Month: June 2013

If I Were Paula Deen’s Literary Agent

If I Were Paula Deen’s Literary Agent

There has been a great deal written and discussed about television personality and cookbook author, Paula Deen, in the past two weeks. And one of the things I was watching closely was what would happen with her upcoming cookbook with Random House, and how Deen’s literary agent would react.

In spite of how much I hate the N-word, and anything even remotely related to racism, I’ve tried to remain objective while posting about Paula Deen. And this post is strictly about books and publishing and I’m not offering any subjective comments now on Deen’s situation. But since this is a publishing related post and it deals with Deen’s cookbook, I did want to comment on Random House canceling her book.

Random House has canceled the publication of Paula Deen’s upcoming cookbook Paula Deen’s New Testament, as well as four other cookbooks Deen was on contract to write with imprint Ballantine, the publishing house announced in a statement Friday.

Random House was not the first to break ties with Deen, but they certainly did wait until almost the very end to see how things were going to play out. I’ve also read they allegedly may have canceled her books partly because major retail outlets have severed ties with Deen this past week, which basically means they might be worried they won’t have a place to sell the books once they are published. That’s only hearsay, and no one really knows if that’s a fact so I’m not linking to anything related to that. And it doesn’t even make sense to me because I’ve also read that Deen’s unpubbed cookbook rose to number one on Amazon last week because so many people wanted to show their support to Deen. And the fact is that people are supporting her in spite of how many companies are dropping her.

The book was scheduled for release in October, and in recent days pre-orders have raised it to No. 1 on the online bookseller’s sales ranks. Her 2011 cookbook, “Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible,” has risen to the second spot.

As an author, I know that Amazon accounts for a good deal of sales, and if someone can’t get something anywhere else they will go to Amazon…even if it’s a cookbook they can’t buy at Target or Wal-Mart. As a consumer I have done this many, many times when I’ve wanted something badly enough. As far as I know, Amazon has not refused to sell Deen’s books. At least I don’t think they have.

And if I were Paula Deen’s agent I would be looking out for the best interests of my client and doing what is right for my client. That’s what an agent does. I’m speaking strictly from a publishing POV right now. I’ve also been waiting to see what Deen’s agent would say about all this.

“I am confident that these books will be published and that we will have a new publisher,” Deen’s literary agent, Janis Donnaud, told the Associated Press.

Publishing is a business and agents work for/with authors. On a pragmatic level, no one can argue that point. Publishing is also about freedom of speech, whether you agree with what someone says or not. I find everything about what Alec Baldwin says repulsive, but I do think he has the right to say it. Evidently, there are many people who are supporting Deen, people of ALL races, who don’t think she got a fair deal. If that weren’t true the sales ranks on Amazon wouldn’t reflect these amazing numbers. And Deen’s agent can’t ignore that.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Deen’s agent didn’t advise her to self-publish the books. Other literary agents have found ways to work these things out as a partnership of sorts so there’s no conflict of interest. And it’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out. A publisher has every right to cancel a book if an author is in breach of contract for whatever reason (there are little clauses for things like this). But an author…any author…also has the right to get his/her books out to their readers as well. With all the options out there now for authors and literary agents, I think this might be just one more example in the future of another self-publishing success story.

Brother vs Brother; Frat Pack; Scott Brothers Entertainment

There’s a new TV show coming out this July titled, Brother vs Brother, and it looks like it was inspired somewhat from two members of the infamous Frat Pack, Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller. At least that’s what Jonathan Scott, one of the stars of the TV show, tweeted today. I’m a HUGE Owen Wilson fan, but I’ve never actually seen a Ben Stiller movie, so that’s as far as I can go in that direction.

Aside from all this, I am looking forward to Brother vs Brother on HGTV. I’ve been a fan of their show, The Property Brothers since it started, and I think this new show is going to be interesting. There’s a chemistry between them that most brothers don’t share.

Are you Team Jonathan or Team Drew? Watch web-exclusive videos, read our bloggers’ competition recaps and tell us which brother you’re rooting for!

I’m usually in the corner of adorable Team Jonathan, but I digress.

If you just can’t seem to get enough of brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott, then you’ll love what’s heading your way this summer. Each week on Property Brothers you’ve witnessed their playful jabs and friendly competitiveness. Well now, you can watch them go head-to-head on HGTV’s newest show, Brother Vs. Brother. The brothers will lead two teams, Team Jonathan and Team Drew, and work to add value to two homes. The last team member standing will win a whopping $50,000 cash prize! – See more at: http://blog.hgtv.com/HGTVersus/category/brother-vs-brother/#sthash.T8BLhR7y.dpuf

For those who are not familiar with the Frat Pack, you can read more here. I find it refreshing to see that something like Brother vs Brother promo photo was inspired by Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller. It rings of the kind of parody I enjoy most, and also the kind of parody a lot of people don’t always understand. In any event, I think it’s going to be an interesting show.

Here’s a link to the their web site, where you can also read about JD Scott as well. I find their honest tweets and facebook updates refreshing, especially those regarding the recent SCOTUS rulings JD posted. It’s nice to see they aren’t afraid to speak up and talk about what they believe is right. We don’t see enough of that lately.

Cover Preview: Cowboy In Love Bad Boy Billionaire Series

Here’s a cover preview for an upcoming book in the Bad Boy Billionaire series, Cowboy in Love.

The entire book is set in Texas, and it gets very emotional in more than one part. The main character is still grieving for his deceased husband, and doesn’t know how to move on with his life. I’ll post a release date soon.

Here’s a link to a free excerpt and a book description, and some info that explains more of the book in detail.

 

Alec Baldwin Gay Slurs; Free Excerpt Tea Dance

I really do like to post more positive things on Fridays, but I just couldn’t ignore the recent gay slurs from Alec Baldwin again. And in light of what’s been happening with Paula Deen all week, I think what Baldwin did is highly relevant when it comes to the different standards we set.

Evidently, Alec Baldwin didn’t like something a reporter wrote about him, and he went off on that reporter on twitter. There are links to this everywhere. This is from gawker:

I’m gonna find you, George Stark, you toxic little queen, and I’m gonna fuck…you…up. http://t.co/eoHfGGjD46
— ABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) June 28, 2013

Here’s a link, with screen shots. I don’t like sharing screen shots because they belong to the author of the article (it’s like a photo), so full credit is due with this link. And if you haven’t read these tweets in full, you might want to seriously check them out.

Here’s another link to back the first one up, with more examples of Baldwin’s hate speech toward gays, in detail. And that’s what it is. Hate speech from a nasty, privileged hateful man.

Angry about a Daily Mail story that reported his wife, Hilaria, had tweeted during James Gandolfini’s funeral, Baldwin let fly a series of tweets that took a homophobic turn, calling reporter George Stark a “Toxic little queen.”

What I find most interesting is that Alec Baldwin has done this before. And once again his hate speech was directed at gays, and the UK. In this article he gets us all.

The Twitter messages were directed at the editor-in-chief of the New York Daily News, British-born journalist Colin Myler and read:

“Ever since that English Queen took over the Daily News, they lie like the Post…” and

“Her Highness Colin Myler… Please don’t do to the News what you did to NOTW…”

And finally, this article mentions Alec Baldwin’s hate speech toward gays, and what I brought up earlier in this post about Paula Deen and the double standards we set in the media.

 “This is the kind of incident that shows the hypocrisy of the liberal media. Paula Deen says something bad decades ago and has her whole career destroyed,” he said. “Alec Baldwin fills his career with embarrassing moments – saying awful things to his daughter, getting kicked off an airplane and now, the ultimate PC sin, anti-gay comments. And his career will continue unharmed.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/06/28/alec-baldwin-calls-reporter-toxic-little-queen-says-wife-did-not-tweet-during/#ixzz2XWTyrqVm

I would take this even a step further. I think this is a double standard against gays in general. What else could you call it? What Paula Deen did was wrong, but she admitted it openly, talked about it openly, and literally begged for forgiveness on national television. And even with all that, her empire has been crumbling all week…and it might continue. Random House still hasn’t made a decision about her book release in October in spite of what I hear about all the pre-release sales.

What Alec Baldwin did was far worse in my opinion because he threatened someone with bodily harm and vituperative gay slurs, but I don’t see the same media frenzy with out of control vicious Baldwin that surrounded Paula Deen. And I don’t see the studios, networks, and advertisers with which he’s associated firing him and ruining his entire life. Why not?

What this suggests to me is that you can say anything you want about gays and get a free pass, but if you make other politically incorrect comments off the cuff, in private years earlier, you’re finished. And the worst part of it all is now we’ll have to suffer through more of Alec Baldwin’s pinched face sneers and superior unwarranted attitude on good old boy TV shows like Letterman where Baldwin will turn this entire thing into one big funny-ha-ha joke and get away with it.

Photo here.

Free Excerpt: Palm Beach Stud

On a more positive note, I wanted to post a free raw (before final edits) excerpt from an upcoming release in the Bad Boy Billionaire series titled, The Palm Beach Stud. This particular excerpt deals with gay culture and gay tea dance, which I posted about earlier this week here.

Brady stood up and leaned back into Farman’s chest. He kissed Farman on the cheek and said, “I’ll do that.” Brady failed to mention they really hadn’t done anything different at all. They’d basically done the same thing they’d been doing since they’d met. The only thing different was they’d done this on a Sunday morning instead of a Friday or Saturday night. All at once, the thought of doing this same thing for the rest of his life sent a wave of panic through Brady’s entire body. It ended with a sting in his gut and he took a deep breath.

          Then Farman patted his bottom and turned to leave the room. On his way out, he stopped and said, “Speaking of breaking up the routine, do you mind if we skip brunch today?”
          “Skip brunch?” Brady almost fell off the bed. They’d only skipped brunch that one time a few months ago when Farman had come down with the flu.

          “I promised Lucky I’d come over and show him a few things about foursquare,” Farman said. “We can all go to tea dance [J1] later, just like we always do.” Brady had been the one who had introduced Farman to the entire concept of tea dance when they’d first met. Up until then, Farman didn’t know tea dance was a big thing in gay culture, or that gay men all over the world went out on late Sunday afternoons to gather at gay clubs to do anything from dancing, to drinking, to watching strippers.

          He hadn’t heard Farman make these plans with Lucky. They must have discussed it while Brady hadn’t been paying attention. This didn’t bother Brady as much as it should have bothered him. He shrugged and said, “It’s fine with me. It will give me a chance to go over a few things about the wedding with Mother.” The truth was Brady had never been a huge fan of brunch. He preferred to eat later, and most of the time during brunch he forced a salad down his throat in order to please Farman. If anything, it was a relief not to go to brunch.

          “Excellent,” Farman said. “I’ll go shower. I told Lucky I’d be over sometime after ten this morning.”

          Brady turned toward the master bathroom and said, “I’ll shower and clean up and then I’ll make some coffee and breakfast if you want.”

          “Just coffee for me,” Farman said. “I’m not that hungry this morning, and I don’t want to keep Lucky waiting.”

          Brady just smiled and shrugged. He wondered if Kevin knew about their plans. As Farman headed to the guest bathroom, he went into the master bath. Although Brady knew how to cook, and he wouldn’t have minded making breakfast for Farman, cooking wasn’t something he loved doing either.  He almost suggested they shower together, but then stopped and closed the bathroom door. When he realized he wanted to shower alone that morning without Farman, he felt a wave of relief.

* * * *

                    When they returned to the house in Brady’s car, they found Michele and Brady’s dad standing on the front steps. Brady parked under a tree and sat there gripping the wheel for a moment. “What’s he doing here today?” He hadn’t expected to see Rick this soon again. He’d been hoping he wouldn’t see him ever again after what he’d done at the dance club the night before.

          “Who is that?” Farman asked. Brady hadn’t mentioned anything to Farman about Rick yet. He’d told him the basics: that his dad was gay, he was a semi-pro race car driver, and that he lived the life of an aging circuit queen traveling from one city to the other where trendy middle-aged gay men tried as hard as they could to cling to their youths.

          “It’s my father,” Brady said. “I ran into him last night at the club by accident. Mother invited him to our wedding.” He decided not to mention what Rick had done to him the night before. It was too revolting to revisit.

          “He seems so young,” Farman said. “He’s very attractive.”

          Brady rolled his eyes. “He’s pure compost on the inside.”

          “Well.”

          Brady climbed out of the car and Farman followed. When they reached the front steps, Michele looked at Brady with a guarded expression and said, “I heard you bumped into your father last night at a night club in South Beach.”

          Brady forced a smile so Farman wouldn’t see his real feelings. “Oh yes, mother. Did Rick tell you how interesting it was? I have to admit, it was the surprise of a lifetime.” He glanced at Rick with absolute disgust.

          “I heard,” Michele said. “Your father came here this morning to explain.”

          Rick looked at Brady and said, “I’m not staying. I only wanted to apologize again. But I hope I get to see you again while I’m in town.”

          “I guess I’ll see you at the wedding,” Brady said. He still hadn’t introduced Farman—on purpose. Farman had begun to rock back and forth, as if eager to meet Rick.

          Rick frowned and looked down at the pavers. “I was hoping we could get together before that, but it you don’t have time I understand.”

          Michele reached out for Rick’s hand. “I’ll talk to him, Rick. We’ll work something out.” She’d been urging Brady to get to know his father better for years, in spite of everything Rick had ever done to her.

          Farman had grown tired of waiting, so he leaned forward and extended his hand to Rick. “I’m Farman Lexington. I’m the happy groom who is marrying your son.”

          “I’m sorry,” Brady said. He patted Farman on the shoulder. “Farman, this is my long-lost father, Rick James.”

          “It’s very nice to meet you,” Rick said, shaking Farman’s hand.

          Farman lifted his chin and spoke with his Ivy League voice. “Likewise, I’m sure.”

          Then Kevin opened the front door and looked at everyone. He wore nothing but rumpled boxer shorts. He had a huge mug of black coffee in his right hand, and his hair was all messed up on top. “Well, well. What’s going on out here?” He set the coffee down on top of a Grecian urn in such a precarious way it looked as if it would fall off. He walked up to Rick and hugged him. “No one told me my favorite ex-father-in-law was here this morning.”

          Rick hugged Kevin and said, “I’m leaving. I’m driving up to Daytona this morning to meet a few old friends.”

          “Don’t let us keep you,” Brady said. He wanted him out of the house. He also wanted Kevin to put on a robe because his junk moved around in the boxer shorts in such a vulgar way each time he made the slightest move.

          Michele rolled her eyes and she sent Brady a vicious glare.

          Rick seemed eager to leave, so he said, “I really do have to get moving.” Then he said goodbye to everyone and stopped when he reached Brady. He hugged him, even though Brady made no attempt to return the hug, and said, “I hope we can talk while I’m in town. It would mean a lot to me.”

          Brady stepped back and squared his shoulders. “We’ll see.” Then he turned and walked into the house and left the rest of them outside.

          A moment later, Michele walked into the kitchen and glared at him again. “How could you be so heartless? He’s your father, and nothing is ever going to change that.”

          Brady noticed Kevin had followed her, with his junk moving around even more in his boxer shorts. “He’s never been a father to me, and you know that better than anyone.”

          “So he tried to get into your pants last night,” Kevin said. “It was an honest mistake. You can’t blame him. I did the same thing the first time I saw you.” Kevin had been even more aggressive than Rick had been the night before. They’d met in a club and he’d literally pulled Brady out to his car, shoved him into the backseat, and pulled his pants down.

          But Brady didn’t want to listen to any of this. He turned to Kevin and said, “Go put on a robe or something. You shouldn’t be walking around that way in front of my mother.”

          Kevin laughed.

          Michele said, “Give me a break. I have two sons. I’ve been married more than once. I’ve seen it all and Kevin has nothing that’s going to shock me.”

          “Where’s Farman?” Brady asked. “He was right behind me outside.”

          Kevin smiled. “I sent him out back to the pool. Lucky was out there waiting for him. They are supposedly going to play foursquare or do something like that. I wasn’t paying attention to them.” Evidently, he knew about their plans.

          “Where are Jackson and Lawrence?” Brady asked.

          Michele said, “Jackson drove down to Key West.” She frowned, which meant he’d gone to meet his married lover, who had a house down there. “He’ll be back in a day or two. I’m not sure. And Lawrence is still in bed sleeping.”

          “I’m going to change and go for a swim,” Brady said. He wanted to get away from Kevin and he wanted to stop talking about his father. He figured that if he was really lucky, and if history repeated itself as it usually did, Rick would forget all about the wedding and not show up at all.

          “I’d like to discuss a few things with you first,” Michele said. She smiled at Kevin and patted him on the arm. “If you’ll excuse us, dear, I’d like to talk to Brady in the conservatory.” She spoke in a rare tone, one that she used whenever Brady had done something wrong.


 

Gay Marriage: Most Of Us Are Still Outlaws

Gay Marriage: Most Of Us Are Still Outlaws

I’ve been going back and forth with a friend on Cape Cod this evening trying to explain the recent SCOTUS ruling on same sex marriage. This friend lives in New York part time, and was married in New York to his husband, but his *main* legal place of residence is in Pennsylvania where same sex marriage is NOT recognized. So basically he’s in the same position Tony and I are in as residents of Pennsylvania where same sex marriage is NOT recognized on a state level…unless he establishes full time New York residency.

My friend was thrilled, like we all were thrilled, to hear the ruling about same sex marriage. And then he e-mailed me and said Tony and I should get married in New York so we can get the federal recognition at the very least, even if we cannot get the state recognition in PA. All that sounds wonderful, but there’s an important point my friend missed. If you are a same sex couple and you live in a state, and you have residency in a state, where same sex marriage is NOT recognized, you are not eligible for federal recognition. The court made a point of explaining this.

This article is the best I could find so far, and this section sums it all up very neatly:

2. Where you live matters more than it ever did.

Those lucky enough to live in states that recognize their marriages are upgraded to full state and federal benefits based on the DOMA ruling. Those who don’t live in such states remain in much the same situation as before.

Geography could play a big role in how the federal government implements the Supreme Court’s ruling. Social Security, for example, recognizes marriages based on the policies of the state where a beneficiary lives, says Peter W. Martin, a Cornell University law professor who specializes in the entitlement program. That means that two men married in Massachusetts but living in Florida, which bans gay marriage, likely wouldn’t get spousal benefits.

The Supreme Court’s DOMA decision could create stark contrasts. In Pennsylvania, for example, a same-sex couple gets no recognition at all. If they get married out of state, they can’t even file for divorce in Pennsylvania, which is a major inconvenience, says Julia Swain, a partner at law firm Fox Rothschild LLP in Philadelphia.

You can read more here. It also states that the Obama administration could work aggressively to give out as many federal benefits as possible, which I’m hoping is the case.

But I honestly don’t know how to get that point across any clearer, as things stand right now as I write this post. Yes, the ruling was historic and it brought us all one step closer to full equality. Yes, I’m thrilled it happened and I’m thrilled for same sex couples who live in states where they are fortunate enough to be recognized. However, Tony and I, and millions of other gay couples in this country, are basically still screwed and we are still outlaws.

And if you live in a state where gay marriage is not recognized yet (like PA) and you think that by getting married in a state where it is recognized you’re going to be recognized on a federal level because of this ruling, you’d better check out all the legal details. If it were, Tony and I would have been in New York today.

So those of you who think the fight for equality is over should take a closer look at this ruling, and even though it is a time to celebrate and things are moving forward, it’s not time to take down the equality banners just yet. There is still a long way to go for many of us.

Gay Content; More Paula Deen; Equal Rights Blog Hop

I posted yesterday about something that happened to me during final edits for an upcoming book about tea dance in gay culture, and I just wanted to elaborate on why I’ll probably vet gay content…or gay cultural content…even more now.

But I’m not going to go overboard either, and I also wanted to get into why it’s important not to add too much information in fiction. Tea dance for me and thousands of other gay men of all ages…it’s not an age thing or a generational thing; I know gay men that range from age 21 to 91 who go to tea dance in Sunday afternoons…is something we don’t even think about twice. I e-mailed good friends yesterday to back me up and they agreed with me. But I do understand how many people who are not gay, or familiar with all the details of gay culture, would not know anything about tea dance. So I added a few lines to the book in an appropriate place to explain tea dance.

But only a few lines. I didn’t go into a long dissertation with multiple paragraphs on tea dance or the history of tea dance. I didn’t want to stop the story to do that, I didn’t want to lose the reader, and I think the explanation doesn’t disrupt anything in the book. If I had gone into a long explanation of tea dance I would have run the risk of boring the people who do know what tea dance is, and even boring those who don’t know what it is. In other words, the book is about a Palm Beach rake (bad boy), it’s not about tea dance in gay culture. And it’s important to stay focused on the story and not the elements surrounding the story.

As for all gay content in general, I’m going to be thinking differently now whenever I write something into a book where I mention something dealing with gay culture that I take for granted. With all the blogs and information I see out there at a glance, I honestly did think someone, somewhere, had posted about tea dance and I thought it would be redundant to explain it in the book. But I’m not going to assume anything anymore. There are blogs I see sometimes that post up to five five or six times a day about gay history and gay couples, but now I’m starting to wonder how deeply those posts go. In other words, I’m starting to think all these articles flashed on blogs and social media are nothing more than excerpts and quotes from other practical academic sources with very little original content that’s based on any personal…or solid…experience about gay culture.

One of the things I find most difficult, as a gay writer, is finding good solid information about anything online dealing with gay culture when I need a resource. For example, in this article/post that deals with gender power in m/m romance, everything is based on academic information you can find in a text book in any community college. It’s a good article; it can’t be disputed. I completely agree with it. However, I find it lacking like most other gay content I find online. And that’s just a very small example. The majority of information I read online always seems to skim over gay content, with haphazard pieces about gay couples in history, or famous people who may (or may not in some cases) have been gay, always leave me wondering why no one ever digs deeper. It’s one thing to post about Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas on the surface and say they were gay, but it’s another to really get into a least a small part of the dynamics behind their relationship.

When I wrote the Titanic historical gay romance over a year ago (which will be released soon with Ryan Field Press as a .99 e-book) I found basically nothing about gay men in the Edwardian era when I was researching. And that’s because the word gay with regard to sexuality didn’t even exist back then. If they weren’t referred to as homosexuals, they were queers and fags and a variety of other pejoratives I would rather not repeat here. And no one talked about it openly, so no one recorded anything. And the best we can do now is guess about what it was really like.

But things have changed, and gay content isn’t that difficult to find anymore. The big problem I see right now are the sources where the gay information is offered is often lacking in substance, and lacking in content because it’s not coming from people who know how to dig deeper…or want to take the time to dig deeper. As a result, nice people take for granted that’s all there is and they don’t question anything because they don’t realize they aren’t getting all the information. And that’s where it’s important to vet gay content these days. In other words, don’t just take what you see on a blog that posts tons of gay articles daily and think it’s valuable information. It’s information, and it’s most likely correct, but it’s not going to tell you about things like gay tea dance. I’m going to try to work harder on this in the future.

More Paula Deen Issues

It was announced yesterday that now Wal-Mart and Caesars Entertainment will be backing away from Paula Deen. And there might be more to come.

Walmart and Caesars Entertainment joined Smithfield, a food company specializing in pork products, which dropped Deen on Monday. The Food Network also decided not to renew Deen’s contract after her remarks.

QVC told TMZ.com it was “closely monitoring these events and we are reviewing our business relationship with Ms. Deen. In the meantime, we have no immediate plans to have her appear on QVC.”

Equal Rights Blog Hop

A blogging buddy of mine sent me information about a blog hop for his new web site that’s focused on equal rights.

From my inbox:

The Equal Rights Blog Hop
As most of you know, equal rights are something that the GLBT community (or whatever acronym you prefer) has been fighting for across the world for some time now. The right to marry whomever we love. The right to be protected against discrimination in the workplace. The right to be protected from acts of violence that stem from who and what we are. We are making gains in some areas–many more countries are recognizing same-sex marriages as a legal right. We are losing ground in others, such as the increase in state-sanctioned violence against homosexuals in Russia and transgendered people in Greece.

July the 4th marks the celebration of Independence Day in the United States. We invite you to take place in a blog hop to celebrate our own march toward independence!

Queer Town Abbey is hosting a blog hop July 4th through 7th and we want YOU to participate! We’re calling on writers across the GLBT genre to join us: our theme is “What does being a member of the GLBT community mean to you?”

Please write a blog post on this topic and post it on your site on the 4th July. Feel free to also promote your books, too. Consider offering a prize to readers who comment on your post, as this will help ensure that people circulate the entire blog list.

This is a serious subject but we want you to have fun too! Share with us what being a member of this fabulous community means to you while taking the opportunity to introduce yourself to new readers and potential fans.

For more info: http://queertownabbey.com/join-the-equal-rights-blog-hop-july-4th-through-7th/

 

Gay Marriage Ruling; Tea Dance Gay Culture

Just to be clear on the gay marriage ruling today in the Supreme Court, I wanted to post something short for those who don’t always understand these things at a glance (like me).

The victory means the federal government must recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples married in the 12 states that allow same-sex marriage, plus the District of Columbia, and give them the same benefits that they had been previously denied under the struck-down law, the Defense of Marriage Act (or DOMA).

This means those who are fortunate enough to live in states where same sex marriage is legal are now protected by the same laws as straight married couples. And what used to be a small victory for gay couples who lived in states that did legalize gay marriage is now a huge victory or them and for equality.

84 year old widow, Edith Windsor, is a new hero of mine.

Windsor launched her lawsuit after getting a bill for $363,000 in estate taxes after her wife, Thea Spyer, died in 2009 – two years following the couple’s marriage in Canada. She noted that if her spouse had been named “Theo,” she wouldn’t have received that bill.

Windsor will now get that money back as a result of this ruling.

Tony and I have known more than a few gay couples who have been faced with these taxes upon the death of a spouse. In many cases it has wiped the survivor out. Unfortunately, Tony and I still live in Pennsylvania where gay marriage is not legal, and if that stands we may be forced to leave our home and move to a state where it is legal. So there’s still a long way to go for most gay couples, and there’s still a lot to do before we are all considered equal. But I think now, after this ruling today, things will move faster in a lot of other states.

Tea Dance Gay Culture

This morning I received copy edits from the publisher for one of my Bad Boy Billionaire Books, The Palm Beach Stud, and I thought it would be the routine revises I’ve come to expect. But this time I noticed something unusual. The book is set in Palm Beach, FL, and I’d mentioned the characters were all going to Tea Dance on a Sunday afternoon, which is still popular at clubs in South Beach…and other gay venues all over the country. I didn’t elaborate on this because I didn’t think I had to.

However, the editor left a question mark in tracker, and then she highlighted every other place I’d mentioned Tea Dance. So I was curious, and I put a question out on facebook to see how many other people didn’t know about Tea Dance in gay culture. And I found out there are many who don’t know. So I figured I would put it in a post and give links right now. I also gave a strong explanation of Tea Dance in the book and sent it back to the publisher with the revise. I probably should have known better, but I thought everyone was familiar with it. I’m just glad the copy editor caught it before it was released. One more reason you need an editor.

This is from Urban Dictionary:

Tea dance, often abbreviated as just “tea”, is a term for “happy hour” used among men and women in the gay community. Not necessarily just one hour.
The term can also be qualified by “hight” and “low” to qualify the time of day it occurs. Low tea typically takes place earlier in the evening. High tea is later. And in some larger gay resorts, such as Fire Island, there is even mid-tea which takes place between the two.

In places like Provincetown, MA, Tea Dance is something gay tourists look forward to…sometimes every day of the week. In New Hope, there’s a Tea Dance at The Raven restaurant/bar every Sunday all year long…even in the winter. We go from about 5 in the afternoon until about 7 in the evening. This link to Wiki also gives a good explanation, and gets into the origins of Tea Dance. I know more than one gay couple where Sunday revolves around Tea Dance…or as they say, “Sunday Tea.”