Friday, February 10, 2012

Okay, I'm Finally Admitting the Truth!!


This past week was difficult for a lot of people who write same sex fiction, so I wanted to end the week with a different kind of post, something more personal. On top of everything else going on, another author posted about me and not only attacked me personally in a defamatory way but also questioned my identity again. No names, no links. I don't like to give people like that any attention. And, I have absolutely nothing to hide.

But I did decide to come clean on something I haven't mentioned before on this blog. First, everything I have written on the blog is true. My brother, who is also gay, does own this design firm in Manhattan. My mom and dad are retired therapists. The photo of me (and others like it on the web) is really me. I do live here.And I really do have a very good friend who has been a literary agent in New York for over forty years.

But there is one thing I haven't discussed on the blog and this is mainly because I'm a very private person. When I'm finished working and I go out into the world, I don't even tell other people what I do. I just say I work in publishing and leave it at that. I've been getting published for twenty years and I've learned how to separate my work from my private life. (Which is also why my publisher, whom I love dearly, often gets frustrated with me about making appearances at events and book signings in New York.)

The main reason I'm admitting the truth today and talking about this is because I post about same sex marriage and same sex relationships and it often sounds like hearsay. The truth is that I've been in a twenty year monogamous relationship with the same man since we were both in our early twenties.

We met in 1992, his name is Tony, and we've shared every single aspect of our lives since the day we met. There was no big wedding with gifts and checks. Every single thing we own we bought on our own through hard work, and working together as a couple.

For the first fifteen years of our relationship, Tony worked in corporate America and travelled the world. While he was in Germany, France, and Anywhere, USA, I was running my own art gallery in New Hope, and working part time in publishing as a writer and editor. They were rough years because I hated being alone, but work always got me through it. The down time in my gallery afforded me the ability to continue in publishing and pursue a career as a writer. Tony and I started, built, and eventually sold a very successful business between 1998 and 2004. We've bought and sold property together since our first two bedroom town house in 1992. And we've been living in the same private home just outside New Hope for the past ten years.

So when I write about the more technical aspects of same sex relationships, it's not just hearsay. I know what it's like to hire an attorney and have legal papers drawn up that cover everything from legal power of attorney to wills. I also know what it's like to not only fear the loss and devastation of losing my partner on an emotional level (I can't even think about it for too long...after 911, a day Tony was in the air on his way to Boston, I never stopped worrying), I also fear the inheritance taxes either Tony or I will be forced to pay when something does happen to either one of us. There are many things gay couples can do to protect themselves; we're constantly learning and trying to find out what's new.

Tony and I both come from large families. And we've been lucky enough to have been embraced by both our families. I love Tony's family as much as I love my own, and I know he feels the same way about mine. Ironically, Tony and I have been together longer than any of our siblings. Unfortunately, we been forced to witness the pain when a few of our siblings had to experience bad divorces. We buried Tony's mother in 2002 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, we supported my mom through an arduous ordeal with bladder cancer in 1998, and we buried our eighteen year old cat, Nittany, two years ago. On Thanksgiving, which we usually host here at the house, we have anywhere from forty to sixty guests at one time. If we ever decide to scale back, I have no idea how we'll deal with this.

I'd like to make it clear that the point of this post isn't to brag or boast about being openly gay and in a long term relationship. I think by now all the straight women authors who know me know that I support them completely and that I truly believe anyone should be able to write anything they want to write. In fact, one of the reasons why I love Michelle Montgomery's work so much is because of the "Tony and Ryan" book she first wrote. It really did remind me of Tony and me.

The main point of this post is to come clean so I can continue to write about all the legal and emotional aspects of gay life the same way I've been doing it since I began this blog. And this time it won't sound like hearsay. It's coming from my experience and from my heart.

20 comments:

lauradeth said...

Thank you for sharing.

I lost my Grandma to Pancreatic cancer, fortunately it was short battle after many ignored symptoms and she's no longer in pain. Then my Great Grandpa to Colon cancer.

On a happier note, I hope you & Tony have plenty more years of happiness together :) xx

ryan field said...

It's a terrible disease. Tony's mother was given six months; she only lasted five.

Thanks!!

lauradeth said...

She was also given six; she died 7 weeks later. I think we all saw the signs but didn't want to believe it.

Portia de Moncur said...

Ryan,

I've obviously popped into the middle of a larger conversation, but for the record, I adore you as a man, and as a writer. Your generousity with your time and talent has been a blessing. Sorry that some feel the need to invade your privacy and/or disparage your character.

You are a wonderful person and I'm glad that we've been able to connect.

Portia

ryan field said...

@lauradeth...there's a place called the Palette Fund that raises money and awareness, as well as offering diet plans and information. I met Rand a couple of times...he lived a few miles away from me...http://www.thepalettefund.org/

ryan field said...

Portia...thanks ;)

Michele_lm said...

Reading this...brought tears of happiness for you and Tony...and for the loss of the ones you so dearly love...Also, I truly didn't know for sure that your husband's name was Tony! That was a shock to me. And it made me smile really big and a few more tears.

I will say that these people who attack you everytime we turn around are simply jealous and clearly have nothing else to do with their lives. You and Tony have built a wonderful life. Hard work, communication, team work, and love made it possible. And ya know...It's still no one's business. YOU have a right to a private life NO matter what those no life haters say.
I've been with the same man for 27 years, we have three kids, an adopted son, and soon will have five grandkids. IS that anyone's business? No. What is their business is a lot more simple. When is the next story going to be ready?

Ryan, you are and have been a main source of my inspiration as a writer. Your opinions matter a lot to me, now even more so...You keep doing what you do, as you have been, and forgetabout those haters who can't seem to find a life of their own.

Hugs!! and yes..LOVES too...

ryan field said...

Thanks, Michele. This means a lot to me. I know you didn't know anything about Tony's name. When I first noticed it I got a chill because it was so unexpected.

Congrats on 27 years!! You must have been very, very young when you married :))

Leaundra said...

Thanks it's great getting to know more about you but I hate that you felt like you had to write this. I will tell you every time I've talked to you, you have been nothing but nice and a true sweetheart. Sorry about your honey's mom and I hope your moms doing much better and so sorry about your cat I have to admit it freaks me out worrying about my dog Misty she's over 12 and has no issues now(knock on wood) but it really still freaks me out about something happening. Keep on doing what you do. You have a fan in me!

Em Woods said...

Okay, I'm a serious lurker. But for this, I have to say two things...

(1) What a shame there was even a "need" for this. Privacy is a treasured commodity and for anyone to make you feel as though you had to reveal your family life is awful. Though, on a purely selfish note, I love your story. It's wonderful to hear of other couples making it work in long term relationships. It feels like there are so few these days, regardless of the genders.

(2) Michele must have married right out of the crib, I tell ya, 'cause she's just a spring chicken! *hugs Michele*

Michele_lm said...

LOL..I met him when I was 18 and you know what they say? Love at first sight? We've been going strong since. And LOTS of bumps and deep holes and the like...but we're doing it.

I'm smiling over you getting a chill when you saw the title...you were one of the first who read it as well..seems like forever ago now. Tony and Ryan are still going strong...they're roles in the other L.O. books are happening quite often. I can't wait for you to read them!!

ryan field said...

@Leaundra...Thanks!!...I know how it is because we have a 12 year old poodle and he just had fifteen teeth removed this week because a few were infected. He's been in such pain it kills me. But he's starting to come around again.

ryan field said...

EM...I'm kind of glad I wrote this post. I've been wanting to do it for a while now anyway. I felt weird posting about all the marriage stuff and keeping my own life so quiet.

ryan field said...

"I can't wait for you to read them!!"

I'm looking forward to it!!

Leaundra said...

Awww bless your poodle's heart but I'm so glad he's gettiing better and since we're confessing relationships, lol It will be 25 years for me married to my husband in April we met at 18 and married and have grown up together so far. I think no matter who is in a relationship to be with someone that long is well great. You make it to the 20 year mark is great because marriage is not always easy. If the person was trying to make you look bad they just made you look even greater than we knew of you;-)

ryan field said...

Congrats on your silver anniversary...and Thanks!!

Brita Addams said...

Hi Ryan,

We're strangers, but I wanted to say that there's been too much pressure put on authors to reveal more of themselves than they are willing to reveal and I have to wonder where it will stop.

Recently, I've seen friends hurt by demands that they be outed with revelations about themselves, their lives, and their sexuality. When do these demands stop and how much do we owe the reading public?

You handled this with dignity. I'm happy for you and Tony and I wish you every happiness for many, many years to come.

Tons of respect coming your way.

Best,
Brita Addams

ryan field said...

I totally agree with you. The problem is when people start making *false* accusations online that cross into defamation, and these accusations never go away. What goes online remains online forever. Few people understand the magnitude of this. I took screen shots of the post that questioned my identity this week for future reference...just in case.

Frankly, I sometimes think there's too much information out there. I remember a time in publishing when authors used pen names and false identities and no one cared. In fact, it was expected.

Anonymous said...

Ryan,

Life sucks at times. Believe me I know! Like you, I'm in a very long term relationship with a man I met in Reading in 1974. We married in 2008, and went through all the legal crap a year ago. We're getting old now, and soon we'll be separated, but only for a blink of an eye. I happy for you and wonder countless times, why you appeared to be single. I never believed it. I knew you had to have the love of a good man and vice-versa.

I love you Ryan and I guess now would be a good time to stop flirting with you! lol

Hugs,
John Simpson

ryan field said...

Thanks for commenting, John. I value the friendship we've made ...and a little flirting never hurt anyone :)