Sunday, March 29, 2015

Convicted Gay Killers Marry; Indiana Boycotts; Steve Grand on Gay Singers In the Closet; Jane Litte/Jen Frederick Fallout

Convicted Gay Killers Marry

The first gay UK couple to marry while in prison, serving life sentences for murder, are Mikhail Gallatinov and Marc Goodwin.

According to The Independent, the newlyweds fell in love during the time they spent in prison.

The 20-minute ceremony was held in front of a few prisoners, family, and four invited officers.

You can see more here. It's hard for me to comment because of the nature of their convictions, but straight couples do this all the time from what I hear.

Indiana Boycotts

This is a tough one for me because I was talking with a friend on Twitter the other day who lives in Indiana. She's straight and she doesn't discriminate against anyone. From what she told me, most people in Indiana don't discriminate either and they are just as frustrated and angry as the rest of the country over what their Governor did.

But some kind of a statement has to be made, and if everyone pulls together and boycotts the entire state I'm hoping it will help the people who live there, too...eventually. I personally don't have anything against anyone who lives in Indiana.

In any event, San Francisco...the entire city...is now boycotting Indiana:

Mayor Ed Lee (D) said on Thursday that he objects to Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act that allows businesses in the state to cite religious beliefs as a legal defense for businesses to refuse service to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

Lee said in a statement that the city will not use taxpayer money to fund any city employees' trips to the Midwestern state.

I also read on Twitter that the online company, Angie's List, is boycotting Indiana as well.

You can read more here. 

Steve Grand on Gay Singers In the Closet

I didn't know this one. There's a country singer who came out as Josey Greenwell, and after about a year, he went back into the closet and changed his professional name to Nate Gree. He's now trying to market himself and brand himself to straight audiences. I'm sure a lot of you are wondering why would he do that? How could he not come out during this wonderful time for gays?

The answer is simple. Even though gay marriage is legal in many places, and even though gay rights are moving forward, the discrimination still outweighs the support. I get it and see it every day. If it's not outright discrimination it's total dismissal.

Steve Grand:

'It saddens me because I feel his decision to not be out and open in what appears to be actually in some ways going back into the closet professionally, I see it as a reflection on the sad state where people feel like they can’t be out,' Grand tells The Daily Beast.

It is sad. I agree with Grand. However, it is a reality for anyone in any of the arts. Gay people not coming from a place of privilege don't get the same opportunities straight people coming from places of privilege get.

'I feel bad for him, that he for whatever reason doesn’t feel he can’t be welcomed as an artist and he’s branding himself as a country artist but he doesn’t feel like that he can make that part of his work.'
Grand's approach has been completely different.

Again, I agree with Grand. I feel bad for him, too. But I also understand him and I don't fault him for doing what he has to do to survive. I don't think there's a gay actor, singer, or even writer who hasn't thought about this at one time or another.  

'I think I wanted to be out because I felt it sets a good example,' he says. 'We need as many people out as possible. I felt comfortable doing that and I’m all about that for myself and I encourage other people to do the same.'

My biggest hope for Steve Grand is that he breaks the proverbial glass ceiling as an openly gay singer and he gets the support from the LGBT community he needs, as well as support from the mainstream. It's still too soon to tell. Grand has a lot on his side, and I'm hoping his new album does very well. But to be completely honest, I'm waiting to see how things work out for him. I know all too well how they work out for gay authors. Ricky Martin is out now, but he wasn't back when millions and millions were buying his albums. Martin is in a much better position than a young openly gay singer who wants to keep it real.

So go out and support Steve Grand. Buy his album. You'll like it. And not just because he's gay. He's very good. 

Of Green he says: 'I don’t know his story, what his journey’s been like, so I don’t want to make any judgement other than it’s a reflection of the world that he believes in and it’s a sad reflection for me.'

I think that's a perfect way to put it. No one knows what his journey is like. But I do know what a gay journey is like in general. I have that experience now. And if you're not straight, white and privileged, it's not going to be an easy journey.

You can check out Grand's statements here.  

Jane Litte/Jen Frederick Fallout

I put this at the bottom of the post because it feels so creepy posting about it I'd rather not focus on it for too long. I'm not sitting in judgement either. Most of you reading this right now know who Jane/Jen is and if you don't there are plenty of links out there with a simple search for Jane Litte and Jen Frederick.

The more I read about this the more discouraging it gets. The good, innocent people who have been hurt by all this are what bother me the most. My heart just breaks for them.

I read this comment, in part, on a romance review blog:

Im hurt that I respected that line more than the person who drew it.

It will be days and weeks and months before we tease out all the implications of this. Trust is fragile. I’m hurt for many indie authors who were so gracious, so generous. Who welcome newbies with open arms and open their careers to share data, strategies, information… everything. I’m hurt that future newbies might not find those arms and doors so open.

You can read the rest of the comment here, plus there are others discussing the Jane/Jen disclosure. Frankly, I can't say I'm hurt or surprised. It's what I would have expected. Past is, indeed, prologue.

But my heart does go out to those who were hurt by this. I hope they can trust again. It's not all bad. You only come across this kind of behavior once in a while in publishing. 

The Way We ALMOST Were

A Gay Parody  












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