Welcome to my stop on the Hop For Visibility, Awareness & Equality! (This great LGBTQ+ literary event’s former name was the Hop Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia)
Included in this year’s Hop are my reflections on the 2016 IDAHOT theme of mental health and well-being, and a GIVEAWAY for FREE ebooks, limited edition FREE2LUV® wristbands, and a FREE2LUV® t-shirt! This giveaway is over. Thank you to all who entered and participated!
In honor of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT), the mission of the Hop For Visibility, Awareness, and Equality is to bring awareness to discrimination and celebrate our diversity, not only within the LGBTQIA+ community, but within our own literary genre and books.
IDAHOT is the largest LGBTQ+ solidarity event to take place throughout the globe with over 1,000 events in more than 120 countries. The 2016 global focus issue is mental health and well-being. I wanted to talk to you about my thoughts on well-being in this genre that I love.
As a writer, I guess you could say I do a fair amount of day dreaming. I have one in particular that I like to visit. There’s a person sitting in a shadowy space, and they are reading one of my stories. They begin to smile, gently at first. Soon, a warm glow builds and grows, brighter and brighter, along with their smile. This beautiful, magical thing happens because this person, this gracious reader, has just seen themselves in a story — maybe for the first time.
The character they related to was a gay shark research scientist or an agender badass who’s fighting their way through the apocalypse. This reader, this beautiful, magical reader, saw a glimpse of themselves through my eyes, and they saw that they were brave, smart, sexy, exciting — and normal, totally normal.
Most of us can relate to that experience, wherein understanding a fictional character we actually end up learning more about ourselves. I think a big part of the human experience is finding where we “fit”, wherever that may mean to us individually. It’s amazing to think that, as a writer, your humble stories might actually have the opportunity to help a fellow traveler along their journey.
Which is why I take on the responsibility of my reader’s well-being: I don’t know who will someday read my stories, or where their journeys have already taken them. For me, nothing is more important than representing marginalized groups through my work in the most respectful and responsible way possible. It’s not too much to ask. In fact, it’s truly my honor.
Whatever our community needs, I’ll be there meet it, evolving as a person and as an author. I know the power of words, how they can hurt — and also how they can heal. Writing LGBTQ+ literature gave meaning back to my life. Maybe, if I work hard, I can give just a little something back, too.
Thank you so much for reading and participating in this wonderful event! If you’re interested, here’s a link to my sadly and shamefully relevant article for last year’s Hop about transgender bathroom issues in my workplace
A.V. Sanders’ Rafflecopter GIVEAWAY May 17-24th:
- Free ebook copy of “Percolation, Poetry, and Passion“ and “Wet, Hot, Australian Christmas“, by A.V. Sanders
- 2 Limited Edition FREE2LUV® empowerment wristbands
- 1 FREE2LUV® 100% cotton t-shirt
❤ This giveaway is over. Thank you to all who entered and participated! This giveaway is for everyone — don’t worry if you already have my titles, you can still win the FREE2LUV® swag, and I’ll pass the ebooks on to another winner to enjoy! Please visit the rest of the 60+ Hop stops, and good luck in the GIVEAWAY! xo, A.V. ❤
FREE2LUV® is a global movement dedicated to redefining love through arts and entertainment. We support youth to freely express themselves and stand up to bullying. As a nonprofit organization, we spread awareness and create cool merchandise to help end bullying and support equal rights. FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS BULLY® is a national community program whose mission is to utilize music and art to promote kindness, build self-esteem and stand up to bullying.