A Literary Observation: A Word On Diversity In Literature
Julian Gallo
22

You know, Julian, I am somewhat at odds with the idea that white male authors have carte blanche to write what they like. If you are writing to the mainstream, perhaps, but I sense white female authors also have increasing freedom. As a white, middle-aged man I hard pressed to realize my privilege. I feel lost in the shuffle. I did not publish anything creative until my mid-50s and yet when I see calls for, say female and female-identified writers, I wonder where my space is. I feel I don’t stand a chance if I respond only to open calls that don’t exclude me. Of course, I can exercise my diversity card and respond as a queer/gay/trans writer but, even if much of my writing touches on this aspect of my experience, I do not read or publish within explicitly LGBTQ contexts or spaces, or to identify myself within that context to publications seeking more diversity. In “real life” I am alienated from the queer community. So I face the same issues you raise here, but I do it from an invisible (and invalidated) stance of a white male of Anglo-Irish heritage. Thus, “perceived” freedom sometimes amounts to being silenced, discounted.

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