Welcome to Channler's Corner
by Channler Twyman
Growing up as a queer Black boy can be lonely. I always knew I was different. I don’t know when I realized this fact, though it was probably somewhere between pretending I was Hannah Montana and putting on concerts for my family-sans wig-or observing the shocked reactions of other people when I told them that my favorite superhero was Sailor Moon, and not Spiderman. Regardless, I knew I was different and so did everyone else. I had no one to talk about all the feelings I was internalizing, and when I did, my emotions were almost always invalidated. My cries for help were often met with bouts of “Manning up,” or, “You’ll grow out of it.” I felt alone because I was alone, and my only sanctuary away from my angsty teenage despair, was literature.
Yes, those rides with Harry to and from Hogwarts, battling evil titans with Percy, looking for the girl that was named after a state (Spoiler Alert: she dies), unashamedly falling in love with a glistening vampire—all these stories and experiences helped me escape those dark moments in my life where my voice wasn’t heard by anyone. I eventually found my way to college and realized that my feelings were in fact, valid, and that—surprisingly—there were other people who were just like me. Can you imagine that? I am not the only queer, black male on the planet. It was a huge revelation for me to see other queer and black figures thrive in a society that hates their existence. The more I came to accept myself, the more I realized just how imperative it is to see oneself represented in the art you consume.
What if Harry Potter was black? What if Bella and Edward were Bella and Eden? Better yet, what if we lived in a society that would be okay with these possibilities? Well, we’re starting to get there slowly, but surely. One way to speed progress up is to highlight and acknowledge the many queer authors and authors of color. That’s my aim of this blog. Every week, I will be doing book reviews, spotlights, and writing tips centering around authors, characters, and poets of marginalized identities particularly queer people and people of color.
Hopefully, each post will shed a light on how crucial it is for stories of marginalized people to be represented in literature, not only as token characters or side-kicks, but four-dimensional beings with hopes and dreams who have loved, lost, suffered and triumphed. Maybe people will like what my blog has to say, maybe this blog will be seen by Oprah and become featured on her network, or maybe I can do my part in helping some queer little Black boy know he isn’t alone in the world.
— Channler Twyman is a writer who hails from South Georgia where his love for literature began at the age of two. He currently attends the College of Wooster where he continues to foster his craft. Although, he has a passion for the literary arts, he still hopes for the day where he achieves his final form and is able to battle the forces of evil as a Sailor Scout.