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Pride

Last month a new group, The Outer Alliance, formed to support gender diversity in science fiction and fantasy. The final straw was some idiotic and blatantly prejudiced writing, but there is a lot of more subtle prejudice out there too. For decades, SF particularly has been the province of straight white men, and not necessarily welcoming of anyone outside that mold. The culture is improving, but that change comes largely through the work of groups like this, made up of people who speak out for what they know is important.

The mission statement of the group:

As a member of the Outer Alliance, I advocate for queer speculative fiction and those who create, publish and support it, whatever their sexual orientation and gender identity. I make sure this is reflected in my actions and my work.

I signed up because I support this mission statement, and because I wanted to sit quietly in the virtual corner and listen. I wasn’t going to post anything today, the Outer Alliance Pride Day. I’m not yet a published fiction author, and I’m in a long-term heterosexual relationship. What could I possibly say?

But that’s wrong. I can say that I support Outer Alliance, and all attempts to increase diversity and the acceptance of diversity in speculative fiction, in both authorship and the fiction itself. I can point out that “not like me” is a really stupid reason to despise or denigrate a person or a work of fiction. I can make a greater effort to purchase and read and discuss works of fiction by authors of all sorts. I can make a greater effort to include more diverse characters and themes in my own work. And then I can do those things.

And finally, I can include this most excellent video, lifted from Cheryl Morgan (and not safe for work, except maybe with headphones):