Join us as Brandon Witt goes Outside the Margins.
One day, I’ll write something happy again, I promise. Of course, if you’ve read much of my writing, you’re probably asking yourself, “Did he write something happy already and I missed it?”
I’ve debated about writing this blog post for nearly a month now. Which is rare for me; I tend to simply say what I think whenever I want. I spent nearly twenty-five years being told what to do, who to be, what to think and believe, blah, blah, blah. I’ve sworn I would never do it again. And I haven’t. Until now, possibly.
Being a writer and struggling to make it full time, which I’ve not even come close to, has added a pressure I never foresaw. My thoughts, opinions, statements, everything about me, whether it is the core of who I am or a simple misjudgment or badly timed statement could ruin my career, my dream, before it even truly starts. That’s a little bit of terrifying, honestly.
Let me switch tracks for a moment and then I’ll tie it all back together. Or at least try.
Growing up in church, I’ve seen a lot. Enough that I left the church. They are supposed to be, at the very, very least, loving to each other. By the time I was old enough to understand nuance, I began to realize how rarely that truly happened.
I also grew up Republican, and though I am now a registered Democrat, I still relate more the Republican standards that they spout: Personal freedom, less government control and input, etc. I believe in those! However, the Republican party only believes in that for those that agree with them, negating the truth of their message. Democrats are no better.
Having worked in social work and teaching special education students for fifteen years, I’ve also come to see how it all boils down, ultimately, to politics and a dollar bill. It’s painful to be involved in.
I finally started going back to church. A gay church. Amazing. Then, a few months ago, it became church, like everywhere else. A few people in the congregation got it in their heads to get the pastor out and they were vicious in their quest. And they succeeded. They neither acted like Christians nor supportive gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.
Since coming into the MM world, I’ve experienced nothing but people being unbelievably accepting, supportive, loving, and the kind of people I hoped all the groups I’ve just spoken about would be. A few warned me that the rose colored glasses would shatter eventually. I knew they would, too. We are human, we are all beautifully broken. Sometimes not so beautifully. At the beginning of November, there was a certain blog post by an author I’ve met once and never had a conversation with. No reason we hadn’t, our paths simply hadn’t crossed. I say that in an effort to ‘prove’ I’m not out to protect a friend. I have those in the MM community that have become very close, dependable friends, and those people I would defend with everything me. In this instance, that is not the case. I observed the response to this blog in horror. It was like watching someone get knocked to the ground and then fallen upon with knives repeatedly. It felt like mob mentality. Getting way too political here, I know. But it is like watching the news about Ferguson. A bad, horrible situation made so much more horrendous by violence and destruction. It takes away from the message, from whatever original wrong was done. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. Everyone is entitled to disagree. Everyone is entitled to decide whether or not to support a person, artist, or product. That said, seeing such unkind, rather vicious, and personal attacks from a community that I love, to another member of our community, was hard to watch, and hard to stay silent through.
There may be a day when I express an opinion that is counter to our ‘family,’ state a belief or thought that may offend some of us or even hurt one of us. I hope not, but I am human too, so I’m willing to bet that day will come. Hell, maybe this blog is it. When it comes, I hope I am shown more love, compassion, and understanding than I’ve seen demonstrated in the situation I’m referring to (and even a couple different ones since). The fact that I was afraid to even speak up, to voice my opinion (which falls somewhere in the middle, honestly), due to the possibility of alienating readers and ending my career tells me that there’s a problem. Granted, I know I need to use wisdom in what I choose to say and do. There are consequences to everything, as there should be. However, we in this community have been shown so little grace and compassion by much of the world; some of us do not even receive from family. I love our community. I’m proud of the work we all do, from authors to artists to bloggers to readers. We are an amazing group. Strong. Creative. Passionate. Capable of more love than most, I believe. I hope we can remember to show each other grace, even when our words may offend others or we may even be wrong. We are still part of our ‘family.’ I pray I am shown grace, and I pray that I will show it as well.
Thank you for listening. I hope I haven’t alienated anyone, but it felt wrong to stay silent.
Love you all. Truly! Brandon
~ Brandon Witt
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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