Being a straight woman in the LGBTQ world ~ Outside the Margins with Susan Mac Nicol

Join Prism Book Alliance® as Susan Mac Nicol goes Outside the Margins today.


The question I’m most asked is this one. As a straight woman, why do you get involved in things you aren’t really part of except through your writing? I bristle a bit at that first then realise, okay, it’s possibly a naïve but fair question from someone needing to be educated in who I am.

Let me explain. Writing is one thing. Creating a story, doing the research, getting the book out there for people to read. Yet to me, a writer doesn’t simply write a book and leave it there, then write another one. To be part of the writing community as a whole, you have to embrace everything that genre stands for. Breathe it, live it (my daughter is bi-curious), be involved in it. Give back something to the community that’s supporting YOU.


When I wrote my first book, Cassandra by Starlight, there was a scene in this book where a man is raped by a woman. Something some people still don’t believe can happen due to their ignorance. I didn’t just write it and leave it there, in the open. I tracked down the man who’d inspired the scene, (His name is James Landrith and if you’re interested, you can check out his website) and through my research, befriended him, got involved in the whole ‘Male Rape is a myth’ culture and was a fairly vociferous advocate of trying to educate people that ‘people, this happens. Male rape by woman is NOT just an urban legend.

It’s the same with my support of the LGBTQ community. I didn’t just become involved in this because I write books. I lived in a house full of gay men when I lived in a commune (long story) and I saw what they were subjected to back in South Africa in the early 1980’s. I was best friends with a Jehovah’s Witness who refused to go the army for his beliefs, and was put in detention barracks (army prison) for two years because he wouldn’t fight. I lived through apartheid and saw the hardships and consequences first hand. So I’m no stranger to people fighting for what they believe in.

It’s no secret I don’t suffer fools gladly. It’s also no secret if you’re family, or a friend of mine, or someone I care about whether I’ve met you or not, I’d do anything for you, because I believe in loyalty, in being the truest person you can, to yourself first and to others. I believe in the sanctity of friendship and family, that the reason we are all here is to create good karma for ourselves because the things we do in life create either our rewards or our punishments. Eventually. In some way, we reap what we sow. Laugh at this idealistic view if you must. Weep at my naivety if you fancy. It still won’t change my mind.


So I choose to dedicate some of my time to fighting for causes that don’t impact me directly, because I’m not gay, lesbian, transgender, asexual, demi-sexual – but others are and one more voice is always welcome. One more voice can make a difference. And by investing both my time and my passion in something I believe in, like the LGBTQ community, or the Being Me Campaign I’m a charity trustee for, I hope to keep the good karma I’ve enjoyed so far and contribute what I can. Plus I’ve met the most amazing people, had the most incredibly fun time and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. This community rocks with its resilience, passion and sheer determination. I’m proud to stand with it,



~Susan Mac Nicol

About Susan Mac Nicol

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2 thoughts on “Being a straight woman in the LGBTQ world ~ Outside the Margins with Susan Mac Nicol

  1. My favorite comment that applies to this was by an author who explained that she wrote stories with ?vampires (or some other paranormal creature) without having to be one, lol. We cannot expand our horizons unless we are exposed to things that we personally have no knowledge of and I appreciate all of you authors who make us think “What if…”.

    • Personally, I loathe the “I write about vampires, but I’m not one!” thing when talking about queer people. (Or really, any non-white straight cis person.)

      Newsflash: Vampires? They’re not real. (Modern literary vampires don’t even really match the historical mythological ones, anyway.)

      Paranormal creatures? Totally made up.

      Queer people? They’re actual people. Flesh and blood and bone, with a history that includes suppression, oppression, and death before we got anywhere near acceptance.

      Queer people are not some kind of mythical creature you can pluck out of fables and slap whatever you want onto to make a good story.

      Queer people are real. They exist. They are HUMAN BEINGS, not vampires. Not fae. Not something inhuman or magical or fantasy. Real people.

      Sure, you can have empathy for people who are not like you. Sure, as a straight person, you can do the “what if I were attracted to the same gender…?” thing and dig deep and all that. Being an ally is a fine thing. It’s a good thing. Supporting queer causes? YAY. Thank you.

      But please, please please please stop comparing queer people to fantasy creatures that don’t exist.

      It’s utterly insulting.

      We’re real. We exist. We’re not (haha) fairy tales.

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