I am female. I am Filipino American. I am mixed race.
For a majority of history, these identities wouldn’t have applied to writers of very particular fields, but within recent time, that is starting to change.
Industries of all kinds are starting to experience a shift in the people who are a part of them, and that goes just as well for the world of writing. Panels made up of women writers of color and the importance of their books being out in the universe are now being held at the likes of various Comic-Cons. Fellowships are constantly being created and held annually to seek out new and diverse writers. Much more conscious choices about who writes what for TV and film are being made, and those writers are being celebrated for their contributions.
I observe all this much needed change with the kind of joy and anticipation that, I can imagine, can be applied for others who’re following this as well. What I haven’t noticed until recently is that in my own small way, I too am contributing to that change too.
Women have had writing of their own published for the longest time, but the writing often came from White women and in very particular mediums and even genres. What I have recently noticed from my own experience is that I am beginning to take on writing roles that, for the most part, have been very White male-dominant.
Allow me to elaborate: In 2016, I released my second novel, An Absolute Mind. It is a sci-fi novel; a genre with names like Isaac Asimov and Philip K. Dick attached to it. In 2017, I became a playwright; a title that, for the most part, has often gone to men than women. In 2018, I became a screenwriter when I adapted An Absolute Mind into a screenplay. This accomplishment mixes boundary-breaking of the former two named.
Maybe it’s because I’m still relatively unknown to the much larger writing world that it took me a while to realize this, but I have to admit, I should give myself props for what I have managed to accomplish in these regards. It’s funny when I really think about it, for there were very few examples to look to when I was growing up. But maybe subconsciously, seeing these White men make such strives in these fields made me want to step up and take on these roles myself, to show what I’m capable of.
There’s a reason why such strives for a more variety of writers are being made. It is long past time to see stories told beyond the ones we’ve been told time and time again, and the ones who are harnessing these much needed narratives are often the ones who haven’t been heard from enough. We as a society are at a point now where we’re starting to listen and read more closely from those who’ve been shut out and/or ignored for so long, and to be one of many writers making this change is incredible.
I don’t think it’s at all conceited to acknowledge your accomplishments that also contribute to a great change. Rather, for me, it’s a humbling realization that I have made, and I would hope the same would go for writers making the same – if not similar – strives.
The glass ceiling is breaking.
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