It’s a Weird, Wild, Wacky, Imperfect World By Russell J. Sanders
March 16

It’s a Weird, Wild, Wacky, Imperfect World By Russell J. Sanders

Most people in this loony world don’t care one whit whether I’m gay, straight, bi, or whatever. Like computers pre-loaded with software, some force out there pre-programs humans to be loving, caring, accepting, and inclusive. Take a gander at little kids playing together, and you get what I’m saying. They don’t care about skin color, whether their playmate is a girl or boy or anything else. They just want to have fun. But oh—there are the nefarious, dark forces out there that do everything they can to convince us that there’s something whack about us if we are the least bit different. Girls are weaker than boys, they proclaim. Guys aren’t supposed to cry, they shout. Guys don’t wear pink. Girls always should wear something frilly. One person’s skin color is superior to another’s. A foreign accent labels you as inferior. A disability makes you unworthy of attention. A body that doesn’t mirror those on magazine covers is sub-standard. A person who feels trapped in a body opposite the gender they feel inside doesn’t deserve equal rights. And anyone who is gay is doomed for all eternity and should be shunned at best, executed at worst. These attitudes come from religions; they come from governments. And the small numbers who hear these edicts and believe them try to make us all fear. Misery loves company, and those who hate us, believe me, hate themselves first. I’ve travelled the world, and I’ve found no one, after looking at my overweight body and somewhat effeminate demeanor—how’s that for being honest and self-appraising?—who discriminates openly. Why is that? Certainly, I’ve been in countries, areas, neighborhoods where the laws and customs are against me. So why haven’t I found myself rotting in some foreign jail? Beaten to a pulp? Fervently prayed over? I send you back to my opening statement: most people in this loony world don’t care one whit whether I’m gay, straight, bi, or whatever.  There’s no reason to put yourself in harm’s way deliberately—for example, I would not set foot on a certain Caribbean island because I’ve read so much about how anti-gay the government is. I’ve met some lovely humans from there in my lifetime, but I’m not boarding a ship sailing there anytime soon. No how. No way. I’m not risking going there. Doing so would be madness. My friends might testify under oath I’m crazy; I’m not loony enough, though, to have a death wish. But living in fear is madness also. Living life to the fullest is a pretty good thing. Carry yourself with dignity. Fill your body with courage. Know that most of us out here in this imperfect world love you. That’s how I live my life, and that’s what I try to impart in my writing, whether I’m writing about an ex-cult member like Ethan in The Book of Ethan, or a lonely theater tech like Nick in Special Effect, or a child abuse survivor like Neil in Colors, or an actor who is totally clueless that he is gay in All You Need Is Love. I try, as a writer, to infuse my characters with the knowledge that those people surrounding them accept them and love them. After all, as the Beatles said, “All you need is love.”

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