Special “It Gets Better Project” Guest Blog from Author Zahra Owens

Welcome Zahra Owens, returning with this very worthwhile post. Readers, as always on the blog the cover images are links straight to the publisher’s online store. Some of you may remember that when Zahra visited last time, she gave us a very interesting interview. Here’s a link: Shapely Asses in the Saddle…

Did you cry too when you saw sex columnist Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller talk about their childhood in the very first It Gets Better video? Did it move you to hear them talk frankly about the bullies and taunts and hard times of growing up ‘different’? You were not alone. Many videos followed, and a lot of people opened their hearts and recorded their own story. It became the It Gets Better Project.

That very first video moved me to write You Can’t Choose Your Family.I wanted to show a couple who’d been together for twenty years and still felt their love grow every day. I wanted to believe this kind of love was possible and Fran Galloway and Jay Molenski obliged by telling me their story.

Once the story was published, Fran and Jay kept bothering me to write how they got together. I don’t need an excuse to go back to the beginning of the nineties, so one evening, after reading about another slew of teenage suicides, I penned the beginning of You Can Choose Your Friends. Somehow, the rest of the story wrote itself.

During the editing process, I realized it was a true It Gets Better story. We already know that life works out for these guys but Fran especially went through hell in this prequel. Slowly the idea started to form that I wanted to make sure it did some good (besides give a few people a little bit of reading joy). I decided I wanted to give my royalties to the It Gets Better Project. With the help of Elizabeth North of Dreamspinner Press, I arranged for $1.20 to be donated for every single copy sold.

At the same time, I felt I had to record my story too.

I’m not a lesbian, although all my life people have seen me as such, and I was bullied accordingly. I’ve always been the weird one, the eccentric one, and on top of that I was a smart, but fat girl. Could they possibly find more reasons to ostracize me? Despite of the fact I was singled out already, I helped them along by standing up for the minorities in school. I hung out with the ‘freaks’, so slowly but surely, I started feeling quite at home being the Q in the LGBTQ.

The one thing I wanted to talk about in my video was that, for me, it didn’t get better overnight. It took a lot of time for me to grow into myself and, at 42, I’m still a work in progress. That doesn’t mean it’s a sad story. Because it does get better! You just have to give yourself time.

So take a look at my message, and please support a good cause by buying my story. Remember, I’m not making any money from this. It all goes to It Gets Better.

Note from Lou Sylvre: Zahra also has two new stories coming:

On Feb 22nd a short story, “Isali Dreams”.

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On March 9th, a novel in the same universe as Clouds and Rain

…and Earth and Sky.

It’s called Floods and Drought, and it should be on the Coming Soon page of Dreamspinner Press soon!

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Meanwhile, here is a peek at the cover.

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