Monday, June 30, 2014

Big Brother 16 Homophobic & Racist; 14 Loving Moments World Pride; Jonah Sweeet of Delancey Street by Ryan Field

Big Brother 16 Homophobic & Racist

Last summer I posted about the vicious racism some Big Brother house guests showed during the season. Before that, I posted about homophobic comments made by another Big Brother contestant, Jeff Schroeder. At least the house guests last summer were called on their racism. Jeff Schroeder to this day has never been questioned or confronted once about his homophobic rant about a Harry Potter character being gay. And once again, there's a new contestant on Big Brother 16, Caleb Reynolds, who has allegedly left both homophobic and racist posts on Instagram. He is a self-proclaimed "metrosexual" even though I don't know anyone who even uses that word anymore. I'm quoting below, verbatim, so be prepared to read one of the most offensive racist comments I've ever seen about gays and the President of the US.

Caleb Reynolds, a self-described 'metrosexual cowboy' from Kentucky, reportedly wrote on Instagram after the 2012 reelection of US President Barack Obama: 'You believe in murder? You agree with fags? I guess so but I don't agree with murdering a innocent baby which he clearly doesn't mind. Nothin has changed in these last four years. Your just a democrat that wants that Muslim monkey in office. I'm done with you, your dismissed.'

As usual, someone deleted the post, but not before someone else was smart enough to get screen shots.

You can read more here.

If this is, in fact, true, they should cut him from the show for those comments. I'm starting to wonder about the whole Big Brother vetting process. Did they know about this ahead of time and put him on just to create controversy? Or are they just idiots?

Either way, it's a dangerous game. People will get tired of this and they will stop watching. There are plenty of people out there who are not homophobic or racist who deserve a chance at a half a million dollars.

14 Loving Moments World Pride

In a more positive article, there's a list of 14 loving moments from World Pride. This year it was hosted in Canada.

Hosted in Toronto, the city attracted hundreds of thousands of attendees to the main festivities at the weekend.

Downtown was transformed with rainbow colors, and if that wasn’t enough, a double rainbow shined down from the sky in the early evening.

You can check them out here.

It looks as if the entire city...even police cars...were adorned in rainbows.

Jonah Sweet of Delancey Street
By Ryan Field

RIP Meshach Taylor; Hillary Clinton Rape Culture; New York to End AIDS

RIP Meshach Taylor

Designing Women star, Meshach Taylor, who played Anthony Bouvier from the late 80's into the early 90's recently passed away. He died of cancer, at his LA home with his wife and family, at the age of 67.

DW has always been a huge hit with the gay male segment of the LGBTI community and I always thought a lot of that had to do with the character dynamics between Taylor and Delta Burke. There's even an interesting little note in this article that mentions how one DW show was developed after a real life incident with Burke and Taylor.

"We were doing some promotional work in Lubbock, Texas, and somehow Delta Burke and I got booked into the same hotel suite," he said. They alerted their respective significant others to the mix-up, then muddled through with the shared accommodations.

"When we got back I told Linda, and she put it into a show: We got stranded at a motel during a blizzard and ended up in the same bed!"

Interesting side note: The article doesn't mention this, but back in the 80's Designing Women's rival on TV was The Golden Girls (also a huge hit with gay men). I believe it was the pilot episode of The Golden Girls where Meshach Taylor made a brief appearance as a police officer. It lasted all of a few seconds. I think this was before Designing Women aired. Syndicated reruns of both television shows are still airing today, and both still have a huge following. In DW, Taylor's role as "Anthony" often revolved around racial issues during a time when these racial issues weren't always discussed aloud. It was way ahead of its time.

You can read more here about Taylor's other credits.  

Hillary Clinton Rape Culture

As it sometimes happens with blog posts, this one seems to be following a pattern today. There's a slight connection to the late Meshach Taylor and Hillary Clinton through the creators of the TV show Designing Women, Linda Bloodworth- Thomason and Harry Thomason. The husband and wife team were well known for several television productions in the 1980's, and were very close friends with Bill and Hillary Clinton at the time. There are even several rather self-indulgent episodes of Designing Women where Bill Clinton is of which is when he was Governor of Arkansas and no one in the US really even knew his name. In a way, Bloodworth-Thomason did with Bill Clinton what Oprah Winfrey did with President Obama. They used their fame and high profile platforms to help introduce men who would become the next presidents of the United States.

In any event, I had to search a little for the link to this next article about Hillary Clinton and rape culture. I wanted to find an article that didn't have a slant. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Every piece is slanted in one way or the other. Most of the articles on this topic are from conservative sources that can't wait to expose the information, and the one I'm linking to right now is from a more liberal source that thinks conservatives are making too much out of this. Typical mainstream journalism for today.

Tapes have surfaced that allegedly discuss when Hillary Clinton defended an alleged child rapist in the 1970's. According to this article, Clinton defended the alleged rapist even though she thought he was guilty at the time. And she won.

Not one single article mentioned rape culture or its association to society as a whole. Of course Clinton's job as an attorney was to represent and defend her client to the best of her ability. Unfortunately, this makes us all wonder about her integrity, especially with respect to women's rights.

This article said something that floored me:

“I have been informed that the complainant is emotionally unstable,’’ Clinton wrote in the affidavit, “with a tendency to seek out older men and to engage in fantasizing.” The document, filed with the Washington County, Arkansas court on July 28, 1975, argued for a psychiatric evaluation for the victim.

“I have also been informed that she has in the past made false accusations about persons, claiming they had attacked her body,’’ Clinton wrote. “Also that she exhibits an unusual stubbornness and temper when she does not get her way.”

You can read more here.

Here's more about rape culture:

Examples of behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, sexual objectification, trivializing rape, denial of widespread rape, or refusing to acknowledge the harm of certain forms of sexual violence that do not conform to certain stereotypes of stranger or violent rape.

New York to End AIDS

At Gay Pride, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, announced a new initiative to end AIDS...or control the spread of HIV. It's an interesting concept, with an odd name..."Bending the Curve." I swear there's no pun intended.

In any event, here are a few points to cover:

The proposition has three parts: 1) identifying those with HIV who are still undiagnosed and connecting them with healthcare, 2) making certain those who are diagnosed have access to anti-HIV therapy, and 3) 'providing access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for high-risk persons to keep them HIV negative.'

I have to read more about this. I'm not fond of #3. And, how will they go about getting all this personal information? More government intervention?

Does this mean that because I'm a gay man I'll be required to take Truvada? Truvada is the prophylaxis they're talking about. It's used as an HIV prevention drug in some cases now.  I posted about that before.

Here's a quote from my post:

Unfortunately, I discovered that taking Truvada gave me too many new things to feel. Whatever short-term side effects I could get, I did. Less than a week out, I started to feel a deep sense of fatigue every day around 6 p.m. It was something I could power through and eventually shake, but it made me feel like dropping to the floor and passing out instead of going to the gym or attending movie screenings. I had perpetual muscle soreness, especially in my legs, as if I had squatted way more than I should have the day before. My skin got worse. I developed a disgusting, raised rash on my torso that my dermatologist told me was the result of a nickel allergy (I had been wearing the culprit belt for years). I was gassy.
You can read more here about New York's quest to end AIDS, and my post is here.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

"Pool Boys" by Brandon Baker; 31 Gay Londoners; Learn Spanish Jean Paul Zapata; Second Chance by Ryan Field

"Pool Boys" by Brandon Baker

I'm going to be kind right now and keep my review of an article short and simple. I could go into detail in my quest to disabuse young gay man-about-town, Brandon Baker, of a few misconceptions he has about gay men and gay resorts, but it's usually easier to get right to the point. I'm talking about a harsh article/review/commentary Brendan Baker wrote for Philly Magazine about a gay resort in New Hope, PA where I live.

Here's one of the nastier quotes from the piece:

At a glance, the Pool’s dynamics this sunny afternoon can be outlined in Doppler waves. Behold, Wave No. 1: a Speedo-clad brigade of 50-plusers (the older crowd here is, shall we say, European in this sense: There’s no body shame, even when there should be) in the outer circles of the 150 sprawling chaise lounges, minding their own business as they flip over like pancakes to tan their leathery rumps (one of which pokes through a jock strap).

Aside from the fact that this over-written article seems to be promoting body shame at a time when many people, gay or straight, are trying to break away from that tired Madison Ave. concept of the perfect air-brushed body we've all been trained to believe is the only way to look, the rest of this article takes on the same snarky tone. But seriously? Who promotes body shame? What kind of person does this?

Just one more quote, and only because it's such a broad generalization about gay men:

RECALL, IF YOU WILL, Jersey Shore’s cringe-worthy, beach-tee-ubiquitous “GTL” (translation: “Gym, Tan, Laundry”) motto for Shore-goers. It has always applied to gay men. While everyone else spends winter hibernating with Ben & Jerry’s and Netflix, we spend it working the gym circuit with our trainers, getting creative with kale recipes and force-feeding our bodies protein so as to be pool-ready when we hit the doorstep on Memorial Day.

Well. There you are. I guess I must be missing something as a gay man, because I have never once spent more than a moment wondering about beaches, pools, and baking in the sun to get skin cancer. I know some do, but not all of us. And it's generalizations like this that promote the worst images of the LGBTI community, images that feed bad TV shows and films. In fact, I don't do pools...ever. I don't have the time or the patience.

This article is the worst kind of review out there because it focuses on all the most exaggerated aspects of a business or product...or even a group. In this case, Brendan Baker take quotes from people who no one in the town of New Hope takes very seriously and makes it appear as if this is actually what The Raven Resort is like all the time. It's really just a quiet LGBTI resort with an excellent restaurant where attorneys and real estate brokers meet for lunch on weekdays, both straight and gay. I've been there for memorial services, weddings, and many other events totally unrelated to what I can only label as "swimming pool culture." Last night Tony and I had dinner with the original owner of The Raven. The Raven was called Le Camp in the early days, long before my time.

You can read more. And I highly suggest you take into consideration this commentary by Brandon Baker is only a sensationalized account focused on the worst stereotypes that mentions nothing about the more important aspects of the LGBTI community in New Hope. The thing that bothers me the most about it is that while many of us are fighting for equality and trying to deal with people like Theresa Santai-Gaffney who wants to appeal gay marriage in PA, a skinny gay man with a sense of entitlement is slamming a strong part of the gay community with vituperative commentaries. If it hadn't been for those doughy middle aged men Brandon Baker wouldn't be able to get married now. But then again, a sense of entitlement never went well with respect.

It's really more of an opinion piece so I can't say it's bad journalism. But I do think there must have been a sale on cute, pithy adjectives that day and you might not want to read it on a full stomach.

Side note: this was my best impression of practicing self-control.

 31 Gay Londoners

Now here's an article with some heart. 31 gay Londoners have complied a list of what freedom, equality, and having protection means to them. These people make me proud.

For Pride In London, LGBTI people and their allies were asked to interpret the theme #FreedomTo in their own incredible, individual way.

From celebs like Tom Daley to equality campaigners like Paris Lees, from leaders of gay campaigning groups like Ruth Hunt to everyday people, they did not disappoint.

You can check some of them out here.

There are LGBTI people of all ages celebrating this. I didn't see any standing next to a pool.

Learn Spanish: Jean Paul Zapata

One of my favorite young gay male journalists, Jean Paul Zapata, put together a quick piece about learning Spanish, and how the language is not the same all over.

That’s the beauty of the language. Spain’s Spanish is different to Spanish spoken in Central and South America Every country has a different accent, a different slang, a different flavor. ]

This guide is going to be based on Latin American Spanish, but the terms are quite basic and are so understandable in most, if not all countries.

You can read more here, where there's a list of ways to pronounce words in case you're heading to any pride events in a Spanish speaking country. The comment section adds a few more. I find it interesting. I speak book Italian fluently, but very little Spanish.

Jean Paul Zapata is a travel editor and reporter for and I've posted about him several times before.

Second Chance
by Ryan Field

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Gay Prides; M/M Rom Kerfuffle; Will Young Homphobia; Chase of a Lifetime by Ryan Field

Gay Prides

Even though June is winding down, gay pride parades are still in full swing. This AOL article mentions a sort of Gay Pride in Singapore, with a hugely colorful photo. This one in particular draws thousands of gay rights activists, which in turn has Christian activists asking for a ban on the event.

Previous Pink Dot rallies have been held without much opposition. But as they grew in numbers from less than 3,000 people when the first event was held in 2009 to more than 20,000 last year, so did their disapproval. Organizers said a record 26,000 people showed up Saturday.

26,000 is a lot of people and more support than ever before. This is interesting because the March for anti-gay march...on Washington recently garnered a handful of people compared to most gay pride events.

You can read more here. The article goes on to discuss more opposition. It's the same old tired argument that gays are trying to persuade people, when in reality all gays are trying to do is get equal rights. If we had them were wouldn't NEED gay pride events like this.

I also find it interesting that this article came from a mainstream source, not a gay news publication. I always support gay news first, however, I like seeing these things make mainstream publications.

M/M Rom Kerfuffle

I don't know how else to title this part of the post. I didn't want to use the title "Women Who Write M/M Romance" because I think that's insulting at this women writers and the genre. So I'm keeping it simple. And there was a bit of a kerfuffle recently on a blog where a few fairly well known authors were interviewed about why they like to write M/M Romance. As far as I can tell, the post is only a fraction of the full interview, with short quotes.

Evidently, the short quotes posted from these M/M Romance authors didn't resonate well (for lack of a better way to phrase that) with some people and the comment thread expanded into a lengthy discussion that covered several interesting topics.

I interviewed three groups of m/m romance authors at the Romantic Times convention in May, asking the authors primarily the same questions. I let the discussions go in any direction the authors wanted with the idea that the mix of authors would put a different spin and focus on the topic.

One author said this:

Amy began by saying that “love is redemptive” and if any group needs the redemptive qualities of love, it’s gay men.

I don't know about anyone else, but I can't argue with that comment. I did, however, find some of the others questionable.

However, I tend to look at these things from a blogger's POV. And as a blogger who started out ten years ago interviewing gay bloggers for bestgayblogs, one of my goals was to make sure the interviews had a higher quality/integrity of sorts. I wasn't actually protecting the bloggers I was interviewing, but if I thought they said something that might be questionable I usually asked them to rethink their comments before I published the interview. If they saw nothing wrong with what they said, I published it. I never censored or edited quotes, but I did feel a certain responsibility to the people I was interviewing. Maybe I was too kind.

In any event, you can read more here. As I said, the comment thread is interesting because the discussion gets into a lot of topics I think most writers care about while writing fiction, especially these days. My only other comment is that sometimes I think we should focus more on entertaining and telling stories than analyzing everything social or political to the last detail. And, if all authors and all fiction went without a little controversy things would be about as interesting as an afternoon with a sociology professor. Some day I'll post my thoughts on THAT topic, and how I once had to suffer through the fresh hells of the worst sociology course in the history of higher education. And, the most mundane professor to ever open her big, boring sociological mouth (smile).

Will Young Homophobia

There aren't many details about this one, but singer UK Will Young was allegedly the victim of some kind of homophobia on the day London Gay Pride begins.

Would you believe on the day of Gay Pride I have been the victim of homophobia. I am SO mad. #pride2014,’ tweeted the singer.

His followers ran to support him with more tweets.

Frankly, we're all victims of homophobia in one way or another almost daily. Think Theresa Santai-Gaffney of the small town Pennsylvania Clerk fame who recently tried to appeal gay marriage by going over the Republican Governor's head. Oh yes, good old St. Theresa of the Santai-Gaffney has been promoting homophobia by denying gays equal rights with her son-in-law, Hank J. Clarke, all week. She recently censored her facebook page with a lengthy message about how much vitriol she's received. Well, forgive me for not feeling sorry for her. For every single action there is a reaction. And when you try to deprive people of their basic civil rights you deserve everything you get and more.

There's more here about Will Young.

Chase of a Lifetime
By Ryan Field

Friday, June 27, 2014

So Many Men; Shia LaBeouf Fag Word; The Fag Word Again: Gary Oldman; Cowboy In Love by Ryan Field

So Many Men

Singer, Sinitta, is making a comeback and re-launching her mother's (Miquel Brown) hit single, So Many Men So Little Time, and will be singing it at London's Pride Festival. It's her first release in about 20 years.

It was long overdue to get back in the studio. So Many Men just seemed like the perfect choice, it is a kind of song to break the ice and I'm looking forward to singing it for the first time at London Pride.

 'I'm also working on an album of new material and now that I'm back the creative juices are flowing.'

There's something about that song. It's like Dancing Queen. The instant it begins the dance floor fills, the shirts come off, and the arms go up in the air.

You can read more here. I think she has a hit.

Shia LaBeouf Fag Word

Actor Shia LaBeouf allegedly went a little batshit crazy at a cabaret club and was arrested for creating a disturbance in several different ways.

He allegedly spat at the cops and said this:

‘I have millions and millions of dollars and attorneys,’ he allegedly added. ‘I’m going to ruin your career! Fag!’

I don't have a clue as to who this man is and don't care. I didn't even feel like spelling his name right. But I do find it interesting every time I see how simple it is for straight males to use this word so offhandedly. It's part of their culture to a certain extent. And they don't even realize how offensive it actually is.

You can read more here.

The Fag Word Again: Gary Oldman

Speaking of the fag word, actor Gary Oldman recently called himself an asshole for defending both Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin for the vituperative shit they've said in the past. Baldwin is the one who used the fag word. Oldman did this in what sounds like an epic ass-kiss-fest on Jimmy Kimmel Live because there's an article in Playboy Magazine where he allegedly went on a bonus rant about how things are too politically correct nowadays.

It's called aggressive Damage Control.

Following a storm of backlash, Oldman appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Wednesday and said: 'I said some things that were poorly considered. And once I had seen it in print, I could see that it was offensive, insensitive, pernicious and ill-informed...From my heart, I am profoundly, profoundly sorry...I should be an example and an inspiration, and I'm an a-hole. And I'm 56, and I should know better.'

What can you say to that? I actually believe him, because when you're coming from a place of such privilege (being a straight white male in the US) it's hard to understand how words like fag gut people to the deepest core. He claimed he made a huge mistake with his comments and he stepped out of his area of expertise.

You can read more here.

Cowboy In Love
by Ryan Field

The State of Marriage; FIFA Jock Underwear Investigation; FREE Gay Excerpt: My Fair Laddie by Ryan Field

The State of Marriage

There's a book out by Ted Olson and David Boies titled, Redeeming the Dream: The Case For Marriage Equality. This web site to which I'm linking claims the book is "ahistorical" with respect to gay marriage and that it exaggerates their role in legalizing gay marriage in the US. I'm mentioning this because the focus of this part of the post is about Vermont, Supreme Court Justice Beth Robinson, and the upcoming documentary The State of Marriage. My general focus is to show that the fight for same sex marriage has been a collaboration.

But first here's something from the article about the two who have allegedly decided to rewrite gay marriage history. I haven't read the book and don't intend to read it.

But here’s the problem. Like Becker’s book, the Olson/Boies book reveals a profound ignorance of the decades of strategy, advocacy, and perseverance that made gay marriage in America possible. Its authors make the surprisingly callow mistake of participating in an important cause, seeing success around them, and arrogantly assuming they did it all by themselves. And in doing so, they, like Becker, make it harder for the world to understand what’s truly involved in successful social change.

The article goes on to talk about how these two authors did it all by themselves and those who helped were supporting THEM. It's a fascinating piece and one I think is important to read because history is often rewritten to suit the needs of the most self-serving.

And people like Supreme Court Justice Beth Robinson who married Tony and me last January have been working to legalize both domestic partnership and same sex marriage long before most people even knew it was an issue, socially or politically. The fight to legalize gay marriage has always been, and continues to be, a collaboration of many different people and factors and no one person should be credited directly.

In any event, I think the upcoming documentary, The State of Marriage, that Tony and I were lucky enough to be part of will show a great deal of how same sex marriage began in the US and how it's evolved, historically speaking. I've posted about this many times and you can read more here. Best of all, The State of Marriage had a crowdfunding campaign with Indiegogo and they reached their goal. You can read more about that here. There's also a video clip and we're at the end.

Jock Underwear Investigation

When I posted about the audience chanting gay slurs at a World Cup event last week I had no idea this is how things would turn out. But I guess I shouldn't be all that surprised either. FIFA doesn't seem to think the anti-gay chants are important enough to investigate, so they are going to worry about something far more important. They will be focused on an investigation that deals with a jock wearing the wrong kind of underwear. That's right. Underwear.

Brazilian soccer star Neymar was spotted wearing a pair of Blue Man boxers, featuring his country’s yellow and green flag against Cameroon on Monday.

But the only problem is that Blue Man is not a FIFA World Cup sponsor.

According to Brazilian media reports, the 22-year-old soccer superstar is now being investigated by his choice of underwear with FIFA claiming it violates its disciplinary code.

You can read more here to find out how FIFA ruled on chanting the word "Puto." There's also a photo of the underwear and a jock.

Once again, sports trumps equality and discrimination.

FREE Gay Excerpt My Fair Laddie by Ryan Field

Here's an unedited excerpt from a book I wrote titled, My Fair Laddie. It's not fanfic. It's a gay interpretation/parody of a classic storyline called Pygmalion that's been reinvented many times by many other people. I just happened to reinvent the gay version, with highly erotic gay scenes, for people who enjoy reading gay stories. As far as I know, that was never done before I did it. Think of the way they are planning to interpret the old movie, Gay Father of the Bride.

There's also a huge e-book sale happening over at that I didn't know about until I looked for the link below. Prices have been greatly slashed. My .99 e-books are selling for .69. I feel like Second Hand Rose :)

My Fair Laddie by Ryan Field

Harlan Henderson threw two huge parties a year. One was in late springtime, where his historic Greek revival, located on an elegant Savannah square, was filled with fresh exotic flowers and the swimming pool overflowed with handsome young men in skimpy bathing suits. The other fell at Christmastime, where there was a fully decorated Christmas tree in every room and a lit candle placed in the middle of every windowsill.

Harlan came from an old, respected Savannah family. Aside from his Aunt Margaret who spent most of her time in New York, he was the only one left. 

            The spring party always sported a different theme. One year it was roses. The entire house had been filled with roses in every size, shade, and variety. Another year is was purple ribbons, with aubergine silk flowing from every window, sconce, and chandelier.  But the year Harlan chose a pomegranate theme was probably the springtime party Harlan would remember, in detail, for the rest of his life. And that’s because it was the party that would change his life in ways he never could have predicted.

            Though most of the pomegranate theme party hadn’t been much different from his other spring parties, the last fifteen minutes made Harlan’s eyes cross and his face turn red. While he was standing at the front door saying goodnight to the last of his guests, he moved a large cache pot filled with pomegranates away from the wall to show one of his guests the cache pot was an important Asian antique that had been in his family for years. Only he forgot to move it back against the wall when he was finished explaining, and an awkward young waiter carrying a tray of empty martini glasses tripped over it on his way from the dining room to the kitchen. The waiter lurched forward; the martini tray flew up in the air. Then the waiter pressed both palms to Harlan’s back and the tray landed on Harlan’s most important guest of the evening: a female senator from Georgia. Though for the most part the martini glasses had been empty, there had been remnants of pomegranate martini in a few of them.

            When Harlan looked up and saw his distinguished guest had two small spots of watered down pomegranate martini on her beige cocktail dress, he clenched his fists and glared at the young waiter. He didn’t bother to notice the waiter had spilled more pomegranate martini on his own white shirt, and he didn’t bother to ask if the young waiter had hurt himself during the fall.

            Harlan turned to the senator and said, “I’m so sorry. Please send me the bill for the dress. I can’t seem to find good help anywhere these days.” Then he sent the young waiter a seething glance. Harlan had seen this guy working around the house. Usually, he was working outside with the other landscapers, but Harlan had never actually met him.

            The senator wiped the drops of pomegranate with her palm and smiled at the waiter. “I’m fine,” she said. “I’m sure my dry cleaner can remove them. Don’t give it a second thought.”

            The waiter regained his balance and stepped forward. He appeared large and awkward and gangly; his pants too short and too tight and his white shirt so large the shoulder seams drooped down his arm. “I’m sorry ma’am. I been on my feet all night and didn’t see them red fruits down there in that there big ole pot. I know they wasn’t there before. Someone must a moved’em.” He looked up at Harlan and then pointed. “Them things is dangerous. Ya’ll ought to get’em out of the way before a person falls and breaks somethin important.”

            Harlan’s eyes bugged and his jaw dropped. He kicked the cache pot into the wall and said, “Them things is only dangerous when there are idiots in the room.” He wasn’t shouting, but he mocked the way the young waiter spoke. This guy had the worst, backwater drawl Harlan had ever heard. It brought chills to his spine and pain to his eardrums. And Harlan knew all about dialects. He’d been studying two distinct aspects of dialect all of his adult life: regional and social class. He not only had a doctorate in applied linguistics, he’d also written text books and given lectures about the differences between regional and social class dialects. And this waiter, as far as he was concerned, had the worst combined regional and lower class dialect he’d ever heard in the entire country. There was something unusual about it that didn’t make sense.

            The senator smiled and shook Harlan’s hand. She pointed to a section of her dress, down near the hem, where the drops of pomegranate martini had landed and said, “Look, no harm done. You can hardly see anything now.”

            “I’m so sorry ma’am,” the waiter said. “I like to die when that tray went over, I did.”

            Harlan smiled, thanked the senator for attending his party, and watched her walk down the front path. By the time Harlan turned around, his closest academic associate, Dr. Fritz Gordon, an older professor who had once been Harlan’s teacher, was grinning at him.

            “Calm down, old boy,” Fritz said. “No harm done. I saw it from across the hall. The lad tripped over the fish bowl because it was in the middle of the room. It wasn’t his fault.”

            “See,” the waiter said. “I told ya it weren’t my fault.” Then he smiled at Fritz and said, “Thanks all the same, but I ain’t no lad. Just turned twenty last week.”

            Fritz smiled and bowed. “My apologies then, young man.”  

            But Harlan wasn’t smiling. He raised an eyebrow and glared at the waiter who was now down on the floor, on his hands and knees, picking up pomegranates two at a time and placing them back in the cache pot every which way.

            The boy looked up and said, “Ya’ll are getting all worked up over nuthin when the lady already went and said them little drops weren’t botherin her. You couldn’t hardly seen’em.”

            Harlan took a quick breath. In all the years he’d been studying and writing text books and papers about regional and social class dialect, he’d never met anyone who spoke as poorly as this young man. His drawl was so thick it was difficult to understand most of his sentences. And there was an unusual hint of British cockney mixed in with the drawl. He dropped all g’s, usually ignored h’s, misused most verbs, and didn’t have a clue when it came to the differences between words like them and those. It was almost as if he were speaking a completely different language.

            “She was being gracious, you little fool,” Harlan said. “The woman is a senator and her campaign depends on large donations from people like me. She is probably in her car, right now, cursing me, not to mention my party. I’ve never been so mortified.”

            The young guy plopped the last pomegranate into the cache pot and stood up. He put his hands on his hips and frowned. “Who you callin a fool?  I like to die when them funny lookin apples damn near knocked me into the next room. If ya’ll axes me, ya’ll are the fool for leavin them there things out in plain sight where a person could kill hisself.”

            This guy didn’t just use improper grammar and speak with a drawl. He mispronounced words, too. When he pronounced sight as sot and ask as ax, Harlan rolled his eyes and looked up at the ceiling for help. “Where on earth did you go to school? I’d like to meet your first grade teacher and club her. I’ve never heard such a bastardization of the English language. You, my dear boy, are the reason refined and educated southern people get a bad reputation all the time. You make the rest of us look bad.”

              The waiter blinked. Though he seemed clueless, he knew Harlan was insulting him. “I’m a good kid, I am,” he said. “Never got messed up with no drugs and don’t even drink no beer likes the rest a them kids I know. Ya’ll got some nerve talkin to me as if I’m some kinda trash.”

Thursday, June 26, 2014

True Blood Character Left Because of Gay Part; Brendan Fehr on Gay Kiss; Homophobic Hollywood

True Blood Character Left Because of Gay Part

I just finished an e-mail discussion with a straight male friend who wondered why gay people always seem to be on a crusade. Unfortunately, he caught me at the wrong time and I told him it's easy to use words like crusade in a glib way if you're coming from a place of his case the world of straight white men. And this article I'm linking to now seems to speak loudly on this topic. Allegedly, according to some sources, actor Luke Grimes left the hit series, True Blood, when he learned his character would be getting a gay storyline. In another article I'm linking to below Grimes' representative claims the allegations are false and he didn't leave for that reason. But even that article mentions alleged creative differences, without detail.

Here's a quote from the piece that claims he did leave because of a gay storyline:

According to BuzzFeed, “Grimes objected to the first few scripts he received [of season 7], once it became clear that his character would become romantically involved with Lafayette. He countered that he would be willing to play the role if Lafayette were attracted to him, but not if the attraction was mutual. He also did not want to do any same-sex kissing or sex scenes. The writers were unwilling to change the scripts on his behalf.”

Grimes’ publicist says that his departure had to do with scheduling and cited several projects to BuzzFeed like his role in Fifty Shades of Grey. In addition, the publicist said Grimes did not know what was in the scripts prior to leaving the show.

It's an interesting side note that this article mentions Fifty Shades of Grey, the movie. If you recall, Matt Bomer was up for the lead and the fact that an openly gay man was in the running to play Christian stirred up shitstorms of epic proportions in some places. Frankly, the more I read about Fifty Shades the less inclined I am to watch it when it's released.

Here's the piece that says Grimes did not back out of True Blood because of the gay storyline:

The “Taken 2” star joined the supernatural series in the sixth season and unexpectedly quit the role of vampire James in December, blaming creative differences with the show’s producers over his character’s direction.

He was replaced by Nathan Parsons and in the series seven premiere, which aired on Sunday, it appears James is heading towards a romantic relationship with gay character Lafayette.

Reports suggested the plot prompted Grimes’ departure, but his representative has now denied the claims, insisting the exit “had nothing to do with storylines, which he had not been privy to at the time of that posting.”

First, to be completely honest, I have followed True Blood since season one and I didn't even know they'd replaced Grimes. I never thought he was anything more than just another face with long hair. Second, in this post my focal point is NOT about why Grimes left the show. I don't care that much about him. It's more general... about the topic of a straight actor playing a gayface, or a gay actor playing a straight role.

Evidently, Hollywood has a long way to go in spite of all their concern for the LGBTI community.

Brendan Fehr on Gayface Kiss

In an even more insulting article about a straight actor playing gayface, Brendan Fehr is talking about how hard it was for him to play a gay doctor and kiss a man. This isn't the first time Brendan Fehr has played gayface. He got paid well to play gayface in something else I've never bothered to watch. But this time he actually had to kiss another man, which left him feeling uncomfortable. I think Rock Hudson must roll over in his grave at least a few times a day. You never heard HIM complaining about kissing Doris Day. Ah, but he wasn't able to be openly gay.

“It was the challenge of portraying Drew. I think it was the risks involved as well. To play a homosexual on network television, what are the risks? There’s a whole bunch of them. What are the rewards? Not as many. I just felt like I had something to offer.”

He played a "homosexual." Yes, he used the H word. He fails to mention how well paid he is for doing this.

Here's what he had to say on kissing a guy:

“It was uncomfortable for me. In Episode 106, my boyfriend comes and I don’t like kissing guys, it doesn’t do anything for me. It’s really uncomfortable, but you gotta get past that, his story is bigger than that. The emotion behind that is so much bigger than that. I was scared, petrified in a lot of ways, but I wanted to push myself and see if I could do it.”

Aside from the fact an actor isn't supposed to get aroused from kissing anyone during a scene, he doesn't seem concerned that there are thousands of gay actors in Hollywood who would have killed to get this part. But, aside from the fact that hundreds of famous closeted gay actors have been kissing women for many years and not commenting on that in public, Fehr is honored to play gayface.

Well, we're honored you are doing that, Mr. Fehr. Thanks for all of your support. But you might want to rethink a few things the next time you're giving an interview that may or may not have something directly to do with your meal ticket. The fact that you are playing gayface is probably the best thing that has happened in your life to date. And think about the gay actors who are not privileged enough to play straight roles and aren't lucky enough to get freaked out by kissing women...or for that matter they aren't even playing gay roles.

You can read more here.

Homophobic Hollywood

I really needed something to back me up with the first two articles I mentioned above. And Queerty came through for me once again with this piece about how homophobic Hollywood really can be sometimes. The article begins with a comment about how some will tell you there's no need for gay pride so much has changed for the LGBTI community. And, even though I didn't realize it until after I wrote the post above, Queerty talks about Brendan Fehr, too.

Ask any struggling actor if they think there are any rewards to taking a gay role on network television. I expect they’d be able to find one or two.

To his credit, Fehr did end up taking the role, stepping outside his comfort zone along the way. And that’s great. But he clings to the idea that he’s doing something risky, dangerous and brave.

The article also mentions Grimes and True Blood. You can read more here. At least I know I'm not the only one who thinks this way.

But what this article doesn't mention is something that bothers me the most. When will be see more openly gay actors playing straight roles? That's when equality is really going to be put to the test.

Anderson Cooper on Vagina; Davey Wavey Gay Men On Vagina; Starbucks Pride; Gay Men Writing Straight Romance

Anderson Cooper On Vagina

There's been a story floating around the interwebz about a guy who got stuck in a giant vagina sculpture in Germany and it took multiple teams of rescue workers to extract him from the big vagina. Evidently, it seems he went in feet first and wound up trapped. Why he wanted to enter the vagina hasn't been disclosed. When openly gay journalist, Anderson Cooper, reported this story to his viewers he had a little trouble remaining as stoic as usual, to the point where he seemed to find it difficult to actually say vagina aloud.

"I am certainly no expert on the topic of...vaginas," he finally said after a minor giggle fit.

"But I know enough to know that you're not supposed to-- really?" he said, pausing and laughing before omitting the word completely, " go in feet first."

On the third try, however, Cooper was able to say the word without laughing or pausing.

Cooper also apologized early on, stating that he was not in anyway laughing at women or vagina so that those who don't understand the relationship between gay men and the vagina didn't go berserk on his Twitter feed.

You can read more here, and watch Cooper trying to get through this segment without falling off his chair. There's also a photo of the man-eating vagina sculpture.

Davey Wavey Gay Men On Vagina

Of course those with a sense of humor will find this hysterical. Those without a sense of humor, will shudder and cross their legs. But it's really all about the way the gay men naturally react to the question, "What do you think about vaginas?" that really makes this interesting.

The best way to describe their expressions is a cross between confusion and panic.

Starbucks Pride

In a show of support to the LGBTI community, Starbucks raised the rainbow flag at corporate headquarters during Pride week in Seattle.

“We are thrilled that Starbucks is showing their support for the LGBT community in this very big, very public way,” Adam McRoberts, Communications Director for Seattle Pride, said in an email statement. “The flag flying over their headquarters will welcome thousands of visitors coming to Seattle to celebrate Pride this week and is a testament to the support Starbucks has shown the LGBT community over the years.”

There's more here.

I wonder what NOM thinks of this. Or Theresa Santai-Gaffney, the woman who went up against the Republican governor of Pennsylvania recently to appeal gay marriage after the governor decided NOT to file an appeal.

Gay Men Writing Straight Romance

Update: I wanted to update this so no one gets the wrong idea. This is more about openly gay authors writing in other genres and the obstacles they face with agents and publishers. I have always believed that a writer should be able to write in any genre regardless of sex or sexual orientation. But when gay authors try to cross over into the straight markets they aren't taken as seriously. And it's not just in publishing. It's in films, too. The same thing happens to women in certain genres that straight men dominate.

In 2009 I was asked to write a straight romance novel for an event on The Home Shopping Network called Escape to Romance. I had a rough deadline...a write a 60,000 word hetero vampire romance, and I decided to use the pen name, Malia Sutton at the time. I don't think I've posted about this book much anywhere. This pen name doesn't even have an author page on Amazon because I never intended to do much else with it. I was paid a flat fee for this project and I felt awkward promoting this with a pen name. Plus, gay authors do not make the cross over into hetero romance easily. It's interesting because straight women seem to have no problem writing gay romances or straight romances, but a gay man will crash and burn if he doesn't use a pen name and a fake identity writing straight romance.

This has nothing to do with writing ability. I'm on record supporting all the women writing gay romances, and there are plenty of them making money on gay content these days. But when a gay man, with his name and identity, decides to write hetero romances it's a very different story. It's a lot like the double standard in Hollywood right now, where it's fine for straight actors to play gayface as often as they want, but you rarely see openly gay actors playing straight leading roles in feature films. I personally think this is because we (gay men) haven't found our voices yet because we're still too busy trying to get equal rights in the most basic sense. Many of us are still dealing with baggage from the past. Many haven't even come out yet. So it's easy to take advantage of us right now.

But I think it's time gay men started to get a little more aggressive about all this, because if straight people can capitalize on gay content there should be no reason why openly gay men can't capitalize on straight content. We just need to stop being so afraid to go up against THEM.

Ironically, I feel closer to this book and the characters in this book than to many of my gay romances. And the odds are readers will ignore the book because I'm a gay author and this isn't gay romance. It doesn't shock me anymore.

Loving Daylight by Ryan Field (Malia Sutton)

From the Amazon page...

"...a great, enjoyable read.... Malia writes with a simple style that keeps the story moving fast and the reader interested in what's coming next." -- Dear Critique

Loving Daylight is the breathtakingly romantic debut by the talented Malia Sutton!

Vampire Avenir LaFramboise is over one hundred years old, but he still carries a torch for his first love. When he travels back to Mt. Desert Island, Maine, to meet her descendant, he is swept away by the stunning Sienna. But Sienna's family hides a chilling secret, and if Avenir wants to win her heart, he must help her discover the truth...

With heart-rending romance and steamy encounters, this vampire tale will leave you hungry for more by this talented new author!

This is a link to the Goodreads page where Loving Daylight received better reviews than I ever imagined it would. I did absolutely nothing at all to promote it. It was released and a forgot all about it. I can promise you that if I had written this as Ryan Field these reviews would have been much different. There might not have been any at all.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fed Court Gay Marriage; High School Boy Gay; Gays Welcomed by Royalty

Fed Court Gay Marriage

In another step closer to legal same sex marriage a Federal Appeals Court in Denver ruled that Gays have a constitutional right to marry.

The three-judge panel in Denver ruled 2-1 that states cannot deprive people of the fundamental right to marry simply because they choose a partner of the same sex.

The court dismissed as "wholly illogical" the notion that allowing gays to wed could somehow undermine traditional marriage.
Of course this ruling is on hold pending appeal. But it's still one more victory.
High School Boy Gay
This is what I've been hoping to see happen more often. A junior in high school, Jack L. Thorne, came out of the closet to family and in public on social media. He's also the winner of three state swimming championships in Colorado.
'Nothing has changed, I'm still the same Jack, the same Jack you race, the same Jack who you carpool with, the same Jack screaming for you on the side of the pool,' he writes.
The interesting thing about this I think is important to point out is that most LGBTI people knew they were gay in high school, or years earlier.
I'm glad it's getting better, I'm glad that kids like Jack are coming out, and I'm hoping this makes life easier for this generation of LGBTI people than it was for mine. We took the shit, and we took it from small town low rent asswipes like Theresa Santai-Gaffney.  
Gays Welcomed by Royalty
The king and queen of Spain recently welcomed gay leaders at an official reception. The royals believe the work these gay leaders have done should be recognized.
In all, King Felipe and Queen Letizia invited 350 organizations and charities involved with social causes to royal El Pardo palace. Among them were Boti Garcia, president of Spain's State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals, and José María Núñez-Blanco, president of the Triangle Foundation.
These royals are new monarchs who just took the throne. But that may or may not be relevant. Queen Elizabeth has also shown a great deal of support to the LBGTI community as well.

Digital Pub Truths? Tony Horwitz; Naked Gay Florist; Putin's Gay Laws; Second Chance by Ryan Field

Digital Pub Truths? Tony Horwitz

There's an op-ed piece in The New York Times by Tony Horwitz that discusses a few "truths" about digital publishing and how authors and publishers are dealing with all the changes in publishing. But you have to take into consideration this is his truth and his experience, and it's important to mention he can't speak for all digital authors. In other words, he's coming from a place of privilege where only a select few ever made money writing in trad publishing.

This was the beginning of his first bad experience in digital publishing:

The Global Mail’s backer had had a bad financial setback at his firm and evidently decided he could no longer afford a folly like quality journalism. He’d abruptly pulled the plug just hours before I filed my copy, making The Global Mail a dead letter.

It happens. But his literary agent got him another deal and saved the day...even though he wasn't too thrilled with the $2,000 advance. Then he went into fast forward mode because everything works ten times faster in digital publishing. There are no summer Fridays or huge stretches of time between signing a contract and releasing a digital book. (The truth is that digital publishing isn't moving as fast as it was five years ago. Experienced digital publishers (and authors) are realizing they can slow the pace down a little and that there's no rush to the finish with every project.)

Unfortunately, Horwitz was surprised the new digital publisher wasn't going to do much in the way of promoting him. He had to learn how to do this himself. This is where he talks about gaming the system. All publishers think in terms of making money. It's their bottom line and this gaming the system thing isn't something new. There have always been questions about what makes a New York Times bestseller. And there have always been reasons why some books get put up front in brick and mortar bookshops. In any event, it's really up to the author to choose how he or she will promote a book. I have never once had a single family member of friend leave a review for me. Not once. I have never had a digital publisher ask me to do this either. I know some do this. I don't work with them.

Horwitz was expecting a marketing team with his digital publisher:

 Except there didn’t seem to be a “team,” just an outside publicist who was busy on other jobs. She circulated a hasty press release and wrote a glowing review of “Boom” on Amazon, the main retailer of Byliner titles. Byliner urged me to “game the system” by soliciting more such “reviews” from friends and relatives, and issued a few tweets touting “Boom.” Then silence.

I have never once depended on the "marketing" person with a digital publisher. Like most "marketing" people they are a complete waste of time. The best thing THEY do is learn how to bullshit well enough to keep their jobs. So Horwitz started his own promoting and wound up on a bestseller list. If you think this is a good thing, don't get too excited for him. Unfortunately once again, when he found out just how many books he'd sold to become a bestseller he was NOT too thrilled.

Then this other digital publisher went bust.

The next day I received an email that began “Dear Byliner author.” My publisher was “undergoing some changes.” As in death throes. “Every new venture requires a leap of faith, and we thank you for taking that leap with us.”

The rest of the article talks about how wonderful things were in the old days and how much he's looking forward to writing his next book in hard copy. It sounds as if he's finished with digital publishing. But he did happen to get the $15,000 from the first publisher. He also talks about how writers could make a living in the old days, and that's the part I find most least with fiction. It rings of privilege of the past where only a select few who had agents and were lucky enough to get advances. And luck did, indeed, play a big part of it.

As The Global Mail unraveled and its owner shut off funds, my editor managed to salvage the $15,000 I’d been promised long ago.

You can read more here.

I have been commenting on digital publishing on this blog since I started getting into digital publishing back in the early part of this century. For authors like me in a niche market I've found digital publishing to be refreshing and engaging. And I do come from a background of trad publishing where it took a year to get a book released from start to finish. I know the old days and frankly I don't miss them a bit.

I also have an issue with a career writer who just now seems to be discovering digital publishing. As a writer who has always wanted to remain relevant, I don't get that. I was told in 1999 that if I didn't start learning how to submit to trad publishers with electronic files (I didn't know how to do that back then) I would become a dinosaur. I had no choice. I had to learn, and I also knew back then I had to start from the bottom and figure out what digital publishing was all about.

So part of me really feels bad for Horwitz, and another part of me wants to tell him to stop crying the blues and put on his big boy pants. His story, in a way, reminds me of a newspaper writer I know who is now selling used cars because he didn't see the changes coming in journalism...or didn't want to see them.

You can check out Horwitz's book here on Amazon. That's another thing. Instead of complaining, digital authors are usually the first to help each other with a shout.

Naked Gay Florist

A woman in Scotland has been accused of circulating naughty naked photos of a gay florist in an alleged effort to smear his reputation and promote gay hate.

But it's important to note that the florist actually posed for the nude photo willingly in what looks to be an attempt to promote his new flower shop with his ass, figuratively speaking of course. But in using his ass to peddle his pansies he wound up on circulars that were allegedly distributed all over the neighborhood with gay hate comments. How evil is that?

Fiona Meikle, 54, is alleged to have delivered the leaflets. She denies the charge, according to Paisley Evening Times.

In acting in the manner described, it is claimed, she behaved in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause fear and alarm.

You can read more here. There's a photo of the florist, but not the nude one. (I looked but couldn't find it anywhere.)

The comments are interesting, too.

Putin's Gay Laws

Ever since anti-gay propaganda laws were passed in Russia the criticism has been relentless. And it's been global. Vladimir Putin seems to be rethinking a few of those laws and he's now talking about improving them.

‘There are stereotypes that exist regarding Russia, including on issues of sexual minorities, to a large extent…[are] a fictional idea,’ he said.

 ‘Remember, there are many other countries that are far worse on homosexuality, and other manifestations of the so-called sexual orientation.

 ‘But we will look to the future and will improve legislation in this area.’

 Of course there is some speculation about whether or not the anti-gay laws will become harsher, or if Russia will actually improve the quality of life there for LGBTI people. Anyone who speaks another language fluently understands that a lot can get lost in the most simple translation.

You can read more here. It should be interesting to see what happens next.

Second Chance by Ryan Field

Amazon Review:

Ahh what I wouldn't give for a second chance in some cases :!
Lovely story.


In this first novella of the Second Chance series, an older gay man who has lived a closeted life for ninety-two years is presented with choices one last time. Who hasn't wondered how things might have turned out if only they'd made one or two different choices in their lives? Who hasn't contemplated what it would be like for the chance to do things all over again a different way, if only that were possible?

When ninety-two year old Andy Walker shuffles out to his beloved vegetable garden one morning in June, he gets the surprise of his life. He winds up in the last place he could ever imagine, with the man of his dreams telling him there's still time for a second chance and there's still time for him to choose a different path than the one he's already followed...but only if he's willing to take the risk and revisit one of the most pivotal and painful moments of his life. There are no guarantees or promises of happily-ever-after, and no one can make Andy's choices for him. And if he agrees to return to the year 1950 when he was still young and strong and handsome, only he will know whether or not it's possible to alter the course of his entire life thanks to one unusual encounter with a stranger named Chip.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bill Clinton Gay Rights; James Franco's Ass; Chase of a Dream by Ryan Field

Bill Clinton Gay Rights

President Clinton recently made a few comments about gay rights that support Hillary Clinton's most recent stand. For one thing he's now actively supporting overturning DOMA, The Defense of Marriage Act, that he signed during his administration in 1996. I remember how devastating that was back then. Tony and I had only been together four years and it didn't give us much the sense that we would see any drastic changes in the way gay people were treated.

Mr. Clinton’s remarks will be included in a special program to honor gay rights activists that will be shown on Thursday on Logo TV, a cable channel aimed at gay and lesbian viewers. The special, called “Trailblazers,” will mark the first anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the marriage act, and will pay tribute to two figures in the case: Roberta A. Kaplan, a lawyer, and Edith Windsor, the plaintiff.
“As marriage equality spreads across the states, the number of people impacted by these two amazing women will only continue to grow,” Mr. Clinton said, according to a transcript of his comments.
I know President Clinton has taken a lot of criticism over the years for DOMA, but I also remember what the times were like in 1996. He didn't have much of a choice, and it was clear at the time he didn't believe in the law and didn't want to sign it. He basically did what he had to do, at that time.
You can read more here.
James Franco's Naked Ass
There's an event for HIV research called Broadway Bares where Broadway dancers do strip acts, and the event raises a lot of money for this hugely important cause. This week James Franco showed up at the event, pulled down his pants, and bared his ass for the crowd.
James Franco made an appearance at the annual "Broadway Bares: Rock Hard!" event on Sunday, and the star continued to play into the mainstream queer fascination surrounding his body of work -- and his body.

Franco proved to be the highlight of the evening, with season six "RuPaul's Drag Race" winner Bianca Del Rio ripping the actor's pants down to reveal his bare ass set in a black jockstrap.

You can read more here, and there's a photo of Franco's ass. Not bad for a guy his age...considering his competition that night. I'm not sure I'd drop my pants in a roomful of Broadway dancers with rock solid butts and I run five miles every morning!!

Chase of a Dream by Ryan Field

In this 59,000 word unabridged version of the sequel to "Chase of a Lifetime" that contains all of the original erotic scenes, Jim Darling finally finds the happiness he's been chasing for so long. He and Len Mayfield have settled into a quiet routine in their small newly renovated home in the Hollywood Hills, and they enjoy every minute they spend together raising Len's toddler grandson, Culum Mayfied.

And then one evening Len's grown son, Cain Mayfield, from his former marriage shows up in Los Angeles and asks if he can live with them while he's trying to figure out his life. Though Len isn't too thrilled about his grown son moving in, Jim can't refuse him. Cain was Jim's best friend in Texas at one time, and he's also Culum's irresponsible dad.

Amazon Customer Review:

i really enjoyed this book. i would recommend this book and the 1st book in this series and i would suggest reading the 1st book for the backstory. the main characters are very likeable and so are the side characters. the ending made me cry
There is also an abridged version of this book. I removed the sex scenes, as an experiment, and you can read that version here. It's the same story, but without the sex scenes. From what I've gathered through e-mails from readers, they prefer the unabridged version. I only wanted to show that an erotic romance could be self-censored without ruining the story.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sexy Naked Men From the 70's; iPhone Photo Awards; Rick Santorum's Gay Rant; The Buckhampton Country Club and the Rogue Prince by Ryan Field

Sexy Naked Men From the 70's

Here's a link to an article about sexy naked men from the 1970's. I honestly didn't recognize one single name, however, the interesting thing is that they all have the 70's look even though they aren't wearing clothing from the 70's. I guess it's the hair.

Australian women’s magazine Cleo has been known for its naked centrefolds, amongst other things, since the 1970s. Here are some of the very best. With best meaning, well, you’ll see…

You can read more here and view a nice handful of photos, no pun intended.

I found the guy named George Loring one of the most attractive.

iPhone Photo Awards

I got this link from my butch straight male friend, Jordan. For all his straightness, he actually has good taste in photos and art. That stereotype that makes the claim that all gay men have great taste is a HUGE myth. I know plenty of gay men who are just as tacky and cheesy as some straight men...if not more so in some cases.

On 10 June 2014 the iPhone Photography Awards (IPPAWARDS) announced the winners of their 7th Annual Contest in the Photographers of the Year and following seventeen categories: Animals, Architecture, Children, Flowers, Food, Landscape, Lifestyle, Nature, News/Events, Others, People, Seasons, Still Life, Sunset, Travel and Trees.

This year’s winning entries were submitted by photographers from 17 countries. You can view all of the winning photographers here.

You can read more and see the photos here.

For most of my life I never bothered with photos of any kind...taking them. I never had the patience or the inclination. But when I discovered my iPhone (and iPad) and the quality of the photos I could get, I couldn't stop taking pictures.

Rick Santorum's Gay Rant

Those who follow this blog know that I rarely ever post anything about people like the failed presidential candidate, Rick Santorum. I always think, why bother? He lost the senatorial race in Pennsylvania, too, in 2006. Most recently he's become known as the guy who is opposed to gay marriage and he thinks of it as a fight to the finish...or good against evil.

 “You now see situations with bakers and florists and photographers who are being forced to provide services for same-sex weddings or get fined, lose their business.

Frankly, I wouldn't ask anyone who opposed gay marriage to create a wedding cake design for me because I wouldn't trust their taste or their skills. The odds are if they are that hooded about gay marriage and equal rights (and that dumb about running a profitable business) their cakes are most likely going to resemble Entenmanns...basic fare. But more than that, the very same rules and laws that require bakers to make cakes for all US citizens regardless of sexual orientation, sex, race, or religion are the very same laws that keep gay people from refusing to do business with right wing Christian zealots. Gay people in business can't refuse anyone either. We can't even set up gay only senior retirement communities because that would be discrimination. It has to be called Gay Friendly. But good old Ricky doesn't seem to think we have to follow the law either.

“They are fighting, they are fighting, they are not backing away, they are coming at us.

“How many people do we have saying we’ve already lost the marriage issue? We haven’t even lost yet! We have to understand that if we don’t engage with this war, we will lose this war.”

We are fighting? What does THAT mean? I spent the day in New York at Memorial Sloan Kettering dealing with a family member with cancer...and Tony will be doing that on Thursday with another family member with breast cancer. We've worked hard all our lives, never once asked for a handout, and have always paid our fair share of taxes just like everyone else. All we're asking for is equal rights...basic rights everyone in the US is supposed to have. We've never marched in a pride event, held up a picket sign, or challenged anything on a grand scale.

This guy sounds as if he's gone unhinged. As for the winning or losing, that was decided by SCOTUS last June and since that time, state by state, the federal laws have defined what it constitutional or not with regard to same sex marriage bans much the same way they defined women voting almost 100 years ago.

You can read more about Ricky here.

And this article talks about Rick Santorum's wife's alleged affair with an abortion doctor when she was in her early 20's and the doctor was in his mid-60's.  I know nothing about this but there's the article and that's the link. Both Santorum and his wife are now strong pro-lifers. No one's perfect.  I'd just like to know what the woman sees in Rick Santorum. He could be the last man on earth and I wouldn't sleep with him. Maybe the anti-gays should use a photo of HIM in conversion therapy wearing the bad sweaters and dad jeans.

The Buckhampton Country Club and the Rogue Prince
by Ryan Field

Parrish Bundy has just lost his father, and gained a traveling circus, a chocolate factory, and plenty of power and money. As the heir to the Bundy empire, Parrish knows the rules- but now that he's in charge, he plans to make changes. And now that he owns one of the most prestigious country clubs in the east, The Buckhampton Country Club on eastern Long Island, he's finally able to let his hair down.

Across the Atlantic in a small European country there lives a handsome young prince named Richard who is even more dissatisfied with his controlled life than Parrish. Richard has always been aware of his royal obligations, and he's always put his people and his country before his own needs- still he longs to know what it's like to be a normal gay man who has the ability to choose his own destiny.

When the two men meet by happenstance, sparks fly in the hushed environment of the Buckhampton Country Club. But will social responsibilities, long-standing family rules, and deeply ingrained royal obligations ruin their chances to spend the rest of their lives together? And will they be able to overcome the harsh realities of being openly gay in the public eye in order to live their lives they way they want to live them?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Martin Sheen Plays Gayface; Gay Women and Pride; 14 Gay Disney Characters

Martin Sheen Plays Gayface

For those who don't know, many years ago actor, Martin Sheen, played a gay role. I think I read somewhere once it was one of the first gay roles on TV...if not THE first. The article to which I'm linking right now does mention this, but I thought it was important enough to mention a few more details. The title of that film was "A Certain Summer," and it was made into a book. I was too young to have seen it when it first aired. I watched it years later in the 1980's...still a time when there was very limited TV for gay people to watch.

From wiki:

That Certain Summer is a 1972 American television movie directed by Lamont Johnson. The teleplay by Richard Levinson and William Link was the first to deal sympathetically with homosexuality. Produced by Universal Television, it was broadcast as an ABC Movie of the Week on November 1, 1972. A novelization of the film written by Burton Wohl was published by Bantam Books.

And now Sheen is returning to play another gay character. This time in a Netflix original.

Sheen will play the husband of Jane Fonda in the upcoming Netflix comedy series Grace and Frankie which also stars Lily Tomlin, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Fonda and Tomlin play women who are each others nemesis but find their lives intertwined when their law partner husbands each leaves them - for each other.

You can read more here.

Gay Women and Pride

I think this article is important because it shows the strong diversity within the LGBTI community, and how very different gay women can be from gay men.

Long before black and latino Prides marched to their soulful and salsa beats in the late 80s and early 90s, respectively, Lesbian Pride marches came on the scene in the 70s. And they were protest marches publicly denouncing, at the time, the political stronghold and exclusionary practices of ‘Gay Pride’ events – as Wikipedia correctly notes – ‘by white gay men at the expense of lesbians in general and women of color in particular’.

I think they make a very strong point. I would take this even a step further and mention how Pride events have often become examples of capitalism for those who can't wait to jump onto the proverbial gay bandwagon and make money on us. Oh, I've seen more than my share of that happen. And these days making money on gays seems to be the thing to do.

You can read more here. I have a few very good women friends who tell me they aren't even fond of the word lesbian. They just prefer gay women. So that's why I titled this post the way I did. I'm using the word a lot less these days.

14 Gay Disney Characters

When I posted about Mary Poppins being a gay woman, I had no idea there were other Disney characters who might be gay.

But while the movies are great (well, some of them), there has never been an explicitly gay, bi or trans character in an animated Disney children’s movie.

But there are some characters that Disney could have intended to be gay, or characters that use gay stereotypes or even just has a large gay following.

You can read more here. I'm not familiar with any Disney characters so you'll have to read the list. I do think it's interesting that some of those who commented are not fond of the list, and that Mary Poppins wasn't mentioned once. But in all fairness the article does come with a disclaimer and I think it's meant to be funny.