The Huffington Post is running a really fantastic series of articles this week on asexuality, and the thought-out, respectful, and in-depth reporting is a welcome surprise. But reading some of the articles, particularly the ones on relationships and ‘corrective rape,’ made my breath catch in my throat.
Sometimes those visceral reactions still catch me by surprise. I’ve been fortunate that the people in my life are supportive and caring, and the greatest challenge for me has been in combating ignorance. When I encounter stories of harassment and outright cruelty, it scares me. There is so much I have to say on the subject, and it can be difficult to get the words out, but I think these articles have opened a window. They’ve inspired me to rethink the memoir I started at USC.
I let it gather dust on the hard drive because I wasn’t sure I was old enough to write it, when really I was writing the wrong book. There’s a thing that happens when you’re a writer, particularly when you’re young, where you try to write the books you think you’re supposed to write. You write for other people, write what you think they want to read.
And that’s bullshit. But it’s a hard habit to shake, and sometimes you just have to wait for that Eureka! moment when the book you want to write finds you.
What I really want to do is write a collection of personal essays, not a page-by-page ‘woe is me’ examination of my short life. I want to educate, too, and these types of articles, the academic research, and the awareness campaigns are so important to that end.
But me? I don’t just want to deliver facts and figures. I always want to tell a story.