Hop for Visibility, Awareness and Equality

UmbrellaNo Year

Welcome, all!

What an appropriate time to have this hop! I’m taking advantage of our current craziness to have a small rant this year as I typically avoid politics.

Between bathroom police, religious protection laws, and the most divided—not to mention, divisive—presidential primary in decades, it certainly appears that no one’s umbrella is big enough! All we seem to hear are variations of “Us” versus “Them,” and lots of Us are on the Them side of whomever is speaking.

While progress gets made in one area—say, marriage equality—we move backwards on others—read, for example, transgender bathroom rights. I mean where did this national emergency come from? Not a single instance of any transgender person ever bothering anybody anywhere. But we need to protect our children!! Never mind that Dennis Hastert coached children for years. Now, what’s really comic about these wardens of poo-poo privacy is that they would scream bloody murder about the invasion of privacy if someone were to question their “genital genuineness.”

Yet, these people are the first to claim infringement of their right to religious freedom when called out on their prejudiced actions. We are referred to as “perverted,” abnormal,” and lots of even more colorful things by trolls galore, yet to object to being name-called is to be “biased.” Pointing out their bigotry is being “intolerant of their opinions.” So, to protect their ability to discriminate they resort to religious freedom laws. Never mind that our infrastructure is crumbling, schools are failing, and government is at a standstill, we must save backwards, narrow-minded thought patterns from being influenced by progress.

And don’t even get me started on how thin-skinned people have become! Every minimally inconvenienced, slightly put-out nebbish is suddenly outraged about all the minor non-events that bother him! Whatever happened to suck it up and walk it off? The major problems we have—climate change, economic inequality—require serious discussion, yet people get riled by stupid stuff they blame on “Them”!

So who’s “Them”? White, black, brown, yellow; christian (Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Unitarian, etc.), Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Shinto, atheist; 1%ers, middle class, takers; straight, gay, queer, bi, questioning; male, female, trans, cis; and on and on and on. We’re each part of an Us and part of someone else’s Them—but we’re all people.

So, the next time someone starts spouting off about Them find something about Them that makes Them humanAfter all, humans are all of Us.

This is a hop, so continue on and visit everybody else…

Each of the participants is hosting a giveaway, so don’t miss out. I’m offering one winner a copy of my latest release, Those Grandville Guys, as well as one winner’s choice of two stories from my back list. To get entered, check out below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hop Against Homophobia & Transphobia – Post 2

HAHAT 2014

Hello, hoppers!

Welcome to my second post for The Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia. If you haven’t commented on my first post (thereby garnering an entry into the drawing), do so after clicking here.

Today’s post I’m titling…

Tactile Thursday

What has always confounded me about the innumerable diatribes against homosexuality is the fact that those who are opposed to things “gay” invariably focus immediately on the physical aspects of our relationships. They concentrate almost exclusively on sex.

“Unnatural,” “disgusting,” “revolting” are just some of the adjectives applied–yet they all appear to be very well-informed about what supposedly goes on in our bedrooms in spite of their supposed horror. As well, to read the numerous trolls and blatherers, gay men are apparently unable to control our libidos and will attack any naked male within 10 miles. Which accounts for the huge numbers of gay sexual attacks on straight men–NOT!

Now, being subjected almost daily to representations of straight sex, I am always glad to watch two guys go at it–but I write gay erotic fiction, so that’s probably not that surprising to most of you. But in spite of writing about hot, hunky fellas pushing boundaries while doing the nasty, as I noted in Post 1, it was a simple touch that I found most exciting.

It is not surprising that such a gesture should be weighted so heavily. Our society is “touch-phobic”–particularly between men. A macho, masculinized reason is always required to touch another man: celebrating a sporting success gets a high five or a pat on the butt; a handshake quickly becomes a contest of grip strength. But to do such a thing outside of the accepted context quickly gets one branded as “queer” or “a faggot.”

Now even as jaded as I can be, I still feel mushy when I see two guys walking along hand in hand, which I’m glad to see more and more of. Sad that the first sense which we develop, and which can communicate so much emotionally, should have become so maligned. (For a great article about touch, see Psychology Today.) Go out and touch someone–if they need a hug, give them one of yours.

In defiance of the trolls and the ugly nasties, I’m offering up some eye candy in celebration of the power of touching.

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Play With Me

Of course, there is a contest, too! Leave a comment and include a photo (or a link) to your favorite photo of touching for a chance to win an e-format of my short story, The Pickup Game. This is in addition to an entry for The Grandville Guys giveaway. (It’s a two-fer!)

Be sure to visit the other stops on the Hop:

Linda Hamonou, Joelle Casteel liked this post

Hop Against Homophobia & Transphobia – Post 1

HAHAT 2014

Welcome, all you hoppers, to my Day 1 post for the 2014 Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia! Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and our hop will running for a week to bring attention to this problem.

No matter how serious the topic, no hop would be complete without prizes and freebies. Be sure to leave a comment and check back frequently. I like to do random little things! As well, on the 25th, I will be drawing a name at random from all comments on my HAHAT posts for an e-format copy of my newest release Those Grandville Guys, so talk things up!

The Kiss Seen ‘Round the League

I had one topic that I thought I might write about for today’s post. But the NFL draft happened–now that phrase alone is something I never thought would have shown up on these pages–and then Michael Sam kissed Vito Cammisano live on ESPN:

michael-sam

Which was, of course, followed by the end of the world… or not.

Now I realize that Michael Sam hasn’t made the team’s final cut yet–so all the haters screaming about a gay guy in the locker room are premature–but it’s still a watershed event.

This simple act of happiness and togetherness has caused so much consternation and horror–I mean, really, a gay, inter-racial kiss between two hot athletes–you would think they had sex on the table. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! Although, the mashing cake was a little much for me, but I hate being sticky…

After all the years of not seeing myself reflected on the TV box, I still always enjoy seeing our lives depicted as what they are–just normal lives with the happiness, the sadness, the ups and downs everyone else endures. But for me the kiss was not the real story.

What caught my eye is at the very beginning of some clips and not to be seen in others. It’s the way Vito rubbed Michael’s arm while he waited as Michael listened to the phone. That small gesture–a simple, yet incredibly intimate touch–spoke volumes to me. It screamed, “I love you, and I’m here for you whatever happens.” I found it very romantic–and much more erotic than the kiss.

I wish lots of luck and success to Michael as he begins his career and the very best to him and Vito as their relationship enters some truly uncharted territory. Follow  @MichaelSamNFL and @VitCamm on Twitter and show them some support!

Leave a comment with your thoughts about how the NFL players will treat Michael, or how the wives/girlfriends will react to Vito. All comments with a valid email address will be eligible for the drawing.

Then, be sure to visit the next stop on the Hop:

Hop Against Homophobia 2013 – Post 2

HAHAT 2013 2Greetings, all! Welcome to another post for the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia. I had originally intended to do several posts throughout the Hop, but we all know about good intentions… To read my first post, click here.

So, to finish things off I wanted to start this post by highlighting a recent event which I feel is a positive indication of how the world is changing little by little:

In February, US Olympian and Leeds United soccer player Robbie Rogers came out as a gay man—and left professional soccer. Read about that—with some hot pics—hererobbie rogers LA Galaxy gay player

Last night (Sunday), he debuted with the LA Galaxy as they defeated the Seattle Sounders, making him the first openly gay, professional soccer player! First, there’s Jason Collins playing basketball, now Robbie playing soccer. So, what happened to the myth of no gay sports stars???

I think it’s high time that ALL the closeted players—and God knows, there has got to be more than two—throw off their chains of self-imposed oppression/repression and join the rest of us in the light! It may not always be sunny—but it sure as heck is a lot less dark and dreary!

Gay, lesbian, trans professionals of all sorts go to work every day and talk about their REAL lives with the REAL people with whom they work. That is what makes the REAL difference in changing peoples’ minds about homophobia and transphobia. Why should professional sports players be any different? A great many of them can make an even bigger difference because people look up to and admire them. With great power comes great responsibility.

~~~

“If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise.”

–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I like this quote because the meanies are always saying how God doesn’t like something—or someone—which acts/behaves the way God made it/them. Well, they should take their grievance up with God and leave the rest of us alone!

~~~

I’m finishing up with some eye candy!

Robbie Rogers shirtless pics

Robbie Rogers via Homorazzi.com

Unattributed via reddit.com

Unattributed via reddit.com

Our featured guest, Robbie Rogers.

And finally some romantic kisses to remind us that ultimately it’s all about loving someone—whomever that may be—the way we want to—however that may be—without anyone telling us it’s right or wrong!

"Crazy For You" by CuriousMushoo | deviantart.com

“Crazy For You” by CuriousMushoo | deviantart.com

"Kiss" by Yaoisy | deviantART.com

“Kiss” by Yaoisy | deviantART.com

"Kiss, boys, kiss" by applausexplease | deviantART.com

“Kiss, boys, kiss” by applausexplease | deviantART.com

"Forbidden Kiss" by xm0rphinex | deviantART.com

“Forbidden Kiss” by xm0rphinex | deviantART.com

"Boys Kiss" by Darkmagcite | deviantART.com

“Boys Kiss” by Darkmagcite | deviantART.com

Unattributed via reddit.com

Unattributed via reddit.com

I am doing a giveaway from this post too! Leave a comment by midnight (PDT) on Tuesday, the 28th, with either your thoughts about closeted sports players or your own favorite kiss photo, along with your valid email address, to receive a chance to win a selection from my backlist! The winner will be randomly selected from the comments and notified through their email.

Thanks for reading!

‘Til next time!

Hop Against Homophobia 2013 – Post 1

HAHAT 2013 2 logoGreetings, all! Welcome to my first post for the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia!

In conjunction with the International Day Against Homophobia, the hop runs from May 17th through the 27th. Over 170 LGBTQ authors, publishers, reviewers and artists have joined together to increase awareness of the ongoing issues regarding homophobia and transphobia. Visit everybody throughout the Hop for great information and cool prizes!

So I’ve been racking my brain about what to write for this Hop post. What can I add to the mix that is new or informative or interesting? I mean—come on—everything that has needed to be said has been been said, right?

Well, apparently not…

Today (Thursday) I came across this article on glo.msn (yes, it’s originally from Cosmopolitan) about punk rocker Tommy Gabel from Against Me!, who is now Laura Jane Grace. Great articles, both on glo and Cosmo, with lots of supportive comments and brouhaha about pronouns (the Cosmo article uses “he” when referring to pre-transition Tommy and “she” when referring to Laura–some people didn’t catch on to the chronology.)

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Tommy with daughter, Evelyn.

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Laura Jane Grace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet, the VERY FIRST comment on glo reads as follows:

Norman Nonnweiler · Concordia University Chicago

Woopie! Another mentally ill person being coddled by the medical industry. The people who perform this surgery are the real criminals. Is this man so despirate(sic) that he needs to become a fake woman to advance his music career? Well yah got your name in the news. Let’s hope it never appears there again. A man can not become a woman even if you do turn his thing inside out. It’s sad that this nonsense even is news.

So apparently we do need to continue to educate, inform and generally shout down the ignorant people of the world. It was nice to see the number of scathing reactions to Norman’s comment (if you scroll down far enough, you’ll see mine).

Many best wishes to Laura as she continues her journey…

Now part of this Hop is, of course, PRIZES! Leave a comment below with how you would respond to Mr. Norman (along with your valid email address) to win an e-copy of my most recent release, Side Effects, a contemporary M/M romance. The winner will be chosen from comments to this post (other prizes will be forthcoming on other posts) and notified through their email, following the conclusion of the Hop on the 27th.

Good Luck!

Be sure to check out the rest of the Hop participants—and enter to win other fabulous prizes—here:

‘Til next time!

UPDATE: (05/27) – I have a second post with its own drawing here.

JT Blake liked this post