2/2: The response to this post has been great, thank you! Unfortunately, that means I’m having to pick and choose. I’m doing my best to get a wide range of topics and writers. I’m keeping a few spots open to see what else comes in, but I think the roster is mostly full at this point.
This is a call for a handful of guest bloggers to talk about representation in fiction. Because it’s one thing for me to talk about this stuff, but let’s face it, it’s not exactly difficult for me to find characters like me in books, TV, movies, advertising, video games, etc. And there’s a painful irony when conversations about representation end up spotlighting some guy whose part of the most overrepresented group in the country.
I’d be looking for personal stories about what it’s like to not see yourself in stories, how powerful it is the first time you do, things like that. There’s no length requirement, though 400-1000 words is a pretty good range for blog posts. (I’m still amazed anyone read that 6000-word monster from earlier this week.)
As an example of what I’m hoping to help spotlight, here’s an excerpt from an interview with Nichelle Nichols talking about Whoopi Goldberg:
Whoopi Goldberg, she’s just marvelous. I had no way of knowing that she was a Star Trek fan. When I finally met her it was her first year on the Next Generation.
She loved the show so much and she told her agent she wants a role on Star Trek. Well agents go “Big screen, little screen, no, you can’t do that.” Well you can’t tell Whoopi “You can’t do that.”
And so they finally asked, and they had the same reaction at Star Trek office, specifically Gene. And she said, “I want to meet him and I want him to tell me to my face. If he tells me he doesn’t want me and why, I’ll be fine.”
Knowing Gene he had to take that challenge, and so he met with her. She said, “I just wanted you to tell me why you don’t want me in Star Trek.”
Gene said, “Well, I’ll just ask you one question and I’ll make my decision on that. You’re a big screen star, why do you want to be on a little screen, why do you want to be in Star Trek?”
And she looked at him and she said, “Well, it’s all Nichelle Nichols’ fault.”
That threw him, he said, “What do you mean?”
She said, “Well when I was nine years old Star Trek came on,” and she said, “I looked at it and I went screaming through the house, ‘Come here, mum, everybody, come quick, come quick, there’s a black lady on television and she ain’t no maid!'” And she said, “I knew right then and there I could be anything I wanted to be, and I want to be on Star Trek.”
And he said, “I’ll write you a role.”
ETA: It gets better.
Please let me know if you’re interested. Give me a sense of what you’d want to write about. I want to showcase a range of different stories. I’ll be happy to include a bio and link to you online if you’d like, and if not, that’s fine too.
I’ve never done an open call like this, and I have no idea what the response will be like, so I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to publish everyone. But I’ll do the best I can.
If you have questions, please post them in the comments or send them to me directly.