Friday, May 17, 2013

Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia

Today is the international day against Homophobia and Transphobia. For weeks, I've been thinking about what I was going to post on this day of education, tolerance and change. I participated with this blog hop last year, and I really enjoyed the feedback and the amazing stories many people shared with me. It gave me hope that things are really starting to change for the better and in all honesty, I'm very honored and pleased to be a small part of it.

It amazes me that we still live in a time where people are not accepted and often frowned upon because of who they are attracted and fall in love with. I've always believed that love and sexuality is one of the greatest gifts given to us, and to see that some people are ostracized and bullied because of their homosexuality or their sexual identity is beyond my comprehension. How can anyone look at two people who are in love and whether it's heterosexual or homosexual love, think that it's not a precious and beautiful thing?

It's because of these beliefs that I started reading homoerotic romances. I admit, I was bored with heterosexual romances, and once I discovered the M/M genre, I was immediately hooked! Soon, my love of homosexual romances took a life on its own. Before I knew it, I wrote my first M/M romance, Got Mistletoe?, and I've never looked back since.

When I first started writing my first book, I admit I was pretty nervous about talking about it with my husband. Now, don't get me husband is a very open minded man, but I still was unsure of what his thoughts would be about me writing romances about gay love. To my elated happiness, he was and still is extremely supportive of my writing and what I write about. He doesn't hesitate about talking to others about my books and not once has always shown his support and pride in what I write.

I'm not one to hide anything so I soon also discussed it with my mother, sister and stepfather. I had a feeling they too, would be supportive and I was right. I knew there were some of my fellow authors that didn't have the same support system that I had, and I was extremely grateful for my immediate family.

Of course, I also knew that there were other relatives that wouldn't feel the same way. I have an extended family that I wasn't sure of what they'd think of what I write when they found out.

I found out a couple of years ago.

As I mentioned earlier, my mother is very proud of me and one of my biggest fans. I had my first paperback book published and she was one of the first people to order it. It was a holiday, and we had just finished eating our Thanksgiving dinner. We, as an extended family, were sitting around the table talking about our lives and so on. Now, some of these members knew I wrote romances, but they weren't aware of what kind of romances I wrote. One of my family members started questioning me about it and before I could say anything, my mother jumped up and grabbed her copy of my book. On the cover are two men in a loving embrace, so there is no mistaking what I write about.

Well, I'm sorry to say that after one of my extended family members looked at it, he got all flustered and angry. He questioned what it was. I told him. He walked out of the room and then after a few moments came back in and proceeded to tell me how I was going against the laws of nature and of course, God, for writing such trash. Although I was furious with him, I somehow managed to keep my cool. I told him that I believe that love is love and that although I respected his opinion, what mattered was how I felt about it.

Not once did he listen to what I had to say. He then began to rant about how the money I made off of the books were sinful and dirty. "I'd rather live in a tent instead of living off of the money you make for writing such pornographic trash," he said.

Now...please don't get me wrong. I WANTED to stand up and pop him in the mouth because of the vicious things he said about homosexuals, my writing and apparently my greed for writing the love stories that I do.  But even though I wanted to rant and rave back at him, I kept my cool and just told him I didn't believe, nor would I believe like he does. No matter what I said, he didn't listen. I look back on it and realize he DIDN'T want to hear what I had to say. He was so wrapped up in his own prejudices and beliefs, he didn't care about really having a rational discussion about it. Soon, my mother, husband and sister even began to try and reason with him. In the end, he never listened. Instead, he shook his head and left.

Since then he and I have barely spoken a word to each other.

Do I feel a loss because of it? NO. Yes, I'm saddened by the strain it's put on the extended family, but I will not apologize for my beliefs, nor will I tolerate being around someone who claims they are religious and yet feels so much hate for people who do not think or love how HE believes they should. So much for loving thy neighbor and showing others love and tolerance like the good book says. Do I hope that one day he will begin to understand the hatred and intolerance that he spews all in the name of God? Yes. I sincerely hope one day we will be able to sit down and have a rational discussion about it. I hope he will allow himself to let go of the confusion and hate he has in his heart for others that are different than him. Do I think he'll ever change? I don't know, but I do hope that in time he'll become more educated and open both himself and his heart to all people and just not the ones who think the way he does.

The thing is...I know what I've gone through is nothing compared to what both homosexuals and transsexuals go through on a daily basis. I have friends that have been bullied and worse because of who they are. This sickens me. I hate that they have this ongoing fight to live proudly as they are meant to live. I truly admire anyone willing to stand up and proud of loving and being who they really are.

As a straight woman, I will always stand up against the fight against homosexual and transphobia. I will never back down and will always proudly stand beside them and fight the good fight.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. As a prize, I will give two commenter's on my post my entire backlog of ebooks. The contest will run until the blog hop is over on the 27th.

For more information on The International Day of Homophobia and Transphobia check out their website here.

Here is the link back to the Blog Hop page.

Thank you again for stopping by.




  1. Thank you for taking part in the hop! A great post indeed. Homophobia, especially when expressed among family members, is a horrible thing to witness.

  2. This is a prime example of the second purpose of this hop: to stand together as an LGBT writing community against discrimination of our books. Sad to say, but this is not an uncommon reaction. Some people can't reveal what they write at their workplace because they run the risk of getting fired. We saw many posts on that last year.

    However, I'm so glad your mother and immediate family are a 100% behind you. You deserve all the love and support you can get - we all do, as do the subjects we write about. *Hugs*

    Erica Pike
    eripike at gmail dot com

  3. I've had mixed reaction from the few friends and family members I've told. I'm so proud of what I've written, I want tell people. But yeah, it hurts when they're not accepting. My mom keeps asking, "Aren't you afraid people will think you're a lesbian?" Not just because of what I write, but also because I'm vocal about my support of the LGBT community. My answer is no. I wouldn't care one way or the other.

    Thanks for joining in the hop! xoxo

  4. Listening - or not - does seem to be a common theme in some of the blogs I've read. I cant imagine keeping my calm as you did in this situation.
    I think that as readership of MM books grow, so too will the number of advocates for acceptance

    littlesuze at hotmail dot com

  5. "I will never back down and will always proudly stand beside them and fight the good fight." This is what it's all about. We find out who our family and friends are when we stand up for what we believe in. :)

    P.S. You don't have to count me...I have all your books :)

  6. Very inspiring post...sharing stories is what will combat homophobia in the end, I think!


  7. i am so glad you stood up to that one relative of yours. you do write some great books and if your relative can't accept that it's his fault

  8. Thank you so much for your post. I am sorry that you had to face that when writing your stories. I guess that we can only hope that one day we will not face this kind of injustice anymore.


  9. Somehow, I think your relative totally missed all the passages about acceptance and tolerance in the bible. I, like you, cannot understand how anyone can spew such hate and ignorance in the name of the hypocritical.
    Glad that your hubby, mom and stepdad and your sister support you.

    Thanks for participating in the Hop!

    hugs from your fan,

  10. Thank you for your great post. I've enjoyed reading your stories, and I'm glad you're participating in the blog hop!

    awindandbooks at gmail dot com

  11. Thank you for taking part in the hop and for sharing your story with having to deal with homophobia. It's never a great feeling to have to deal with such prejudice and I'm glad to know that you didn't let this get in the way of how you feel or what you do.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  12. Wow, Andy... you've got courage! :) I must say my family doesn't really know what I write, nor do they really care. I'm Italian and write mostly in English, which means my very Catholic mum will never know - she doesn't want to know anyway.
    Thank you for the post - phobias are not only against homo&trans, but also against whoever supports them, like we do! :)
    creativebarbwire at gmail dot com

  13. As I gay male, I thank you for your support. Every voice makes a difference.


  14. Hi Andi! I'd have wanted to pop him too, but it's best that you took the higher ground. I thank you for being part of this hop and want to say that I for one enjoy your lovely, sensitive approach to your stories. Keep up the good work!

  15. I can relate. Family can be tricky. When I found this genre to read - cause a writer I am not! - I found it easier to just quietly read my books and not advertise what I am reading. I am sad to say, my family is not very opened minded. Most would be horrified to find out that I READ about LGBT let alone support it. What does that say about my family, not much and that is just too sad. Should they ask and really listen, they would realize that I am reading LOVE stories. Thank you for supporting this most worthy cause.

  16. Sad to say but every family has their resident idiot and we all have to deal with them in our own way. My way was to write them out of my life. Life is too short to have to deal with their crap. Glad you have a good core family.

  17. I don't think I will ever understand the things people do and say "In the name of God" thanks for the great post.

    peggy1984 (at) live (dot) com

  18. I feel sorry for him. That much hate will eat you alive. Keep up the good work.

  19. Thanks for sharing your story. I lived with my mother briefly, and she found two of my MM books. She said, sneeringly: " I really hate those two books right there!" She didn't say why, but I knew. Even worse, she asked her boss, a Presbyterian minister, to have a talk with me about it!! Kinda pitiful. I am a middle aged woman. I'll read what I like. Such hypocrisy disappointed me, but I wasn't surprised.
    brendurbanist @gmail. com

  20. Thanks for the post there are so many with this same view as your relative. Thankfully there are more people like you to overcome the hate.

  21. Thank you so much for sharing your story and participating. It is sad that in the world we live in so much hatred exists.

  22. I'm sorry you have family that doesn't approve of your work. I know I have to keep my favorite reading material secret. I can only imagine what it feels like to have that reaction to one's sexuality.
    Thanks so much for sharing your post in this blog hop! Such an important subject.

    OceanAkers @

  23. I started reading M/M romances because I got bored with M/F as well, and I've been hooked ever since. Thanks for participating!


  24. Great blog post. Thanks for being a part of the hop!
    jessangil at gmail dot com

  25. Great post! Family can make you mad and hurt your feelings faster than anyone else. Thank you for taking part in the hop!
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  26. Nice post :)

    Thanks for participating in this great hop!