Retreat is not an option

2017 is the year I realized retreat was not an option.

I have no choice. Either speak from my heart, regardless of the consequences, or die a slow death of regret. I’m a writer. I choose my voice.

I choose a creativity that embraces my complexity. The intersectionality that makes each of us unique individuals. This year taught me that I could no longer separate these distinct parts.

I’m a proud career cop who believes Black Lives Matter.

I love my family and friends, but will not tolerate bigotry or hate for the sake of some twisted idea of harmony.

I’m a veteran who loves my country enough to question leadership that I believe threatens our way of life.

I’m a wayward Christian who rejects religious leaders who stoke the fires of racism, homophobia, sexism, and violence.

I’m a proud liberal who will no longer cower in the face of right-wing bullies.

As a writer, I believe I have an obligation to use my voice to speak out. Last year I found my voice writing about police reform. It’s a topic fraught with pitfalls when you go against the grain, even when speaking out feels necessary. The dangerous time we live in requires that we speak truth to power.

Digging deep for our inner truth is hard. Sometimes it will hurt. I will probably piss some people off. But, that’s the way truth is. Brutal. Beautiful. Brash. We have to stand in the face of the storm or forever cower in the darkness. I choose to stand for my truth.

I stepped away from my pen three years ago. The reasons don’t matter anymore because a series of life-changing events that followed shook my foundation. The universe has a way of getting our attention.

A period of self-reflection and inner critique led me to a better understanding of who I am. I’m nowhere near finished, but I’m confident in the direction my heart must go. I know I have to write.

In 2017 and beyond, my writing will encompass all sides of me. My topics will be varied. Lesbian fiction author, civil rights agitator, feminist, patriot, humble searching human.

I hope you’ll come along on the journey.