Empire’s Daughter and LGBTQIA Rights

I’ve been meditating since early Wednesday morning…about 3 a.m., when I woke up, looked at the news feed on my ipad, said something unprintable, and went back to sleep, what my personal response to Donald Trump’s victory should be. First off, I’m Canadian, and some will think I have no right having any response.  But the election of a U.S. President resonates around the globe, and has implications for all countries…and all life, human and otherwise, on this planet.

I have enormous concerns, about environmental issues, about military responses, and most immediately about human rights.  I am straight, of Angle-Saxon heritage, and past reproductive age, but that doesn’t mean I can’t to some extent empathize with the experiences and the fears of those who are not.  I’m a writer, and that’s what we do, to the best of our ability.

When I wrote Empire’s Daughter, the fact that it was set in a world where sexuality is fluid and to some extent context-driven wasn’t even a conscious decision.  The structure of the society, based as it is loosely on the structures of Rome and Sparta, indicated to me that this would be the most likely evolution of sexuality in the world that offered itself to me. Love is love, and when my protagonist Lena loses her partner Maya to exile, her grief is as honest and deep and painful as it would have been for a male partner. Empire’s Daughter is a coming of age story, a story of discovery and loss of innocence, of mistakes and attempted redemption.  It is a human story, not a story unique to those who identify as LGBTQIA.

But now I have added LGBT to the Amazon description (that’s all they offer), because I feel that I need to let young readers know there is a fictional world (another fictional world – there are plenty of others) here where they may see themselves, while the world around them may become more discriminatory and more hateful.  “Do small things with great love,” Mother Theresa may or may not have said….this is one small thing from me, one tiny spark of light, I hope, offered with love.

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