Least and Most Gay Friendly Countries
For those of you who travel a great deal, Spartacus World recently released a new travel index for gay people. I left a few comments below.
This year, Spartacus assessed 197 different countries and territories.
Canada and Sweden tied for first with 10 points each. They earned no negative marks and each received full marks for the new trans category.
Here’s more. Chechnya, of course, ranked the lowest.
Apparently, the US dropped a few points. However, I can tell you first hand from my own personal experience that I’ve never found any issues of homophobia anywhere in the US when I’ve traveled. And I do at least four cross country road trips a year from Philadelphia, PA to Palm Springs, CA. So I don’t know how accurate this index is. In fact, I meet tons of other gay people on the road in hotels and restaurants in almost every state I pass through in the US…all gay friendly, never one issue. And I have no reason to lie.
Why Non-Binary Jack Monroe Thinks Twitter Is Abusive
I’ve been on Twitter for ten years and it’s never been known as a safe space. Twitter is rough sometimes, and other times it can be downright vicious. Sometimes it’s sarcastic and funny. Other times it’s confusing. There are fakes, bots, and all kinds of creeps. You have to have a sense of humor and be willing to laugh at yourself on Twitter. And never, ever engage or be afraid to block. I remember one year a nasty, horrible romance book blogger had a roast on Twitter every Friday night, and she and her mean girl friends laughed at erotic romance novels, which made some authors totally freak out. I think that’s the meanest thing I’ve seen on Twitter because it caused so many authors emotional distress. And yet, in spite of all this, I actually like Twitter, and I’ve met some great people there. But it’s not for everyone, and most of all there’s no law that says anyone has to use Twitter.
With that said, Jack Monroe thinks Twitter is abusive and here’s why they are quitting. Notice how I make a point to use a gender neutral pronoun. I do that because I respect it, but I don’t think half the people I know on Twitter would even know what that means.
‘I get viciously pilloried on a daily basis,’ they wrote.
‘[I’m] inundated with people who scream in their dozens about free speech while freely speaking at me that I am an atrocious person for daring to want to push outside of my “little woman” box.’
Here’s the rest. I think it’s interesting and from the heart. They seem totally honest and complete.
FREE Gay Excerpt… Filbert’s Cheese: A Gay Amish Love Story
I’ve always wanted to write a gay Amish love story, so I finally did it. In the past, I wrote an erotic Amish romance once in the Virgin Billionaire series, but this book is totally different from that. It’s more detailed, and it’s pg rated. One of the main characters is trying to learn the meaning of discretion, and the other is trying to figure out how he can come to terms with being gay and Amish. It’s not easy for either of them, especially when they clash. They come from two completely different worlds.
Keep in mind this is the raw, unedited version.
When he reached the farm market, he found Filbert out front talking to his best friend, a hot straight guy named Niles. This Niles was definitely a guy Noah could have had a lot of fun with. Even though Niles wasn’t Amish, he was a typical heteronormative small town guy in his twenties living and working in a flyover state. From what Noah could figure out, Niles came from a fairly well off family in Charmingville, but he was still floundering around without any set goals in life. Niles had flair and sophistication, and he drove a nice little Fiat spider. Noah was glad he was around because if it hadn’t been for Niles, Noah would have been surrounded by nothing but people wearing Amish outfits, speaking with their strong Amish accents. There were tourists, of course, but he couldn’t count them.
As Noah walked up to them, he noticed Filbert was organizing a large display of brilliant pink Martha Washington geraniums that had just arrived the day before. There were other colors, too, that ranged from red to purple. In fact, the entire front of the farm market was one long expansive row of distressed wooden shelves filled with summer annuals that had recently arrived. In all the bright warm sunshine it reminded Noah of a magazine cover. Part of his job was watering all the flowers daily, which oddly enough he didn’t mind in the least.
He walked up to Niles and Filbert and said, “They’re nice. I love the colors. I feel like I’m on a movie set with all these flowers.”
Filbert said, “It’s that time of year again. We’re the largest seller of summer annuals in this part of the state.”
“I’ll bet you are,” Noah said. Filbert always seemed to feel the need to impress him. If he’d said the sky was blue that day, Filbert probably would have said they paid extra to get a bluer sky in Charmingville.
Niles looked nice that morning, in his skinny jeans, his white V-neck T-shirt, and sneakers. He reminded Noah of those sexy guys he saw all over New York with skate boards. He had the look of a hipster, but he didn’t go off the deep end with a weird hair style or tattoos.
“Good morning, Niles,” Noah said. “I like your jeans.” He looked down at the bulge in Nile’s pants and ran his tongue across his bottom lip in a ridiculous way.
“Hey, man,” Niles said. “Thanks. Got them at Wal-Mart.”
“I have to check that out,” Noah said. “I’ve never actually been there.”
Niles laughed. “You’ve never been to Wal-Mart?”
Noah thought he noticed Filbert roll his eyes, but he ignored him and said, “I never had the opportunity to go to one in New York. Maybe you could take me sometime while I’m here this summer.” He reached out and ran his fingers down the front of Niles’s T-shirt. “I like your shirt, too.”
Niles didn’t seem annoyed or offended by the way Noah had touched him, but the look on Filbert’s face was priceless. He even bit his bottom lip, so Noah touched Niles’s arm on purpose and said, “You’ve got such large muscles. Do you work out a lot?”
Niles shrugged. Like most straight guys he tended to be clueless about most things. He didn’t seem to even realize that Noah was trying to get into his pants. If he did, he wasn’t going to admit it. “I just work out a few times a week with weights in my basement, is all. I do my best.”
“Well, it’s paying off,” Noah said. He turned to Filbert. “Isn’t it, Filbert? Doesn’t he have a great body?”
Filbert forced another smile and said, “Yes. Please keep working out, Niles, with those great big muscles.”
Niles either didn’t catch the sarcasm, or he didn’t want to let anyone know he did. Noah caught it and he wasn’t going to let Filbert get away with anything like that. “There’s no need to get upset, Filbert. Don’t be so grumpy. You have nice little muscles, too. Where did you get your pants? Do they sell those special Amish pants in the local Wal-Mart, too?”
Filbert sent him a look and replied with more sarcasm. “I made them myself, Noah, by hand with a needle and thread. I even spun the cotton and dyed the fabric, because that’s what we Amish do.” Then he turned and said, “I have to go back now and get my cheese started for the week. I don’t want to run low on inventory this time of year.”
“Yes. Go make your lovely cheese, Filbert,” Noah said. He found a certain amount of delight in paying Filbert passive aggressive compliments.
Filbert’s face turned red. “That’s exactly what I’m going to do, Noah. Make cheese.”
It was a Saturday, which meant it would be a busy day at the farm market that time of year. The tourists and day-trippers were already starting to pull up and Noah hadn’t even had a cup of coffee yet. As Filbert turned to leave, Noah glanced at a sign above the geraniums, pointed, and asked Niles, “What’s that about?”
Niles looked at a sign that was advertising a cheese making contest. “Every year there’s an event in town where several people compete to see who makes the best cheese. It’s held at the end of the summer on the town square. It’s a big event around here for Labor Day.”
Niles nodded. “Yes. They’ve been doing it for years. Cheese is very big in Charmingville.”
Noah laughed. “Don’t tell me. And Filbert wins the big cheese prize every year, because his cheese is perfect.”
Niles shook his head. “Not at all. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Filbert makes the best cheese in this part of the state and everyone knows it. People come to this market just for his cheese. But he never enters the contest.”
“He won’t compete,” Niles said. “It’s an Amish thing. To focus on competition goes against the beliefs or something.”
“Well that seems a little unfair,” Noah said. “I mean, if he makes the best cheese he should enter. I’ll never understand how these things work in Amish culture. Just when I think I have something figured out, I’m wrong.” He also found it ironic that even though Filbert wouldn’t compete in the contest, he was always competing with Noah.
Niles shrugged. “Don’t ask me. I grew up in this area and I still don’t totally get it. I just try to respect everyone. There’s also a wet bottom shoo-fly pie contest every year, too. And Filbert just happens to make the best wet bottom shoo-fly pie. But he won’t enter that contest either. It’s not that he won’t compete at all. It’s that he doesn’t want to make the focus all about competition. With Filbert, he would be more likely to help someone out that he’s competing against. It’s something to do with sense of community as being more important than competition. Besides, he already knows he makes the best cheese.”
“What’s a wet bottom shoo-fly pie?” He almost giggled. It sounded a little dirty.
“It’s just shoo-fly pie with a soggy bottom,” Niles said. “You’ve never heard of that?”
“No. But I’ve been called a soggy bottom on occasion.” He didn’t think Niles would understand what that meant because most straight people don’t understand gay camp, but he said it anyway because it was too good to resist.
He was mistaken. Niles started laughing, and said, “I’ve heard that about you. It’s all over town.” Then he stopped laughing and said, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. It was rude.”
A PG Rated Gay Romance
Altered Parts: Limited Edition
In Their Prime by Ryan Field