as it always is, a celebration of us—as women, as lesbians, as writers. This year, in particular, it’s important that we continue that tradition, because of all the losses in our community. Not just the loss of individual souls, but the tragic mass loss of our brothers, sisters, and allies in the Orlando shooting.
We need to celebrate who and what we are, and we need to appreciate each other and what we have to offer the world. It’s through our art that we reach out to the new generation of kids just coming out. Maybe those kids who are afraid to be who they are look to our stories for guidance. Maybe LGBT people who are disenfranchised because of where they live or family pressure depend on our stories as lifelines, the one thing that let’s them know that there’s nothing wrong with them. Maybe people who are isolated find our works and realize that they’re not alone.
Maybe we save some lives.
Regardless, life goes on, no matter what else happens in the world. We can’t stop living. We can’t stop loving. We can’t stop writing. Because if we do, all is lost.
So, maybe I’ll see some of you in DC. Maybe I’ll see some of you at future events elsewhere. Or maybe I’ll just see you here next time. Whichever it is, be safe, be joyful, and, most importantly, don’t be afraid.