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Point of Pride Intro: Always Keep Your Pride, Shatter the Closets by Maxwell I. Gold


By: Maxwell I. Gold

A few weeks ago, men dressed in black and red clothes, carrying flags of an evil undeserving to be named. Their chants and slogans—there will be blood—chorused against the backdrop of a cold, Midwestern morning. It was an awful reminder of a time when evil men dared to reshape the world in their hideous image.

This wasn’t some fiction, or fatalistic hyperbole, but individuals protesting. Dressed in swastikas and combat gear outside a drag brunch in downtown Columbus, Ohio. No, this wasn’t a protest, but a deliberate display of hatred for members of our community and other marginalized people. The horror was clear. 

I started my introduction for this year’s HWA Pride Series Celebration not to spread fear or doom, but to remind us that there is still evil in the world, and the indifference of that evil towards LGBTQ+ people is very real and dangerous. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), there are currently over 474 pieces of anti-LGBT bills in state legislatures across the United States.  

The Stonewall Riots, which led to the LGBT civil rights movement, are now celebrated every June as Pride Month, the key being celebration. It was a protest. Trans women and drag queens were beaten and bruised by police officers with tear gas and water cannons in the streets of New York on that night and the nights that followed in 1969 for being who they were; there was no celebration. We are reminded of that every June, and we have a responsibility as writers to stand up for those in the path of hatred and injustice, but most importantly to stand up for each other. 

We’re living in a time when people, companies, and institutions continually threaten the rights and lives of LGBTQ+ people. In some cases, physical violence is still the outcome. My point is not to fearmonger, but to accentuate the point that no matter what, no amount of fearmongers or evil in the world—nothing—can or will dissuade us from shattering closets and giving a voice to the voiceless. 

The authors we spotlight in this series are the lights along that path, lighting the way for others. They are the ones who act as beacons telling us, “You are who you are.” 

I want to end this introduction on a lighter, more joyful note because we are here to spotlight the LGBTQ+ members of our horror community. 

Proud of their accomplishments, we encourage them to shine brightly as the stars they are and blaze a trail for others to follow. No matter how dark the skies become, or the terrors which lurk on the horizon, we’ll press onward as the rainbows bleed through the shadows until they coat the skies. 

Write On. Speak Out. Shatter Closets.

In the poetic words of Harvey Milk, “I have tasted freedom. I will not give up that which I have tasted.” 


Maxwell I. Gold is a Jewish American multiple award nominated author who writes prose poetry and short stories in cosmic horror and weird fiction with half a decade of writing experience. Four time Rhysling Award nominee, and two time Pushcart Award nominee, find him at www.thewellsoftheweird.com.

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