It’s hard to believe that this year is nearly over. It’s been an incredibly busy 12 months filled with lots of adventure, fun, and growth. I’ve done a lot of writing, met a lot of incredible people, had a whole lot of fun along the way with my queer family I’ve been blessed to have a really fantastic year, and am eagerly awaiting all the adventures to come in 2015!
2014 Highlights (not in any particular order):
1. Readers – Without a doubt a top highlight of the year has been the chance to meet, & correspond with so
many amazing queer folks all over the world who have read one of my books and felt connected to something I wrote, or a story I told. My main reason for writing is to create the kinds of stories I’ve always craved, and to depict freaks and runaways and other queers to help someone feel a little less alone. One of the fantastic readers I met this year, was CeCe McDonald we got the chance to briefly meet, and I was SHOCKED when she recognized me because someone had sent her Roving Pack when she was incarcerated and she loved the book, and felt really connected to it. Every single facebook message or email I receive inspires and encourages me to keep writing.
2. Queer Book Diorama Show- I co-organized this event with my friend Hugh Ryan. This was one of the largest events I have ever organized and it took us about a year of work before it opened. The show was up at the New York Public Library during August and September – it was amazing to get to see so many incredible books be brought to life, and to watch the community get so excited about books! You can see a roundup of coverage along with lots of pictures of the diorama show here
3. Lambda Literary Awards – One of my favorite events of the year, and always an amazing time to get to get to hang out with queer writer friends. I had the privilege of getting to present an award!
4. Writing – Although this year was mostly about editing and preparing Lost Boi for publication, I did get some writing done, and was privileged that much of it found published homes, amongst them have been: a story in The Queer South, and a 101 instruction guide about writing transgender and genderqueer characters within the The Complete Guide To Writing For Young Adults I’ve continued my monthly news column in Curve Magazine, and now write a second column for the magazine, a lesbian pet column!
5. Leather Ever After – the super fun queer kinky fairy tale anthology I edited last year that includes stories from some of my favorite leather queers received an Honorable Mention from the National Leather Association- International Writing Award!
6. Advocacy- In addition to writing, and an extension of my work with the Kicked Out anthology, one of my
consistent goals is to find ways of amplifying the epidemic of LGBTQ youth homelessness as much as I can, and trying to make these conversations front and center. In June, my friend, Jama Shelton who is also a formerly homeless queer youth and now advocate and I collaborated with The Advocate magazine for a weekly spotlight during Pride month about the movement leaders that are formerly homeless LGBTQ youth. I also appeared in the Washington Blade and was on NPR’s On Point Radio show talking about the epidemic.
7. Turning 30 & 10 years! Not really a professional or writing update but was a really exciting part of 2014 for me. For years I’ve dodged questions about my age because I’ve felt so much older than being 20 something. I was really excited about turning 30 and was so lucky to get to celebrate this big milestone in a place very special to me, Disney!
This year my partner Kestryl and I celebrated our 10th anniversary over Pride. Kestryl is my biggest supporter, I wouldn’t be where I am, writing these stories, and doing this work if it weren’t for our relationship. I’m so grateful everyday for the incredible life and family (that grew this year with the addition of our Thing
kitten dragon) that we’ve built together.
I’m so excited for 2015, and can’t believe it’s almost here! One of the other incredibly exciting things that happened this year was getting the news that Arsenal Pulp Press was going to publish my next book, Lost Boi! I’m finishing my review of the proofs this week, and got word yesterday that advanced reader copies are ready to mail out! The book releases in April, and already we have events scheduled here in NYC, and are finalizing the details for the West Coast tour (details coming very very soon).
Thank you all for being part of my year, and I’m wishing all of you a magical and wonderful 2015!