We All Go To Bed Human
I have been thinking about change. I used to say all of the time when I was younger that I would move to London when I was older. My future career was a doctor who was a consultant for the police department. Now, about twenty-three years later, I still live in the United States. I have a degree in Creative Writing. I don’t trust most policemen because I worry there will be a misunderstanding, and my roommate will end up on the wrong end of a gun. The one constant in my life has been fantasy novels. I’ve always appreciated how authors use fantastic elements to talk about real-world issues while being able to keep them separate enough.
My most recent writing project has finally given me the opportunity to do the thing I’ve always admired. Now, I’m too scared. I’m scared that someone will point out to me that I don’t need to tell this story. I always hear a voice in my head saying, “If you don’t tell this story, who will?” There are days when I tell myself that I can just sell it to Disney, and they can just tell the story. I usually end up closing my document and watching cooking shows until it’s time for bed. My teachers always used to say, “Write the story you needed when you were younger.” This always struck a chord with me. I’m disabled, but I have always been able to identify with other white characters even though most of them aren’t in wheelchairs. I wanted to write stories about young girls whose hair isn’t bone straight. I have heard stories about my roommate who was called a teddy bear because her hair was more like a teddy bear’s fur than the hair of her fellow classmates.
I recently heard from a friend that someone on an author page they follow, that the person was offended because the story had an illness that has plagued the magical setting of the story. I understand we are in the middle of a pandemic, people are dying, and this is a strange time. The thing is that there is a cure for the illness that plagued the land. I would think that would be hopeful. It also made me think about two years ago when the movie Black Panther came out in theaters. People of color came out to see it for months. It was one of the highest-grossing films of the year because it had characters that weren’t just criminals who shot people in order to keep from getting caught. I want to give young women of color a book where the heroine changes her hair and has to think about what different types of weather might do to it. I want her to be strong, funny, and confident. We have Katniss, so why can’t we have Selena too? Life doesn’t stop going because you are uncomfortable, and I think the world is slowly realizing that. We are all human at the end of the day, and our graves will look the same
This is a really good piece, Stephanie. Thank you for sharing.