photo of rainbow colored painting on canvas

Pride and PEW-PEW-PEW!

It’s Pride month, and I am a queer author (abrosexual, or as I like to say, a graceful watermelon). I’m also autistic and disabled, as many of you already know. You probably also already know that the first book of my new disability hopepunk series, Season One: Iris and the Crew Tear Through Space!, is coming to Earth on September 15, 2023.

What’s on my mind today is how Pride feels different this year. I came out later in life, so even in my 50s, I am a “baby queer” or maybe a “toddler queer” now. (Guess that means I say no a lot and prefer that sippy cup over there—wait, not that sippy cup, that one!) But regardless of when I claimed my identity—and it’s something one does at their own time, so no pressure on anyone—I am still part of this community. I really care about how its getting attacked. Hate is levelling up against us, and this is unacceptable. Hate, sadly, is nothing new, but it’s pretty freaking loud these days. Gaslighters also seem to want to blame us for everything instead of looking to the real issues of society, such as greed, toxic entitlement, selfish-as-heckness, lack of supports for physical and mental health, lack of all kinds of accessibility, and fear-mongering.

As an author, it also strikes me hard that banning books by us is on the rise. Well, historically, fascism and controlling authorities never like ideas. So, the thought of fiction that promotes celebration of diversity or nonfiction that underscores a reality…these written works can be super threatening to some folks.

Which, I will never understand. Diversity makes the world rich, interesting, and beautiful. Stories and memoirs educate, enrapture, and expand our minds. Why would we want to limit ourselves to reading only one lifestyle and only one narrative? That’s boring and doesn’t reflect reality.

While I want allies to stand with us, I also want folks who are LGBTQIA2S+ to stand with their disabled, d/Deaf, Blind, neurodivergent siblings in our communities. Accessibility and accommodation at Pride and other events are a sign of love too!

As for bringing up my book, I told a friend that I was so focused on having inclusion of disability, neurotypes, and states of being, it only hit me later that the entire principle cast of Iris and the Crew is part of our rainbow acronym. I guess my real-life experience is being surrounded by queer humans in the disability community, so I just naturally wrote characters who reflected what I know. And this makes me happy. My hope is that it inspires (in a healthy way…not inspiration-porny ways) to have this kind of inclusion and body celebration in our communities. I would love people to “get ideas” from my story, which motivates them to love and not hate.

One of the most moving reader-feedback for me was when a friend of the family who is in his 80s read my book, The Stealth Lovers, and said, “I never realized two men could love each other that way.” It’s not that he was homophobic, but I think perhaps he just never had that exposure. And he really enjoyed the story. Sometimes an introduction to queer realities can even be through fiction.

I love space opera as a genre and of course, I love being in Queer-Disabled community. So, I guess my writing is about the Pride and the PEW-PEW-PEW! (With apologies to Jane Austen… although now I want to write this as a novel.)

This month, I would encourage you to support authors who are LGBTQIA2S+. Seek their works. Ask for them in your local libraries and indie bookstores. We typically put a lot of love into our stories and want them to be out in the world. Give books reviews. Recommend them to friends.

So, ally humans, if you come across trans-/bi-/homo-/queerphobia, let people know (if it’s safe for you to do so) that you don’t accept that kind of hatred. Even by saying something like, “I care about the human rights of all people and refuse to discriminate.”

Queer humans, this month might be hard for you and you might need a rest from educating people about your lived experiences. Or, you might feel stressed that you must come out (again, there’s no pressure and only do things if you are safe). I wish you a good Pride month, whatever that means for you.

I wish I could be more eloquent about all of this, but let me end this post by saying that I am sending love to you all. We can always use more love, right?

Yeah, I think so too.

A greyscale close-up of me, standing in front of a blank background. I am a white woman with short silver hair cropped closely on the sides. I am wearing dark metallic rimmed glasses with rhinestones on the side. I’m wearing silver hook earrings with flat beads and a plaid shirt.

Cait Gordon is an autistic, disabled, and queer Canadian writer of speculative fiction that celebrates diversity. She is the author of Life in the ’CosmThe Stealth Lovers, and the forthcoming Iris and the Crew Tear Through Space (2023). Cait also founded the Spoonie Authors Network and joined Talia C. Johnson to co-edit the award-nominated, multi-genre, disability fiction anthologies Nothing Without Us and Nothing Without Us Too.

Header photo by Steve Johnson on

Happy Pride Month from this Watermelon!

Thanks to the folks who have explored their sexual identity beyond the more commonly known ones, I was able to find one then suited me more than cryptosexual! I still like to call myself Swirly (because I’m not straight) and often say my sexual identity is a paragraph and not a single word. But in this case, the term abrosexual fits my Swirly-ness just fine!

Abrosexual means sexually fluid, and the fact that it isn’t fixed or defined works really well for me. Because I often whirl and swirl among different identities. While I can be attracted to any gender, I often feel I kinda sorta maybe mostly am within the Ace spectrum, like demisexual, but not in a typical way. (It’s still hard for me to precisely define my queerness, so yay for Abro’s fluidity!)

As for my romantic identity, I’m highly romantic but also have experienced being nebularomantic, which is a romantic identity for neurodivergent folks where they’re sometimes unsure whether they’re experiencing romantic attraction and platonic attraction. (That really helped me understand a lot of my past decisions too.)

The Nebularomantic Pride flag is a Gradient of three stripes of crimson from dark to a salmon pink. A white stripe, then three stripes of teal from light up dark.
Nebularomantic Pride flag

In shorthand, I call myself queer.

But back to abrosexual. I just love the colours of their pride flag! Since they are similar to those of a watermelon, some Abros take on the watermelon as their mascot. I sometimes like to call myself a watermelon. It makes me happy.

The abrosexual flag consists of five stripes: medium green, light green, white, pink, and dark pink
Abrosexual Pride flag

(I just happen to love watermelons, so this was a bonus. And like the fruit, i feel I’m “cool and refreshing.”)

ID: I’m wearing a grey V-neck T-shirt with a cartoon of a smiling watermelon slice, and the text on the T-shirt says: Cool and refreshing
Have Cricut, will T-shirt!

Whatever your queer identity, I wish you a Happy Pride month! I celebrate you and wish you peace. It’s rough out there and my prayer is that the world becomes a more accepting place for all of us.

Sending love to my rainbow friends!

ID: Headshot. Aqua background. Cait Gordon is a white woman with short silver hair and who is wearing teal metal-rimmed glasses and a navy blue V-neck T-Shirt

Cait Gordon is an autistic, disabled, and queer Canadian writer of speculative fiction that celebrates diversity. She is the author of Life in the ’Cosm, The Stealth Loversand Iris and the Crew Tear Through Space (2023). Her short stories appear in Alice Unbound: Beyond WonderlandWe Shall Be Monsters, Space Opera Libretti, and Stargazers: Microtales from the Cosmos. Cait also founded the Spoonie Authors Network and joined Talia C. Johnson to co-edit the Nothing Without Us and Nothing Without Us Too anthologies, whose authors and protagonists are disabled, d/Deaf, Blind or visually impaired, neurodivergent, Spoonie, and/or they manage mental illness.