Happy International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia!
To celebrate, The Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia begins now, and I am thrilled to be taking part this year!
Participating authors are posting on LGBTQ-related topics, and everyone involved is hosting a giveaway of their own. With well over 150 participants, this hop is huge, with tons of opportunities to win books, swag, and whatever other LGBTQ-related prizes bloggers are offering. Make sure you check it out!
For my part, I logged on here to work on a post, and noticed that I had lost a blog follower. At first, I was a little hurt. Then, it got me thinking—should I do something different? Was it the photo of the naked butt I recently posted for the cover of my Love Has No Boundaries story? Was it the fact that I write gay erotic romance in addition to the heterosexual variety and someone doesn’t want to read my blog anymore because of one or the other? Was it my potty mouth? Shit!
I spent some time trying to mentally sift through my recent posts to figure it out, and then a thought occurred to me: it really doesn’t matter. I’m not going to change who I am or what I write. I can’t please all of the people, and those who enjoy my writing, or my potty mouth, or my naked butt pictures, will continue to follow me, or hopefully find me eventually.
I have to enjoy my writing first and foremost. Part of that enjoyment involves the notion that maybe, just maybe, I’m broadening someone else’s horizons with what I write. Whether it’s a story about a gay character, a hardcore environmentalist, a heterosexual female who isn’t shamed by her enjoyment of sex, or simply about a dude with a foreskin—I enjoy shining a light on ideas that I think deserve to be illuminated. Do I want to entertain? Absolutely. But I would love to make people think at the same time.
And that “take it or leave it” attitude is how I imagine people who are homosexual (or transsexual, or bisexual, or …fill in the blank…) feel as well. Or, at least, I want them to feel that way. I strive to have my characters embrace who they are, and say to hell with everyone else. I want them to have that empowering moment eventually, especially if the social ramifications of their sexuality are a factor in their tale.
I want everyone who has ever felt “different” to get to that point and hold onto it for a lifetime—to be proud of who they are, and to enjoy every precious moment on this earth.
So, let the people who aren’t interested unfollow you. Let them go their own way and read their own crap. Hang out with whoever they want. They can’t stop me from posting what I like, liking what I like, or loving who I love. They can’t stop you, either. And there will always be those who believe in you, think the way you think, and respect you for who you are, regardless of whether or not you walk identical paths. Those people are the only ones you want following you anyway.
“May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day. May songbirds serenade you every step along the way. May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that’s always blue. And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.”
For my giveaway, I’m offering a signed paperback of “Written in Flesh.”
For many people, there’s nothing hotter than a man with tattoos. He might get them to commemorate a lost loved one, celebrate an event, or just to look bad-ass, but there’s no doubt the man enjoys showing off his ink. Tribal, classic black and white, or elaborate colored artwork spanning the entire back, each mark has a story, an indelible reminder of the past etched onto the human canvas with care and precision. We’re showcasing four of those stories in “Written in Flesh”.
Key is “Bound by Ink” to a woman he does not—*cannot*—love. He runs to escape his fate, but finds Dax, another fugitive, and learns that some bonds go deeper than skin. In the heyday of the 1980’s, Ian Grothe’s club is about to discover the Next Big Thing, but Ian only has eyes for the lead singer. But as the band’s star rises, Ian gets left behind, his hopes turning to “Powder”.
Then, in “Helotry”, Rontak is an escaped slave who wears the mark of his service beneath his skin. While on the run, he is sheltered by Tréy, an artist with a heavy secret of his own. Finally, Ellis comes to the Sui Generis Protection Agency bearing the “Mark of the Familiar”, magical animal tattoos granting him remarkable shapeshifting abilities. When he feels a True Bond to William, the Wardsman of the agency, he has to convince William of the truth or risk losing his sanctuary, and perhaps even his life.
Comment for a chance to win, and follow my blog for a double entry. 😉 I’ll select a random commenter/follower at the end of the hop, May 27th, and contact that person for mailing details.
Happy hopping and don’t forget to make the rounds to all of the participating blogs–grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and help make some noise for equal rights for every person!
Here’s the link for all of the other authors taking part! http://www.inlinkz.com/wpview.php?id=252494
- International Day Against Homophobia, Bi and Trans-phobia (insidehalton.com)
- Volunteers needed (hinckleyidahoproject.wordpress.com)
- “Take the Pledge” Anti-Homophobia Campaign Launched by Two Fifteen Year Old Straight Teens with the LGBT Network (inphasemag.wordpress.com)
- The struggle continues against homophobia (antiguaobserver.com)
May 17th, 2013 at 11:12 am
Thank you for taking part in the hop!
May 17th, 2013 at 5:36 pm
Thank you for taking part in the hop! A great post indeed. i haven’t read any of your works as yet but once i find a job i will have to fix that
May 17th, 2013 at 6:27 pm
As a blatant follower and unfollower, I have to say I unfollow for different reasons, not interested anymore, streamlining what I follow, or if I’m doing a lot of surfing at work I’ll cut the ones that are NSFW but may go back later and refollow. So I hope no one takes the unfollowing personally. Some of us just flit around all over the place!
cojazzchick AT yahoo DOT com
May 17th, 2013 at 6:46 pm
Shit! Thank you so much! Maybe the Written in Flesh (yum) Anthology will help me develop the stones to finally get a tattoo! I’m following you today, to make up for the one who strayed.
brendurbanist @gmail .com
May 17th, 2013 at 9:41 pm
thank you for participating in this blog hop – your books sounds interesting.
May 18th, 2013 at 4:00 pm
Thank you for your great post. Thanks for participating in the blog hop!
May 18th, 2013 at 9:10 pm
Great that you are participating in the hop. Please count me in. I have signed up to follow you via email. Cheers
May 19th, 2013 at 9:10 am
Karl–thanks for stopping! Don’t forget to include an email address! 🙂
May 19th, 2013 at 12:37 am
Love the post and how you brought it all together with losing a follower. In life we will forever have people against us, and as you said let them go and don’t be hurt by it just go and live on.
May 19th, 2013 at 2:17 pm
Take it or leave it is hard hard work … for you it’s a reader, more or less anonymous – yeah take it or leave it works with strangers. But what if you play take it or leave it with people who are close – maybe even people you won’t be able to avoid. No take it or leave is hard work takes a lot of strength and the ability to build a pretty strong wall around you.
So yeah for strangers go for it … they don’t know you they will be gone soon but close people no you don’t want to go there if you don’t have to.
May 19th, 2013 at 4:31 pm
Thanks for stopping by! I agree that I wouldn’t want to tell close friends, bosses, or family members to appreciate me for who I am or not be involved in my life, especially if I were somehow dependent on them. Hopefully, those people who are closest to us are willing to accept us for who we are–gay, straight, left, right, fat, skinny, crazy, sane, whatever. As an erotica author, I got some strange looks from friends and family members when they found out what I write. I spent time writing and publishing horror, mostly so I was doing something more mainstream, more acceptable, to my family members. I wanted to have books I could show them. But I haven’t written anything non-smutty in a while, and I don’t make apologies for what I do any longer because I love it. It’s a part of me and I don’t want to hide behind something more “normal.” Being true to myself and being happy is my number one goal because at the end of the day, it’s my life and it’s a short one. Of course, if I lived with my parents and they prohibited my writing–or threatened to disown me because of it, I would certainly reconsider, or hide it. Obviously, every person’s situation is unique–if it’s coming out we are talking about (are we talking about that?) then each individual obviously has their own set of circumstances. My hope is that everyone eventually achieves that freedom to be themselves.
May 19th, 2013 at 6:40 pm
Thank you so much for participating in the hop.I would love to win the book.
May 20th, 2013 at 1:43 am
I’m now following your blog via email. Thank you for sharing about why you write and for taking part in the hop.
humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com
May 20th, 2013 at 7:08 am
Thank you for being a part of the blog hop. 🙂
May 20th, 2013 at 12:07 pm
you’re right, sometimes I wonder why certain people follow my blog or whatnot. We must please ourselves first, then our readers. If we don’t enjoy what we write, who will?
May 22nd, 2013 at 3:56 pm
Thank you so much for sharing you wonderful post and participating in this amazing hop!
May 26th, 2013 at 2:52 am
Thanks for sharing and for participating. I’ve had similar things happen, I was upset when I found out I lost a few Twitter and FB followers. I was upset, but then I came to the same conclusion. I’m glad you aren’t letting it bug you anymore. Oh, and I follow your blog. So now you have one more to make up for the lost one 🙂 Thanks for participating!
May 27th, 2013 at 4:44 pm
Thank you for the post.
peggy1984 at live dot com
May 27th, 2013 at 6:36 pm
It couldn’t be your cover because doesn’t everyone like to see a naked butt. Great post! Thank you for taking part in the hop! I follow your blog.
sstrode at scrtc dot com
May 27th, 2013 at 11:31 pm
Thanks for participating in this great hop!
May 28th, 2013 at 3:45 pm
Thanks to everyone who stopped by and supported the HAHAT! After I assigned everyone a number in order of comment (two numbers for a comment and a follow) http://www.random.org has chosen chickie434 as my winner. Off to email her now. Hope to see you all again next year! 🙂