Category: feminism

Women Writing Gay Romance, Again; Michael C. Hall on Gayface Roles; Oprah and Michael Sam; Virgin Gay Hook Up Stories

Women Writing Gay Romance, Again

When I say I’m often smacked in the face daily as a gay man with something homophobic, I don’t exaggerate. Last night on Twitter I read a tweet by a straight male actor who has made his money and built his fandom playing a gay role on a popular TV series. We, as gay people, gave that to him without asking for anything in return. Yet last night he posted one of the most homophobic things I’ve ever read, promoting an age old gay stereotype, without even thinking twice about it. I expected better from him, but I’m not shocked either. I’ve seen it before. I’m not giving out names; I didn’t comment on the tweet. But many other gay men did. Whether or not this straight male actor got the message is anyone’s guess. My guess is that he’s absolutely clueless, sadly. 

When I read his tweet my first thought was, Wow. My second thought was at least I don’t have to deal with this in m/m romance or gay romance as a writer. I live in a much more open world. And then I went to my facebook inbox and found a private message that said that I’d been the topic of conversation over the weekend and there’s a straight woman author out there who thinks I’m not supporting women who write gay romance. I’m not giving out names or links here because I wasn’t there and I’m not sure how my name came up. All I know is that it was a “lively” conversation, and she’s mistaken about how I feel about women writing gay (or) m/m romance. So I figured I would once again try to clarify that here on the blog.

This woman author clearly hasn’t been following me or reading any of my blog posts over the years. I’m on record supporting, blogging about, and even reviewing many straight women who write gay romance. I even spent eight months of my life working part time on an anthology titled, The Women Who Love To Love Gay Romance. Here’s just one post I wrote a while back on the subject. In that post I went after someone who was criticizing women who read m/m romance. Now if I were against women reading or writing gay romance or m/m romance would I have written this:

It’s called The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance and you can purchase it here for .99. Or, even better, you can find it here at ARe for free. That should tell you all you need to know, or at least it’s a good start because these stories come from the heart of the women who read M/M romance. And although there is sex, that’s NOT what it’s all about.

That’s not my only post on the topic, where I openly support women writing and reading m/m-gay romance. I posted this.    This link will lead you to a string of posts I did on the topic I love sharing. And this link is one I titled, “In Support of All the Women Writing M/M Fiction,” because I really wanted to make my point clear that time. Here’s an excerpt:

To be honest, when I first heard that so many straight women were writing (and reading) m/m romances, I was a little surprised. I’ve been writing lgbt fiction for almost twenty years and it just never occurred to me that straight women would be interested in writing gay romances. But then I read a few of their books and I liked what I was reading. G. A. Hauser dives right into her books with the kind of energy I look for in fiction. And the sweetest love story I read all year was written by a new author, Michele Montgomery.

Personally, I’ve been extremely annoyed with some of the things I’ve seen and read about straight women (or anyone who isn’t gay) writing m/m fiction, and I wanted to make it clear that I have always supported them, and will continue to support them. After all, as a gay man I’ve been fighting for equal rights all my life, and I’m certainly not going to discriminate against anyone else.

Now if I were against women writing gay or m/m romance would I have posted all that so long ago? That post dates back to August 2010.

I even work with women…for the most part. My publishers, editors, and cover artists are all women. I like to think they can all back me on this. I’ve recently made a point of supporting feminists because I don’t think we (gay men) do enough of that. So I just don’t get why this woman author would make those kinds of comments about me. It doesn’t make sense.

But just to make my point even clearer, last spring a gay man wrote a scathing piece about women writing gay-m/m romance and he slammed one of the most popular publishers who release m/m books. I don’t work with that publisher, but I found it very shabby and I posted briefly about it here on the blog. I don’t have a link to that one because the gay man read my post and he went after me in such a vituperative way that he actually went to goodreads and slammed me with one star ratings for books I know he didn’t even read. Once again, I’m not mentioning names because I think there’s something fundamentally wrong with someone who does things like that and I feel sorry for them. I took my post about him down because I didn’t want to call attention to him or to the vicious way he’d attacked me. In fact, I didn’t even know about how he reacted until October…months after it had happened. Which shows you how often I go to goodreads. My summer was spent in Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York with my mom who was diagnosed with bile duct cancer last January.

I will admit that I’m not fond of some cultural appropriation I see happening in discussions about gay fiction in a general sense, and about gay men. I’m not fond of the way some authors are constantly gaming to get attention. But that’s not about women writing gay or m/m romance. That’s a completely different topic and it has nothing to do with women writing gay-m/m romance. And the only reason I’m posting this now is because I’m going to use this as my “go-to” post in the future the next time someone brings up my name and makes allegations that are completely false. And if you see my name come up and I’m not there, take it all with a grain of proverbial salt. I’m either being misquoted, or someone’s having a little vicious fun at my expense.

Side note: I think it’s also interesting to point out that I’ve been the subject of many ridiculous rumors in the past ten years. One made claims I’m really a woman writing with a gay man’s pen name. Another said I was part of a group of frat guys writing gay erotica. And the best one so far claimed I’m an alien from another planet. I’m not joking. It comes with the territory, and most are amusing. But it’s important to clarify sometimes, too.

Michael C. Hall on Gayface Roles

Playing gayface is nothing new in Hollywood, and it’s been done since they started to introduce gay characters in films and TV shows. Mark Ruffalo blew me away when he starred in The Normal Heart. He was brilliant.

Michael C. Hall plays gay roles and he does it very well. And you never see him making stupid comments on twitter or other social media. He claims he’s drawn to those roles because ‘There is something about people, for one reason or the other, who are marginalized by their circumstance that is compelling to me’

I often wonder if Hall feels the need to explain himself like so many of us do these days.

In any event, you can read more here.  

Oprah and Michael Sam

Talk about marginalization due to circumstances and it’s hard to find a better example of anyone in the US than Michael Sam. That man is my hero just for that reason alone. He’s African American, openly gay, trying to break out in a straight male dominated world, and fighting for his survival every minute of his life. I face discrimination daily as a gay men in the world, and two or three times daily in publishing as an author; Sam faces it three times more so because of his circumstances. If that’s not difficult to do, I don’t know what is. And I’m glad Oprah’s doing this interview with him.

Now teamless, Sam will sit down with Winfrey for an in-depth interview with OWN after the airing of the documentary about the man who was one of the top defensive players in the nation while playing for the University of Missouri. 

According to OWN, the documentary follows Sam as he enters the world of professional football and vies for a spot on an NFL team.Cameras get up close and personal as he openly discusses a childhood fraught with tragedy and poverty, as well as his emotional decision to come out as a gay man in the world of pro sports. 

The documentary also captures the moment when Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams, the intense media scrutiny that immediately followed, and his struggle to stay focused despite the pressure and chaos.

You can read more here. I’m going to follow up on this as I see it come in. I’m starting to think a worthy crowdfunding project to get underway might be to help Michael Sam raise enough money to buy his own damn football team. I’d contribute to that any day.

Virgin Gay Hook Up Stories

Here’s an interesting piece where 15 gay guys discuss their first hook up stories. It’s done in a series of photos with captions. I think that’s what they’re called. The kind you see on Facebook with Grumpy Cat. It’s not all what you’d expect.

In any event, here’s one:

“I’m ashamed to admit my first gay experience was at a gas station glory hole.”

You can see the rest here. There isn’t one I can dispute. In fact, I have yet to hear the perfect story of a gay man who waited to have sex for the first time on his wedding night.

For me, unfortunately, it wasn’t a dream come true. It was the backseat of a Mercedes in the parking lot of a gay club. At least it wasn’t a mini van or a pick up truck. And I survived 🙂

Chase of a Christmas Dream

Lady Gaga, Feminism; Ryan Carnes Gay Character GH; Quidditch Craze

Lady Gaga, Feminism

A person who has been a guest blogger with a pop culture review here before, David Aria, has a piece out in Spindle magazine I found interesting. It’s about feminism, women in publishing, a mix of pop culture reference, and even Lady Gaga and Truman Capote.

Biographically Porter and Gaga also share a striking array of similarities, so much to the point that one would think that Gaga is actually Porter reincarnated. Though they both came from radically different backgrounds, both were nostalgic about their family heritage, Gaga from Italian lineage and Porter of Old Southern legacy (Porter was literally granddaughter of the Confederacy), and often spoke of it with great reverence. Amusingly, both Gaga and Porter infused their social sphere and preferred the company of homosexual men (Porter’s GBFF was actually Vogue photographer George Platt Lynes). And interestingly enough, just as Gaga is public “frenemies” with Perez Hilton, Porter had a similar “frenemy” styled relationship with author Truman Capote. They both often made each other’s guest list but rarely had a kind word for one another, or at least none that didn’t come with a personal dig.

I didn’t know Porter’s best friend was George Platt Lynes, and I’ve posted about him before. I’ve read a great deal about Truman Capote (and posted about) and his socialite women friends, those he referred to as his “swans” (Babe Paley) and didn’t know Porter was his “frenemy.” But I can see now how that could happen.

In any event, it’s an interesting piece and you can read it in full here. I refrain from commenting on things like feminism because I leave that up to the women who author publishing blogs and book review sites. Feminism is their territory. Anything LGBT related is mine, so I save my comments for those topics. I’m going to try to get David Aria to do a few more book reviews here on the blog because I like his criticism. I’d like to see his opinions about mainstream hetero romances, the ones with women in long flowing gowns on the covers.

Ryan Carnes Gay Character GH

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I watched the soap, General Hospital, all through high school and college. I haven’t seen it in about ten years, though. The gist of this story seems to be almost a little cliche. Actor makes good on daytime drama and quits daytime drama to go on to bigger and better things. Bigger and better things don’t happen; Actor returns to daytime drama ten years later to his old role with vim and vigor.

But the interesting thing about this case is that when the storyline with Ryan Carnes’s character started getting more gay back when, he left General Hospital. Now he’s back again. Some have speculated he left because he was playing two other gay roles and he didn’t want to be typecast in only gay roles. Carnes has never commented on this, and I don’t blame him. The fact is that once you are pigeonholed in any of the arts…even publishing…it’s hard to break out of the proverbial box. It can be a wonderful thing, and also sometimes frustrating.

Actor Ryan Carnes had his first day back this week to the Los Angeles set of the ABC soap General Hospital after nine years away. ‘First day back in Port Charles,’ the actor tweeted, mentioning the soap’s fictional city. ‘Twas a good day.’

I think I’ll set the DVR. I haven’t seen GH in years and I wonder if Monica is still carrying on like she used to.

You can read more here.

Quidditch Craze

I never saw the Harry Potter films or read the books. It’s just not my thing, so I didn’t even know what Quidditch was until I read this article. Evidently, Quidditch involves flying. But the new real life craze doesn’t do that.

This is not exactly the beginning of a regular sports match, as people weave past each other trying to avoid the smack of a hard ball into their back, or a wooden pole into their chest as they get tackled. This is a real-life quidditch match, straight out of Harry Potter. The teams are not flying, but running around with brooms between their legs, playing what is essentially a combination of rugby, dodgeball and lacrosse.

It’s being promoted as a gender-free sport. You can read more here.

Ryan Field App; Larry Flynt: Republicans Are Racist

This morning Tony surprised me with something…get your minds out of the gutter…that I didn’t expect. I now have an App for android that links to this blog: Ryan Field Naughty Guys with Strong Stories. I think the image on the App will be my latest release, Internal Desires.

It’s also an interesting web site to create an App for almost anything. I’m not sure how this works with iPhone or iPad, but there shouldn’t be any issues if you have an android.

You can get there from here to check it out, or download my App if you so desire, and you can read more about creating your own App for android.

I’ve been noticing a lot of things popping up for authors that never existed before. Yesterday I read about a web site where authors can create their own audio books. I’m not sure about the cost or what’s involved. But here’s a link to that in case anyone is interested. I definitely think it’s something I’ll check out in the near future.

Larry Flynt: Republicans are Racist

I hate to even post about things like this on a Friday in the summertime because it’s so negative (and dumb). But there’s a video circulating this week with publisher Larry Flynt where he claims he’s never met, in his experience, a Republican who wasn’t racist.

“I’ve been around for a long time,” he explained. “I’ve never met a Republican that wasn’t mean spirited and in his heart a racist. I never met one that wasn’t.”

The story, if you can even call it that, devolves into more drivel about how Republicans won’t win another race in this country for years to come and about how poorly Republicans treat women. These comments from Flynt, for those who might not know, are coming from a man who some might claim objectified women in his publications for many years. I have no comment on that. But here’s an interesting article from 1998 titled, A Feminist Critique and Protest.

The People vs. Larry Flynt is a highly manipulative movie designed by Director Milos Forman and Producer Oliver Stone to make a hero out of Larry Flynt, thereby fostering approval for pornography in general and Hustler magazine in particular. Following are some examples of the manipulative techniques used by these men.

 I don’t know what proverbial rock Larry Flynt has been living under, but I guess he’s failed to notice there are some very strong and powerful Republican women. For the record, I’m a registered Democrat, and I usually vote Democrat, but I don’t always vote strictly along party lines. For example, I would have voted for openly gay Presidential candidate, Fred Karger, had he actually been on the ballot. Fred Karger is also openly gay, supports gay marriage, and he’s a Republican. I also know many Republicans who are not racist and do support gay marriage, many of whom are strong women with successful lives and careers.

I think some people, like Larry Flynt, will do anything humanly possible to remain relevant…even if what they have to say is completely irrelevant in a world that is constantly changing.  

The One Shame in "Shameless;" Lori Perkins on Feminism: We Love Jenni

Tony and I have been catching up on episodes of “Shameless,” because we missed a few while catching up for the last three weeks on Season One and Two of “Downton Abbey.” And one thing is for sure, after coming from nothing but the fantastical world of “Downton Abbey,” to watching back to back episodes of “Shameless,” is an intense experience.

Last night we watched the Gallaghers and those close to them drink to excess, do drugs, sell drugs, dig for dead bodies, and yet show the kind of love that most TV shows lack. It’s often twisted, and yet balanced with characters like Fiona who is probably one of the best examples of modern feminism around today. They even get into some of the kinkier aspects of sexual exploration. And they even topped my erotic novels with one scene where the neighbor has sex with his wife’s mother in order to have a child…while having sex with his mother-in-law in the same room with his wife. Now THAT’S not something you see on TV often. Imagine Ricky Ricardo having sex with Mrs. McGillicuddy.

In any event, I often wonder if the writers and producers plan things ahead of time. The title of the show, “Shameless,” really does cover it all. Most of the characters are shameless in almost every respect. But I found it interesting last night when I noticed that the one shame still around is being gay.

Don’t get me wrong. “Shameless” handles LGBT characters better than most TV shows. They break a lot of the stereotypes and the gay men are the kind of gay men we don’t see often on TV. And yet the shame is still there, as if looming over the gay characters just as it looms over gay men in real life. For example, in one recent episode Ian who is openly gay is fooling around with Mickey who isn’t openly gay. One thing leads to another and Mickey’s homophobic father catches Ian and Mickey together and he goes ballistic. After the father pistol whips Mickey and beats him to a bloody pulp, he then phones a female prostitute. When she arrives he tells her to fuck the gay out of his son. And we see Mickey do just that, all in order to prove to his idiot father that he’s not gay and he likes screwing women.

And if you think that kind of thing doesn’t still happen in real life today you are sadly mistaken. Ian and Mickey are two excellent examples of how some gay men have to live and survive in the world. And that’s because that same brand of shame that has been following us around for years is still there.

Lori Perkins on Feminism: We Love Jenni:

New publisher Riverdale Ave Books just released a non-fiction book about the life of Jenni Rivera.

From Amazon:

“We Love Jenni,” is a frank and revealing biography of the late Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera written by The New York Times best-selling author Marc Shapiro and journalist Charles Vazquez that goes behind the scenes to tell the riveting story of the iconic Latina, who was killed last December 9th in a plane crash in Mexico.

Shapiro, author of popular biographies of celebrities such as J. K. Rowling and Justin Bieber, says the book tells the story of a woman “who never shied away from any of the huge problems she faced in life – her rough and tumble childhood, her cheating husband, her first love who in reality was a child molesting monster, her son’s indiscretion with an underage girl and so much more.

I will most likely read and review this one. I love to read bios like this because I write fiction all day and sometimes it’s nice to take a break from fiction when reading for pleasure. But I would also like to post a few comments from Lori Perkins about Rivera and feminism, followed by a few of my own and how I feel about feminism.

From Goodreads:

I came of age in the feminist era, and still live by the feminist adage, “the personal is political.” It has been my guiding mantra.

It is also the reason why I wanted to publish WE LOVE JENNI: An Unauthorized Biography of Jenni Rivera by NY Times best-selling author Marc Shapiro and Charlie Vasquez.

Jenni Rivera was an everywoman. I felt like she was my sister-in-law or my cousin through marriage. She was so real and her life, the ups and downs, was so open for all to see. It’s what made her music and her TV show so powerful.

You can read more by clicking the link above. But I wanted to post about this book because I’ve always felt close to the feminist era, too. I come from a long line of women who worked as professionals and raised families at the same time. So does Tony. And while there’s nothing wrong at all with women who choose to stay home and raise their families, we truly don’t know any who do that.

In other words, our entire lives have been surrounded by strong, independent women. Even the women I work with in publishing…and it’s mostly women…are all strong, independent businesswoman, from Holly Schmidt owner of Ravenous Romance to all of my editors with And that’s always been the case.

I’m making a point of this right now because of an article I read last weekend that suggests gay men (and m/m authors) bash women in m/m books. And while I suspect the blogger isn’t talking about all m/m books, the article spoke in a general sense, but I didn’t see that distinction made clearly enough, and I took offense to that as a gay author who does write m/m books. I once had a very rude, arrogant male character who treated women poorly in a book, and this character used some offensive sexist dialogue in the book. But when my publisher talked to me about it I ultimately made the decision to remove his vulgar comments so I wouldn’t offend my female readers. The publisher would have let it go to print, it wasn’t me speaking it was the character, but I made the decision to remove it. And it wasn’t something that altered the content of the book. So I take this very seriously, and I personally don’t appreciate being lumped into categories by amateur bloggers who tend to bloviate.