Scientology Documentary and Travolta As Gay; Tab Hunter’s Fear of Being Outed; Books and Cultural Appropriation of People of Color

Scientology Documentary and Travolta As Gay

Maybe I’m being far too relaxed about John Travolta, but I don’t find the way “they” keep hounding him about being gay to be in the best interests of anyone. I’ve posted differently about other actors and how they react when people refer to them as gay, but in Travolta’s case I think it’s different because I have never once seen him insult the LGBT community, I’ve never seen him gay bait, and I’ve never seen him do anything offensive like James Franco. He’s harmless. So if he is gay, I’m willing to wait for him to come out on his own terms. If he’s not gay, then fine with me.

I really don’t think coming out is ever black and white, and in some cases forcing the issue only makes it worse.  As a gay man who remembers what it was like to be in the closet it would be highly disingenuous of me to tell any other man (or woman) what he should do. That, I think, would make me a douche. 

In any event, there’s a new Scientology documentary that is supposedly going to out Travolta yet again. Why they would do this is beyond my comprehension, but it is what it is and we all know there are people who will do anything to make a buck.

The film, based on Lawrence Wright’s 2013 book of the same name, details Travolta’s involvement in the church dating back to the early part of his acting career. Back then, he was a halfhearted supporter at best. Why, then, is he now one of Scientology’s most outspoke zealots?

The film strongly suggests that the church is essentially blackmailing him by threatening to out him if he ever betrays them.

The rest is here. I know nothing about Scientology and don’t care to know more, so I can’t comment.

Tab Hunter’s Fear of Being Outed

In a case not unlike John Travolta’s, actor Tab Hunter is talking about how he feared being outed during his career.

There’s a documentary about Hunter, too:

However, Hunter had a secret he needed to keep hidden: he was gay. In the new documentary Tab Hunter Confidential (adapted from the actor’s 2005 memoir), the now 83-year-old shares his fear of being outed during his hey day, his love affair with Anthony Perkins and the incredible story of how he endured to become a happy, healthy survivor of Hollywood’s roller coaster. 

The film will premiere March 15 at the SXSW film festival in Austin, Texas.

You can check more of that out here.   

Unfortunately, this hasn’t changed and there are still closeted gay actors and actresses living in fear they will be outed.

We still have a long way to go.

Books and Cultural Appropriation of People of Color

In an unrelated subject, I ran across this blog post the other day and it reminded me of the many, many discussions I’ve read in the m/m romance community about straight women writing and being in control of the entire sub-genre of m/m romance. I’m not getting into that, and I’ve gone on record when it comes to my feelings about writers being able to write whatever they want as long as they do it well. There are, indeed and action, many straight women writing good m/m romance.

In this case, the topic is about straight white people writing about people of color and I thought some of the blogger’s comment were interesting and worthy of sharing. Janet Reid, the blogger, is a long time blogging literary agent and she tends to get right to the point on topics like this.

A writer queried Reid about writing something with characters that are people of color and this part of the reply stood out the most for me.

Appropriation is a loaded word for writers, whose job it is to steal everything they can and write about it. When does it cross the line? Everyone is going to have a different view on this, but the thing to pay attention to are people in that culture.

I didn’t understand that The Help wasn’t a fun book until I read the comments about it written by Roxane Gay. While it’s not about appropriating culture, it does seem to say that stories are given a wider audience only when those in power agree to tell them.

And there you have it… “a wider audience only when those in power agree to tell them.” If I have to explain that it’s not even worth the effort. But I will say this. As a gay writer I don’t come from a place of privilege or power and it’s ten times harder for me to get the same results someone with privilege and power (straight and white) can get…writing in any genre in publishing. I don’t even get that power on Twitter and I censor everything I tweet for fear of losing followers. And if you’re too gay, you lose them.

It’s NOT about whether or not someone coming from a place of privilege can write about another culture well. That’s not the point. The point is when people of privilege get more advantages than people in the culture they are writing about, simply because they have that power. It’s not actually cultural appropriation, but it definitely is a fact of life for all minorities, including gays.

Check out the link to Roxane Gay’s comments, too.


You can read more here. 

There are 65 excellent comments that make fascinating discussion from some of the brightest writers I’ve seen in a long time, all very civil.

The Rainbow Detective Agency Book 1

 

Brokeback Mountain Author Pissed Off; Bubble Butts; Don Lemon Worst Journalist List 2014

Brokeback Mountain Author Pissed Off

The author of Brokeback Mountain, Annie Proulx, is making a few strong statements about how her short story was received and how it’s been interpreted in various ways over the years. The story, which became a huge bestseller and a ground-breaking feature film that many claim spawned the m/m romance genre, has never been without controversy. And that controversy has not always come in the form of traditional homophobia. I remember back when it was released and I was interviewing and reviewing gay male bloggers for bestgayblogs.com many gay men weren’t thrilled with the story or the film.They found fundamental flaws in the storyline, but I’m not getting into that right now. I thought it was a nice story, in a general sense.

In any event, this is what Proulx said, in part:

So many people have completely misunderstood the story. I think it’s important to leave spaces in a story for readers to fill in from their own experience, but unfortunately the audience that Brokeback reached most strongly have powerful fantasy lives. And one of the reasons we keep the gates locked here is that a lot of men have decided that the story should have had a happy ending. They can’t bear the way it ends — they just can’t stand it. So they rewrite the story, including all kinds of boyfriends and new lovers and so forth after Jack is killed. And it just drives me wild.

I really don’t know what she’s talking about when she says “men” are doing this. But I may have missed that. My only comment is that after writing and getting published for many years in the concentrated genre of gay fiction I’ve found more than a few things interesting in the past ten years, since BM became so popular. One of them is that I still can’t get over how many people coming from a place of privilege can’t wait to tell gay writers how to do “it.” Another thing is how little they really know about gay men.

But I really don’t want to get off track here. I’ve done parodies of mainstream classic stories with gay characters, like An Officer and His Gentleman and Pretty Man. But frankly, the one story I always thought was off limits as a parody in this case was Brokeback Mountain. I wouldn’t parody a gay story…unless I were to do it with straight characters.  And I think I know exactly what Proulx is talking about this time. I just wish she’d been more specific in her rant. 

You can read the rest here.  

I highly suggest reading the rest of this in full. I really don’t have any strong comments on this one. I actually find it interesting when readers take my books and stories and reinterpret them in various ways. I don’t mind it in the least.

Bubble Butts

This is all about the sexy photo column at Queerty.com. I’ve been following it all year and I love some of the things they’ve done…especially about breaking body image stereotypes. I follow a pop star on social media and he posts some of the hottest photos online. But most are photo shopped. When he posts a real photo of himself, even though I think it’s hotter than the photo shopped pics, you’d be amazed at how many will criticize him. He’s absolutely adorable, yet they can’t wait to point out his flaws.   

This year, Queerty launched a new photos column, Homo Erotica, that highlighted various sexual styles and looks while celebrating sexy men of all sorts. Over the past 12 months, we’ve covered foot fetishes to armpit fetishes, hairy older hunks to twinks, with a few bubble butts and beer bellies thrown in for good measure. It’s been an interesting year, and we’re looking forward to bringing you even more homo horseplay in 2015.

You can check out the pics here. I think the cute guy with the belly is adorable.

Don Lemon Worst Journalist List 2014

I think most readers know I usually support everything LGBT. But I don’t think it’s wise to blindly support anyone just because he or she is LGBT, especially when an openly gay journalist like Don Lemon makes ridiculous comments about women and rape. Sexual orientation doesn’t give anyone a free pass to be arrogant or obnoxious. Dumb I can overlook. But I find it hard to believe anyone can reach the point of CNN anchor and be stupid. 

The worst journalist list was created by Columbia Journalism Review and those on the list are considered to have made the most “cringe-worthy” remarks during the year. 

David Uberti, the Review’s fellow wrote in a post why Lemon deserves to be ranked along with other missteps in journalism this year. 

‘As one of the most recognizable anchors on CNN, Don Lemon has helped lead the cable network’s coverage of the biggest stories of the year. Live television is exceedingly difficult to produce, of course, but Lemon’s gaffes this year offer a case study in how to choose words wisely — or not.’

 Uberti highlighted several controversial comments made by Lemon including telling an alleged rape victim of Bill Cosby, ‘You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you don’t want to do it… Meaning the use of teeth, right?’ 

The anchor also pondered whether Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was swallowed by a black hole.

You can read the rest here. It gives us all hope for the future journalists coming our way. At least they nailed this one. It’s also one reason why I refuse to even watch CNN anymore.

Chase of a Dream PG-Rated Version
 
 


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

Review: My Hero by Max Vos

Review: My Hero by Max Vos

I would normally leave this kind of short review on Amazon and Goodreads, but I’m not sure anymore about their guidelines with respect to authors reviewing other authors in their genres. Even though none of my reviews have ever been removed from Amazon, I figured I would post it here on the blog instead of taking that chance. Authors are readers, too. Authors also read other authors within the same genre all time as well. We shop for books and sometimes we like to review them. There’s nothing wrong with that.

I heard about My Hero by Max Vos last week on social media, and I’ve read a few things by this author in the past and I’ve always enjoyed his work. So in full disclosure I did come to this book with a few set expectations. But I was pleasantly surprised in a different way this time.  This book seemed to have even more intimacy than past fiction I’ve read from the author. I love stories were fate seems to play a hidden role, and the clever way the two main characters came to know each other reminded me of past experiences I’ve had. I also like stories with football players who are typical jocks, and yet just a little bit different from the stereotypical jock.

The main characters, Johnny and Rich, meet up again after not seeing each other for a while.  (I also liked the fact that I could pronounce their names, remember their names, and that they had normal names.) Johnny is straight. Rich is gay. And the initial conflict begins when the two men find themselves in a situation that could be detrimental to Johnny’s reputation. Johnny, however, doesn’t seem as intimidated as he should be and comes off looking more interested than he probably should. This is also a quality of the story that I found highly realistic (and erotic) in the sense that these situations happen all the time and no one really knows about it. I’ve been listening to a similar story in real life recently, only with two middle aged men. My point is, without giving out spoilers, that it’s handled well and I could relate to it as a gay man, which I like to do when I’m reading gay fiction.

The book is sexy, and the sex does what it’s supposed to do: move the story forward, and help the characters grow. For me, that’s as plain and simple as good erotica gets. It’s emotional in some parts, and I found myself relating to the characters all over again. It’s a fast read, the character development continues throughout the book, and I found a few amusing/entertaining family situations, too. And it wasn’t as predictable as I thought it would be. I found myself surprised a few times when I least expected it. I would recommend this story without thinking twice, and I’ll most likely go back and read this one again down the line because the characters are already so memorable.

I purchased this book at Amazon. Here’s the link to the Amazon page. I still might leave the review there as a verified purchase eventually. If I do I’ll give it five stars.

Matt Damon’s Tan Lines; Gay Kiss "Inappropriate"; Women Who Love Gay Romance

Women Who Love Gay Romance … Cover Preview

This is actually the first time I’m seeing the cover for The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance up anywhere. Because the majority of the book is so intimate, I opted for a cover that didn’t have a nude male torso this time. And although there are many steamy scenes in the book, and in each story, I thought the emotional aspects outweighed the sex…as far as covers go.



Matt Damon’s Tan Lines

There are so many serious things happening around the world right now, sometimes it’s important to focus on the silly things. And what could be sillier than focusing on Matt Damon’s tan lines?

For his performance as Liberace’s boy toy, Damon had to wear some pretty skimpy costumes, including several bikini-style swimsuits. Wanting to avoid noticeable tan lines in the film, he said he hiked up some bikini briefs and got spray-tanned from head to toe. The result, though, was a pretty epic tan line that was probably worse than he would have had otherwise.

Damon said the awkwardness happened the morning after his spray tan. “I start brushing my teeth and my wife kinda comes in,” he said. “And she screams, ‘What the hell happened to your ass?”

Damon thought the tan lines were so funny, he asked the director to leave them in his nude shots. Actually, I’ve read a lot of harsh things about Damon playing someone so much younger than he is, but I have to admit I think he pulled it off well. I even said to Tony the night we watched Behind the Candelabra that I was amazed at how young he looked for someone in his forties. If every forty year old ass in a bikini on the beaches in P’town looked like Matt Damon’s, I wouldn’t need dark glasses and Tums anymore.

You can read more here.

Gay Kiss “Inappropriate”

There was a youtube video with two men kissing that was flagged as “Inappropriate,” by users, and dubbed “Age-restricted” by youtube, simply because they were two men kissing. There was no nudity; there was no foul language. Youtube claims this was “human error,” which makes sense if you know anything about how poorly most social media web sites are run when it comes to things like this. When it comes to social media, the owners missed basic US history, because on social media you are always guilty before you are proven innocent.

The artist who produced the clip, Idan Bitton, released this statement:

“‘First Kiss’ offers a view into an intimate moment between two men. The kiss does not interact with the viewers nor seeks their approval. It just is, alive and present for 84:24 minutes. For me, the video is a reflection of the gay rights struggle momentum. At this point, everyone is welcome to take a look if they choose to, yet our kiss is here to stay with no apologies.

It’s the old double standard once again. It’s OK for a man and a woman to kiss, hold hands, or even make out in a parked car, but let two gay people do anything even remotely related to these things and it’s adults only. I even see this on some blogs where gay books are discussed, where there’s an adult content warning page that pops up before I actually get to the blog. But when I do get to the blog most of the time I only see things that have basic gay content and nothing that would require an age restriction. And I usually just leave and wonder why.

As of now, after complaints, youtube has removed the age-restriction. You can read more here, and check out the video.

Facebook Bash: Time Magazine; Free Excerpt Women Who Love Gay Romance

Facebook Bash: Time Magazine

I’ve posted a few things about facebook and how I’m curious about the future of all social media. But I’ve never actually drawn any conclusions because I think it’s still too soon to do that with social media, especially as more and more people of all ages begin to navigate the web. And now with the recent announcement about how Facebook stock has grown, I think it’s even more important to tread with care when making any predictions. Evidently, Time writer, Ben Barjarin, doesn’t agree with me, and the predictions he made about facebook last June show how dangerous it is to try to predict the future of social media. And I have a feeling Mark Zuckerberg is smiling widely right now.

The article to which I’m referring is titled, “Why Am I Still on Facebook?” And you can read it in full here.  It starts out with positive comments about facebook and family and how wonderful facebook used to be as a way to keep in touch with people, and then devolves into an interesting commentary about how facebook has changed and how Ben Barjarin thinks it won’t even be around five years from now.

No predictions from me. Maybe facebook won’t be around five years from now. But I think Barjarin is wrong with this statement:

Given the nature of why people use Facebook — to stay in touch with friends and family — it seems that this is the worst possible place for ads and sponsored posts. I go to Facebook to keep up to date with people I rarely or never see anymore, not to look for products or promotions.

I’ll be the first to admit that I hate online ads of any kind, especially the video ads that start speaking to me when I go to a web site. However, last month I found a trunk organizer thanks to a facebook ad. I ordered it and love it. I also recently helped Corey Booker in his bid for the senate through facebook. I get a good deal of my news information from facebook…mostly from local news channels and reputable publications I know I can trust. During hurricane Sandy last October facebook was one of my main means of communication when I didn’t have power for over one full week. So for me, facebook is not about staying in touch with friends and family. Frankly I honestly don’t really care about their vacations and trips to the park, or what they had for dinner. I want information from facebook, and I want it fast. And I think Barjarin’s view on why we use social media is extremely limited.

The other thing he fails to mention…or doesn’t even realize yet…is that younger people are not watching TV and they are also getting their information from facebook.

This is also an interesting comment in the article:

Magazines, for example, are a much better place. When I read a magazine, like Digital Photography, I am a captive reader with a specific interest in digital photography. Therefore, that is the best place for companies within the digital-photography space to pitch me about useful products related to digital photography that I may interested in. This is the power of targeted advertising.

The reason it’s interesting is because magazines, especially Time Magazine, are losing readership these days faster than the Titanic went down. I still get Architectural Digest and the ads in there have also dwindled. Of course Barjarin isn’t going to mention this because his post is pro-magazine and that’s not the spin he’s using this time. And while I have nothing against print magazines, they have fallen off my own personal radar in the past few years to the point where I throw my copy of Time Magazine out most weeks because I’ve already read the content online. And, many of the articles I’ve already read I found through facebook, Twitter, or some other social media source.

And at this particular point, I think it’s very dangerous to make predictions about facebook or any other social media outlet. What I do think we all have to do is regulate our own social media needs and figure out what we want and need most from social media. In my case, it’s information and communication. I also think social media in general will be around for a long time.

Free Excerpt Women Who Love Gay Romance

The indie anthology I’m releasing sometime next week, The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance, is moving along well and I wanted to post a free excerpt today to show readers how good some of these contributing authors are. This excerpt is actually from a New Adult romance by author Bella Stanberry, titled, “My BFF and Her Boyfriend.” It is one of three short stories in the book…the first story in a trilogy that follows the unique lives of three new adults: a gay man, a bi-sexual man, and a straight woman.

I still haven’t finalized the cover yet, but that’s coming soon.

The other day my mom started talking about my younger brother and his new girlfriend. We were on the phone; this isn’t new.

It was one of those weekly chats where my mom rambles on as if she’s taken too many Lyrica pills for her bad knee and I’m on the depressing single bed in my dorm room in my underwear scratching my sack, nodding and saying yes the entire time. It’s a process; a ritual. And the less I disagree with her the faster I get off the phone.

It’s not as if she’s unhappy with me being gay. When I came out to my folks the summer after I graduated from high school they took it fairly well. They didn’t jump up and down and sing show tunes. They barely even smiled. We were in the kitchen and they remained silent for a long time while they processed the information. But they finally said what most liberal parents of college age kids say when they are faced with a child coming out of the closet: “We’re fine with this as long as you’re happy. And please practice safe sex at all times.”

In other words, they would have preferred it if I were straight, but they could learn to live with me being gay, in time. I’ve often wondered if they ever told my straight brother to have safe sex at all times. Did they mention to him that straight dudes can get cancer from cunnilingus because of the HPV virus if they aren’t careful? I never actually asked them these questions because I thought it might be too confrontational. I was so happy they didn’t freak out on me when I told them I was gay I took what I could get and hugged and kissed them both.

It’s been three years since that conversation and I’m a junior in college. My dad rarely mentions my gay lifestyle aloud. My mom has grown to accept me and she’s taken it upon herself to offer suggestions about meeting gay guys. She’s read all the books on how to be a great gay mom. When she begins these conversations, she always heads it off with a hint about my younger brother’s girlfriends. She seems to think that we all need to be paired off as couples in life, and that no one single ever lived a full or authentic life…gay or straight. And I just smile and nod while she speaks, looking at my watch, and wondering how she would react if I told her the truth.

Sometimes I play the imaginary conversation over and over in my head, wondering how she might reply if I did tell the truth. It would probably go like this:

My Mom would say, “You really should get out more and meet a nice young gay man. I’m sure there are plenty of them where you go to school.”

I would smile and say, “I’m already in a relationship, mom. I haven’t mentioned it because it’s a little unusual. I’m not sure you’d understand it.”

She would remain silent for a moment, and then ask, “What do you mean unusual?” I’m sure she would be wondering what could be more unusual than two men sleeping with each other.

“It’s different,” I would say. “It’s not conventional.”

She would become frustrated and ask, “Oh please. How different could it be?”

I would take a deep breath, exhale, and say, “I met a nice couple.”

“A couple of what?” she would ask.

After another deep breath, I would say, “I met this couple. A guy and a girl. And I’ve been seeing them both for the last several months. We’re all very fond of each other. I think you’d like them.”

Then there would be dead silence, and I would hear a crash on the other end of the line. My dad would come rushing into the room to see what had happened and I would overhear him asking my mom, “Oh my God, Joanne. What’s wrong? Why did you pass out?”

Bu these are only fantasies I replay in my head sometimes, because I’m not sure when I’ll ever tell my mom about this relationship. I don’t think she would understand, and I’m not even sure I fully understand what I’m doing with another couple half of the time. Maybe it’s a generational thing. People my age seem to be doing things a little differently than generations before them. But I could be wrong about that. Maybe we’re just doing it more openly.

This all began a few months ago. I belong to a gym a few miles from school and I go there to work out with my best friend, Gina, four or five times a week. But I should backtrack a little first. I met Gina my freshman year of college in a registration line while waiting to be approved for a history class we both wanted to take that semester. Gina was standing in front of me in line, tapping her black pumps with six inch heels and looking at her watch. I noticed her large breasts and her expensive seven shades of long blond hair. She noticed my tight jeans and my large biceps. At first, she flirted with me and I took this as a compliment. It was even more of a compliment when I mentioned I was gay and she didn’t blow me off. We started talking about how frustrating it was to get anything accomplished during registration week and found out we both had a lot in common, especially when it came to men. We started whispering about the hot guy in front of us and we’ve been best friends ever since that day. I even used to joke around that if I weren’t gay Gina would be the woman I would marry.

I had no idea how true these words would one day be.

At the beginning of our junior year Gina met a guy named Luke at the gym. I wasn’t there that night. I was in my dorm doing what I always do at the beginning of a new semester: trying to organize my schedule and working hard not to freak out about taking on eighteen credits that semester. And while I was kicking myself for taking that extra film course on Thursday evenings, wondering how I would deal with all the reading from the English class, Gina was in Luke’s Corvette giving him head in the parking lot of the gym. I will never forget the elated tone in her voice when she phoned me at midnight and told me what had happened with Luke.

Cover Preview: Cowboy In Love Bad Boy Billionaire Series

Here’s a cover preview for an upcoming book in the Bad Boy Billionaire series, Cowboy in Love.

The entire book is set in Texas, and it gets very emotional in more than one part. The main character is still grieving for his deceased husband, and doesn’t know how to move on with his life. I’ll post a release date soon.

Here’s a link to a free excerpt and a book description, and some info that explains more of the book in detail.