Recently on my Tumblr page, I participated in the We Are Comics project.  This project is to highlight and promote diversity amongst comics fans, creators, and professionals.  As a married gay white middle-class American man, I personally struggle with being a minority. especially since I can ‘pass’ as straight if I wanted to.  Often, that temptation is very great, but I want to show my commitment to diversity in nerd communities.  But tumblr can be an echo chamber for these kinds of campaigns, so I’m reposting my entry here.  Go visit the page and read the stories that others have sent in.  And send in your own.  A chorus of voices can change the status quo, even in the comics industry.  Thanks for supporting this, and thanks to the We Are Comics team for their amazing project.

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I’m Hugh and I Am Comics.

Growing up gay, I was terrified as a teenager.  Terrified that I’d be dragged out of the closet, terrified that I would be disowned, terrified that I’d be the victim of a hate crime, terrified that I would become a statistic.  In hindsight, a lot of these fears were silly, and I have been blessed with a loving family and an ever-growing support network, but as a scared kid, I had superheroes.

The X-Men taught me that I could survive in a world where I was different, even if I wasn’t ready to.  Heroes like Spider-Man and Batman showed me that someone could put ON a mask and become who they really were.  They showed me that a person might be more than who they were during the day.  As a kid living with a secret that frightened him to the core, that was a powerful thing.

As I grew older, and my tastes became more diverse, comics showed me worlds of possibility beyond super-heroics.  Those experiences helped inspire me to become a writer myself.  Comics were a life preserver for me during the most difficult parts of my life, and that’s why I’m Comics.

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