Name: M.C. Wilson
College: Boston University
Why She’s in Center Stage: She wrote a book and it’s awesome
Social Media Fun-ness: Twitter
What is your book, Stand, about?
Well that’s a really tough question to answer. I would have to say that that first line on the back cover says it best: “This book is about understanding.” It’s about addressing issues that we as a society don’t really talk about all that often and trying to clear up the misconceptions that surround those issues. In my experience, when people say something that I find rude or insulting, it’s usually because of a miscommunication or a misunderstanding. I know there are people out there who really don’t care if they’re being mean, but most people do care and are trying their best to be respectful. Stand was meant to give them the tools and understanding to do that.
What made you decide to write a book like Stand?
It was actually a very specific moment that got me thinking about it. It was in high school a few months after I first came out. I was talking with my family and the subject of marriage came up. Someone – I don’t remember who anymore – mentioned that at some point in my life, if I ended up getting married, I would have to choose to be straight or gay. And I got really upset that they didn’t understand what it meant to be bisexual. And my family explained that they really hadn’t meant to hurt my feelings; they just didn’t know. And they suggested that maybe I should get more involved in activism in the community if this was really something I felt passionate about. I think I took their advice to heart a lot more than they were expecting! So that was kind of what sparked the idea.
However, in high school I was doing really poorly in my English classes because my teachers really didn’t like my writing style. I thought I could write a book, but I didn’t think anyone would ever read it. But then when I got to college and was able to step away from the cookie-cutter writing format, I really excelled. I had a professor, Dr. Underwood, who was by far the best English teacher I’ve ever had, and he really devolved my skills and my ability to write a persuasive argument. Taking his class, I gained a lot of confidence in my writing, and that was really what pushed me to finish the book.
Were your family and friends supportive of your idea to write the book?
Totally! As I was writing, I was really nervous about not being able to “finish the job,” so I didn’t tell anyone about the book for pretty much the whole writing process. But when I did tell them, they could not have been more supportive. That’s why the book is dedicated to them – I couldn’t have asked for better responses!
Side note: My mom was more than supportive; she was my editor. When I first put the book up for sale, she was my first buyer, and she found typos in the book that I had overlooked in my excitement to publish. Luckily it wasn’t too late and I fixed them in the current version!
You say that in 100 years, you hope this book is forgotten and unnecessary. Can you elaborate on that idea?
Definitely. The reason I say that is because, in my version of a “perfect world” there is no “fight for marriage equality,” there is no “Civil Rights Movement.” In my version of a perfect world, respect and equality is not something we have to fight for, or debate about, or move towards. It’s just something that we have because we know it’s the right thing to do.
People have asked me before why I care so much about this issue; there’s hunger and poverty and war in the world, so why is this problem I focus on. Aren’t there bigger issues? And the fact is, yes, there are much bigger issues. And I don’t actually care that much about this one. Other people do. Other people have decided that with all that hunger and poverty and war in the world, the big “moral decay” that we should fight against is my decision to date someone who also has a uterus. I don’t get that.
So when I say “I hope this isn’t important 100 years from now,” what I mean is that, 100 years from now, I hope that we are not still fighting over this tiny little issue. There are, most definitely, bigger things to worry about.
How did you manage being a full-time student and publishing a book?
Basically…I didn’t. I’m pre-med, so I don’t have time to do stuff like this during the school year. If an idea came to me during the school year that I didn’t want to forget, I would definitely write it out, but mainly I wrote and formatted the book over breaks from school. In the last few weeks before publishing, I skipped some Friday and Saturday nights out in order to make final touches on the book, but it never came before my classwork.
Why do you think its important that people understand the topics covered in your book?
I think it’s important for a couple reasons, but I think the main one is this. Even if (for example) you say that you’ve never met a pansexual person before, yes, I am almost certain that you have. They probably just left their rainbow flag and their sign at home that day. And if by some miracle you actually haven’t, someday you probably will. And if you get to know that person and they decided to come out to you, you should understand what that actually means. You don’t necessarily have to agree with it, or celebrate it, but you should at the very least know and understand what they’re telling you. Understanding is the first and most important step to respect and acceptance.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully, if all goes well, I see myself in an osteopathic medical school. Med school is pretty much the hardest type of graduate school to get into, so there are no guarantees, but, yeah. Hopefully, that’s where I’ll be!
Anything else that you would like to add?
I think an important thing to know is that this book is not just the world’s longest Facebook rant. It wasn’t written from a place of anger. It wasn’t written because I think people are ignorant or stupid or homophobic and I want to fix them. Actually, it’s just the opposite. It was written specifically because I think people are kind and understanding and want to be respectful, but they don’t always have enough information to do that. I want to give them that information (and hopefully give them a couple of laughs along the way).