Stealing a Likeness
I’ve gone on record before stating that I think pen names are, and always have been, important to authors in every single genre. Ryan Field is my real name; my photo on the sidebar and wherever else I post it on social media is my likeness. But I have used pen names on certain occasions when working on projects outside my comfort zone. Pen names, for me, are more bother than they’re worth. But I still believe they are important for many authors, especially those writing erotic romance of any kind.
I only wanted to get that out of the way to make this one point clear: using a pen name is a completely different thing than using someone’s likeness without his permission. Because it is, indeed, illegal to use anyone’s likeness without permission, in writing.
In a victory for college athletes, a federal court of appeals ruled in favor of former Rutgers University starting quarterback Ryan Hart in his case against gamemaker Electronics Arts (EA) who used his likeness in its popular NCAA Football video game without his permission.
For me, stealing a likeness…even if it’s a random photo on google of a hot young guy…without permission is like stealing someone’s soul. It’s about as low as low gets.
If you can get permission to use someone’s likeness and you want to try to pull that off, I wish you luck. From what I’ve always seen, the most successful authors who use pen names always focus on their book covers and leave their images to the imagination. But more important, it shouldn’t really matter what an author looks like. It’s not about the author’s image, it’s about the author’s work.
Tyler Ferguson’s Humiliating Coming Out
I don’t think there’s a gay man out there who can’t relate to this story. I also think it’s an important lesson for those straight people who think they know it all about gay men to pay attention to. Up until recently we didn’t get a normal adolescence like straight people. We didn’t date 14 year old boys when we were 14 because that would have been laughable and scandalous…mostly shameful. While other straight teenage guys were trying to get into backseats with teenage girls we gay men were left to one thing: porn. And that’s only if we were lucky enough to find a place that had gay porn. Yes. I said porn. I’ll repeat that for those of you straight people who know all there is about gay men even though you aren’t gay. PORN.
Before I digress and wind up on a completely different topic (because this irritates me so much lately) here’s a link that talks about Tyler Ferguson’s experience with stealing porn when he was 14 years old, and then getting caught. I don’t think there’s anything more embarrassing or traumatic for a young gay man, because it’s pushing him forward and forcing him to come out long before he’s ready. Ferguson speaks about this lightly, and I give him credit for that, but I know deep down how he must have felt because it was my worst fear when I was a teenager hiding the porn under my rug.
‘I had been stealing porn and I had three magazines underneath my shirt, so tucked into my pants and my shirt over the magazines,’ he said.
‘I guess a certain magazine that I had picked up had a little sensor in it and I set off the alarm and I had to go back to the woman who asked me if I had anything in my backpack.
‘She was giving me the benefit of the doubt, she was like, “Did you forget to pay for something? Maybe something fell into your backpack?”
‘I couldn’t be like, “Some porn fell inside my pants!” Instead, I lifted up my shirt and I had tears in my eyes and she took me to the back room.
‘They brought my dad in, showed him the nature of the material that I was stealing,…it was really, really humiliating.’
Now THAT’S a real gay story about coming of age and humiliation. You can read the rest here.
Top 10 Gay Tumblr
I think one of the things I like most about Tumblr is that I don’t see the cheese I often see on Facebook. In fact, I think the cheese I see on Facebook is the main reason why it’s my least favorite social media. On Tumblr ( or even Twitter) I find it’s easier to control what I’m seeing and doing, and I don’t have to suffer through the visual of someone’s hideous winner chicken bacon dinner if I don’t want to.
Tumblr is different in this sense, too:
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite gay interest Tumblrs for you to follow covering the breadth of what the system has to offer. Well, most of the breadth. Due to our charter, some excellent Tumblrs that have nudity and R+ related content didn’t make the cut. But finding those really isn’t that difficult, and we’re sure you can manage. And we bet you have favorites of your own you’d like to share in the comments.
Of course I have a few favorites. I’m going to make a point of putting together a post with links on this soon.
Grindr Police Entrapment
This article about gay men dealing with police entrapment on Grindr is for Egyptian users. But I find it interesting because this kind of entrapment has been going on in the US for decades…or longer. A cop will lure an unsuspecting gay man into a sexual situation and right before anything happens the gay man is arrested and he didn’t even know what hit him. In most cases, in the US, they bait gay men with hot young undercover cops who drive sports cars.
In any event, this is what’s happening on Grindr:
That was enough to get Grindr to implement a warning message when users open the app. Seen in the screen-grab above, it reads:
“Speak Safely — Egypt is arresting LGBT people, and police may be posing as LGBT on social media to entrap you. Please be careful about arranging meetings with people you don’t know, and be careful about posting anything that might reveal your identity.”
Of course there haven’t been any confirmed arrests, but how many confirmed arrests like this do you ever hear about in the US? Who’s going to admit it? And yet it happens all the time. Very few gay men will ever challenge something like this for fear of shame and exposure…even those who are openly gay.