Fifteen enthusiastic writers showed up for the “Putting the ‘M’ in LGBT” workshop at the Mixed Remixed Festival on June 13th and we had a great time talking and writing ‘mixed and queer’.
I created a timeline of writers, who were mixed and queer, for the workshop – not an easy task! It was hard to find people who were on record as identifying as both mixed and queer before the 1980s. We talked about why this might be.
In the early part of the 2oth century the outlook for mixed or queer people was not always easy – attitudes in society and in some cases the laws of the land were discriminatory. This context was reflected in the literature of the time where the narrative arc of the “tragic mulatto” often paralleled that of gay characters, both generally ending in tragically for the protagonist.
However by the 1960’s, laws prohibiting ‘interracial marriage’ were being challenged in the US State of Virginia, the US was passing its Civil Rights Act while in the UK, ‘homosexual sex’ was decriminalised. These shifts were reflected in the world of literature and by the 1980s there was a blossoming of mixed/queer writing.
Writers on the timeline included:
Jackie Kay [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiP684Ss3FI[/youtube]Stacyann Chin [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bc9MUvyAAkI[/youtube]