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 wrong...my 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.