Wonder Boi Writes

It’s all personal

So the news the last few weeks has been kind of bad. Between the bigot who blasted my family on Facebook and trans kids being bullied to death and Indiana going bat shit crazy, it’s easy to get caught up in our national back swing.  Never mind that rapid social progress is always followed by conservative blowback. Never mind that any seasoned activist will tell you it’s always two steps forward and one step back.  Never mind that for every crazy politician spouting hate there’s two more moving closer to full inclusion. It still hurts.

I’ve been out for fourteen years. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but I still feel the burn of shame in my cheeks when I hear a pastor rail against my family. My stomach clenches when I have to explain to my son why he’s not a boy scout. My shoulders still tighten in anticipation every time someone I don’t know asks me what kind of books I write.  It’s not that I think these people are right.  It’s not that I’ve bought into the bigotry.  It’s not that I lack the courage of my convictions.  It’s the opposite. It still hurts because it’s personal.

To the man who railed against queers on my uncle’s Facebook wall and then said he wasn’t talking about anyone personally, yes, yes you were.  To the governor of Indiana who says he wasn’t motivated by a desire to hurt anyone specifically, yes, yes you were.  To people who say, “that’s so gay,” then say they didn’t mean “gay,” yes, yes you did.  Your pretending like you didn’t mean anything personal doesn’t change the fact that those things are personal.  We are people.  I am a person.  My wife is a person. My son is a person. My uncle is a person. Our church members are people. Your words, your laws, your discrimination are all personal to each and every person who is gay, or questioning, or loves someone who is gay or questioning. We are real people with real feelings (and real dollars to spend) and real families to care for.  Every hurtful thing you say about gays and lesbians is about real people.

But you know what?  The responses are personal, too. From my uncle, Mr. Blue-collar-union-electrician and all his blue-collar union friends who verbally beat down the Facebook bigot, they are real people, too. The CEOs who pulled their companies out of Indiana, they are people. The people who  pull their own kids from scouting, or create alternative activities that our family is welcome to join, those are real people too. The students who march and hold candles for trans kids they never met, they are people. The straight man who read Heart of the Game because he likes books about baseball, lesbian characters or not, he’s a real person. The women at my church who clipped out an article about my book in the local paper, they are people.  They are good people. Honorable people. Loving people.  They aren’t gay, or necessarily liberal, or highly educated.  They don’t live in trendy neighborhoods or always know the pc terms. But they are people who take our feelings, our rights, our lives seriously.  They take issues that aren’t their own and they make them personal.

That’s why we’re going to win this fight, why we’re already winning it. To us, the big tent collective of not only queers but also anyone who’s ever loved a queer, this time it really is personal.


April 1, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. You did an awesome job of putting into words what so many of us are feeling right now. I’m so sorry that times have been tough for you lately. It’ll get better.

    Comment by KA Moll Writes | April 1, 2015 | Reply

  2. Reblogged this on Red Crested Chatter and commented:
    This is a post from a best-selling lesbian author who writes from her heart. She’s a young, butch, Christian mom. We don’t have a lot in common. But we are all one. All. One.

    Comment by dehelen | April 1, 2015 | Reply

  3. Reblogged this on KA Moll Writes.

    Comment by KA Moll Writes | April 1, 2015 | Reply

  4. Absolutely awesome commentary, Rachel.

    Comment by djacksonleigh | April 1, 2015 | Reply

  5. Thanks, Rachel. Well spoken and right on.

    Comment by PT | April 1, 2015 | Reply

  6. Reblogged this on Romance and Chocolate and commented:
    Rachel Spangler: “That’s why we’re going to win this fight, why we’re already winning it. To us, the big tent collective of not only queers but also anyone who’s ever loved a queer, this time it really is personal.”

    Just as today on that “news” network I won’t name, the drumbeat is that gays and their allies ought to care more about injustice … elsewhere. We’re supposed to ignore what is, as Rachel Spangler so eloquently explains, VERY personal to us. That someone suggests we don’t take this personally means they don’t see us as persons.

    Go to Rachel’s blog and share the love for her wonderful, eloquent post there.

    Comment by Karin Kallmaker | April 1, 2015 | Reply

  7. So wonderfully said! I just learned how to use the “reblog” button…

    Comment by Karin Kallmaker | April 1, 2015 | Reply

  8. I could not agree more, Rachel ! I already respect you for soooo many reasons and now I have another !!
    I love this blog !!!
    People need to know, the majority of (us) give (them) the benefit of the doubt, that it hurts.
    I know I’m guilty of trying to be overly respectful of some one else’s beliefs that actually are disrespecting mine. This is something I’ve been trying to be cognizant of for some time now. People in our lives as well as strangers need to know… It is personal !!!

    Comment by ...jaynes ; ) | April 1, 2015 | Reply

  9. Reblogged this on Anne Hagan and commented:
    Wonder Boi, Rachel Spangler gets personal and tells the world just how personal the hate is.

    Comment by Anne Hagan | April 1, 2015 | Reply

  10. Reblogged this on The Other Side and commented:
    Rachel Spangler is a queer author who writes much more beautifully than I have been able to about what has been going on lately, in her world and in our larger world. I share her words of pain and promise because she is right, it is personal. If you enjoy her writing, you can find her books at Bold Stroke Books and her blog at Wonder Boi Writes, rachelspangler.wordpress.com

    Comment by onamarae | April 1, 2015 | Reply

  11. I reblogged this to my site because your words are so powerful, Rachel. Thank you for sharing them. Ona

    Comment by onamarae | April 1, 2015 | Reply

  12. This is wonderful. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way…

    Comment by Valerie Schaeffer | April 1, 2015 | Reply

  13. Awesome Rachel… Well said, and so very true. Thanks for this…

    Comment by Linda Scibilia | April 1, 2015 | Reply

  14. Well said. And right.

    Comment by Kathryn Kerr | April 1, 2015 | Reply

  15. Tell it, Rachel!

    Comment by KG MacGregor | April 1, 2015 | Reply

  16. Thank you for saying it so well!

    Comment by SL Harris | April 1, 2015 | Reply

  17. Brought tears to my eyes… You expressed what is in my heart perfectly. Thank you.

    Comment by L. Roberts | April 1, 2015 | Reply

  18. Reblogged this on K'Anne Meinel.

    Comment by kannemeinel | April 2, 2015 | Reply

  19. Yep, much better words for my thoughts exactly. Well written.

    Comment by Val | April 2, 2015 | Reply

  20. Wonderful words, Rach! You are, indeed, a heckuva Person!

    Comment by Barrett | April 2, 2015 | Reply

  21. Thank you Rachel. I think a lot of us are feeling the same way right now. Well said. It IS personal, and always will be.

    Comment by Elizabeth (Liz) Gibson | April 2, 2015 | Reply

  22. Thank You, Rachel

    Comment by Toni | April 3, 2015 | Reply

  23. You are right Rachel, it is very personal.

    Comment by mebuchanan | April 3, 2015 | Reply

  24. Reblogged this on 2sheepinthecity's Blog and commented:
    Beautiful words about a heartfelt topic.

    Comment by 2sheepinthecity | April 11, 2015 | Reply

  25. You’re an amazing writer and have a true talent for translating thoughts into words everyone can understand and relate to. Don’t let the negative people get to you – we need more people like you If we’re ever going to get anywhere as a society. Thank you!!

    Comment by Denise | April 25, 2015 | Reply

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