A couple weeks ago, I put out a call for people interested in discussing topics around body and gender. The response was immediate and more than I could have hoped for.
I was actually pretty nervous about this part of my novel project (Phase Two: Conduct Interviews), but it’s six interviews in now, and I never want it to end.
Whether with people I barely know or with good friends I’ve known for years, each conversation has given me new insight and understanding about the complex intersections of body and gender.
Already I’ve had to rethink concepts and language I’d planned to incorporate in the manuscript. Thanks to the openness of the people I’ve interviewed so far, I’ve learned more in the past two weeks than I did in a month trying to research body and gender on my own (Phase One: Read materials on body and gender).
Oh right, I forgot to explain what my project even is! I’m working on a speculative fiction novel around the topics of body and gender. I have a working concept and a start to the manuscript, and I have until mid-July to finish a first draft.
After a few more interviews, I’ll be jumping into Phase Three: Review interview notes and ruminate on them for a while. This will involve lots of walking and reading, probably some journaling.
Come the first week of June, I’ll be diving into the manuscript with a lot of new ideas, and a better understanding of what I’m writing about (hopefully!).
So that’s the plan! Thanks so much to everyone I’ve sat down with so far to talk about this project with and to everyone I will sit down with, whether in interview form or not. Talking about body and gender is important, we need to be talking about these topics, creating safe spaces for these conversations.
(This project is possible thanks to the support of the Arts, Culture and Heritage Fund.)