Your spring must-read will be Ask a Queer Chick, trust us.
The book is basically the older sister you’ve always wanted so that you could ask questions about what growing up confused about your sexuality is like. We got to talk to the author, Lindsay King-Miller, about her book, why she decided to write it, and her thoughts on the queer community and queer activism today.
What is Ask a Queer Chick and why should readers know about it?
Lindsay King-Miller: Ask a Queer Chick is a guide to life for LGBTQ women and the people who love them. It aims to fill in for the queer big sister you (probably) didn’t have, answering common questions about coming out, dating, sex, and more with the empathy and humor of someone who has been there.
What inspired you to write this book? Was there anything that made you feel like writing a guide for queer women was necessary?
LKM: I’ve been writing the online advice column Ask a Queer Chick since 2011, and after a few years I realized that people were asking questions about certain topics over and over again. It occurred to me that some of them might want a more thorough and comprehensive guide to queer life than I could offer in a 2,000-word column – and that, no matter how much I wrote about these issues, I always had more to say.
Ask a Queer Chick the book is not a compilation of my advice columns, but it did grow out of them. Just about everything in the book is something I’ve been asked about at one time or another.
What is your favorite thing about the work you do and the impact it has on the queer community?
LKM: I don’t know how much impact my writing has on the queer community as a whole, but I do think it’s been meaningful in the lives of some individual queer people, and that’s huge to me. Every so often I’ll get an email from someone telling me that my column or my book helped them come out, or helped them be a better ally to their LGBTQ loved one, or helped them leave a bad relationship. Those notes mean the world to me. If my work can help one person love themselves and lead a happier life, I believe I’m doing something worthwhile.
What are your hopes for your future and the future of Ask a Queer Chick?
LKM: On the one hand, I would love to keep writing this column forever, but on the other, I would love it if life suddenly became so easy and wonderful for all queer people everywhere that no one had any more questions for me! More realistically, my partner and I had a baby in November and I would love to take Ask a Queer Chick into the realm of parenting and building families as queer and gender-non-conforming people. I’m not sure exactly what it will look like, but I’ve been contemplating some kind of writing project around queer parenting.
Is there something specific that sparked your interest in queer advocacy and community building work?
LKM: I can’t imagine not being interested in advocacy as a queer person in the present moment. With all the political and social changes in my lifetime – and all the work that obviously still needs to be done – the importance of people and communities starting from where we are and working for a better world is so clear to me. I have personally benefited from the work of so many LGBTQ activists and it would be impossible to pretend that politics are not relevant to my life.
What do you consider to be one of the most important aspects of your writing?
LKM: I try to include humor in almost everything I write, even if – especially if – it’s a serious topic. I think it’s important to find joy in the dark and difficult aspects of life.
My partner and I try to make each other laugh when we’re arguing, to remind ourselves and each other that we’re on the same side. It’s also important to me that I make myself vulnerable in my writing. When I give advice, I want readers to understand that it comes from my own experiences, my own mistakes.
Can you describe one of your proudest moments since publishing this book?
LKM: Seeing my own book on the shelf at my favorite bookstore was one of the most thrilling moments of my life!
What has been one of your biggest career challenges, and how did you overcome it?
LKM: I’m at the very beginning of my writing career – I’ve only been freelance writing full-time since January of 2015, so I suspect that my biggest challenges are still ahead of me. One of the hardest things to overcome, starting out, was my tendency to take criticism very personally. Making a living as an artist means developing the ability to listen to feedback and decide how to incorporate it without letting it devastate me, which really just comes with practice.
Do you have any advice for young girls who are confused navigating their sexuality?
LKM: Worry about what you want to do first, and what you want to call yourself later or not at all. If you think you might like to date a girl, give it a shot! You don’t have to commit to a label like “gay” or “bi” or “queer” before you pursue a relationship with someone who intrigues you. The most important thing is following your heart.
Ask a Queer Chick is now available for purchase. You can read Lindsay Miller’s column here.