LGBTQ+ Voices: Interview with Alanna Faison

AlannaFaisonPic_Omeka.jpg

Title

LGBTQ+ Voices: Interview with Alanna Faison

Subject

Queer Omaha Archives
Sexual minorities -- Nebraska -- Omaha
interviews
oral histories (document genres)

Description

Click here to access the interview, LGBTQ+ Voices: Interview with Alanna Faison

Ms. Alanna Faison, science fiction writer and LGBTQ+ advocate, was interviewed by Luke Wegener on April 2, 2018, in Omaha, Nebraska. Faison shared information about growing up in North Omaha, her early love of sports and writing, coming out at age 15, her parent's evolution in acceptance of her sexuality, meeting and marrying her wife Brittiney, studying Criminal Justice at UNO, working with at-risk youth, and publishing her science fiction novels.
Biographical Sketch

Ms. Alanna Faison, born in Omaha, Nebraska, is a Black lesbian woman, advocate for at-risk youth, LGBTQ+ advocate, and science fiction writer. After graduating from Omaha North High School in 2006, Faison earned her BS in Criminal Justice from UNO in 2010. In 2011, Faison began working as a Juvenile Detention Specialist for the Douglas County Youth Center, where she supports at-risk youth.

As a child, Faison was a voracious reader and developed a passion for writing through short stories and poetry, often creating fantastical worlds filled with supernatural elements. After years of writing privately as a hobby, Faison published her first novels, The Unmaking (2014) and Killer Rayne (2015) as part of the Rayne Whitmore series. In 2017, Faison published her third novel, The Edge of Awakening, as part of her new series, Soul Tamer. Faison’s books center LGBTQ+ women of color, a distinctly underrepresented group in fantasy and science fiction literature. As of August 2018, Faison lives in North Omaha with her wife, Brittiney.
Interview Summary

Ms. Alanna Faison, science fiction writer and LGBTQ+ advocate, was interviewed by Luke Wegener on April 2, 2018, in Omaha, Nebraska. Faison was born in Omaha, Nebraska in the late 1980’s to Allen and Vernita Faison, and grew up in North Omaha as the youngest of three children. As a child, Faison excelled at playing sports like basketball and football, while her father coached sports teams in the community and was a well-known, respected figure. When Faison’s mother wasn’t at work as a nurse, she often read to her daughter, encouraged her to write stories, and was a major force in the development of her passion for literature.

Faison attended Omaha North High School (2002-2006), where she took honors classes, participated in student council, played on the varsity basketball team and graduated in the top 10% of her class with a 4.1 GPA. During high school, Faison was mostly unaware of her sexuality until her friends began pointing out that some of the things she said “were gay,” and she came out at age 15. The majority of Faison’s friends were supportive of her identity, and she received many offers for dates from other girls in the school. Growing up in a Baptist family, Faison’s parents initially struggled to accept her sexuality, but over the years have completely evolved in their understanding of her identity.
In 2010, Faison earned her BS in Criminal Justice from UNO, with minors in Psychology and Sociology. During her childhood, Faison dreamt of becoming a police officer or FBI agent, but after a shift in her views of law enforcement, she found her passion in working with at-risk youth as a Juvenile Detention Specialist at the Douglas County Youth Center.

After years of writing privately as a hobby, Faison published her first novels, The Unmaking (2014) and Killer Rayne (2015) as part of the Rayne Whitmore series. In 2017, Faison published her third novel, The Edge of Awakening, as part of her new series, Soul Tamer. Faison’s books center LGBTQ+ women of color, a distinctly underrepresented group in fantasy and science fiction literature. As of August 2018, Faison lives in North Omaha with her wife, Brittiney.

In this interview, Faison also discusses attempts to create an Omaha Black Pride, why she loves working with at-risk youth, her wife Brittiney’s resilience and strength, and the impact of the Trump administration.
Interview Notes

Trigger warning for domestic violence.

TV can be heard faintly in the background in the last quarter of the interview.

Publisher

University of Nebraska at Omaha Libraries

Date

2018 April 2

Relation

LGBTQ+ Oral History Collection finding aid available at https://archives.nebraska.edu/repositories/4/resources/604

Format

mp3

Language

English

Type

audio

Identifier

UNO-0240_Alanna-Faison

Interviewer

Luke Wegener

Interviewee

Alanna Faison

Duration

01:30:25

Citation

“LGBTQ+ Voices: Interview with Alanna Faison,” Omaha Stories: Oral Histories of Omaha, Nebraska, accessed December 15, 2018, https://omahastories.omeka.net/items/show/244.

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