hillary clinton

FREE Gay Fiction Excerpt; Susan Sarandon, Hillary, and Gays; Gus Kenworthy and Russian Hotel Room; Nate Berkus True Story

Susan Sarandon, Hillary, and Gays

Susan Sarandon tossed a little shade in Hillary Clinton’s direction with a few honest, accurate comments about Hillary’s stand on gay rights. You can’t knock Sarandon for this one. For the most part, she’s right.

The actress and activist lent her star power to a Bernie Sanders rally in Iowa on Thursday (28 January) evening, where she blasted the former secretary of state for voting for the Iraq War, taking money from Wall Street and ‘equivocating’ on issues such as gay marriage.

‘It’s one thing to be for gay rights and gay marriage once everybody else is for it. That’s not difficult,’ she told a crowd of Sanders supporters.

Sanders, on the other hand, is ‘untainted’ and ‘has managed to consistently be on the right side of every issue the correct side of every issue that reflects my concerns,’ she later told DailyMail.com.

You can read more here. 

I know the comments about Hillary are true, but I’m not so sure about Sanders.  According to Time.com, Sanders was did not always support gay marriage…support being the key word.

But his record on gay marriage is more complicated than he now makes it sound. While Sanders generally opposed measures to ban gay marriage, he did not speak out in favor of it until 2009. That’s still ahead of Clinton, who released a YouTube video announcing her support in 2013, as well as most other Democratic Senators, but not as early as he’s now casting it.

So Sarandon is partially correct. But I do like…love…what Sanders said here:


“I’m not evolving when it comes to gay rights. I was there,” Sanders told the New York Times earlier this year.

That word. Evolving. It’s been used by Hillary too many times and I’m not too thrilled with it.  An apology might be more appropriate.

Gus Kenworthy and Russian Hotel Room

When Gus Kenworthy tried to check into a hotel room in Russia with his boyfriend he got an interesting surprise.

‘I had been in Russia the year before for the test event with my boyfriend and they wouldn’t let us check into the hotel room. They were like, “Two guys can’t be in the same bed,”‘ Kenworthy tells Attitude magazine.

Kenworthy, 25, came out publicly last fall and remained firmly closeted during that competition and during the Olympics.

‘It felt shitty,’ he said of being closeted at that time.

‘I wasn’t worried about being targeted necessarily, because nobody knew that I was gay but I still felt uncomfortable knowing how Russia, the country and the government, felt about me,’ he says.

You can read more here. Since coming out, Kenworthy has become somewhat of an inspiration and example to gay men all over the globe. And it’s really mostly about what he says and how he says it. It’s always good to hear from him.

Nate Berkus True Story

If you’ve never watched Nate Berkus on The Home Shopping Network, you’ve missed something interesting. He’s not only talented, but he’s also honest, up front, and you never get the feeling he’s pushing anything too hard.

Berkus also has an interesting story to tell, a story that trumps those of most people, gay or straight. I’ve known about it for a long time, but in case you didn’t…

It was a decade earlier that photographer Fernando Bengoechea had been swept out to sea when a tsunami struck Sri Lanka where the couple had been vacationing. Berkus managed to survive the disaster that took more than 30,000 lives but the pain long remained.

 ‘I didn’t know how to articulate what I needed from a new relationship,’ Berkus says in a new interview with his mentor Oprah Winfrey on an episode of Where Are They Now which airs Sunday (24 January).

When Tony was hospitalized, near death, in the summer of 2007, I remember catching an interview with Berkus late at night by accident, and at the time he was a huge inspiration to me. I thought if Berkus can go through all that, I can get through all this. And I did, partly thanks to many of the things he said in that interview. 


I also love his white sheets.

You can read the rest here.

FREE GAY FICTION EXCERPT  THE RAINBOW DETECTIVE AGENCY: RANCHO MIRAGE

Here’s an excerpt from my upcoming book in The Rainbow Detective Agency series, Rancho Mirage. It’s going to be the last book in the series…for now. And I wanted to tie up a story line with one of the minor characters. I tie up a few other things as well. The following excerpt is from a part of the book where Blair and Proctor attend a small LGBT business conference in Rancho Mirage, CA, where they get into a little more trouble than they expected. Blair is not too thrilled to be there either.


On the way down to the banquet room, Proctor reached over to adjust Bob’s black tie. “You look nice tonight, too, Bob. You certainly do dress up very well.” He said this on purpose. He adjusted Bob’s tie in a seductive way on purpose as well. He’d already complimented the way Bob looked and he’d been completely ignoring Blair to see if he could get a reaction from Blair.
Blair looked down at the floor and frowned. “No one said anything about how I look tonight.” He was talking to Proctor and everyone knew it.
Proctor smiled and reached over to adjust Blair’s tie. “I’m sorry. I’ll fix that. You look better than any man has ever looked in a formal tuxedo, and better than any man will ever look again.” Then he patted Blair on the cheek and smiled even wider.
“Oh, you are an evil, cruel man,” Blair said. He glanced at Proctor and almost laughed. “I see I’ve taught you very well. Now you’re beating me at my own game.”
“And you love every minute of it,” Proctor said.
Bob laughed. “Okay, guys. Calm yourselves. Before you rip off each other’s clothes, the elevator is about to stop and the doors are going to open.”
“They can’t help themselves,” Vina said to Bob. “They’ve been like this since the beginning. They argue, they insult each other, they complain, and then they make love. It’s their game. It’s what they do best. I’m used to it. You’ll get used to it eventually.”
Proctor and Blair exchanged a glance and shrugged at the same time, as if they had no idea what Vina was talking about.
Before Blair had a chance to reply, the elevator opened and Bob said, “Should I pretend I’m Vina’s escort tonight?” He smiled at Vina. “I don’t mind in the least. I would be honored.”
Proctor thought that was one of the nicest things he’d heard all week, however, he had other plans for Vina. “No. You’re with us tonight, Bob, and I don’t care who wonders about it. The whole point of Vina being here is to meet new people and have a little fun for a change. If guys think she’s with you no one will come over to her.”
“I don’t mind,” Vina said, with a shaky voice. “I’ll let Bob be my escort. It’s fine with me. Maybe I should take things slowly tonight.”
Proctor stepped out of the elevator and they all followed him toward the banquet room. “Don’t get nervous now, Vina. You’ve come a long way and this is no time to back out. I have a feeling you’re going to be very surprised tonight.”  Although Vina wasn’t a raving beauty there was something about her general appearance that exuded sex appeal. It was the kind of sex appeal that came from a combination of several small physical flaws. When her slightly crooked nose and all of her other unusual features came together they created a look that resembled a cross between a younger version of Donatella Versace, Lady Gaga, and Melania Trump.

“Should I say anything?” Vina asked, as they approached the banquet room.
“About what?” Proctor asked.
 “Should I mention I’m a transgender person to people?”
Blair smiled. “You take this one, Proctor. It’s too easy.”
Proctor knew what Blair was thinking. He put his arm around Vina and said, “Absolutely not. You don’t have to say anything to anyone. You are who you are and you have to learn how to be proud of that. If and when you get to know someone better you can tell them whatever you want. But in the beginning, just be yourself and that’s all that matters. Most people will figure out you’re a transgender person on their own and they’ll either love you for it or they’ll walk away. You don’t need the people who walk away. Let them go with pleasure.”
“That’s how I’ve always handled it,” Bob said.
They all looked at him and tilted their heads to the side at the same time.
“I’m talking about being gay,” Bob said. “I never came out of the closet. I never made any announcements that I’m gay. Here I am. This is who I am. If you don’t like it kiss my ass.”
Proctor smiled. “I like that. It’s crude, but I like it.” Even though they were only ten years apart in age, Proctor came from a time when coming out was looked at as a sign of pride and strength. It was peer pressure, too. You had to come out in order to be accepted in the gay community. However, he’d noticed that younger men like Bob were opting for a different approach and he couldn’t blame them. In fact, he was starting to question a few things in his life.
“Okay, enough talking,” Blair said. “We’re starting to overthink again. Let’s just get in there and get the bad food and listen to the bad music so we can get this night over with.”
“Stop complaining,” Proctor said, glancing into the crowded banquet room. “You might have the best time of your life.”
Blair reached around and grabbed his ass. “Not until we go back up to the room.”
As Blair had predicted, the food turned out to be overcooked beef, some kind of soggy vegetable medley, square potatoes, and a wedge of iceberg lettuce. They were seated at a table of eight near the dance floor with two other generic gay couples from California. One was a middle aged married lesbian couple where the older one wore a man’s tuxedo and the younger wore a frilly white little Miss Muffet dress. The one wearing the tuxedo was a dentist and the one in the Miss Muffet dress was, so she claimed, a stay-at-home-mom. It wasn’t until she showed Proctor photos of their “children” on her phone that Proctor got the full message. When she held the phone in front of him and started scrolling, all he saw were pictures of cats.
The other couple came from some little town in the mountains Proctor had never heard of…and didn’t care to hear more about…and they ran a touristy gift shop called Where the Ember Glows. They were the quasi, amateur creative gay types Proctor always ran into at these conventions and conferences. The older one was about fifty pounds overweight. He wore a tuxedo jacket he couldn’t button, a red plaid cummerbund, and a matching red plaid kilt instead of pants…a mistake. The younger one…and he wasn’t much younger…wore a black tuxedo with a rainbow cummerbund and matching rainbow tie. This guy looked as if he’d stepped out of a Disney movie. He was bean pole thin with a chin so long and pointy Proctor was afraid Blair might ask him if he wanted to build a snowman.
While the lesbian couple and the two guys from the mountain town were talking about how much they “adored” a political candidate, Blair leaned into Proctor’s side and said, “How much longer do I have to endure this nightmare?”
Proctor rolled his eyes. “Be patient, Blair.” He glanced over at Vina and saw she was staring at the dance floor with a sullen expression. He was so hoping she’d meet someone new and fresh that night and it didn’t seem to be happening. “The music hasn’t even started yet.”
“Oh, I can’t wait,” Blair said. “Let me see, will it be Barry Manilow or Air Supply?”
Bob overheard that comment and laughed. “It can’t be that bad,” he said.
Proctor remained silent. He knew it could get much worse.
Blair tilted his head and said, “You wanna bet?”
“Finish your dinner like a good boy,” Proctor said, pointing to Blair’s plate.
Blair pointed to Proctor’s plate and said, “You didn’t finish yours.”
“I’m allergic,” Proctor said, trying not to laugh.
Bob looked confused. “You’re allergic to beef.”
Blair jumped in before Proctor could reply. “He’s not allergic to anything. He just says that whenever he doesn’t want to eat something he doesn’t like. And people always believe him.”
Bob shrugged. “Well if you two aren’t going to eat anything can I have it?”
Blair picked up his plate filled with overcooked beef and switched it with Bob’s empty plate. “Here you go. Be my guest.”
As he sat there listening to Bob and Blair, and then listening to the two other couples at their table, Proctor realized just how diverse gay people really are. Even though Blair and Bob were a lot alike in many ways, even they had their differences. It made Proctor wonder about a lot of things in his life he’d always taken for granted. When he’d been younger he’d always just assumed that all gay people had similar interests and things in common and the older he grew the more he realized that wasn’t true at all. In fact, he hadn’t mentioned anything to Blair yet, but he was seriously thinking about changing the name of the agency. The Rainbow Detective Agency had seemed like a good name at the time, but he was starting to wonder whether or not it was too inclusive now with the world changing so fast.
When the music started to play, the first song turned out to be an older Ricky Martin song Proctor hadn’t heard since the 90s. He didn’t have to look at Blair this time. Blair poked in in the ribs with his elbow and said, “And there you go. Time to Macarena. Just hit me over the head with a two by four and be done with it.”
“Well at least it’s not Barry Manilow,” Proctor said.
“Don’t worry, that’s coming soon,” Blair said.
Proctor turned to Bob to see if he wanted to dance. Blair hated to dance and Proctor didn’t want to force him into anything else that night. He wasn’t sure how Bob felt about dancing so he decided to ask. However, as he looked at Bob he noticed Bob’s plate was empty. He’d eaten his dinner, Blair’s dinner, and he’d just finished Proctor’s dinner. “How can you eat so much and keep that fantastic body?”
Bob shrugged and said, “I never had a weight problem. I can eat as much as I want and I can eat anything I want. Do you want to dance?”
He asked so casually and without warning Proctor smiled. “Yes, I’d love to dance.”
As Proctor stood and reached for Bob’s hand, he was about to lean over and whisper into Blair’s ear. He wanted to ask Blair to dance with Vina if no one else came along. However, he didn’t get a chance. Right before he leaned over a tall, dark attractive young man walked over to Vina and said, “Can I have this dance? My name is Charlie Kilpatrick and I’ve been watching you since you arrived. I hope that’s okay.”
Vina shot Proctor a glance and Proctor smiled and sent her an encouraging nod.
Vina looked up at Charlie and said, “I’m a transgender person.”
Blair smacked his forehead and said, “So much for not saying anything at first.”
Proctor poked Blair in the head with his elbow this time.
Charlie said, “I know that. I told you I’ve been watching you for a while and it doesn’t matter one way or the other to me. I’d like to dance and get to know you better.”
“You would?” Vina asked, as if she couldn’t believe her ears.
“Yes, I would,” Charlie said.
Proctor smiled and winked at Vina. “Go dance with him. Have some fun.”
For a moment, Vina hesitated. She stared at Proctor, took a quick breath, and then she finally stood up. Proctor watched Charlie lead her onto the dance floor. When she tripped over her own feet…in her defense, she wasn’t used to wearing such high heels…Charlie smiled and helped her gain her balance without making a big deal of it. He simply placed his palm on the small of Vina’s back and they glided away from the tables as if they’d known each other for years instead of minutes.
The lesbian couple and the guys from the mountains stood up at the same time and they headed to the dance floor. Bob pulled Proctor closer and Proctor turned to Blair and asked, “Are you sure you don’t mind being left all alone here?”
“We can stay here with you,” Bob said. “We don’t have to dance.”
Blair shook his head and waved them off. “Go dance. I’m fine. I’m sure they’ll be serving the melted vanilla ice cream soon and I’ve been waiting for that all night.”

Michelle Obama’s Response to Gay Protester; Hillary Clinton Supports Gay Marriage

First Lady Michelle Obama’s response to a gay protester who heckled her during a Democratic fundraiser was reported in many different ways today, and I’ve been inundated with e-mails from friends in the LGBT community about it.

Obama was 12 minutes into a planned 20-minute speech at a couple’s home when a woman standing at the front of the small crowd interrupted, demanding that President Barack Obama sign an executive order on gay rights.

“One of the things I don’t do well is this,” the first lady said before walking down from the lectern and approaching the protester, according to a pool reporter covering the event.

Obama told the woman that people gathered in the backyard tent could “listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving,” before telling the crowd, “You all decide. You have one choice.”

Well.

You can read more here.

Hillary Clinton Supports Gay Marriage

Former First Lady and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, posted a video on Youtube in support of Gay Marriage this month. You can view it with a link below, and I’ve posted it to the blog post previous to this one if you scroll down.

“LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones,” said Clinton. “They are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage.”

The announcement from Clinton comes just after a high profile Republican, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, announced his experience with his gay son had led him to support same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court is set to hear challenges to California’s Prop. 8., which banned same-sex marriage in that state, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed into law by former President Bill Clinton and denies to same-sex couples survivor benefits and other federal preferences for married heterosexual couples.

Former President Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s husband, and their daughter Chelsea had endorsed gay marriage in recent years, but Hillary Clinton, who was serving as the nation’s top diplomat, had not. As a presidential candidate in 2008 Clinton opposed same-sex marriage but endorsed civil unions for same-sex couples.

It’s nice to see that kind of support starting to surface so openly, especially from someone like Hillary Clinton who really doesn’t have to come out and support anyone or anything at this point in time.

Here’s the article in full, where you can also view the video.

Hillary Clinton New Book; Roger Ebert on Writing; Virgin Billionaire Tie-In with Pretty Man

As expected, Simon & Schuster sent out a press release with the announcement that Hillary Clinton will be writing a new Memoir.

Someone get my smelling salts.

Clinton had mentioned in an interview in January that she was working on a memoir. The book comes amidst increasing speculation that Clinton is considering a run for president in 2016.
 
 
Roger Ebert on Writing
 
I saw this article over at GalleyCat and decided to share because I’ve always thought any writing tips from anyone who’s been successful are valuable. In other words, unless a writer has actually had either literary or financial success (the two are not mutually exclusive), I’m less prone to take their advice. And there’s plenty of advice going around the Interwebs these days about writing that should be taken with that proverbial grain of salt.
 
The film critic also wrote a number of essays and posts about the writing life, sharing some valuable advice for all writers. To celebrate his memory, we’ve collected some of our favorite Ebert quotes.
 
You can read more here, where there are more links. I know very little about Ebert, except what I could find with a simple search. But it was interesting to learn this:
 
At age 50, Ebert married trial attorney Charlie “Chaz” Hammelsmith (formerly Chaz Hammel-Smith) in 1992.[20][102] He explained in his memoir, Life Itself, that he “would never marry before [his] mother died,” as he was afraid of displeasing her.
 
My mom’s dream come true. Just ask Tony. However, I do find it interesting that Ebert was a “bachelor” for so long. Like I said, I know little about his personal life.
 
And this is more interesting:
 
He was a longtime friend of, and briefly dated, Oprah Winfrey, who credited him with persuading her to syndicate The Oprah Winfrey Show,[107] which became the highest-rated talk show in American television history.
 
I never knew this either.
 
But I did find his comments on gay marriage, here. It’s actually very insightful.
 
I must have heard about gay marriage sometime in the 1970s. It made an impression when it was mentioned by my mother. We had never discussed homosexuality. Neither of my parents did. Oh it might be observed, “Look at that Liberace! He sure is queer.” It wasn’t a criticism so much as a wonderment, as if he were playing with three hands.
 
Before I continue, notice the way the word “queer” is used above. It’s a good example of why I absolutely refuse to embrace the “Q” in LGBT. But I don’t take offense to the way Ebert used it in the above quote, because anything gay in the 1970’s was considered somewhat shocking for most people. Aside from the fact that Ebert seemed to be unnaturally close to his mother, the piece I linked to really just tells a story of how things were/are. And, another reason why I wanted to check out his writing advice.
 
Virgin Billionaire Tie-In with Pretty Man
 
Last evening a reader e-mailed me about The Virgin Billionaire series. There are ten stand alone novels in that series, you can read more about here, where I’ve listed them in consecutive order. What the reader wanted to know was if I would ever write a book where I cross over with characters from one series to another. In this case, she wanted to know if I would ever write a novel with Jase and Luis, from the VB books, along with Len and Jim, from the Chase of a Lifetime books.
 
I don’t have any plans for that right now, but I won’t say I’ll never do it. And I have brought characters from previous books into later books without really going into any detailed explanations here on the blog. So I figured I’d start mentioning these things as they come to me. As strange as it sounds, it’s hard for me to recall all the characters in all the books and stories I’ve written unless I go back and research them myself. I tend to move forward with everything in life, and once a book is released, I’m on to the next project. Unfortunately, some books suffer as a result, and I’m remiss in giving out information.
 
But I do remember, and well, adding the main characters from Pretty Man to certain books in the Virgin Billionaire series. I did this on purpose, because I knew Pretty Man would never become a series and I liked the characters myself. Pretty Man is a loose, sometimes campy, parody of the old movie, Pretty Woman, and it’s not fanfic by any means. If anything it’s anti-fanfic, and it’s my own statement on how gay characters were never in any romance films in the past…and aren’t in many now. And, Pretty Woman, the film itself, is a take off on the Cinderella trope anyway.
 
I decided to incorporate Josh and Roland from Pretty Man into the Virgin Billionaire series. That’s right, if you’ve read the VB books and haven’t read Pretty Man, Josh and Roland were the main characters in Pretty Man. Josh and Roland are Luis and Jase’s best friends. J & R provided me with a way to show how different L & J are when it comes to sex and gay couples, because J & R are into a more open-concept marriage, where L & J are not.
 
I also incorporated Hillary and Justin into the VB books, and made Hillary Luis’ best friend and Justin is the best friend of Jase’s son from a previous marriage. It’s all very General Hospital, and just as dishy as it sounds. But more than that, if you are familiar with these circles in the gay male community, especially in New York, wealthy gay men often do cross paths more often than not. How do I know this? Because I’m a gay man with a gay brother who travels in these circles. I didn’t guess.
 
I also incorporated the two main characters (can’t remember their names right now) from Jonah Sweet of Delancey Street into a book in the bad boy billionaire series, The Wall Street Shark. They happen to come into contact with the mc of The Wall Street Shark at a pivotal moment in his life when he’s wondering if he’ll ever be as happy as these two strange gay men he sees walking down Delancey St with a young child between them.

Why I Love Hillary

I love this video. It’s classic Hillary Clinton giving a completely natural response to something unplanned.

Most dumb-dumb politicians, Democrat or Republican, would just stand there gaping, wondering how to react in a way that would be good for their image.

But Hillary just laughs like everyone else would.