Eaton Hamilton

the problem with being trans is cis people. The problem with being queer is straight people. The problem with being disabled is abled people. The problem with being Black is white people. In other words, prejudice.

Category: diversity in publishing

Sarah Schulman and The Cosmopolitans

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“If a lesbian writes a book, but no man reads it, does it actually exist?” asks Marcie Bianco in Slate. “It may sound ridiculous, but this tree-falling-in-the-forest analogy will feel all too apt to lesbian authors, whose systemic exclusion from cultural recognition and mainstream success has a long history and continues apace.”



Diversity in Publishing … Not


photo: Jane Eaton Hamilton, unknown date, Jericho Beach, Vancouver

When I became a writer, my first books were received warmly and were shortlisted for prestigious awards … then I came out and that was pretty much the end of that. Either I was a worse writer from there on in or something else was at play, something systemic, something unthinking, homophobia. I’ve gotten a lot of rejections that say something like, “Just not a good fit for our publication” or “We published a lesbian last issue and we want to diversify,” but mostly it’s just no, and no again.

I’m pretty certain my work is better now, but I am queer, and older, and disabled. I barely get read. The promising career that I was ready for never panned out, until, in January 2004, after dismal reactions to my last book of stories, I quit. I’ve been back since 2011, but the things that I hoped would be changed haven’t changed as much as the players would like to think they have.

When the gatekeepers are able-bodied, white, and straight, if you aren’t, that’s pretty much a wrap.

Here is “You Will Be Tokenized”: Speaking Out About the State of Diversity in Publishing from Brooklyn Magazine by Molly McCardle


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