Saturday, December 31, 2016

Gay Man, Lawsuit For Pride Nudity, Suicide; Another London Gay Club Closes; Ten Gay Films of 2016

Gay Man, Lawsuit For Pride Nudity, Suicide

When I saw this story I immediately felt sorry for the gay man who allegedly committed suicide. Then I noticed how many reactions there were to this story. It's amazing how people will comment on something on social media without knowing all the facts. Some don't even read the article. They only read the title. Don't be that person.

A young gay man named Will X Walters was arrested at San Diego Pride in 2011 for wearing an outfit that allegedly exposed part of his bare buttocks. It started out as a misdemeanor, but then Walters refused to sign the misdemeanor based on principle. Walters claimed that he wasn't naked and that he was being discriminated against. That's the gist of it, but there's nothing uncomplicated about this story.

Ultimately, Walters sued the police. That dragged on for five years, which lawsuits like that tend to do, and he wound up losing the case anyway. His legal costs reached one million dollars.

Then this happened...

On Wednesday, Walters’ body was found at his apartment in Hillcrest, San Diego.
It’s not yet known how long his body had lain their undiscovered, but his attorney, Chris Morris, says he had not spoken to him since the 13 December jury ruling.
Morris said that Walters had been left ‘shocked’ by the failure of his lawsuit. His legal team say that the case had racked up $1million in costs for Walters.
Authorities believe that he committed suicide.
You can read the rest here. As complicated as this story is, I think any gay man alive who has ever been discriminated against by the police will understand what happened here. And as sad as this is, it continues to happen all the time. The comments are interesting.

Another London Gay Club Closes

Sadly, this also continues to happen...

Kazbar, a beloved gay venue in Clapham, London, has announced it is closing in a post on their official Facebook page.
The anonymous post reads: ‘After 20 years of being the iconic gay bar of South London, we regret to inform you that we will be closing down this year.’
The post adds that the bar’s last day of trading will be 1 January 2017.
Here's the rest. The closure is due to an alleged rent increase.

Ten Gay Films of 2016

Here's a list of ten gay films that were released in 2016. It should come as no surprise that James Franco had a lot to do with this.

I saw a few of them, and I especially loved this one, Tab Hunter Confidential.

The documentary spotlights former matinee idol Tab Hunter, a squeaky-clean hunk that charmed America with his good looks, crooning voice and appearances in over 40 movies. Hunter, however, had to hide his sexuality during most of his Hollywood days before changing tastes coupled with age thrust him into obscurity.
Tab Hunter Confidential suffers from loving its subject a bit too much. The film totally ignores Hunter’s vocal opposition to marriage equality in the 2000s and bashes Hunter’s ex-boyfriend and fellow closet case Anthony Perkins. That said, it does shed light on the era of closeted Hollywood, the fickleness of showbiz, and just how far LGBTQ has advanced.
You can read the rest here. It was a good documentary and I don't think it was disingenuous. 
There are a few films on the list I haven't seen yet, like King Cobra. I'm not sure I'll bother to see that one. 


A Gay New Adult Erotic Romance 

In Digital or Paperback 

  "The characters are wonderful and each bring a beautiful light to the story."  

-Unsolicited Amazon Customer Review

Friday, December 30, 2016

Robin Williams Turned Down For Harry Potter Film; Conor Kennedy Defends Gay Friend; 2016 Sex Scandals

Robin Williams Was Turned Down For Harry Potter Film

First, I loved Robin Williams. I was a huge fan of his, and all of his films. He truly was one of the best. 

However, when I read this article about why he was turned down for roles in Harry Potter, I couldn't help thinking about the many times I've posted about gay actors who have been turned down for gay roles in Hollywood. Openly gay John Barrowan was turned down for the part of Will in Will and Grace. Hollywood gave the part of Will to a straight actor, so that he could play gayface. I don't think it's a matter of whether or not an actor can play a particular role. Eric McCormack did a wonderful job in Will and Grace and I do think that Will and Grace was a great show for its time. But I hope we've moved on since then. I think it's more about cultural appropriation and respect to the minority nowadays. If you're coming from a place of privilege you may or may not get that. But anyone who is part of a minority will get it.

And this was interesting...

When it comes to Harry Potter, a slew of iconic actors have donned wizarding robes for the film franchise. Actors like Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, and even Maggie Smith have all starred in the critically acclaimed series. However, you may have noticed something about the films’ cast; All of the talent is British. Author JK Rowling and the team behind Harry Potter at Warner Bros. were insistent that all talent in the films were British. Of course, most fans were and still are pleased with that decision, but there are a few who likely resented the decision.

“Robin [Williams] had called [director Chris Columbus] because he really wanted to be in the movie, but it was a British-only edict, and once he said no to Robin, he wasn’t going to say yes to anybody else, that’s for sure,” she revealed. “It couldn’t be.”

You can read it in full, here.

I have no doubt that Robin Williams could have played a role in Harry Potter beautifully, however, I do have doubts about cultural appropriation and that's because I've seen too many straight actors playing gayface in Hollywood. And I just think we need to evolve a little more.

Conor Kennedy Defends Gay Friend

The grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, Conor Kennedy, was recently arrested in Aspen because he defended his gay friend against alleged homophobic slurs.

The Aspen Times reports that the brawl began when a group of men began harassing Kennedy’s gay friend with antigay slurs.

According to reports, Kennedy asked the men to apologize, and that’s when things got physical.

There's more here. There's a photo of Conor, and the police are investigating the homophobic allegations.

I think that's wonderful, and Conor Kennedy is clearly against bullying. But I'd also like to read more about the gay guy that beats the hell out of the straight guy for screaming homophobic slurs. Many of us can defend ourselves, and we don't let anyone screw around with us or our friends. Someone should warn them.

2016 Sex Scandals

It wouldn't be a New Year's Eve post without something like this...

There’s nothing we love more than a juicy political sex scandal. And, lucky for us, this year offered up plenty! From filthy phone sexing governors, to strip poker playing mayors, to naked people impersonating dead presidents and terrorizing quiet suburban communities, 2016 just kept on giving. We can hardly wait to see what 2017 has in store.

Here's the link.

Have a happy and safe New Year!!


A Gay New Adult Erotic Romance 

In Digital or Paperback 

  "The characters are wonderful and each bring a beautiful light to the story."  

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Paying Tribute To Debbie Reynolds; Five Truths About George Michael; RWA On All Romance Ebooks Closing

Paying Tribute To Debbie Reynolds

Here's a piece where celebrities pay tribute to Debbie Reynolds. This is what Debra Messing said, in part...

“Debbie went to be with Carrie. She always worried about her. Carrie left too soon and now they are together again. My heart is literally broken. For 8 years she was my mom. She was pure energy & light when she came on stage. She was loving, and bawdy, and playful- a consummate pro- old school and yet had the work ethic and investment in her craft of a new fiery up and comer. She was always running off to Vegas or somewhere else “on the road” to be a hoofer, to sing and dance and make people laugh. She performed 340 days out of the year. An inspiration on every level."

You can check the rest out here. I'd almost forgotten all about Reynolds' connection to Messing.

Five Truths About George Michael

Here are five facts about the late George Michael you may or may not know...

1. His band, Wham!, was first Western pop artist to perform in the People’s Republic of China, in 1985

Queen and the Rolling Stones also wanted the historic gig, but after 18 months of appeals and negotiations by Wham!’s management, Chinese authorities granted the duo the opportunity to perform in Beijing and Guangzhou (formerly known as Canton), performances that documented in the film Foreign Skies: Wham! In China. 

You can read them all here. 

That I didn't know.

RWA On All Romance E-books Closing

RWA is short for Romance Writers of America. They posted something about the sudden closing of All Romance E-books, too.

RWA finds it unconscionable for the owner of ARe to withhold information so long and to continue selling books through the end of the month when the company cannot pay commissions. RWA contacted ARe but has not yet received a response.

You can view this one here.

All this makes me wonder one thing: what's next?


A Gay New Adult Erotic Romance 

In Digital or Paperback 

  "The characters are wonderful and each bring a beautiful light to the story."  

-Amazon Customer Review

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

All Romance E-books Shutters; Ignoring Writing Rules and Rejections; George Michael Rehearsing In l992

All Romance E-books Shutters

Update: I've seen seeing links all day to this topic, and this one goes into great detail.

When I posted about small start up e-publishers shuttering yesterday, I had no idea about this.

It is with a great sadness that we announce the closing of All Romance eBooks, LLC. For the first year since opening in 2006, we will be posting a loss. Despite efforts to maintain and grow our market share, sales and profits have declined. The financial forecast for 2017 isn't hopeful. We've accepted that there is not a viable path forward.

Their sites will go dark on December 31.

You can read the rest here, at the web site. It's a polite message, but this does come as a shock to many people. And, I've seen some backlash. If you do a search on Facebook with the hashtag #allromanceebooks you'll see what I mean. People are not thrilled about this. 

I happen to believe that in the future all indie authors will be selling their books on their own web sites, which will benefit readers because the prices will most likely be lower and readers will have direct interaction with authors. 

Ignoring Writing Rules and Rejections

I haven't linked to Anne R. Allen's blog in a while, and when I saw this post on social media I couldn't pass it by. It's a post written by Ruth Harris on the topic of rejection, and those so-called writing rules.

Just like a lot of things, rejection isn’t always what it seems to be. Writers need to put that stack of rejection letters into perspective. Sibel Hodge turned 200 rejections into the #1 spot on Amazon’s bestseller list and a great career with Amazon’s imprint, Thomas and Mercer. Joe Konrath got rejected by his publisher even though his books were selling and making money for the company and went on to become an indie superstar making more money than he ever did with a publisher.

If you're an author, you should check this out. I never link to things like this unless I totally agree with the content. Here's the rest.

George Michael Rehearsing In l992

This is one of those vids you'll want to see more than a few times.

The year was 1992, and reeling from the loss of Freddie, the stars aligned for a tribute show for the fallen Queen frontman.

Watch, and feel free to let the tears flow, as George Michael absolutely nails “Somebody to Love.” David Bowie hangs out in the wings, cool as ever, in total approval.

You can watch the video here.  It's really that good.

Valley of the Dudes

Stepbrothers In the Attic by Ryan Field

What Happened To Ryan Field Ravenous Romance Books In 2016?

What Happened To Ryan Field Ravenous Romance Books In 2016? 

Although I never really counted them officially, I think I had about 45 books pubbed with e-book publisher, Ravenous Romance. I get a little confused sometimes, but I do have all this written down in files. Plus, over the last two years I've asked Ravenous if I could have the rights of certain books reverted so I could indie publish them myself. And the publishers at Ravenous were always more than happy to honor my requests.

In case you're wondering why a lot of my Ravenous Romance titles have disappeared, I thought I would post something short about it here in the blog. Within the next month or so, they're all going to disappear. And that's because Ravenous has been good about the reversion of rights. I recently had all the rights from all Ravenous books reverted and I'll be re-publishing them in 2017 with my own imprint. Some might be sold to another e-publisher, but as of this moment most will be re-published with Ryan Field Press.

If you recall several of my previous posts about indie publishing that date back to 2012, this is one of the reasons why I started Ryan Field Press as a very humble venture. It's still a very humble Venture.

As an author I'm also a business person. And my latest little venture is going to be publishing a full length, 60,000 word novel, on Amazon. The title is "Chase of a Lifetime," and it's m/m erotic romance. It's also a very humble venture. I'm not expecting to be the next Joe Konrath and I'm not expecting to blow anyone out of the water, so to speak. I'll be thankful for however many copies of this book I sell and I'll be here to answer any questions readers have.

Indie publishing has given me a chance to publish an anthology like The Women Who Love To Love Gay Romance, and it's given my books with e-publishers who have gone out of business a permanent home. When the e-book boom ended, and e-book sales leveled out, many of the start ups in e-publishing went out of business. It's still happening, and it's happening with some of the biggest e-publishers of the 2000s.

I'm not getting into the reasons why so many e-publishers are shuttering. I'm only talking about the books I've had published with e-publishers over the last fifteen years. I've been fortunate enough to have worked with excellent e-publishers who have always paid me on time, kept me working, and given back the rights to everything when it was time. I have no complaints with any of them. My experiences working with all e-publishers, including Ravenous Romance, have been nothing but positive. In fact, I miss working with them all.

This isn't an official announcement about Ravenous Romance. I want to make that clear, because I'm not qualified to do that. This is ONLY about me, and it's about my own books. The absolute truth is that I have no idea what's happening with Ravenous or what they plan to do. Although the Ravenous web site seems to be down, I only know what's happening with my books. I've always had positive experiences working with Ravenous, but now it's time to move forward. I'll keep posting updates about each one of my Ravenous Romance books that is re-published in the next year, and some of these books might be sold to other publishers. If anyone has any questions you can e-mail me at the address on my sidebar.

Valley of the Dudes

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

My 3 Biggest Personal 2016 Rants; Grindr's New Publishing House; Why I Might Be Starting to Love James Franco Again

My 3 Biggest Personal 2016 Rants

I rarely rant on this blog these days. I try to keep things positive, mostly because I don't like to rant. It's counterproductive and I'd rather be productive.

With that said, there are some things that got on my last gay nerve this year.

First, what's up with THAT author who becomes your best friend on Facebook, never stops commenting on your status updates, treats you like you're a member of his/her family, and then vanishes into thin air one day, only to be found doing the same exact thing to someone else? It's happened to me several times over the last 15 years and I never understand it. Who does that? Who just befriends a total stranger, treats them like a best friend for months at a time, and then vanishes as suddenly as he/she turned up? It's always so hard to realize that you've been duped by someone you think of as a friend.

Second, don't let anyone take over your social media accounts. If you're an author...or anyone with a public profile...don't let an assistant or an intern or ANYONE represent you on social media. It never works out. I've seen that before, too. I've seen it several times in 2016. When I do see it happen, I always wonder what that person with the public profile is thinking. Do they really think that anyone can represent them as well as they could represent themselves? And, do they really think we don't know?

Posting a status update or a tweet is the easiest thing in the world a person with a public profile can do. All it takes is a phone, a password, and a finger. The biggest celebrities all do it themselves and they don't rely on managers or assistants to do it. I wouldn't even let Tony post on social media for me. That's my identity. So don't let anyone else represent you on social media because you might wind up being misrepresented and no one's going to tell you. They're going to look at the Facebook statuses someone else posted for you, and they're going to roll their eyes.

Third, 2016 wasn't the best year for me, but not because of politics, and not because of celebrities I never met dying. I lost my father in May, I lost one of my dearest lifelong friends (Mary) in March to ovarian cancer, I lost two old friends this summer, and just recently I lost one of my closest friends to cancer. It was so sudden I still find it hard to believe. He was diagnosed 3 weeks ago, and he was gone the Sunday before Christmas.  I don't post these things on social media when they happen because I prefer to keep them private. The only reason I'm mentioning them now is to make a point.

We also lost Eric Arvin on social media. Eric was an author who battled a rough illness with courage and dignity. I never got to know him personally, but on social media I knew him well and I found him to be an inspiration...for years. He was a real life hero.

I realize that a lot of the 2016 complaints are laced with sarcasm, and I get that and I know how to laugh along with it. There's nothing wrong with sarcasm and I've done it myself. But when I see people posting seriously about the fact that 2016 sucked for them because their political candidate didn't win, or some silly celebrity they never even knew died, I can't help but make a face and wonder WTF is wrong with that. I can only assume these people are too young to have experienced much real sorrow in life, or they have no feelings for people who have suffered valid real life losses. The former I can forgive, the latter, no way. There are a lot of people who have experienced real life hardship and real life sorrow in 2016.

Grindr's New Publishing House

According to this article, the hook up app, Grindr, just launched a new publishing house, and just released a new coffee table book.

Home features a series of portraits of gay men who Lambert connected with through the app, as well as other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. In true Grindr form, the models are all young, thin, and naked, with a tendency toward Anglo.

You can check this out here. The book cover itself is actually done in very good taste. I'm not sure about the rest, though. But it is interesting that even Grindr has a publishing venture now, too.

Why I Might Be Starting To Love James Franco Again

I've always been on the fence about James Franco. I love his fiction, but his other projects make me wonder. As far as we know, he's straight, and yet he's always working on something gay related. I don't totally get that. However, he is consistent, and I like that. He continues to create gay films when no one else in Hollywood is doing that.

Two years after its much-publicized Sundance premiere, Justin Kelly’s I Am Michael is finally hitting theaters on January 27th. Hark?

James Franco plays Michael Glatze, the gay activist who wound up becoming the face of the ex-gay movement after “finding God” and deciding to do an abrupt about-face and marry a woman.

There's more here, and there's a trailer of I Am Michael. The comments are not kind, and they do make a few valid points. However, the topic itself is interesting and I probably will see this when it's released.

Valley of the Dudes

Stepbrothers In the Attic by Ryan Field

Monday, December 26, 2016

Taiwan Gay Marriage; Sam Smith Ends Twitter Break; The Carrie Bradshaw "masc4masc" Meme

Taiwan Gay Marriage

It looks as if Taiwan is moving closer toward legalized gay marriage.

A Taiwan legislative committee approved preliminary amendment to the Civil Code that could lead to the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Different versions of an amendment to the Civil Code were carefully reviewed on Monday and includes rights and duties that will involve same-sex couples.

There's more here. There have been polls taken, but frankly after the most recent polls in the US general election I'm having a hard time trusting polls now...and the media.

I think it's interesting to see how the process works in other countries.

Sam Smith Ends Twitter Break

For those who've never been on Twitter, you can probably skip this. Twitter isn't always simple, sometimes it's downright mean, and you have to know how it works to fully understand everything that happens there. I've been there since the very beginning, back when most people were literally posting about what they had for lunch. Because what else could one post about in 140 characters? But since that time Tweeting has become something much more involved...for the most part.

In any event, Sam Smith took a Twitter break, which isn't all that uncommon for people on Twitter to do. I've taken breaks over the years, too. Some people just stop altogether, which is called Twittercide. I knew one guy once who was a stock broker and his place of work made him stop tweeting sarcasm. Another one I knew left because of her Twitter Crush, some DMs, and a string of bad dick pics. And then there are those who are the grandest of us all who keep their tweets protected and hidden. I know a few book reviewers who do THAT. They are the special, elite snowflakes of Twitter, and their tweets don't stink.

But I digress. Sam Smith came back for a reason this time.

George Michael’s death has brought Sam Smith out of his self-imposed break from social media.

The Grammy and Oscar winning singer and songwriter took to Twitter early Monday (26 December) to pay tribute to Michael who died unexpectedly over the weekend at the age of 53.

‘Words can’t express how much you and your music meant and means to me,’ Smith wrote.

It is the first tweet from Smith since the 12 June shooting massacre at the Orlando gay nightclub Pulse that left 49 people dead.

You can check that out here.

The Carrie Bradshaw "masc4masc" Meme

On hook up apps gay men often describe themselves as either "masc" or "fem." I'm not drawing any conclusions with this one, but, coincidentally, I am making this a focus in my next book. In my book I'm more focused on tearing down the stereotypes. At least I hope that's what I'm doing.

In any event, now there's a meme circulating with a photo of Carrie Bradshaw working on her laptop, questioning the whole "masculine" thing in general.

Masc4masc? We think not. With fewer and fewer gay men feeling comfortable identifying as either “masc” or “fem,” the general consensus these days seems to be that the whole “masc4masc” thing is an outdated expression from the gay hookup culture of yesterday. Yet you still see plenty of guys writing it on their Grindr profiles. Why is that?

Here's the rest. The comments aren't kind to the article.

But I do think it's a valid topic that leaves room for an open debate. The stereotypes that often accompany "masc" and "fem" don't always fall neatly into place, especially not for gay men. And for those of you who think this is a gay male thing, it's not. There's plenty of this kind of thing with gay women, too.

It's also not easy to write about this in fiction. And I'm either going to sink or swim with this one, but I've always wanted to tackle this debate, with characters in a book, and I'm ready to take the proverbial hits.

Valley of the Dudes

Stepbrothers In the Attic by Ryan Field

Sunday, December 25, 2016

RIP George Michael; David Bowie's Inspiration; Half Night Stands and Millennials

RIP George Michael

This was shocking...

The out singer, who launched his career as the front man of ’80s duo Wham! and went on to a successful solo career, is said to have died “peacefully at home.”

Michael came out as gay publicly in 1998. “This is as good of a time as any,” he told CNN‘s Jim Moret at the time. “I want to say that I have no problem with people knowing that I’m in a relationship with a man right now. I have not been in a relationship with a woman for almost 10 years.”

You can read the rest here. 


David Bowie's Inspiration

I can't believe it's almost a year since David Bowie died. His creative legacy, however, lives on.

As the one-year anniversary of David Bowie’s death from cancer approaches, Hollywood Reporter reached out to various collaborators on the pop icon’s off-Broadway show “Lazarus” and final two albums, gathering accounts of the artist’s final days, which he spent honing his last releases in a flurry of creative energy.

There's more here. There's a link to a video on YouTube as well.

Half Night Stands and Millennials

This falls under the category of water is wet. It's just a new way to phrase something that's been happening all along, at least is was for me.

Blogger Brittany Wong at Huff Post defines half-night stands as “an abbreviated version of the one-night stand,” where one sexual partner promptly makes their exit shortly after getting off instead of staying the entire night, thus avoiding the awkward morning after.

I could go into more detail, but I won't. If the millennials think they've invented something new, I don't want to be the one to kill the dream.

You can read the rest here. And there are comments.

 Valley of the Dudes

Stepbrothers In the Attic by Ryan Field

Saturday, December 24, 2016

San Diego Pride; Carson Kressley On the Apprentice; Nico Tortorella Opens Up

San Diego Pride

Merry Christmas!!

It looks as though San Diego Pride will move forward. There was a little kerfuffle about this.

The conflict started when LGBT Community Pride reserved the location and dates of the 2017 Pride while San Diego LGBT Pride ran the event in the past. The double booking caused confusion in the city of San Diego since it was unclear which group would be leading the parade.

Leaders of the two groups have come together and decided LGBT Community Pride would disband.

You can check this out here.

Carson Kressley On the Apprentice

We stopped watching all reality shows like The Apprentice a few years ago. Not for any particular reason either. We just got tired of them, and listening to them repeat the same lines over and over again. "I'll go tally the votes," and, "You're fired," really started to get on our nerves.

With that said, I guess people are still watching these reality shows...

Carson Kressley has never really left television for long since Queer Eye ended nearly a decade ago.

Next month, he returns to living rooms again on a weekly basis as he competes on a Donald Trump-less The Celebrity Apprentice on NBC.

The show has had openly gay competitors before including George Takei and Clay Aiken but has never had a gay winner.

You can check out the rest here.

Nico Tortorella Opens Up

This one is about a bi-sexual actor named Nino Tortorella who talks about his worst break-up ever. I like him, and I like the fact that's he's so open about being bi-sexual.

Some years were better than others,’ he writes in ‘There were times we were happy, had amazing sex, felt like kings. There were times we beat the shit out of each other. Toxicity in relationship form. He was abusive but told me he loved me. Convinced me even, then punched me in the face. Sid and Nancy. Obsessed. Addicted. Volatile. Violent. Highs and lows. Ebbs and flows.’

This is actually a "thing" in more gay relationships than people would imagine. In fact, you rarely hear about it. I've seen it. There's abuse just like in some straight relationships, and sometimes it's physical. And it's not just limited to gay men. Gay women can be just as abusive. I've seen that, too.

You can read more here.

Valley of the Dudes

Stepbrothers In the Attic by Ryan Field

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Contest For "A Christmas Carl"; Why Gay Bars Are Closing; Obama Annoyed At Screaming Gay Activists

Christmas Contest For A Christmas Carl

They're having another contest for one of my books over at the Erie Gay News.

Enter for a chance to win a digital download of A Christmas Carl: A Gay Retelling of A Christmas Carol by Ryan Field! To enter the contest, fill out the form below between Friday, December 23 and Friday, January 13.

Here's the link with all the details. There's a simple form to fill out at the bottom of the page.

And here's another link to the Riverdale Avenue Books blog page where they discuss a few other books similar to A Christmas Carl. This is from the publisher, Lori Perkins...

I've been creating books in epublishing for close to a decade now, and as an editor and publisher, I''ve published a lot of Christmas titles.  It always amazes me that the Christmas zeitgeist can be re-interpreted (and recycled, if you will) so consistently and enthusiastically every year.

Why Gay Bars Are Closing

This continues to be a topic of fascination in gay culture.

“Guys my age stopped going out to bars all the time,” said Jack LaFary, a former bartender at Indianapolis’s 501 Eagle, which closed this year.

He’s interviewed this week in a piece by the Chicago Tribune, which examines the fact that gay bars are slowly but steadily going extinct.

Some people blame it on rising rents, others on smart phones. In the past, and really not too long ago, gay bars were a few of the only places where gay people could meet. I think that has a lot to do with it, too. Thanks to all the gay activists who have worked so hard for all of us all these years, we can meet each other almost anywhere nowadays and we don't have to hide in the dark.

You can read the rest here. The people who commented left more than a few valid opinions.

President Obama Annoyed At Screaming Gay Activists

Here's something President Obama said about gay activists. It's a quote from an Atlantic piece.

 [T]here have been times where, let’s say on LGBT issues, when we were trying to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and I got the Pentagon and Bob Gates, a Republican holdover from the Bush administration, to authorize a study of how you might end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, headed up by Jeh Johnson, who at that time was a council to the Justice Department. And it was going to take a year to conduct that study, issue a report, and figure out how it might be implemented, what effect it would have on unit cohesion and military effectiveness. And I had laid out this strategy because if I could get the Pentagon’s imprimatur on this thing, then I knew that we could end up getting legislation passed to reverse the policy, and we could get the branches of all the military to implement it. But during the course of that year, probably every speech I gave, I’d have gay activists just screaming at me during rallies. And you just say, ‘Come on, man. Not only do I agree with you, but I’ve actually got a strategy to execute, we are executing it, and in what sense do you think that you yelling at me here is going to advance your cause?'”

You can check that out here. No comment, man. I don't want to be accused of being a screaming activist.

Valley of the Dudes

Stepbrothers In the Attic by Ryan Field

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Anne Rice Feels As If She's Gay; More About "Dude Sex"; The Benham Brothers Are Worried, Again

Anne Rice Feels As If She's Gay

It may have been authors like Anne Tyler and John Irving that inspired me to be a fiction writer and to love fiction, but it was Anne Rice, and ONLY Anne Rice, who first showed me that gay characters...and homoerotic scenes...could actually be incorporated into mainstream fiction. She did this when no one else was doing it. And I will never forget how I felt when I picked up Interview With the Vampire, started reading, and discovered there was something gay going on in that book. At that time, I didn't think anything like that existed. I wasn't even sure it was allowed.

With that said, Anne Rice recently said this in an interview with Daily Beast...

I was writing about vampires before the AIDS crisis. People told me Interview with the Vampire was a gay allegory, and I was very honored by that. [Rice’s son, Christopher, is openly gay.] I think I have a gay sensibility and I feel like I’m gay, because I’ve always transcended gender, and I’ve always seen love as transcending gender. In my books, I’ve always created bonds of love that have transcended gender. But I’ve never associated AIDS with vampires, myself.

I’ve always been very much a champion of gay rights, and art produced by gay people—whether it was the early Frankenstein movies that had such a gay sensibility to them, or any art created by gay people. I’m highly sensitive to it. I have a gay sensibility. I get teased a lot by my gay friends because we have a rapport on things we find exciting or interesting. It’s very hard for me to remember that I have a gender, and that they’re treating me in a negative way because of that gender.”

Here's the source. The comments from people are vicious, dumb, and cruel with this one. It's a good example of the Internet at its worst. And that's ironic because Anne Rice has spent a great deal of time fighting bullies online in the writing community. She did this when everyone else was terrified to do it, and it gave strength to those who have been bullied in writing circles. But all that aside, I only know that Anne Rice gave me...a gay kid who loved to read...something gay to read at a time when gay wasn't chic, it wasn't the most popular thing to do, and all other mainstream fiction writers ignored it...even those fiction writers who were gay. As far as I'm concerned, she's earned her right to feel as if she's gay.

More About "Dude Sex"

Here's an interview with a guy named Tony Silva who studies things like straight guys having gay sex.

Silva’s recent study, Bud-Sex: Constructing Normative Masculinity Among Rural Straight Men That Have Sex With Men, has been blowing up the Internet. In it, he spoke with 19 different men living in rural, predominately white areas who identify as straight but who hook up with other men on occasion.

“There is quite a bit of research about sexuality and masculinity in urban areas,” Silva, who identifies as queer and has both an MA and MS in sociology, explains. “Rural sexualities and masculinities are fairly understudied. For this reason I was interested in examining those areas.”

You can read the interview here. The more I read about things like this I do start to wonder. At a glance these straight guys having sex with guys sound like closet cases. However, this kind of reminds me of articles I've read about how straight cowboys in the old wild west had young male sex slaves working on ranches because there weren't any women around. You don't hear much about it because it's so taboo. 

The Benham Brothers Are Worried, Again

I think these two Benham brothers come up with this nonsense to get attention. This time it's about the HB2 bill in North Carolina. 

Now that the bill has been repealed, failed-reality-stars-turned-Christian-extremist-activists David and Jason Benham have taken to Facebook to express their outrage over what they’re calling a “political shakedown” by “sexual activists” so they can begin their systematic persecution of Christians.

“Here’s what they’re really after,” David Benham asserts in a new video uploaded to the twinsies’ Facebook page. “If you can repeal that, then they can go right back in and enact ordinances all over this state that will open up our bathrooms and our locker rooms to sexual predators!”

Here's the rest. All I know is that I've NEVER met a transgender person who is a sexual predator. But I've been to plenty of men's rooms in my time where the real sexual predators were straight, married, middle aged, Christian men looking for gay sex on the down low. They aren't shy about it either. In fact, they congregate in public rest rooms looking for sex with men. All of them living double lives in the closet, and then they head off to their Christian churches on Sunday mornings. Once again, something else you won't hear in the mainstream media. Good old Jake Tapper should do a CNN "Breaking News" on this topic, just once. 


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Gay Stereotypes In Fiction: Unabated; North Carolina Rejects Repeal of Trans Bathroom Law; Colton Haynes On His Mental Health

Gay Stereotypes In Fiction: Unabated

I moan about gay stereotypes here on the blog sometimes because we see them happening in real life all the time. And when this happens, especially in a news story, it can be frustrating because it creates assumptions that may or may not be true.

However, another truth is that stereotypes are real and almost everyone has to deal with them. From doctors to gay men. Everyone. It may not be politically correct, and it may hit a few nerves sometimes, but it's not always possible to ignore the proverbial elephant in the room.

In many of the books I write I try to break down stereotypes, which is what I'm doing right now with my latest WIP that isn't even titled yet. In this particular case I'm trying to break down the stereotypes within the gay community that deal with tops and bottoms. I'm trying to break down the stereotypes between what's masculine and effeminate. And there are definite stereotypes out there about tops and bottoms, and butch and fem. They are not always accurate.

I think the most dangerous stereotypes are those that aren't accurate. They are exaggerated and exploited. They profile people in negative ways, creating discrimination, pain, and even fear. That kind of stereotype bothers me the most because it cuts to the soul.

However, when a writer works on a novel he/she cannot ignore the fact that they've experienced certain realities in life, and he/she is going to draw from those experiences. With that said, I drew from my experiences with gay men when I wrote Unabated. I also did that in An Officer and His Gentleman by using the gay stereotype of the young gay man who gets shunned by his family because he's gay.

So Unabated might have a few stereotypes, but this time it couldn't be avoided. And they weren't done in a mean-spirited way that promotes discrimination or negativity. Those stereotypes happen in RL all the time, and I wasn't going to self-censor in order to be politically correct. And I wasn't going to rewrite gay culture as I've always known it. I think that's one of the most dangerous things a writer can do: self-censor to please the PC review police. I've had editors ask me to do that and I've always regretted it when I did it.

I guess my general point is that gay stereotypes can't be avoided sometimes. No matter how hard we try to ignore them, they exist in gay culture. If you're a gay man, and you've been around gay men all your life, and you're being truthful, you know that better than anyone else out there.  And when you get a chance to break the inaccurate, most discriminatory stereotypes down, that's just as important.


North Carolina Rejects Repeal of Trans Bathroom Law

This is disheartening, especially for those who live in North Carolina and don't agree with the law that bans transgender people from bathrooms.

North Carolina's Senate on Wednesday voted against repeal of a law that restricts transgender restroom access and has put the state at the center of national debate over lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.

The legislation to repeal the law, known as House Bill 2 (HB2), was defeated by a vote of 32-16, leaving the bathroom restrictions in place statewide.

You can read the rest here. This law is reminiscent of so many horrible laws that were in place years ago that sparked the civil rights movement. And it's still happening today, only this time with trans people.

I don't think this will go down well in history.

Colton Haynes On His Mental Health

Colton Haynes has been very open and honest about his issues with anxiety, and you don't see that kind of honesty often. For the most part, mental health is not discussed as openly as it should be. I also think this is a good example of how so many gay men feel, and what they experience.

Remembering how different life used to be. I’m often called “Miss Memory Lane” by my closest friends due to the fact that I always look at old photos hoping to relive the memory. But what I’m finally realizing is that I can’t and wouldn’t want to go back to that headspace ever again. So clouded and unsure about myself, my life, my privacy, my mental health. I’m finally in a position where I can say I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.

You can read the entire quote, here. It's a quote from an essay in People.

Valley of the Dudes

Stepbrothers In the Attic by Ryan Field

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Contest: Win Lunch With Trevor Donovan; Facebook, Twitter, Google Sued by Families of Orlando Victims; Designer Removed Gay Christmas Tree Ornaments With Two Josephs

Contest: Win Lunch With Trevor Donovan

Here's a contest you can enter where the winner gets lunch with a friend and Hollywood celebrity, Trevor Donovan.

While Trevor Donovan acquired his cult fan base for his role as lovable "Teddy Montgomery" in the drama series 90210, Donovan's dramatic skills and leading man appeal have also garnered the support of film A-listers like Jonathan Mostow, Oliver Stone and Roland Joffe who cast him in SURROGATES, SAVAGES, and history Channel's epic mini-series TEXAS RISING, and MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET, respectively. 

You can check it out here, and there are additional details. It's pretty simple to navigate. And it's being supported by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Campaign.

Facebook, Twitter, Google Sued By Families Of Orlando Victims

Three families of victims in the Orlando shooting are suing Facebook, Twitter, and Google for allegedly 'providing support to ISIS.'

Without Defendants Twitter, Facebook, and Google (YouTube), the explosive growth of ISIS over the last few years into the most feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible,’ the lawsuit allege, which was first reported by Fox News.

‘Defendants share revenue with ISIS for its content and profit from ISIS postings through advertising revenue.’

Here's more.

It's not going to be easy to win a lawsuit like this, but it should be interesting to see how it plays out.

Gay Designer Removed Gay Christmas Tree Ornament With Two Josephs

When I posted about the gay Christmas tree ornament with two Josephs yesterday I didn't think I'd be following up on it.

First, a Christian group was outraged:

Chief executive Andrea Williams told Mail Online: ‘These decorations are a desperate and ridiculous attempt to pretend that homosexual relationships are pure and holy.

Then this what the guy who designed the ornament did:

But for Thaler, it’s no longer worth the trouble of keeping the products on the website. He decided to remove them ‘out of respect for his fellow humans’.

You can check this out here. It definitely shows that Thaler is the bigger person this time. I doubt we'll see an apology from the Christian group.

Valley of the Dudes

Stepbrothers In the Attic by Ryan Field

Monday, December 19, 2016

Zsa Zsa Gabor Timeless Quotes; Straight Guys and Dude Sex; The Gay Christmas Ornament Freaking People Out

Zsa Zsa Gabor Timeless Quotes

When I think of Zsa Zsa Gabor I always think of earlier days in Hollywood where things were more glamorous. Of course it was all an illusion, but it was an illusion that entertained people.

This piece to which I'm linking has ten famous quotes from Gabor:

“I believe that in life you should always take the serious things lightly and the light things seriously. This attitude of mine gets me into a lot of trouble.”

You can read the rest here.

RIP, Zsa Zsa

Straight Guys and Dude Sex

Evidently, there's a difference between gay sex and "dude sex." Don't laugh too hard when you read this.

Tony Silva is a researcher at University of Oregon who recently did a study on the growing phenomenon and just published a paper called Bud-Sex: Constructing Normative Masculinity among Rural Straight Men That Have Sex With Men about it.

According to Silva, dude sex (or “bud-sex”) is when two guys, usually from a rural area and who identify as straight, hook up together in a discreet, NSA sort of way. They have wives. They have kids. They consider themselves to be heterosexual.

You can read more about this here. 

I've been reading these things all my life, and hearing them, too. And even though it sounds good, I can't help but wonder if these guys are closeted bisexuals, or closeted gays, pretending to be something they aren't.

If you check out comments, you'll see that most people tend to agree with me. One guy even said, "Stop normalizing the closet."


The Gay Christmas Ornament Freaking People Out

If you don't have a sense of humor, or you're too religious, you might want to pass on this one.

There are, in fact, two Christmas ornaments raising their ire — one featuring two Virgin Marys chillaxing in a manger with little baby Jesus, and another featuring the aforementioned pair of freewheeling Josephs.

There's more here. There are photos of the gay ornaments. Check out the comments with this one, too.

Stepbrothers In the Attic by Ryan Field

Sunday, December 18, 2016

When the Anti-Gay Politician Has a Gay Brother; Another Gay Bar In NYC Shutters; Hollywood's Guarded Reaction To Lesbians

When the Anti-Gay Politician Has a Gay Brother

I've posted about things like this time and again. It's not that I'm prescient. I just know for a fact that there are gay people out there no one knows about...yet.

Fresh off his success of his months-long crusade to make LGBTQ protections for state employees illegal in Louisiana, antigay Attorney General Jeff Landry is finally addressing that pesky political thorn in his side: his homosexual brother.

And now this:

Throughout his homophobic crusade, Landry has desperately tried to hide the fact that the gay gene runs in his own family out of the headlines. He didn’t want people to know that his younger brother, Nick, is a proud homosexual. But last month, Nick ruined everything when posted an emotional video on YouTube criticizing his older brother.

“I can’t remain silent any longer,” the 34-year-old said, “because although I am not political, I am a human being, and I just want my rights, my unalienable rights.”

You can check out the rest here. I think there's more of this kind of thing happening everywhere than we can even begin to imagine. Good for Nick. The more we speak out the better it is for everyone.

Another NYC Gay Bar Shutters

Back in the 90s when I was going out to bars regularly there were certain routines everyone could depend on. Tea dance at the gay bar on Sunday afternoon was one of them. And in NY, especially on Saturday nights, at midnight everyone put on their catsuit and headed over to the Roxy. That's all changed now, and it continues to change with yet another gay bar closing.

The slow, steady dismantling of Chelsea as a Manhattan gayborhood continues.

After twenty years in business, “G Lounge” will be shutting down operations on New Years Eve.
The roomy lounge opened its doors in 1996, and helped usher in a micro-trend called “lounge chic,” which… we were never quite sure what that was supposed to be. Basically, it boiled down to drinking frozen Cosmos and wearing tight-fitting shiny shirts. Something like that.

My brother lives in Chelsea, and I'm always amazed to see how it changes each time I'm there.

You can check this out here.

Hollywood's Guarded Reaction To Lesbians

This is an article that talks about what happened when one author decided to question some very well known people in Hollywood about their sexuality. He has a new book out titled, Hollywood Lesbians: From Garbo to Foster. 

Ann B. Davis lives on in reruns as Alice, devoted housekeeper to The Brady Bunch. (After costar Robert Reed’s death from AIDS, his father image was erased from most Brady merchandising.) The sitcom eventually assigned Alice a boyfriend—a butcher. Being butcher than Alice, he reassured mainstream audiences of Alice’s straightness.

I hadn’t intended to upset Davis, who was likable if not TV-lovable. She did participate in Brady reunions, lent her name to a Brady cookbook—admitting she wasn’t good in the kitchen or with kids—and briefly portrayed a truck driver (!) in The Brady Bunch Movie. However, Davis’s third act centered on the Episcopal church and she lived her final decades with a minister and his wife.

You can check this one out here.

I know a lot people are of the opinion that this shouldn't matter. That someone's sexuality shouldn't matter. But it does matter, especially when they're hiding it. It matters because they're implying that there's shame attached with being gay. And a lot of us are sick and tired of dealing with that shame. Unfortunately, this is still part of the Hollywood mindset today and actors like Colton Haynes and John Barrowman are two of the few openly gay out there.

Stepbrothers In the Attic by Ryan Field

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Italians, Marriage, Gays, and Fidelity; Cindy Brady, Again; James Franco Smacking Guy's Bare Ass With A Chicken Wing

Italians, Marriage, Gays, and Fidelity

This is something that surprised me a little. It sounds valid, and I did check other sources. 

An amendment to Italy’s Civil Code would remove references to “fidelity” from the institution of marriage, following the model adopted for Italy’s gay civil unions.

Passed earlier this year, the Italian civil unions bill omitted references to fidelity and marital faithfulness, and referred simply to “moral and material support” and “cohabitation.”

And this is interesting, too.

A 2010 Gay Couples Study conducted by Colleen Hoff at the Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality, San Francisco, found that 47 percent of gay couples had “sex agreements” that specifically allowed sexual activity with others.

You can read the rest here. The bill has passed the Senate and is under review. I know it's a very conservative publication and I'm linking to it on purpose to prove a point. This is how people who don't know get an exaggerated impression of gay couples. Here's a link to another article in the Telegraph.  

I'm not familiar with the study in San Francisco, but I do know a lot of gay couples. And that study was done over six years ago before legalized gay marriage. The gay couples I know are mostly monogamous. That's just from my personal experience. And they are gay couples of all ages. I'm not knocking open marriages, gay or straight. I just don't know if it's realistic to mention gay couples this way without doing extensive research, everywhere, and finding gay couples who are willing to participate. I would never participate in a study like that. I'm on the fence with this one.

Cindy Brady, Again

Last week I posted about how Susan Olsen, who played Cindy Brady on the TV show The Brady Bunch, made gay slurs on the radio and was ultimately fired as a result.

Here's a new twist...

‘This is only about me supporting Trump. And I still do!’ she writes in Facebook post.

She adds: ‘And by the way, how does one get fired from a job they were never paid to do?’

Whether she was paid or not, LA Talk Radio took her off the air for using anti-gay slurs against a gay actor in a Facebook message made public.

Here's the rest.  You can read the gay slurs she made at this link.

James Franco Smacking Guy's Bare Ass With A Chicken Wing

You have to admit that even a new James Franco story is a nice diversion from politics these days. Franco's actually talking about a scene he did for a film while he was playing James Dean.

‘Well in this version Paul had kind of changed it … there he is picking stuff up and it’s not tea anymore – it’s Kentucky Fried Chicken.

‘And his pants are down at his ankles, his ass is out … I’m supposed to get on his back and like ride him and say like, “Ride the pig! Ride the pig!” and hit his ass with a chicken wing.’

There's more here, with a video. It's a good video of Franco being interviewed by Stephen Colbert.

Stepbrothers In the Attic by Ryan Field