Bit of something different for you today, Gentle Reader. The following if from an interview for Denver’s OutFront Magazine, the Comic Issue (print, not online) when I was in town for Denver’s Pop Culture Con in 2019.
I figure the super nosy amongst you might want a peek into this part of my life, and since it’s out and proud already (so to speak) here’s the bulk of my interview for your titillation and amusement…
I’ve added a few rabbit hole extra bits where necessary.
At Tattered Cover in Denver
Gail Carriger Interview with Out Front Denver
1. Can I get your preferred pronouns?
2. How did you get into comics, and how does that coincide with your coming out story?
I’ve always read comics. I’m a Marvel Girl through and through. The New Warriors were my team (yeah, I know, that dates me.)
I suppose it became a matter of learning that I didn’t just want to be them (I used to be a big cosplayer), sometimes I wanted to be with them too. I’ll take a Rogue Gambit sandwich, all the trimmings, thank you.
Gail Carriger’s Favorite Comic Book Heroines (Occasional FAQ)
3. What are some major themes you work into your stories, and how do you include queer themes?
I like to think of what I write as queer comfort food. I always have queer characters, although they aren’t always the main characters. Since I write primarily comedy in various genres, my stuff tends to be both silly and gentle – books that are hugs.
- found family
- heroine’s journeys
- happy ever afters
- honest (if snarky) communication
I know, I know, how wholesome. But also kinky and charming and lots of fun. Sometimes super sexy, too.
4. The 5th Gender looks awesome – how does it explore gender, and why did you feel it was important to write at this time?
There are tons of amazing writers doing fantastic work to push boundaries in queer spaces, many with justified anger and suffering. It’s powerful and necessary. But as a humor writer, I’m more inclined to be insidious. The great advantage of writing fluff, is people don’t take you seriously, and then you can wiggle your way into changing their minds *despite* themselves.
At its heart, The 5th Gender is a light romantic cozy mystery, it just happens to feature the cutest snarkiest alien ever, who also happens to be a member of a species with 5 genders.
I can hope that this book encourages readers into thinking about how they define gender to themselves, and why a black and white perspective is damaging, not to mention the danger in associating gender with biological sexual characteristics and codified social norms. Perhaps they will even chat about such things with others.
I could go into my academic thoughts on the implicit culture-wide risks of any biologically deterministic approach to dictating human behavior, but mostly I want people to read my book, smile, be happy, and think about their role in ensuring the happiness of others.
Researching Gender Fluidity & Representing it in Fiction – The 5th Gender by Gail Carriger (Custard Protocol, San Andreas Shifters & Tinkered Stars Behind the Magic)
5. Is there anything else in particular you’d like to promote?
I’ve mad love for the SFLBGT Center in San Francisco. If you’re in town, pay them a visit, or encourage local friends to support them and their events. They do amazing work in queer advocacy, safety, and job placement.
Further Fiction Reading: Gender Fluidity & Varied Sexual Identities (The 5th Gender – Special Extras)
6. Where would you like to see queer genre fiction go in the future? How can we make it more inclusive?
- I want more joy.
- More models of what it can be, and could be, and should be.
- More funny. Always more funny.
- More queer characters finding love and happiness and forever homes and family.
- I believe that fiction can lay a foundation of hope, and that that is a form of fighting back, and I want to read more of that.
Similar to The 5th Gender, Gail Suggests More Queer SciFi (Miss Carriger Recommends)
7. How can science fiction and fantasy make an impact on today’s society and help queer folks?
I’d like to see more mentor programs and queer support in the SFF convention community. WorldCon in San Jose one year had a queer advocacy program: members donated passes, authors donated mentoring, and new or financially strapped queer lovelies who could not afford to attend suddenly could *and* they were matched with an advocate already within the ecosystem.
I’d love to support and see more of that kind of thing.
It’s a form of “we are here, we are queer” that can hopefully take advantage of the old systems and gateways that were closed in the past, and really need to be shaken up and knocked down. It would be healthy and exciting for everyone, if this kind of sponsorship and advocacy took root in established writer’s tracks, from Dragon Con to Comic Cons to anywhere in between.
At WorldCon during the Year of Queer
8. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
My friend Dan always ends by saying, “Be good to yourself.” And I think that’s something the queer community often needs to hear.
So please, be good to yourself.
End of interview.
Quotes from my books relating to this…
Primrose in Competence thinking about coming out and loving another woman openly, also emphasizing support of found family and the queer community:
Tank on bi-erasure, in The Omega Objection:
And that’s all for today, Gentle Reader,
Be good to yourself,
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BOOK DE JOUR
The 5th Gender (A Tinkered Stars Mystery as G. L. Carriger).
Your Vendor of Choice | Direct from Gail
Sci-fi queer romance meets cozy mystery in which a hot space station cop meets the most adorable purple alien ever (lavender, pulease!) from a race with 5 genders.
Boy Meets Boy says:
“This was smart and complex, contemplating human and alien nature as Carriger creates a fascinating species with their own complicated problems and foibles. Such contrasting dynamics always bring an interesting perspective in seeing ourselves from another point of view and to be more accepting and opening minded about others’ choices and beliefs.”
GAIL’S DAILY DOSE
Your Moment of Parasol . . .
The Queen June 5, 1880
Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Tea tastes good even without sugar: Study Shows (duh)
Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
“Writing is 1 percent inspiration, and 99 percent elimination.”
~ Louise Brooks
In honor of Tris, self in lavender.
Quote of the Day:
“Stop using exclamation marks, bring back italics,” says Lord Akeldama
Tris nods (and hair fluffs) in agreement, “Enthusiasm should be wiggly.”
~ Self on Twitter