The Power Storytelling Has To Influence Change
One reason I write the kind of stories I do is because every story, in their own way – I hope – does a little bit to remove all the hate we have in this world. Every drop counts.
I remember when I use to watch the TV show Queer As Folk with my mom. She loved the drama and story-lines. The side effect was that by seeing the queer on screen as humans with human problems and joys, her mind opened much more in terms of recognizing the similarities she has with them versus the differences.
As she got to know the characters, she was exposed to things about the queer community she wasn’t aware of. As she learned, it became less of a mystery. We tend to fear what we don’t understand. As she began to understand, any previous negative stereotypes and such just began to diminish. All this from a fiction TV series. She went from being neutral regarding GLBT to being accepting and inclusive. This helped me understand the power story telling has to influence change. Not just minds, but hearts.
Initially, my mother didn’t know that Queer As Folk was about a LGBTQ cast. What drew her to the show was the great story telling and plots. The drama and engaging issues.
I imagine that my readers are everything – gay, straight, genderqueer and so on. I hope that my LGBTQ and readers of color will appreciate seeing themselves in entertaining stories with happy endings. I hope that my straight readers will shift from negative to neutral and neutral to accepting and inclusive. I probably have straight readers who are already accepting and inclusive – for them, I hope my stories help to inspire them to be advocates and partners in supporting human rights for everyone.
Martin Luther King Jr. said it best, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly”.
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