The sudden disappearance of this blog from where it used to reside actually works to our advantage. It can define its goals more clearly, and it can be better organized.
The purpose of this blog is to celebrate gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer historical fiction. You might not be surprised to hear there is gay or lesbian historical fiction, but transgender is probably a new one to you. The fact is I think I wrote one of the few out there with my novel BELOVED PILGRIM about the Crusade of 1101. This fact demonstrates how fiction, and in particular historical fiction, is evolving. As we queers become part of the landscape, we develop our own historical fiction.
We have always been here. We just didn’t write about it, not since Plato’s account of the discussion of male-male love with Socrates and Alcibiades, and of course the woman-to-woman love poetry of Sappho. There was some writing even before that, with what I hear is a gay character in Gilgamesh, and probably worldwide paeans of love for a man’s love of a man to a woman’s love of a woman. Transgender monks of Ancient Rome, the Galli, probably enshrined their lives in their sacred liturgy.
Why does this matter? Because we always have been here, and we need to know this. As long as we are erased from the human tale we don’t have a story to tell—our story. Many groups have been subject to erasure, including women, racial minorities, religious minorities, poor people, and others. With the development in the second half of the twentieth century of the concept of “herstory”, women have begun to be included in what passes for history in our classrooms and our lives. GLBTQ may not necessarily be the last to repair this invisibility, but we are some of the last.
When we don’t know our story, we feel we are wrong, sinful, sick, undesirable, an abomination. We hate ourselves, try to deny our natures, miss out on love and family, and some of us end our lives rather than live with what is truly our natural state. When we tell the stories we find we have a right to be who we really are, to celebrate all the rites of passage that are ours by right, whether those in our world acknowledge them or not.
One reason we look to historical fiction is that since we do not have role models and examples of happy, healthy GLBTQ people, we need to write them, to make them up for each other. The counterpart to this effort is real historical research, something I applaud and would love to assist with, but in the meantime as we gather the few threads that remain to us, I will simply make up our history along with all the creative individuals who are as committed as am I. I want us to have a plausible history, and to that end I write plausible, credible characters in my own stories and books.
I urge you all to read GLBTQ historical fiction and, if you’ve a mind to, to write GLBTQ historical fiction. We need to tell our story. As Walt Whitman, nineteenth-century American poet said, I celebrate myself; I sing myself!
Let’s do the same, let’s celebrate, sing and write Our Story.
– Christopher Hawthorne Moss, http://www.writerchristophermoss.com