An Open Letter to Orson Scott Card

Dear Mr. Card,

I’ve been planning on reading your books. I’ve heard your creativity is second to none and that Ender was a hero for the masses. I’ve also heard that you are really awesome at book signings and seem to really care about your fans. I was going to spend a substantial amount of money on your backlist and read everything before your beloved-to-many movie version of Enders Game hit the theatres.

When I first heard about your homophobia I was unaware how severe it is. I even wrote about you in a post about authors and how accessible they are in the digital age and how I would probably still read your stuff. But you didn’t stop there. You have repeatedly and vehemently used your status as a top notch author to boast your personal beliefs about family and gay rights. The latest flash of venom made me feel actual concern for you… a person I haven’t ever met. The paranoia and outright lies bothered me deeply.

As the mother of two children and a humanist I take a lot of time to teach my children right and wrong, and yes it is subjective. And yes I am teaching them my own set of moral rules, but I don’t foist my extreme left views on others, and I hope that one day my children grow up to have their own ideals and I hope kindness is among them.

When my kids ask me questions about homosexuality I am open and honest with them.

“Why does so and so have two moms?”

“Well, some people have two moms, or two dads, or no parents at all and a granddad or a grandmom. Some kids live in the foster system, or are orphaned and the thing that makes humans amazing is all of our differences from the very large to the very small.”

I also teach them that homophobia is a phobia. As in a disease.

homophobia |ˌhōməˈfōbēə|
an extreme and irrational aversion to homosexuality and homosexual people.
homophobe |ˈhōməˌfōb| noun
homophobic |-ˈfōbik| adjective
ORIGIN 1960s: from homosexual + -phobia .

homosexual |ˌhōməˈsek sh oōəl|
(of a person) sexually attracted to people of one’s own sex.
• involving or characterized by sexual attraction between people of the same sex : homosexual desire.
a person who is sexually attracted to people of their own sex.
homosexuality |-ˌsek sh oōˈalitē| noun
homosexually adverb
ORIGIN late 19th cent.: from homo- ‘same’ + sexual .

Those are the dictionary references from my desktop dictionary on my Macbook Pro. Mr. Card, you have a severe case of homophobia.

There’s no need to legalize gay marriage. I have plenty of gay friends who are committed couples; some of them call themselves married, some don’t, but their friends treat them as married. Anybody who doesn’t like it just doesn’t hang out with them.

I have a lot of gay friends too. I have a lot of transgender friends and my children are exposed to all types of sexuality, religion, and colors. I know that my gay friends would like to be married, and have rights. Everything you say in your article is a falsehood. Sure, the partner of a gay man can go to the hospital… until a family member tells the hospital he can’t, because he isn’t family.

I guess what I don’t understand is why? What is it that makes you campaign so hard against gay rights? Why is it this ONE thing you’ve decided to take a stand against, couldn’t your massive amount of influence do something more? Here are some suggestions:

1 in 4 children in America are hungry. Right now.
The genocide in Darfur is so important, can you make people aware of it?
The occupy movement is important in its own way.

Surely any of these things are more worthy of your time and attention than whether or not gay people get married. And what of your legacy? Hundreds of years from now when this issue is being looked at in history class you will be considered one of the people in the extreme wrong. Aren’t you ashamed of how we treated Native Americans and Blacks? Because I sure as hell am and I am just as ashamed right now with the way we are treating gays as second class citizens when they bleed red just as you and I do.

So please, find a more positive way to use your influence and time. You have actually succeeded in making sure that I will never read your books. I wonder how many other people have been turned off from your literature by your tirades?

I know that not everyone has the same views as I do. I understand that I am pretty left leaning and the fact that others aren’t is okay with me. I don’t feel the need to stamp those with other views down and I don’t feel the need to suppress a whole group of humans.

A lost loyal reader

9 Responses so far

  1. Gravatar

    This bothers me. A lot. I first read Ender’s Game when I was 10. And it is possibly my fave book ever.
    How do I seperate that from the man?
    I’m a mother of children and I want them to enjoy the book but shelter them from his world view. Being in Australia helps since I’ve heard little here of him speak but thanks to the web it filters here.
    It makes me so sad and leaves me a little lost.
    Interesting blog.

  2. Gravatar

    I had no idea. Thanks for sharing this information and linking back to the article! Many of my friends will be saddened and disappointed as I am.

  3. Gravatar

    You were far more restrained and polite than I would have been if I had written an open letter to him.

  4. Gravatar

    Brilliant post. I’ve not read anything by this author either and I have to say after reading his article means Im not sure I want to now either. Such hatred and ignorance.

    I wonder how much of his political views are, subconsciously or not, within his work?

  5. Gravatar

    Pam, you said it well for so many of us who planned to read his stories and share them with our kids. Thank you.

  6. Gravatar

    I read and loved Ender’s Game – I still think it is a fantastic book – but I stopped reading him when I found out about his extreme views. His opinion is sad and misguided.

  7. Gravatar

    I really liked that you said this – “You have repeatedly and vehemently used your status as a top notch author to boast your personal beliefs about family and gay rights.”

    When this newest outburst from OSC came out I saw a lot of people say they disagreed with him but they could separate the man from the art. While I can understand this, I find I don’t want to support him because that support for his art, elevates his status and he uses this status to promote these beliefs.

    I’ve read many of his books over the years and have really enjoyed them. But I just can’t ignore his constant public proclamations of his beliefs any longer. I will no longer be purchasing any of his books.

  8. Gravatar

    “I know that my gay friends would like to be married, and have rights.”

    This. A thousand times. My wife and I got married a few days before Prop 8 passed. Sadly, because it’s only a state-wide recognized marriage, we still get screwed over in a lot of ways regarding benefits, federal taxes, etc. I have a hard time dealing with my step-daughter’s school because I’m the “second mom.” It’s hard being treated like a second-class citizen just because I’m a girl who happened to fall in love with another girl.

    A+ post.

  9. Gravatar

    I really like this post. I agree with everything you’ve said!

    I love Ender’s Game and its sequel, Speaker for the Dead. I don’t think an author’s personal views should have any influence in how their work is perceived. But it is quite a downer when you find out one of your writing heroes – and one that seems highly intelligent in his prose – is such a small-minded person.

    I don’t want to start talking about gay marriage rights (I live in Europe, we are a lot more relaxed about these things anyways) but I love that you wrote this open letter and I hope many more people stumbe upon it and maybe start thinking for themselves as well! Thank you.

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