When I say I'm often smacked in the face daily as a gay man with something homophobic, I don't exaggerate. Last night on Twitter I read a tweet by a straight male actor who has made his money and built his fandom playing a gay role on a popular TV series. We, as gay people, gave that to him without asking for anything in return. Yet last night he posted one of the most homophobic things I've ever read, promoting an age old gay stereotype, without even thinking twice about it. I expected better from him, but I'm not shocked either. I've seen it before. I'm not giving out names; I didn't comment on the tweet. But many other gay men did. Whether or not this straight male actor got the message is anyone's guess. My guess is that he's absolutely clueless, sadly.
When I read his tweet my first thought was, Wow. My second thought was at least I don't have to deal with this in m/m romance or gay romance as a writer. I live in a much more open world. And then I went to my facebook inbox and found a private message that said that I'd been the topic of conversation over the weekend and there's a straight woman author out there who thinks I'm not supporting women who write gay romance. I'm not giving out names or links here because I wasn't there and I'm not sure how my name came up. All I know is that it was a "lively" conversation, and she's mistaken about how I feel about women writing gay (or) m/m romance. So I figured I would once again try to clarify that here on the blog.
This woman author clearly hasn't been following me or reading any of my blog posts over the years. I'm on record supporting, blogging about, and even reviewing many straight women who write gay romance. I even spent eight months of my life working part time on an anthology titled, The Women Who Love To Love Gay Romance. Here's just one post I wrote a while back on the subject. In that post I went after someone who was criticizing women who read m/m romance. Now if I were against women reading or writing gay romance or m/m romance would I have written this:
It's called The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance and you can purchase it here for .99. Or, even better, you can find it here at ARe for free. That should tell you all you need to know, or at least it's a good start because these stories come from the heart of the women who read M/M romance. And although there is sex, that's NOT what it's all about.
That's not my only post on the topic, where I openly support women writing and reading m/m-gay romance. I posted this. This link will lead you to a string of posts I did on the topic I love sharing. And this link is one I titled, "In Support of All the Women Writing M/M Fiction," because I really wanted to make my point clear that time. Here's an excerpt:
To be honest, when I first heard that so many straight women were writing (and reading) m/m romances, I was a little surprised. I've been writing lgbt fiction for almost twenty years and it just never occurred to me that straight women would be interested in writing gay romances. But then I read a few of their books and I liked what I was reading. G. A. Hauser dives right into her books with the kind of energy I look for in fiction. And the sweetest love story I read all year was written by a new author, Michele Montgomery.
Personally, I've been extremely annoyed with some of the things I've seen and read about straight women (or anyone who isn't gay) writing m/m fiction, and I wanted to make it clear that I have always supported them, and will continue to support them. After all, as a gay man I've been fighting for equal rights all my life, and I'm certainly not going to discriminate against anyone else.
Now if I were against women writing gay or m/m romance would I have posted all that so long ago? That post dates back to August 2010.
I even work with women...for the most part. My publishers, editors, and cover artists are all women. I like to think they can all back me on this. I've recently made a point of supporting feminists because I don't think we (gay men) do enough of that. So I just don't get why this woman author would make those kinds of comments about me. It doesn't make sense.
But just to make my point even clearer, last spring a gay man wrote a scathing piece about women writing gay-m/m romance and he slammed one of the most popular publishers who release m/m books. I don't work with that publisher, but I found it very shabby and I posted briefly about it here on the blog. I don't have a link to that one because the gay man read my post and he went after me in such a vituperative way that he actually went to goodreads and slammed me with one star ratings for books I know he didn't even read. Once again, I'm not mentioning names because I think there's something fundamentally wrong with someone who does things like that and I feel sorry for them. I took my post about him down because I didn't want to call attention to him or to the vicious way he'd attacked me. In fact, I didn't even know about how he reacted until October...months after it had happened. Which shows you how often I go to goodreads. My summer was spent in Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York with my mom who was diagnosed with bile duct cancer last January.
I will admit that I'm not fond of some cultural appropriation I see happening in discussions about gay fiction in a general sense, and about gay men. I'm not fond of the way some authors are constantly gaming to get attention. But that's not about women writing gay or m/m romance. That's a completely different topic and it has nothing to do with women writing gay-m/m romance. And the only reason I'm posting this now is because I'm going to use this as my "go-to" post in the future the next time someone brings up my name and makes allegations that are completely false. And if you see my name come up and I'm not there, take it all with a grain of proverbial salt. I'm either being misquoted, or someone's having a little vicious fun at my expense.
Side note: I think it's also interesting to point out that I've been the subject of many ridiculous rumors in the past ten years. One made claims I'm really a woman writing with a gay man's pen name. Another said I was part of a group of frat guys writing gay erotica. And the best one so far claimed I'm an alien from another planet. I'm not joking. It comes with the territory, and most are amusing. But it's important to clarify sometimes, too.
Michael C. Hall on Gayface Roles
Playing gayface is nothing new in Hollywood, and it's been done since they started to introduce gay characters in films and TV shows. Mark Ruffalo blew me away when he starred in The Normal Heart. He was brilliant.
Michael C. Hall plays gay roles and he does it very well. And you never see him making stupid comments on twitter or other social media. He claims he's drawn to those roles because 'There is something about people, for one reason or the other, who are marginalized by their circumstance that is compelling to me'
I often wonder if Hall feels the need to explain himself like so many of us do these days.
In any event, you can read more here.
Oprah and Michael Sam
Talk about marginalization due to circumstances and it's hard to find a better example of anyone in the US than Michael Sam. That man is my hero just for that reason alone. He's African American, openly gay, trying to break out in a straight male dominated world, and fighting for his survival every minute of his life. I face discrimination daily as a gay men in the world, and two or three times daily in publishing as an author; Sam faces it three times more so because of his circumstances. If that's not difficult to do, I don't know what is. And I'm glad Oprah's doing this interview with him.
Now teamless, Sam will sit down with Winfrey for an in-depth interview with OWN after the airing of the documentary about the man who was one of the top defensive players in the nation while playing for the University of Missouri.
According to OWN, the documentary follows Sam as he enters the world of professional football and vies for a spot on an NFL team.Cameras get up close and personal as he openly discusses a childhood fraught with tragedy and poverty, as well as his emotional decision to come out as a gay man in the world of pro sports.
The documentary also captures the moment when Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams, the intense media scrutiny that immediately followed, and his struggle to stay focused despite the pressure and chaos.
You can read more here. I'm going to follow up on this as I see it come in. I'm starting to think a worthy crowdfunding project to get underway might be to help Michael Sam raise enough money to buy his own damn football team. I'd contribute to that any day.
Virgin Gay Hook Up Stories
Here's an interesting piece where 15 gay guys discuss their first hook up stories. It's done in a series of photos with captions. I think that's what they're called. The kind you see on Facebook with Grumpy Cat. It's not all what you'd expect.
In any event, here's one:
"I'm ashamed to admit my first gay experience was at a gas station glory hole."
You can see the rest here. There isn't one I can dispute. In fact, I have yet to hear the perfect story of a gay man who waited to have sex for the first time on his wedding night.
For me, unfortunately, it wasn't a dream come true. It was the backseat of a Mercedes in the parking lot of a gay club. At least it wasn't a mini van or a pick up truck. And I survived :)
Chase of a Christmas Dream