Consider this a sort of “about me” for people who don’t really know who I am. These are my true colors, as Cyndi Lauper says. I always loved that song.
I’m Skye Knizley. That is my legal name, not a pen name or something made up. I share the name with three distant relatives, which makes me interesting but not exactly unique. My name comes from the Scottish Isle where my ancestors used to raise sheep. Well, some of them. I am part Scottish, part Chinese, part German and part Hopi, with a side order of angry attitude.
Once people know that is my real name, I get asked why I don’t use a pen name. It’s simple. I am not afraid to stand for the things I believe in nor am I afraid for my family. We can take care of ourselves.
It annoys me to no end that people say they stand up for equal rights and the LGBT community (see previous posts) but when it comes down to it they hide behind a fake name and fake profile because they don’t want their kids to know, they don’t want their family to know, they don’t want to be disowned or any of a number of reasons that stick in my craw like an old piece of okra. You can’t really support a cause if you let what someone might say keep you from using your own name. You are not a supporter if you can stop when it gets too tough simply by deleting a fake profile. Actual members of the LGBT community don’t get to hide, we can’t delete who we are, this is it.
Which brings me to point number two. Yep, I’m gay. Lesbian is the term I prefer, or “lesbian-leaning bi.” I’ve even been married to someone of my own sex, which is about as gay as you can get. I have marched in Washington and Connecticut, stood outside state capitols with my little sign and had the shit kicked out of me for the privilege. I’m a full on card-carrying member of the LGBT community, which might explain why I have gay and bi characters in my novels. Duh.
That brings up something I am very proud of, though. I don’t write “lgbt novels” or erotica. I am one of the few successful mainstream authors whose primary characters are gay or bi. Stormrise, Stormwind and Raven all reached the top ten in horror and sat right next to Stephen King and Robert Masello. Two of them held the #1 slot and “got the flag” as is said in small press circles. Ashen Rayne, the first book in the Shadowlands series, was #1 in LGBT mysteries for six months and #4 in, you guessed it, horror. The main character is a lesbian. Most recently, the sixth novel in the Storm Chronicles™, STORM, hit the same target. Not many authors have achieved that level of success with “alternative sexuality characters” and I am extremely proud of that. I thank each and every reader who made that possible and proved the world isn’t as bigoted as the loudmouths would have you believe.
On to other points, and I apologize, this is kind of stream of consciousness. I’ve been to funerals and not slept much so…. anyway lol
I swear a lot. It isn’t a reflection of who I am but of the jobs I have held. I have worked in a lot of industries where swearing is the norm and you are looked at as odd if you don’t. Being the only woman in the shop is weird. Dating my own sex is usually as weird as I’m going to be allowed to be and not get bullied, so yes, I swear. I have been a car mechanic, diesel mechanic, vehicle inspector, truck driver, dancer, drummer, crime scene investigator and bodyguard, often working in shitty conditions for too little money. It makes you swear, get the fuck over it. If you judge me by what I say not what I do, you’re missing the point of what I said, anyway.
I have no tolerance for whiny bullshit and I have no problem telling someone to shut the fuck up and stop whining. I have told people to grow a thicker skin or get the fuck out and I don’t regret it one bit. I never said I was nice, I was being truthful. Sugarcoating reality doesn’t make it softer. If you are the kind of person who takes every damn thing personally, you will not succeed without blind luck and someone way tougher than you holding your hand. Not because you have no talent, but because you can’t hack the things people say and do in a society happy to crucify you for almost anything. There is not a successful entertainer in the world who hasn’t been booed off stage, received horrible negative reviews, death threats and other bullying nonsense. Reality isn’t fair. You can fight or you can whine. I choose to fight.
I do the right thing as directed by my own moral compass, not someone else’s. I’ve been beaten, stabbed and had my car vandalized because I stood up for someone and did the right thing when no one else would. I’m not the one standing there with a camera going “get the police!” I’m the one wading in to help, and I hope I am always that person.
I’m not perfect, Goddess knows. I have made more than my share of mistakes. I do my best to pay for them and never forget I fucked up. I’m human and flawed, just like everyone else. Feel free to judge me for that, I couldn’t care less.
Copyright Skye Knizley 2016, All Rights Reserved. You may not share without express permission from the author.