Dear members of the LGBTQ Writers Caucus,

In 2017, our caucus will proudly celebrate five years of supporting queer and trans writers. Five years! That is no small accomplishment.  Thanks and congratulations to everyone who worked to create, sustain, and advocate for this LGBTQ Writers Caucus and its members.

From the beginning, the caucus has worked to foster community and serve as a supportive space and resource for LGBTQ Writers. It serves as a real and virtual meeting place where diverse and creative writers from across the country can network and join together in strength and solidarity during and between the AWP conferences.

However, as we celebrate five years as a caucus, we are facing people who want us to go back to the way life was before Stonewall. While the caucus board remained neutral during the election, we will not ignore the impact the results are having on our members, as LGBTQ people and as writers, journalists, academics, and creative voices. To do so would undermine both the purpose of the Caucus as well as the sacrifices our elders made so we could gather together in public.

Our mission to provide support for all caucus members has never been more critical.

Whether you live in a major metropolitan area or a small rural community, we are here for you. Whether you fear being harassed because of sexual orientation, race, or gender expression, we are here for you. Whether you are concerned about losing your health care or your job, we are here for you. We want to provide you with community and with resources. We are here for you.

We have included some suggestions on next steps you can take.  It is important that you take time for self-care, but hope these avenues are useful when you are ready.  Additionally, we’ve listed some outlets where you can submit your work, information about protecting yourself at home, in the workplace, and beyond, and resources that will allow you to stay informed. We invite you to provide your own suggestions, share stories, and help us grow this vital community.

Now, more than ever, our voices and stories must be heard.

In Solidarity,

LGBTQ Writers Caucus Executive Board

Miguel M. Morales, President

Tiff Ferentini, Vice President

Todd Summar, Secretary

Samantha Tetangco, Communications Coordinator

Sean Patrick Mulroy, Communications Coordinator

What to do next:

  • Stay engaged and informed. Resist the urge to give up. We need more more queer voices and more queer stories.
  •  Pressure your legislators. Tell the legislators who represent you what you think. They need to know that their constituents are not okay with the far-right’s agenda. Contact them, soon and often. They actually do pay attention to letters and calls from their constituents.
  • Volunteer or donate to organizations that will be advocating for LGBTQ people and our allies–and donate strategically. Many of the biggest LGBTQ rights organizations, while important, will be the primary beneficiaries of big donors and large grants. Find smaller organizations doing community work and funnel your support their way first. They often have no paid staff and rely on volunteers.
  • Be as visible as it is safe for you to be. Speak out whenever it is physically safe for you to do so. Protest  in whichever manner aligns with your values and passions. Step outside your comfort zone — but remember to do so safely.
  • Push back against messages engaging in apologism, misinformation, erasure, and violence. Be conscientious of information you share.  Most members of the media are on social media. Follow them and let them hear your voice.
  • In addition to self-care, reach out to others you think may be hurting. It’s okay to take a moment. It’s okay disengage for a few days. It’s okay to celebrate and laugh and love. Ask others how you can support them. They might not even know they need help.

Workplace Advocacy Resources

Places you can seek information and/or submit work:

Now more than ever, we believe it is important to get your work out there.  Below, we highlight some LGBTQ-centered avenues:

We believe queer voices should appear in as many places as possible as well, whether this is via story or contributions to blogs or newspapers.  The Huffington Post now has a section for “Queer Voices” and places like Ploughshares are currently seeking regular bloggers. The more places and more ways the queer perspective can be presented, the better.

For more publishing opportunities, resources, and ongoing information, follow us on  Facbeook page and Twitter.  We encourage you to a comment below.  We want to hear your thoughts and offer a site for discussion.  Feel free to also include additional links in the comments below for other resources, publishing opportunities, or areas that may be of interest to other members.