Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Oh yes I’m wearing pink.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I’d be remiss if I didn’t show solidarity with the countless incredible women who endure a tumultuous ordeal and battle a deadly threat.

I understand that wearing pink is the smallest of gestures but as a man I also know that speaking out, showing love and support, and making women’s issues a personal priority is what real men do.

More than that, I’ve had too many people in my life be affected by cancer. I’ve lost too many people to this disease.

For more information, checkout this site here: http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-awareness…

Let’s start helping women now.

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Sons of Nowhere: Celebrating Nicholas Almand

cover01LGWith October being #BlackSpeculativeFictionMonth, I would be remiss if I didn’t pay tribute to my brother and comrade, Nicholas Almand.

While moving heaven and earth to find quality queer spec fic, I came across Almand’s series Sons of Nowhere. His writing and storytelling skills were the business and I became an immediate fan of his. Shortly thereafter, he and I connected and became really good friends. For hours we would chat endlessly about comic books, the comic book industry, life as a published novelist and dealing with some of the players in the industry. I used to always joke that we black gay spec fic authors have to stick together.

Nick was a down to earth guy and a most loyal friend. He always kept it 100 and was the kindest soul one could hope for.

Nicholas AlmandThis time last year, Nick made a triumphant exit after a long battle with cancer.Just the same, his writing and spirit will live on. And his brothers in arms will continue to fight the good fight in his name. After all us Black Gay Spec Fic Writers have to stick together.

After all, that’s how #BlackExcellence gets down.

Why Black Speculative Fiction Month Matters

So in addition to blogging, penning my next story, promoting the release of West of Sunset, and following up on some potential opportunities, I’ve been making the rounds online discussing Black Speculative Fiction Month.

During one upcoming interview, I was asked why a month celebrating Black Speculative Fiction is important.

I thought my answer warranted its own post and I wanted to share.

Why does BSFM matter? BSFM matters because now more than ever our stories must be told and our voices must be heard. BSFM matters because too often at cons and writing events, I’m the only queer nonwhite guest in attendance.

BSFM matters because black lives matter, as #Ferguson has reminded us. BSFM matters because Racefail happened and there are white industry “pros” who have gone on record in claiming that black geeks are the result of the internet. Because apparently Octavia Butler didn’t happen.

BSFM matters because the #WeNeedDiverseBooks and similar initiatives are desperately needed and long overdue. BSFM matters because too many people can’t wrap their heads around the fact that my characters Noah Scott, Cassidy Reeves, Brecken Everett, Nemesis, Violet Peters, Iyana and Virgil Rhames epitomize #BlackExcellence and are not wishful thinking or flights of fancy.

BSFM matters because it illustrates how blacks are loving ourselves, embracing our power and creating our own spaces and efforts to thrive in a racist world that would sooner we didn’t.

That’s how #BlackExcellence gets down.

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