Today is Coming Out Day in the US, and Julia has something to share with you:
Hello, Kaleidoscope community! I’m one of the editors, and I’m also bisexual. When I was growing up, I had a lot of struggles with my identity and orientation. I was convinced that being anything other than a straight cisgendered person was wrong, and I was very ashamed of the feelings I had.
It wasn’t until I was away at university that I came out. I was 20 years old, and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done! I had to do it, though, because I knew that I couldn’t go on living a lie. Ever since then, I’ve been active in various ways to support other people who might be experiencing struggles like mine, and to increase visibility so that people who haven’t dealt with these struggles will become familiar with the idea that non-straight, non-cis people exist and are not at all scary or wrong.
As a teen, I clung to the small scraps I could find that said my existence was okay, and now I want to pass that on. In my ideal world, kids who are discovering their own identities and orientations won’t ever feel ashamed of being who they are, because they’ll see multiple accepted models of gender and sexual identities. That’s one of the reasons I promote speculative fiction with QUILTBAG characters on the Outer Alliance podcast, and it’s also one of the reasons why I signed up to edit Kaleidoscope. We’ve already got two stories with QUILTBAG characters, and I’m hoping we’ll have a few more in the final lineup. I’m really excited to be acquiring the kinds of stories I know would have meant the world to me when I was going through my personal struggles with identity and orientation. My best hope is that they will reach some kids who want and need them, too!
If you agree, please back Kaleidoscope on Pozible, and spread the word, so others will back it, too! Anyone who pledges $25 or more will be acknowledged in the book!