Queen Elizabeth will make history today when she signs a charter that fights discrimination and offers equal rights to billions in 54 countries that are part of the British Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth Charter states opposition to “all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, color, creed, political belief or other grounds.”
Many believe this is the Queen’s silent way of taking a stand on LGBT equal rights. And what’s most significant is that in 61 years this is the first time she’s taken a stand like this. While it’s not going to change things overnight because homosexuality is still illegal in many countries that are part of the British Commonwealth it does look as if the Queen is moving forward with changing times in a way no one could have predicted. It also looks as if the important part here is “other grounds.” I would imagine that includes LGBT equal rights without actually stating it.
So, as slow as it’s moving, and as much as I find it insulting that LGBT equal rights can’t be mentioned openly and without shame, I do respect the Queen for doing this. In doing something like this she’s helping to break down the shame associated with homosexuality that has existed for so long.
“The queen has to remain politically neutral,” Arbiter said. “While we won’t hear her personal views on this, the fact that she is endorsing it publicly in front of television cameras, it really does speak volumes.”
Most articles I’ve read have suggested this is the Queen’s way of beginning the transition of the shift of power that will come soon within the British monarchy. But I also find it extremely timely because of what’s happening in Rome right now. The Catholic Church has lost billions of devoted followers in recent years, and partly (but not only) because of their stand on LGBT issues and equal rights. And I hope they are paying attention to what the Queen is doing today. If the new Pope can’t find a way to move the church forward, I see even more Catholics leaving, and not just LGBT Catholics. I think women are getting tired of being discriminated against, and divorced people, too.
Colleen Hoover on Self-publishing Stigma
I’m linking to a post right now that was written by best-selling self-pubbed author, Colleen Hoover. I’m doing this because it’s a well written article on her journey into publishing, and how she used self-publishing as a vehicle to reach bestseller lists and get those big books we all dream of getting one day. I’m also doing this because I’ve self-pubbed a few books myself, I’ve had a moderate amount of success that’s thrilled me, and I’ve had tons of fun doing this at the same time. In fact, if I had to actually state what I’ve loved most in the twenty year span I’ve been getting published it would have to be the first time I released my own self-pubbed book last year.
And frankly, I’m also tired of other authors knocking all self-publishing and perpetuating the stigma that all self-pubbed books are bad, that all self-pubbed authors can’t get publishers, and that all self-pubbed books lack in quality. I see this more often than not in small e-press circles, as if they are trying to put down all self-pubbed authors. These are usually authors who have become big fish in small ponds, as they say. And the fact remains that if you’re working with a small start up e-press you’re only one a step away from self-publishing. In fact, I find most small start up e-presses these days aren’t even being run by people with publishing experience. There’s nothing wrong with that, but don’t be so grand. Frankly, I find myself putting off requests these days from small publishers in order to focus on my next self-pubbed release later this spring. I did it twice this month. I never thought I’d be doing anything like that, but in doing this I can have total control over content, and I can price those books cheaper for readers. And what do readers love most other than a good story?
For many years, self-publishing has been viewed as a tool for authors who couldn’t sell their work to traditional publishers for a myriad of reasons. Perhaps the work wasn’t good enough or the genre they wrote in was a hard genre for a publisher to sell. For whatever reason, self-publishing was a last-ditch effort made by those who wanted to see their work in print but couldn’t get through the traditional publishing obstacles.