gay slurs

Duck Dynasty/Free Speech; Bookshops Hang In; PA Gov Supports Gay Rights

Duck Dynasty/Free Speech

This all started yesterday and I waited to post about it to see if anything would happen. Action: reaction. Someone named Phil Robertson, from a reality TV show I’ve never seen called Duck Dynasty, made hate comments about gay people in GQ Magazine that weren’t exactly positive and don’t send out the right moral or ethical signals, and as a result a firestorm erupted into what resembles the recent gay slurs by Alec Baldwin. Like Baldwin, Robertson was suspended, his network apologized to viewers and disassociated themselves from him, and even HRH of the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, weighed in on the topic.

In an interview with GQ’s Drew Magary, the head of the family in the wildly popular A&E series expressed his view that homosexuality was immoral, likening it to bestiality. Some of the remarks were made using off-color language.

Robertson is a good Christian who has repented from his sinful ways from the cliched 1960’s counter-culture where he did drugs and claims he “hit bottom.” He replied to what’s been happening this way, in part.

My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together.

Aside from the sad fact that this is clear proof of what doing too many drugs can do to a person, Robertson made no excuses, no apologies, and he stands by his vituperative statements against gays.

HRH Sarah Palin said this on Twitter:

Free speech is endangered species; those “intolerants” hatin’ & taking on Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing personal opinion take on us all

Aside from the fact that I personally think the Republican Party should distance itself from Palin if they know what’s good for them, I don’t “hate” Palin and I actually find her interesting. She’s an extremely clever, bright person who knows how to twist and turn anything to her advantage. And she twisted the concept of free speech to suit her needs this time. Free speech is not an endangered species. In fact, never in the history of the world have people all over the globe had this much free speech thanks to the Internet. Phil Robertson made his highly offensive statements proudly and without going to jail for them. There’s nothing illegal about what he said, and he can continue to make all the gay slurs he wants and no one’s going to stop him from doing that. Palin is free to do the same and no one is going to stop her.

However, what Ms. Palin fails to add to her little tweet is that with free speech comes responsibility. And when you can say anything you want you should also be prepared to deal with the results. In Robertson’s case he lost his job and the respect of millions of people. I don’t even know who he is and I’ve already mentally dismissed him. He exercised his right to free speech and no one wants to take that away from him. They simply choose not to pay attention to him anymore. And in its most basic form, that’s what free speech is all about, Ms. Palin.

You can read more about free speech here.  And the rest of the article about Robertson is here.

Bookshops Hang In

I’m in the middle of writing the next novella in the Second Chance series and I found this next article interesting because the main character in my novella owns a small brick and mortar bookshop in Hudson River Valley, NY, and he’s constantly up against the constant changes in publishing which mostly trickle down to e-books. But my character is a good businessperson and he’s not ready to give up without a fight. And this article I’m linking to now reminded me of how sometimes people in small business have to learn how to be creative in order to survive.

Marlene has not ventured outside to offer the doomsayers a retort, but if she did, it would be this: Independent bookstores are not dead. In fact, in some of the country’s most urbane and educated communities, they are making a comeback.

In an e-tailing world, their resurgence is driven by e-book growth that has leveled off, dyed-in-the-wool print lovers who won’t (or can’t) abandon page flipping, a new category of hybrid reader (the latest mystery, digital; the latest John Irving, print) and savvy retailers such as the Englands, positioning their stores squarely in the buy-local movement and as a respite from screens.

I actually don’t disagree with this. Even though I wouldn’t invest my money in a small bookshop, I do think there is still a market for small bookshops that are owned and operated by good businesspeople who are not only willing to accept change but embrace it in creative ways. In the same respect, e-books were not the beginning of the challenges small bookshops started to see in recent years. It was the big chain bookstores that started popping up all over in the 1990’s that hurt them the most. In fact, I personally saw more than a few people lose their nest eggs by opening small bookshops when I owned my art gallery in New Hope during the 90’s. It was often painful to watch them in the beginning, knowing how it would end for them a year later. And now most of those big bookstores have shuttered their doors thanks to changes in technology and in publishing. Younger generations embrace technology without thinking twice about it. The world changes and we stop riding in buggies and start riding in cars. And yet I still think the creative businessperson can make a small bookshop work in the right location and with the right mind set. At least my character in the next novella believes he can do this with his little bookshop.

PA Gov Supports Gay Rights

This is interesting for me because Tony and I live in Pennsylvania, on the border of New Jersey, and gay marriage is not legal here and is legal in New Jersey. It places us in an interesting situation, one where good friends who live about three miles away are considered equal and we’re not because of the state in which we live. I posted about PA Gov. Tom Corbett making comments about gays, and how he compared gay marriage to incest. And now he’s flipped in the opposite direction and he’s supporting a bill that makes it illegal to discriminate against those incestuous gays. He’s also running for reelection and his numbers are dismal in the polls.

He is now saying he would be in support of proposed legislation in his state that would make it illegal to discriminate against someone based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

Interesting. You can read more here.

All LGBT issues aside, compared to previous governors like Ed Rendell, I can’t think of one significant thing Corbett has done for Pennsylvania offhand.

Side note: Corbett has a daughter in an interracial marriage, a marriage that would have been considered illegal in many states not more than fifty years ago.

Joan Rivers Defends Baldwin; Gay Thanksgiving Throwback

Joan Rivers Defends Baldwin

The only reason I’m posting about either of these two is because it goes along with the next part of this post, and how gay men like Tony and I have had to deal with being gay and living in a world where gay slurs often hit so hard and with such force it can unhinge the very core of someone’s psychological well-being. The closeted gay Amish friend I have knows what I’m talking about. The gay teen from Brooklyn whose father is a macho cop and uncle a macho fireman knows what I’m talking about. Any gay man who can pass as straight and who has ever feared being exposed knows what I’m talking about.

You can call me pretty much anything now and I’ll live, trust me on that. And that’s because I’ve been called everything there is at one point or another. I might even come after you and enjoy every minute of it. But there are a lot of other gay men who aren’t as secure and when they hear a gay slur it stings hard. Harder than most people would expect. Especially when the gay slur is made with vitriol and used with other pejoratives that conjure the worst associations.

I’ve posted about Alec Baldwin and what’s been happening since he made his “alleged” gay slurs, and not for the first time. And today the elderly entertainer, Joan Rivers, came out and supported him with what I can only describe as some kind of quasi Lenny Bruce freedom of speech defense. And in her attempt to disabuse the notions of Baldwin’s critics and what happened as a result of Baldwin’s public rant she only comes off looking way out of touch with the rest of America at best.

 “Everybody just relax,” Rivers noted, before hurling a series of slurs against Italians, African-Americans, Jews and gays, among other groups. “Everybody’s something, so why don’t we all just calm down?”

I’ve also posted about Rivers before, too, and how she often treats gay men as if they are pet poodles. I understand that a good deal of her thoughts and even her comedy material is generational and she comes from a time when the only openly gay men were the poor souls who couldn’t hide in a closet even if they tried. But the world has changed in the past decade, not all gay men are the same, and many of us don’t appreciate being treated as if we are a side show at the circus. At the risk of sounding like an angry gay man, it’s time to start giving all gay people the respect other minorities receive and that includes caution with words. It’s not that we don’t have a sense of humor either. Ellen makes us laugh and she’s not hurting anyone.

You can read more about Rivers here.

Gay Thanksgiving Throwback

Tony and I have a great deal for which to be thankful and we don’t take anything for granted. We’ve been through life and death situations and survived, we’ve been through opening businesses that were risky and did well, and we’ve been through living as a couple when gay marriage was still just a concept. For the past five years or so we’ve hosted a big Thanksgiving at our home for both our families. One year we emptied our living room and rented ten large tables and chairs so everyone had a place to sit. It varies from year to year because like all families brothers and sisters go to in-laws, take vacations, or just stay home and do their own thing. This year is smaller, with only twelve people, but the fact that we actually host Thanksgiving still blows me away.

We met in 1992 in December and our first Thanksgiving was in 1993. We went to separate Thanksgiving dinners because that’s what was expected of us. We both come from similar family backgrounds and neither of us was out of the closet at that point. In my case my family knew and it wasn’t discussed. In Tony’s case they had no idea. And for the first fifteen years of our relationship/marriage, that’s how we spent Thanksgiving day. For a while we became friendly with an older gay couple who hosted Thanksgiving dinner later at night each year. So Tony would go to his family, I would go to mine, and then we would meet up in separate cars later that night to be with other gay people. At least thanks to these friends we had a chance to spend part of Thanksgiving together. But just imagine for a moment what it would be like if you weren’t able to spend major holidays with your spouse for reasons beyond your control. Sure, we could have come out totally and slammed everyone at one time. But for us that’s not how things were done. And I know we’re not the only ones who lived this way.

But it started to get tired fast. Here we were living as a married couple and we didn’t even get a chance to spend holidays together because of the fact that we were gay. I never pushed Tony with the issue about his family because I knew it was a sensitive topic and I didn’t want to hurt him. You do those things for people you love and you make sacrifices. All that changed in 2007 when Tony was hospitalized and almost died. I’ve posted about that before and I’m not getting into it again. But that’s when I met Tony’s family for the first time, under the worst circumstances imaginable. Thankfully, it turned out to be a good thing and we supported each other through his illness and came out stronger because of that. I think of his family as mine now, and he’s the same way with my family. And since then life is much easier for us because of that time. It’s also better because we are living in different times and more and more gay people are coming out, getting married, and fighting for equal rights. However, I know there are other gay couples just like us doing the same things we used to do. And when I hear gay slurs, and I hear people defending gay slurs, it reminds me of all the holidays we missed and all the good times we lost when we were younger.

The first home we lived in was a town house about eight miles from where we live right now. But it wasn’t New Hope where things are more progressive, and we were smack in the middle of a cookie cutter town house development on a cul-de-sac in suburban Philadelphia, Newtown, PA. We were so busy back then we rarely took much notice of what was happening around us. But one Thanksgiving weekend in 1998 while we were putting up Christmas decorations outside our neighbor’s little boy said, “We should put up lights just like the fags next door, dad.” The father grabbed the kid and pulled him inside fast. We listed the town house the following week and moved to New Hope six months later so we’d never be placed in that particular degrading situation again.

I know I’ve told that story before somewhere, but when I heard about Baldwin and now Rivers, I felt like telling it again so people will understand the magnitude of what the word fag means to us.

Leno’s Bestiality Jokes; Alec Baldwin’s Daughter Defends Him

Leno’s Bestiality Jokes

It seems online retail web sites where e-books are sold aren’t the only ones in a huff over bestiality. A particularly litigious flight attendant who claims that false accusations alleging she transports her pet rats in her panties is now suing Leno for jokes he and other comedians made about it. Evidently, she’s claiming the jokes were sickening and disgusting.

A copy of the suit, obtained by Courthouse News, takes specific issue with humorous statements made on Leno’s show that accuse her of “engaging in bestiality and sexual misconduct with a rat.”
The jokes, made by three comedians who appeared as guests on the show, are as follows:

According to this article, the flight attendant claims the jokes have ruined her sex life. You can read more here.

Be interesting to see how this turns out. I know it’s funny at a glance, but I don’t think I’d want someone suggesting I was having sex with rats, in front of millions of people. Leno has such a huge following that it’s been said he can change someone’s life and career overnight. And that works in many different ways.

Alec Baldwin’s Daughter Defends Him

This is less compelling because it’s exactly what you would expect someone’s son or daughter to do in a situation like this. It’s not as if Ireland Baldwin is going to tweet the exact opposite.

For someone who has battled with anger management issues, my dad has grown tremendously. My dad is far from a homophobe or a racist. From what you’ve read and from what media has been shoved down your throats, he has a kind heart. Having paparazzi following my mom and I has not been thrilling. Paparazzi can bring out many confined feelings of anger and spite out of anyone,” she wrote.

This is really the first time I’ve ever seen someone with a kind heart shout any pejoratives in public at anyone. People with kind hearts usually know it’s much smarter to move on, especially those who are as privileged as Alec Baldwin. Kind- hearted people speak rationally and don’t make threats that may or may not include gay slurs…or slurs against any minority. Kind-hearted people don’t let these things get to them, especially if they know what to expect from past experience with the paparazzi. And even if you’re going to go after the paparazzi I think it’s okay to tell them to go fuck themselves without calling them fags. No one would mind. When you have the kind of privilege Baldwin has there are certain things that come with the territory. And if you don’t like it you can always back away. It’s not that hard to disappear from the public eye these days.

But I guess kind-hearted Alex Baldwin should get a pass on this. Because he’s so kind-hearted, you know.

Pope, Gay Teen, Pancreatic Cancer; Alex Baldwin’s Gay Hairdresser; Russia Anti-Gay Law

Pope, Gay Teen, Pancreatic Cancer

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Crater_Lake_winter_pano2.jpg


This article strikes home for Tony and me because we both went through twelve years of Catholic school, and Tony’s mom passed away in 2002 after suffering through a battle with pancreatic cancer. So when I read the Pope was honoring a gay teen prodigy for coming up with a cost-effective method that can detect pancreatic cancer in early stages, I wanted to know more about it. Anyone familiar with pancreatic cancers knows that by the time it’s diagnosed the cancer has most likely spread too far to treat aggressively. For most who are diagnosed, there’s usually a six month mortality rate. Detecting it sooner rather than later is a huge thing.

Jack Andraka, a 16-year-old teen from Maryland, is one of the most brilliant minds of his generation.

He was awarded the Vatican’s International Giuseppe Sciacca Award for his work.

But while he was won several accolades for his ground-breaking science, this award is special.

You can read more here.

This new Pope seems to be different than others before him.

Alec Baldwin’s Gay Hairdresser

Alec Baldwin goes berserk sometimes.

When Alec Baldwin goes berserk he often shouts pejoratives about gay men.

Alec Baldwin recently went berserk and called a photographer a cock-sucking fag.

Alec Baldwin is now a bigger dick because he’s been seen showing off his gay hairdresser since he made the gay slurs. It reminds me of the social media poster who rants on Facebook about nothing in particular and then posts a photo of a basket of kittens.

To prove it, the former 30 Rock star brought out his gay hairdresser to vouch for him in front of a group of reporters this morning in New York City.

‘Am I a homophobe?’ Baldwin asked the man, who was not identified.

‘Yes, bigtime,’ the hairdresser jokingly replied.

Some gay men will do anything for a buck.

Russia Anti-Gay Law

If you thought the fight against Russia’s anti-gay law was finished, think again. As we get closer to the Olympics equal rights groups are now adding more pressure. And this time they are targeting corporate sponsors…money.

“It’s taken months for the sponsors to formulate lawyerly responses that say nothing,” said Minky Worden, director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch. “We’re going to work hard between now and Sochi to not let them off the hook.”

The focus of the protests is a law passed with near unanimous support by Russian lawmakers and signed by President Vladimir Putin in June. It bans the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” and imposes fines for providing information about the gay community to minors.

You can read more here. What I don’t think corporate sponsors realize is that we don’t forget. I’m not just talking about LGBT people now, I’m talking about anyone who knows someone LGBT or is related to someone LGBT. While some things eventually do blow over, other things last for many years to come. And if a corporation sponsors something anti-gay in the most basic sense, it’s kind of like Alec Baldwin making all his gay slurs. Baldwin can lie, twist, spin, bring out all the gays he wants and hug them in Times Square, but what’s done is done and he’ll always be the guy who slammed gays.

The Passive Voice: Blog Tours Waste of Time? Isaiah Washington Gay Slur




The Passive Voice: Blog Tours Waste of Time?

You know how I’m always saying that every author has different experiences. Well this is a good example of that. There’s a post at The Passive Voice Blog today where author, Elene Sallinger, talks about how blog tours (I’ve always known them as blog hops, so that’s how I’ll refer to them from now on in this post.) haven’t worked out very well for her. She also talks about how she’s been disappointed with a PR firm she hired. This is one experience she mentions:

The bloggers on the tour didn’t always post when they promised they would. Many didn’t post on the advertised day (some never posted at all) or didn’t post my giveaway.

From the way this all reads, her PR firm got her into these lackluster blog hops? I’m ending that with a question mark because I don’t have a PR firm, I’ve been in tons of blog hops over the years, and frankly I didn’t even think PR firms did that sort of thing. It really is news to me.

Now, I’m not saying if you only have 100 followers that I don’t want to be on your site, I’m simply saying, I want to truly know what I’m paying for and if I’d understand the lack of reach I was going to be getting for my money, I would have looked elsewhere before signing up and throwing my money away.

First, you can’t judge a blog by followers. Most blogs get far more traffic than what the “follower” list suggests. I read many blogs, and I don’t officially “follow” them. This is interesting, too.

I’ve found that excerpts garner a good bit of traction as do guest posts, but over all, the only truly great exposure for a book is a review.

She goes on to mention more about how important book reviews are, and then ends with this on her own blog.

Right now, my US publisher, Sourcebooks, is setting up a blog tour for me. Perhaps, with an established publisher booking the stops, there will be a difference in quality. I hope so, because right now, I’m just frustrated and over the whole process.

I can’t dispute anything she’s written because it’s different for every single author, and it always will be. From the way it sounds, she’s new to publishing (I’m not certain, though) and she’s trying to figure out what works best for her. Obviously, getting a guest spot on The Passive Voice Blog helped her get some exposure…only I’m not going to buy or read her book, ever, as a result of that exposure. I’m only posting about her experiences with blog hops. I personally find guest posting a waste of time. I have my own blog for posting.

It’s not a simple process to promote books, with or without a PR firm. I’ve been writing genre fiction for over twenty years and it took that many years to reach a point where I get five to eight thousand hits a week on my blog. And that’s considered small. I wish I could say there was one standard rule…or secret…but there isn’t. My readership also tends to be more discreet, too. In my case, I prefer to keep it smaller scale. In other words, I don’t write to be the next E.L. James. I write because I love to write.

As for blog hops, I’ve found them to be beneficial for me. In the same respect, I’ve never actually gone out and hunted one down, and I’ve never had a PR firm get me into a blog hop. I’ve always been asked to be part of the blog hops I’ve done by other authors/bloggers. And it always came out of the blue when I least expected it. This summer I did two, and I had two give-aways. With each hop I increased traffic for the blog, I got a chance to get to know more of my readers personally, and I thoroughly enjoyed the blog hops with each step of the process. In fact, whenever I do a give-away for a blog hop, I always give a consolation prize to each person who commented on the blog. I don’t mention that up front either. I wait until the end of the hop and surprise them. In fact, I have something very different and very interesting coming soon the weekend of GRL that I will announced very soon.

But I will honestly admit that I sometimes groan when I’m asked to do a blog hop. It’s a great deal of work and in my case, by giving away even more prizes, it takes hours to just figure out the e-mail addresses and names. In the most recent blog hop I did the first prize was a set of picture books from Tom of Finland that I had to mail to a reader. It took me days to find just the right box with which to ship the prize by snail mail.

But I’m not complaining at all. You see, doing a blog hop…or any brand of promotion…is something I’ve always enjoyed as an author. I don’t think of these events in terms of “reach” or how much I’m going to get in return. The blog hops I do are always focused on something important…something that deals with equality or issues I care about. And because I feel passionate about these issues, I want to see others become as passionate and the blog hop becomes fun for me in spite of how much work goes along with it.

So I think this is a good example of how differently authors deal with promotional events like blog hops, and how different authors view them. Don’t ever take just one author’s advice. For me a blog hop is spreading the word about something that’s important to me. It’s also about having fun and getting in touch with readers I normally wouldn’t get to meet. For others it’s all about getting more attention for a book and garnering more book sales. I probably should be more mercenary when it comes to these things. But when you’re a gay author and your entire life has been spent looking for equality, that’s the only thing that matters and whatever happens after that is just something extra.

In the end, it all comes down to the love. Just like with cooking, or anything else, you need to have the love or it’s not going to work…no matter how many PR firms you hire or blog hops you do. You either have the love or you don’t. And with blog hops the most important thing to me is spreading the word about something deeply significant in my life.

Isaiah Washington Gay Slur

I think I posted about this when it first happened, but I can’t seem to find the link anywhere with a simple search. In any event, it was reported a few years ago that Grey’s Anatomy TV star, Isaiah Washington, made a negative gay comment to another star on the show, T.R. Knight. As a result of this gay slur, Washington claims no one in Hollywood would “touch” him for a long time and it hindered his acting career.

Currently promoting his new film “Blue Caprice,” the 50-year-old actor told HuffPost Live, “After the incident at the Golden Globes, everything just fell apart. I lost everything. I couldn’t afford to have an agent…I couldn’t afford to have a publicist…I couldn’t afford to continue.”

After this news broke, T. R. Knight came out in public as a result. What Washington did evidently started a shitstorm that continued to affect everyone. Knight eventually asked to get out of his GA contract. In this aritcle it explains the reason why. The show’s creator is Rhimes.

However, Knight says complications arose between him and Rhimes immediately after the incident, when he decided to respond to the sticky situation by outing himself. The actor says Rhimes was among those who wanted him to remain in the closet — though in the EW article, the creator herself denies this.

When Knight was asked to appear on season six of the show — in flashbacks — he flatly refused, opting to move forward with other projects. In September, he’ll headline a stage production of “Parade” at L.A.’s Mark Taper Forum and in February will hit Broadway in the Stanley Tucci-directed revival of “Lend Me a Tenor.”

And there you have it. Hollywood at its best, once again.

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.