Probably the biggest risk in writing Weekend was using they/them pronouns for one of my characters. I hadn’t read a book which had done that, and it can dazzle with confusion, both for the author and the reader (was that correct? Was that really what the author meant? Wait … who is the author talking about?) but I felt it was true to my character, Logan, who was between genders not in the sense of landing in the non-binary, but in the sense that they hadn’t come all the way out as trans yet for various reasons of shame and fear. Creating a character like Logan who hasn’t made it all the way out as trans, even as they pass as male, real though it is to life, seemed likely to offend pretty much everyone: people who are trans and have transitioned, along with lesbians comfortable in their identity. There are no lesbians in Weekend, although most reviews seem to fasten on the idea that there are four. And that too was a risk, leaving the concept of lesbians out.
The entire idea of writing on Ray Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love was harrowing. What do we talk about when we talk about queer love? What is different for my community? What is the same?
Jane Eaton Hamilton will be at the Whistler Writers Festival on October 14th, 10 – 11:30am, presenting at the Writers of Fiction reading event. www.whistlerwritersfest.com