Pride Month: FREE Gay Fiction Excerpt Blissfully Yours
Here’s the first chapter of my recently pubbed novel, Blissfully Yours. It’s a little different from my other books because this time we get to see what it’s like for the dad of a gay son to deal with his son marrying a man. The dad is totally fine with his son being gay, and he’s always more than supportive. However, the dad doesn’t like the man his son is planning to marry, as a person. The dad thinks his son could do better and he sets out to prove that there’s something crooked about the fiance, hoping to break them up.
Earl Bradshaw’s first impression of his gay son’s fiance leaves Earl wondering where he went wrong. The fiance, Gabriel, is pushy, scruffy, overbearing, and he refers to Earl as “dad” without even asking for permission. Earl has a feeling deep in his gut that Gabriel is lying about something. So when the entire family travels to Palm Springs for Thanksgiving, Earl makes a point of finding out what Gabriel is hiding.
Abby Bradshaw, Earl’s wife, instantly falls in love with Gabriel’s charm and sexy good looks, and she starts treating him as if he’s her own son. Abby not only wants to support her gay son’s marriage, but she genuinely adores her future son-in-law in spite of Earl’s suspicions.
Baldwin Bradshaw, Earl and Abby’s gay son, is so blissfully in love with Gabriel he can’t see any of his flaws. The only thing Baldwin wants to do is introduce his family to the man he loves and live happily ever after.
But nothing in life is ever perfect, and Baldwin soon finds out that his happily ever after dream might not come true after all. And when a few of these realities finally sink in, nothing about Baldwin’s future is secure. The only thing that can save Baldwin and Gabriel is love through strength, and it’s not going to happen without a few tears along the way.
Here’s a link for more, and the excerpt is at the bottom of this post.
Frank Kameny Father of Gay Rights Movement and The Lavender Scare Documentary
I watched the excellent documentary on PBS last night, The Lavender Scare, which is about a dark period in US history where gay people were targeted and forced out of their government jobs. It was another one of those witch hunts, like the “Red Scare.” You can read more about that, here.
One of the people mentioned in The Lavender Scare was a Harvard graduate with a degree in Astronomy named Frank Kameny. He’s featured throughout the documentary and he’s been dubbed The Father of the Gay Right’s movement.
I found this article about Kameny. After he was targeted for being ‘homosexual’ his entire career…and life…was ruined. So he fought back.
“His whole career was destroyed and all of his aspirations, and he was so furious that he took on the Civil Service Commission and dedicated the rest of his life to fighting for gay rights and to end the kind of discrimination he’d faced,” George Chauncey, an LGBTQ historian and Columbia University professor, told NBC News.
You can read this one, here. And I highly suggest watching The Lavender Scare. I learned a great deal I never knew before and I’ve read countless numbers of books about President Eisenhower…all of which were glossed over and none mention what they did to gay people back then. The media and the gatekeepers of straight privileged history don’t want you to know this, or they don’t think it’s important enough to mention.
If someone wants to make an excellent first impression, they don’t flash their potential in-laws with an unsolicited dick pic only days before they meet them for the first time. It doesn’t matter whether or not their junk is concealed beneath a sheer layer of white cotton briefs. It doesn’t matter whether the dick pic was intentional or not. Because even though mistakes happen all the time with text messages, if the outline of the entire huge penis can be seen in detail on the screen, it could set the stage for the entire future relationship with their in-laws. No matter how hard people try, there are certain things in life that can never, ever be unseen.
So it’s no wonder Earl Bradshaw blinked at his phone screen when he received a text alert from his son, Baldwin. Earl and his wife, Abby, were packing to leave for Palm Springs, California in the morning to spend Thanksgiving with Baldwin and his fiancé, Gabriel. Earl had just asked Abby if he should pack his tennis shoes when he got the text alert. At first he didn’t know what the photo was, but then he looked again and saw the outline of what appeared to be a man’s penis showing through sheer white underwear. It was a close up shot that showed every detail of a semi-erect penis, including the length and the girth. The text that came with it read: “Hey Baldwin, baby. Look what I’ve got for you. The Big Boy.” To make matters even worse, the dick pic was sent in a group text to Earl, Abby, Baldwin, and Baldwin’s younger brother, Harold. It was the same family group text thread they’d been using all week to talk about their Thanksgiving plans.
While Earl gaped at his phone with wide eyes and one palm pressed to his throat, Abby looked at her phone and asked, “What on earth is that? It looks like a big dead bird covered in cheese cloth. Is that a dead bird, Earl?” She turned her phone sideways and tilted her head. Apparently, she couldn’t find her dollar store reading glasses and didn’t feel like looking for them. She still hadn’t accepted the fact that she needed reading glasses, and everyone knew she resented the fact that up until a few months ago she could see everything perfectly.
Before Earl could reply to Abby, Harold rushed into their bedroom with his phone in one hand and a TV remote in the other. “Did you see that text?”
“Yes,” Earl said. “We’ve seen it. We’ve all seen it.”
Poor Abby was still staring at the photo and shaking her head from side to side. “Maybe it’s not a dead bird, Earl.”
“I can’t believe he sent a dick pic,” Harold said. “I’ve heard about dick pics, but this is the first time I’ve ever actually seen a real life dick pic on my own phone.”
Abby blinked. “A what?”
Earl sent Harold a look. “Delete those messages from your phone immediately, Harold, and then go back to you room and finish packing.”
“It’s only a dick pic,” Harold said. “There’s no need to turn all red-faced and scream about it. No one killed a kitten.”
“What’s a dick pic?” Abby asked, as she finally reached for her reading glasses on the night stand.
Harold laughed. “What do you think it is, mom? Think about it. Dick pic.”
Abby tapped her index finger against her lip and said, “Oh, yeah.”
“Harold, go to your room,” Earl said.
“I said go to your room, delete that text, and finish packing,” Earl said. “I don’t want to hear another word about it.” Earl had always believed in life there were certain circumstances that didn’t need explaining. They didn’t happen often, but when they did the best possible way to deal with them was to ignore them completely. At that moment, he couldn’t think of a better thing to ignore than that text of a huge penis from a strange man.
As Harold turned to leave, Abby put on her reading glasses, looked at her phone, and gasped. She stared for a moment, and said, “You know I have to get used to wearing my glasses. I really thought that was a photo of a dead bird. I honestly didn’t realize that it’s a penis.”
Earl sat down on a bench at the foot of the bed and said, “Just give me your phone and I’ll delete it.” In her defense, Abby had married Earl right out of college and she hadn’t dated many guys before him, so Earl knew she hadn’t seen that many penises in her lifetime.
Abby couldn’t stop staring at the photo. “It looks so much bigger than anything I’ve ever seen in person. What I don’t understand is why would Gabriel send us a photo of his penis?”
“I have no idea,” Earl said. “And frankly, I’m still not even sure why we’re going all the way out to California to spend Thanksgiving in the middle of the desert.”
“It’s Palm Springs,” Abby said. “You’ll like it. We’ll all like it.”
“But it’s the desert,” Earl said. “There’s something so unnatural about going to the desert for Thanksgiving. If you go away for Thanksgiving you go to a cute bed and breakfast in Vermont, or somewhere cold and fall-like. Not the desert. Who does that? It feels so un-American.”
“We’re doing this for Baldwin,” Abby said. She handed Earl her phone so he could delete the photo of Gabriel’s penis. “He wants to introduce us to the man he’s planning to marry, and last time I checked Palm Springs is in America.”
“Well, he’s doing a good job of introducing us with that photo they just sent,” Earl said. When Baldwin had told them he was gay, Earl hadn’t been prepared for some of the emotions that went along with that. It wasn’t that it bothered him that Baldwin was gay. He’d never had a problem with having a gay son. He loved his son and he only wanted him to be happy. However, he wasn’t prepared for the fact that other men would want to take Baldwin away from him, especially an aggressive scruffy man named Gabriel who texted a photo of his unusually huge penis. Earl had always thought of Baldwin as refined and delicate. The thought of a rough beast like this Gabriel person in bed with Baldwin turned Earl’s brain inside out.
Abby sighed. “Well, at least we now know why Baldwin always has a great big smile on his face. From what I saw in that text photo about Gabriel, our Baldwin is a very lucky young man.”
“Abby,” Earl said. “He’s our son. I’m not sure I like the idea of him marrying a man who would text a photo like that. I’d prefer him to marry a more refined man. A gentleman who knows the meaning of good taste and discretion. I don’t like the idea of my son marrying a sex maniac.”
“Oh, Earl. They all do it nowadays.”
Abby shrugged. “Everyone does it now. They send each other naked photos. It’s called sexting.”
“So you don’t know what a dick pic is, but you know what sexting is,” Earl said.
Abby shrugged again. “I read things on the Facebook.”
Earl’s phone rang and he saw it was Baldwin calling him. He answered and Baldwin said, “Dad, I’m so sorry about that text. It was only meant for me. I’m so embarrassed. You were never supposed to see that. Gabriel didn’t realize it was my phone. We have the same phones and he thought he was texting me privately from his phone. He had no idea it was going to everyone in a group text.”
Then another voice started talking. “Hey, dad, I just wanted to say I’m sorry for the mix up. That text was meant for my baby, Baldwin. Totally sorry, dude.”
Earl sat up straighter and adjusted his shoulders. “Who’s this?” He wasn’t talking to Baldwin anymore. Some strange, loud voice was calling him dad.
The strange voice laughed and said, “It’s me, your future son-in-law, Gabriel. I just wanted to say something so you don’t think I’m some kind of perv or creeper.” He laughed again. “I don’t normally send of group texts of my junk, you know what I mean, dad.”
Earl just sat there at the end of the bed staring at the wall in front of him. He didn’t know how to reply, and he’d never given this stranger…Gabriel…permission to call him dad. Wasn’t that supposed to happen after the wedding? Wasn’t it a bit presumptuous of this guy to start calling him dad now? Gabriel was not only vulgar, but he was pushy, too.
Baldwin must have yanked the phone out of Gabriel’s hand, because the next thing Earl heard was Baldwin’s voice. “I’m sorry, dad. I’ll see you tomorrow. I’ll be at the airport waiting for your plane to arrive. Please just disregard that text and delete it.”
Then Earl heard more laughter, as if Gabriel was tickling Baldwin and Baldwin was trying to get him to stop. Oh, Earl did not want to hear this.
“I have to go now, dad,” Baldwin said. “I’ll see you tomorrow morning. Have a safe flight. Give my love to mom.”
“Wait, don’t hang up yet,” Earl said. But it was too late. Baldwin had hung up and left him sitting there with his mouth half open, still wondering who on earth would text a photo of his penis to his future in-laws.
Abby sat down on her side of the bed and asked, “What did Baldwin say? Why are you sulking like that? I haven’t seen that expression since we rushed you to the emergency room with a kidney stone. Are you having trouble peeing again, Earl?”
Earl stood up and crossed to a bedroom chair so he could get undressed for bed. He set his phone down on a table beside the chair and said, “No, I’m not having trouble peeing again, Abby. Baldwin just said he’d see us at the airport and that he was sorry for the text. It was a mistake. What’s-his-name accidentally sent it to us instead of Baldwin. What’s-his-name got his phone mixed up with Baldwin’s phone and we got a group text by mistake.”
“His name is Gabriel,” Abby said. “It’s not what’s-his-name. And I’m looking forward to meeting him in person. I’ve heard so much about him from Baldwin I feel like I know him already.”
Earl kicked off his shoes and said, “I’m not sure about this guy, Abby. He doesn’t sound normal. And he looks so scruffy and unkempt.” Gabriel sounded like sex maniac to Earl, but he didn’t mention this to Abby. She wasn’t as worldly as he was and he didn’t want to upset her. She didn’t know about aggressive men like this Gabriel. Earl had come across his kind before, gay and straight. Aggressive men like Gabriel tend to seek out nice, quiet reserved people like Baldwin because they know they can take advantage of them. Although Baldwin was extremely bright and he’d never been anyone’s fool, he tended to be more submissive than aggressive and men like Gabriel knew how to spot that from miles away, and then zoom in on it. The thought of a man like Gabriel doing unspeakable things to his son made Earl want to punch something.
“I’m sure he’s fine,” Abby said. “Baldwin would never get engaged to someone who wasn’t a good, decent person.” She yawned and seemed to have trouble keeping her eyes open. “Come to bed now and get a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow is going to be a long day and you look exhausted.”
Her yawn was contagious. “I suppose you’re right, Abby,” Earl said. “I’m exhausted for some reason. I’m just not sure about this entire trip. I’d rather be meeting this guy, Gabriel, for the first time on my own home turf, not his. I wish they were coming here for Thanksgiving.”
“I know, dear,” Abby said. “But I do want to see what Baldwin’s life is like in Palm Springs, hear all about his job, and do something different for a change. Did you know it hardly ever rains in Palm Springs? I’ve been reading about it. It’s hard to believe there’s a place where it almost never rains.”
Earl rested his pants over the arm of the chair and crossed to the other side of the bed. As he pulled back the covers, he said, “Well I’m not too thrilled about that either. What kind of place gets nothing but sun all year round? That’s not normal either.”
When she didn’t reply, he glanced over the bed and saw that she’d already fallen asleep while he’d been talking. He’d always envied her for that: she could fall asleep so quickly. She looked so quiet and peaceful, resting so still. He leaned over and kissed the top of her head. Her medium length straight blond hair gave the impression she was ten years younger than she actually was. She’d kept a trim figure all her life, she only had a few lines around her eyes, and her neck was as tight and smooth as it had been the day he met her. Abby had slipped into middle age so gracefully it was hard for him to believe she was well into her 40s now. She’d always made Earl smile, and he wanted Baldwin to feel the same way about his future spouse someday, too.
As he turned out the light on the night stand and rested his head on the pillow, he took a deep breath and sighed aloud. He wondered if Abby had remembered to pack his shaving kit and a few pairs of short pants. He wanted to bring his running shoes. Even though he was almost 50 years old now, he worked hard to keep his body slim and firm. With a wife as young looking as Abby, he couldn’t afford to let himself grow soft and flabby like other men he knew. He turned on his side and wondered how old Gabriel was. He’d never asked Baldwin that question because he didn’t know Baldwin was getting that serious about Gabriel until last week. When he thought about how sudden this engagement had been he realized that’s what bothered him the most. If he’d only had a little warning it might have been easier. He didn’t know what to expect. Unfortunately, it was too late for that now, because he was boarding a plane in the morning for Palm Springs, California to meet the man who was going to marry his son, the same man who had just texted a photo of his penis to the entire family.