In a cyber show of support to the LGBTI community, and in protest to the anti-gay laws in Russia, Google has put up an image in the colors of the rainbow on their homepage. I think this once again shows how online companies and people who are more tech oriented tend to show more support for political and social issues like this. I'm sure somewhere else, someone, is protesting, too. But it's this kind of online support now that gains in popularity and informs people who otherwise might not know what's even happening in Russia right now.
Google has made clear its stance on the Russian anti-gay law marring the Sochi Olympic Games by giving its search page a rainbow makeover — and a link to the part of the Olympic charter that bans "discrimination of any kind."
The law, which prohibits "homosexual propaganda," among other things, has drawn criticism from human rights groups, gay-friendly businesses, and governments...
That term...gay-friendly...really irritates me. NBC should stop using it. This isn't about whether or not you are "gay-friendly." This is about human rights. Period. I don't want to be friends with everyone on earth. I just want my basic rights. And no one has to like me to let me have my rights.
You can read more here.
Free Gay Excerpt: Things His Wife Never Did
I have a very recent short story out in a book by publisher Bruno Gmunder titled, Straight No More. It's not exactly M/M romance, at least not like my novels. But I do think it falls in between the lines and anyone interested in reading M/M romance might find an anthology like this interesting...mainly because M/M romance in some ways came from books like this a long time ago. Yes, it even pre-dates Brokeback Mountain. And many authors like me, both male and female, have been submitting to anthologies like this for many years.
You can read more about the anthology in this post I wrote, with Amazon links. And below is an excerpt from my story. I will also be publishing this alone after a year has passed as a .99 e-book. I agreed to a one year exclusive at the time of publication and I always honor those things. Bruno Gmunder is a great German publisher and I love working with them. Even more than I love self-publishing. It's not always about the money for career writers.
Keep in mind this is a raw version.
From: Things His Wife Never Did
While Landon was in his bedroom getting ready for his date with a new guy he’d recently met, his best friend who lived across the hall walked into his apartment without knocking and asked, “Hey, buddy, can I borrow a bottle of vodka. We’re having Sidney’s mom and dad over for dinner tonight and I just realized we have no vodka.”
Landon glanced into a full length mirror and adjusted the new pair of low-rise skinny jeans he’d purchased for this date. They hugged his slim hips and made his butt round exactly the way he’d been hoping they would. He smiled at his own image and said, “Sure. Take what you need. But why on earth didn’t you buy vodka if you knew your in-laws were coming to dinner.” Although Landon’s best friend, Carl, was happily married, Landon knew these dinners with Sidney’s mom and dad tended to freak Carl out. And that’s because Sidney’s mom and dad tended to be judgmental and they still hadn’t accepted the fact that their son was gay and married to another man.
From the kitchen, Carl said, “The vodka isn’t for them. They don’t drink anything but tea and fucking milk. The fucking vodka is for me. If I don’t slip some booze into my cup of tea I’ll lose my mind.”
Landon smiled and checked his skin tight black V-neck sweater. It hugged his torso and made all those long arduous workouts doing bench presses worthwhile. Then he checked his short dark brown hair and adjusted the little turned up wave above his forehead that was always so tricky to get just right. Before he turned to leave the bedroom, he glanced into the mirror one last time and removed the black leather choker he’d placed around his neck. He’d always been a huge fan of the campy old saying, “A lady should remove one thing before she leaves the house.” In this case, he chose to remove the black choker. He thought it made him look too cheap. As it was his clothes were tighter than usual that night, and he hadn’t bothered to wear any underwear.
When he walked into the large open concept living area of his apartment, he found Carl sitting at a bar stool near the kitchen area sipping vodka right from the bottle. He sent him a glance and asked, “Aren’t they going to miss you over there?” He wanted Carl to leave before his date arrived. He had his reasons. This wasn’t a typical date for Landon.
Carl laughed and said, “They won’t even know I’m gone, trust me. Sidney’s parents only focus on Sidney when they come over, and they pretend I’m nothing more than a roommate from college. I’ve been sucking their son’s dick for the last ten years and they treat me like I’m the hired help. Let me tell you, that can’t get to a person after a while.”
Landon smiled and crossed to a closet near the front door to get a black leather jacket. It was mid-May in New York, but much cooler than normal and he wasn’t certain where he was going to end up that night. He didn’t respond to Carl because he didn’t want to encourage a deep discussion about Sidney’s mom and dad. He knew Carl would start talking…rambling…about them and never stop.
Carl took another vituperative swig of vodka and put the top back on the bottle. He placed it in a white plastic bag to conceal it form his in-laws and crossed to the middle of the living room area, while Landon put on the jacket and looked into a small mirror next to the closet door. “Where are you going tonight?” Carl asked. He spoke with a tone that suggested intrigue. He seemed to be lingering longer than he should have.
Landon smiled and said, “I have a date. Well, sort of a date. I’m sure yet.”
“Oh,” Carl said. “I didn’t know you were seeing anyone new. You never mentioned anyone new to me.” Carl and Sidney had been together for ten years and they’d reached that point of married life where things had settled down to a nice even routine. Even though Carl considered himself happily married, Landon knew he tended to enjoy Landon’s stories about single gay life as if he missed being single himself sometimes.
“I only met him yesterday,” Landon said, crossing to the table near the front door to pick up his keys and his wallet. “I stopped into that garage on 31st Street because I heard a strange noise in my car and he checked it out for me.” Landon did the opposite of many people he knew: instead of living in New Jersey and commuting to Manhattan, he lived in Manhattan and commuted to his corporate sales job in northwest New Jersey. This is why he kept a car in Manhattan and paid a steep monthly fee to a garage around the corner. The black Jeep Wrangler he drove also came in handy during the summer on long weekend excursions to Provincetown.
“A mechanic?” Carl said, leaning forward with his lips parted. “You’re going out with a gay mechanic?”
He said this as if he were saying a dirty word. Landon flung him a backward glance and said, “Yes. I’m going out with a mechanic. But I’m not certain he’s gay. I’m not even sure it’s a date.” He didn’t want to discuss this with Carl, so he tried to change the subject. “What are you serving for dinner tonight?”
“Fuck dinner,” Carl said. He followed Landon to the kitchen where Landon opened a drawer to get a small pack of breath mints. “I want to know more about this so-called date with a mechanic you just met who isn’t even gay.”
Landon popped a breath mint into his mouth and offered Carl one. When Carl refused it, he shoved the mints into his jacket pocket and said, “I didn’t say he wasn’t gay. I said I wasn’t certain he was gay. There’s a difference.” This didn’t even sound rational to him, but he didn’t know how else to explain it.
“If he’s not gay then why did he ask you out on a date?” Carl asked. His face had twisted a little by then, and his head had tilted to the left.
“He didn’t ask me,” Landon said. “I asked him out. Well, I didn’t really ask him out on a date exactly. I asked him if he wanted to check out that new movie with Bradley Cooper. And he said yes before I even knew what had happened.”
While Landon had been explaining, Carl had plopped down on the sofa. “I’m not sure I understand. You stop into a garage to have your car checked and you wind up asking the mechanic out to a movie…the straight mechanic. Why can’t my life be as interesting as yours?”
“It’s wasn’t that simple,” Landon said. He picked up his phone to make sure the battery was fully charged. “We started talking. He just moved to Manhattan and he’s recently divorced. He’s from Brooklyn and his ex-wife and two kids still live there. He joked around about not knowing anyone in Manhattan and I suggested we check out this new Bradley Cooper movie tonight. I was only trying to be nice. I didn’t even think he heard me. So it’s not really a date.”
Carl didn’t seem convinced with this truncated version of the story. He rubbed his jaw and sent Landon an amused look. “Then why are your pants so tight I can see the outline of your dick?”
“You cannot,” Landon said, glancing down between his legs. They were tighter than usual, but not obscene. He was glad he’d removed the black choker.
Carl stood from the sofa and smiled. “I’m curious about one thing,” he said. “Why on earth would you ask a total stranger out to a movie without even knowing if he’s gay or not?”
Before Landon could answer him, the door opened and a tall man in his late twenties with wide shoulders walked into the living room area. Carl had left the door ajar, and the man knocked on the open door gently and smiled.
“Oh, now I see why,” Carl said. He gazed across the room at the mechanic and smiled so wide Landon could see his back teeth. “There’s no need to explain anything else to me, Landon.”
The mechanic in the doorway seemed genuinely perplexed. “I hope I’m not too early,” he said. “I would have knocked but the door was open.”
Landon smiled. “No, man. You’re fine. Come in and I’ll introduce you to my neighbor form across the hall.”
As the mechanic stepped into the living room area, Carl seemed to follow each step he took. And Landon knew why his friend couldn’t stop looking. Landon’s new date stood over six feet tall, had a stocky muscular body, and a strong square jawline. On top of all that, he had the thick neck of a professional football player and deep throaty voice to match. His hands were larger than most men, his biceps popped through his jacket whenever he moved his arms. And he had that rare shade of sandy ash blond hair that matched his eyebrows and the hair on his forearms. He even walked like a football player, with long strides and heavy steps.
“This is Carl Luft,” Landon said, gesturing to Carl. Then he smiled at Carl. “And this is Frank Bertoli. Carl lives across the hall with his husband of ten years.”
When Carl extended his arm to shake Frank’s big strong hand, Landon turned away for a second and smiled. It almost looked as though Carl swooned and curtsied. He took Frank’s hand, shook it gently, and gazed into his deep blue eyes. “It’s nice to meet you, Frank.”
For the first time in the five years Landon had known Carl, he’d never seen him at a loss for words. But that night he just stood there gaping at Frank’s handsome face without saying anything. For a moment, Landon worried Carl might drool. If Frank noticed anything unusual he didn’t let on. But Landon had a feeling Frank was one of those guys who didn’t realize the power of his own good looks, which would have made it impossible for him to grasp the magnitude of Carl’s obnoxious stares. And if Frank did realize Carl’s reaction to his good looks, he didn’t seem to care all that much.