When I was first asked to write about passion in the LGBT community, I was a bit stumped. There are crusaders both gay and straight who are passionate about fighting for marriage equality in America. The group known as Scouts for Equality is passionate about ending discrimination against gay Scouts and Scoutmasters in the Boy Scouts of America. Wentworth Miller, Wanda Sykes, Laverne Cox, Michael Sam, and Amanda Palmer all bring their own unique brand of passion to their projects and the LGBT community.
So what am I, as a gay man, passionate about?
While I do believe that gay couples should be allowed to legally marry, I’m honestly not passionate enough about the idea to spearhead a marriage equality campaign or even join one for that matter. I realize the issue is more about marriage rights and less about a piece of paper telling you that you’re legally married to the person that you love, but that’s an article for another time. I also believe that the Boy Scouts should allow gay Scouts and Scoutmasters, but still I feel that the battle isn’t one that I should join.
Life is too short to dance to music that doesn’t move more than your feet.
For me, passion is something that can be just as subtle as it is brazen, just as soft as it is obdurate, and just as unspoken as it is roaring loud. I believe that you find your worth, your reason for existing, by finding your passion.
There’s a perfect balance of love and passion that I feel whenever I write or think about writing, which is a feeling and an experience that I’ve never felt with anything else before. When I figured out that I was gay, writing became an anchor that kept me from drifting, a compass that kept me on course, a paradise for me to escape to. One of the things that I like to do with my writing is include gay characters. Not only that, but I like to inject little CCs of myself into these characters as a way to explore both who they are and who I am as well as who I could be if circumstances were different.
While I don’t want my gay characters or reflections of myself to be the sole focus of my stories, I am passionate about exploring the lives of gay characters in different genres and scenarios. What if an android not only fell in love with a human, but a human who had the same ‘biological and physiological’ characteristics? What kind of social struggles, if any, do LGBT Martians experience? What would it be like to live in a world where you had to come out as heterosexual and people thought it was disgusting to fall in love with someone of the opposite sex?
These are things that I am passionate about as a gay fiction writer. This is the subject matter that I could talk and ramble about for hours. Even though these notions are purely fiction, they’re still worth pondering. Fictional / Sci-fi / Fantasy situations are sometimes the best way to sort out problems here in the real world. I’m a firm believer that writers, artists, musicians, and other creative individuals are connected to something “out there.” We may not know what it is, but we also may not want or need to know.
No matter if you’re gay, straight, bisexual, transgendered, or unsure, write the story of your life with passion. The most vibrant of characters and the most compelling of stories will fall flat if the author isn’t weaving their literary tapestry from words threaded with passion.
Maybe the rainbow flag is more than just a symbol of the LGBT community. Maybe it’s also a reminder that when everyone from every walk of life comes together with the brightest of passion and in peace we can create a symbol of hope and unity that flies proud and free above it all.
When you’ve got passion on your side, the universe is yours for the recreating.
– O’Brian Gunn
O’Brian was born and raised in Alabama where he developed a love affair with words while reading with his aunt. Initially wanting to be a photojournalist, he discovered a love and knack for writing while creating fan fiction. Since then, he’s written several short stories, essays, articles, poems, and two unpublished novels. Aside from writing, he enjoys music, singing, film noir, and being a comic book and sci-fi geek. Currently, O’Brian is a freelance writer and journalist living in the Mile High City also known as Denver, Colorado. More of his writing and rambling can be found at: www.Medium.com/@OBrianGunn and www.ReadWave.com/o.brian.gunn.