KJ Marshall: LGBT+ Author

Someone recently asked me why I call myself an LGBT+ Author, so I thought I’d take some time today to give you a little bit of my backstory. Bare with me some. I have the flu and I’m writing this through the goggles of every medicine in my home.

So, the reason I refer to myself as an LGBT+ Author(I use the plus because the acronym changes periodically), is because I guess you could say I’m an ally.

LGBT+ individuals get happy when they have books to read  that pertain to their lifestyles. Not all of my stories, though most, contain LGBT+ main characters and supporting characters.

Now, take a trip back to 1990-something with me. I met my dad when I was 11 years old. I was raised by my mother’s family while she was off gallivanting in California somewhere.

I didn’t know if I had a dad, or if  he was alive or dead. Until he called me crying on my 11th birthday. As of Thursday this week, that will be 20 years ago. He thought I’d still been in California with my mother all that time, but it turns out I was only three hours away from him.

He picked me up and took me on a lunch date that weekend. The next time I saw him, we went to his house. I remember him saying he had a roommate, and I know now, but I didn’t know then, that he was dropping hints, without outright wanting to tell me something about himself.

When I was 12, a relative told me that my dad is gay, even comforting me and feeling sorry for me. I called my dad that evening and simply said, “I know your secret.”

“What?” he’d asked. “Oh. If you’re ashamed of me it’s okay.”

My answer made him smile. I could tell. “Why would I be ashamed? You’re just a person who loves a boy, and you’re still my dad.”

That was that. He probably thought I’d be ashamed because of my extremely religious upbringing.

He wouldn’t understand why I understood until my early twenties, when I came out to my extremely religious family as a lesbian.

I’d looked at girls the same way I looked at boys since I was 12. I developed my first real crush on a girl in high school. She was the only openly lesbian girl in school. These days I look back and I don’t know if it was a crush, or if it was jealousy.

I came out when I began an almost two year, yet very serious, relationship with a girl. The breakup tore me apart. I’d told my family I was lesbian and faced the backlash for nothing.

I still refused to give guys the time of day after that, and it took me almost a year to even casually go out with a girl.

Fast forward to 2018. I’m almost 31 now, and I’m married to a man. No, I don’t claim to be straight. I just had to find myself in order to not label me solely as a lesbian.

At this point, I don’t care what genitals you have. If I’m attracted to you, I just am. Though it’s rare I find myself attracted to a man. My husband seems to be the exception to that rule.

I’ve always wanted to do good for causes that mean something to me, and LGBT+ is probably the one I’m most passionate about. I decided that if I can make MY community happy with my writing, then that’s what I’ll do.

Sorry if this all over the place. Now you know the reason that KJ Marshall is an LGBT+ author.

See you guys around.

-KJ

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