Category: skater boy

Real St. Patrick’s Day Parade Story; George Michael Slams EastEnders; Web Filters Gay Content

Real St. Patrick’s Day Parade Story

In a follow up to yesterday’s post, here’s an article about NY mayor, Bill de Blasio, boycotting New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. Several beer companies have buckled to pressure from gay activists and they’ve pulled out as sponsors. But the problem is nothing is very clear about this, and even though the same issue happened in Boston, there were gay people marching in Boston, there was a “diversity float,” and openly gay people in Boston were welcomed just like everyone else. And yet the Mayor of Boston boycotted that parade because of gay rights?  

This piece states that de Blasio and the beer companies are boycotting because gay groups were excluded from the NY parade.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is boycotting today’s St. Patrick’s Day parade because of organizers’ refusal to allow gay groups to march openly in the parade. Heineken, Sam Adams, and Guinness have all pulled their sponsorship for the same reason.

I don’t know if there will be any “diversity floats” in the NY parade. But even though parade organizers in Boston would not allow gay activist groups in that parade, there were openly gay people in the parade with a “diversity float.” Not marching as gay activists, but as citizens who are part of the neighborhood and just happen to be openly gay. One article I read stated that Boston parade organizers went out of their way to welcome them.

Interesting.

Randy Foster and Steve Martin had done this before. They built a 12-foot-long wedding cake float for Provincetown’s Carnival on Aug. 20, 2009, the day they married. This was different. This float was for the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which had banned gay organizations for two decades, a precedent enshrined by the US Supreme Court. Related  As a political standoff raged in recent weeks between parade organizers and the statewide gay advocacy group MassEquality, planning for this float continued with little notice. Momentum had been building for a year. There is a lot about this controversy people don’t know.

I’m glad I’m not the only one questioning the controversy surrounding this parade. Frankly, I’d like to get the real story. What’s really happening here? Why would the parade organizers in Boston ban the gay activist groups and not ban the local gay neighbors with the “diversity float?” And why won’t the media give us all the details surrounding this issue? Each and every story I’ve read mentions the “diversity float” in the Boston parade, but not one leads with it. Each article leads with the implication that both the mayors of NY and Boston boycotted the parade because of gay issues, and clearly there were gays welcomed to participate in the Boston parade.  

You can read more here.

George Michael Slams EastEnders

George Michael claims “fame” nearly drove him BERserk. He’s also off drugs and not smoking pot anymore. And it’s not because those things are illegal and bad for you, or that most people with a moral compass know this. It was prison that shocked him into this realization…that just because he’s been privileged enough to live a life most people dream about he’s not exempt from everything. Sorry if I sound cynical here, but I get tired of hearing these things when I know there are people working in minimum wage jobs full time here in the US and they can’t even afford to pay for daycare. It gets tired and my sympathy threshold runs low for people like George Michael. I’m also not sure he should even have a voice or be quoted on anything serious.

He also mentions his thoughts on Kate Middleton…like anyone cares. I don’t watch EastEnders, but Michael had comments about that, too.

Michael said: ‘I hope for their sakes and the sake of gay kids in this country, regardless of their cultural background, that EastEnders gets a clue and begins to acknowledge their responsibility and provide us with gay characters that have no reason to live in fear. We do exist.’

You can read more here.

Web Filters Gay Content

I think I posted about this once before, but it was so long ago I’m not linking back. It’s been long standing knowledge that web filters block gay content and keep gay people from getting information they could be getting. Sometimes all it takes is one innocent word.

A lot of what is being blocked is completely innocent. E-mails that contain words such as ‘lesbian’, ‘gay’ or ‘sexuality’ are treated like spam.

Non-pornographic websites aimed at the LGBTI community are banned – including vital support services, lifestyle sites and news and magazine sites like this one. The blockers don’t seem to know the difference between titillating sex sites and sex education sites.

And even LGBTI charities like Stonewall have been blocked. The problem has hit us at the Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF) too.

This is exactly like what happens to books with gay content…or erotic books in general. Web filters find one word that might suggest something gay or considered taboo and they block the content. I had one book out, “Skater Boy,” and it was banned from several web sites because of the word “boy,” which to web filters suggested it was about an underage character. And nothing could have been farther from the truth. All characters were grown and of legal age of consent. So I’m not sure what anyone can do about web filters in general, but authors really need to watch out for these things so they don’t get blamed for something they didn’t do. Of course, the wrong people also know all about web filters and they actually take advantage of the system by avoiding words they should be using with questionable content. I really does go both ways, and unfortunately innocent people often get blamed.

You can read more here.

My Next Round of .99 Books on Amazon



My Next Round of .99 Books on Amazon

This is actually a continuation of the back listed titles I’ve been releasing with Ryan Field Press on Amazon all summer. Without going into detail because I’ve already posted many times about this, one of the small e-presses I worked with went out of business and I was left with over thirty titles that didn’t have a home. So I decided to re-release them all on Amazon as .99 e-books.

Tomorrow I’m posting about another small e-press that recently went out of business. So if you are an author with a small press, think about your future and always have an alternative plan just in case something like this happens to you. I didn’t see it coming. But thanks to the fact that I’d already established Ryan Field Press and I already have several indie novels out, I did have a back up.

Skater Boy (link)

Sir, Yes Sir (link)

The Computer Tutor (link) This one is a novella, about 30,000 words.

Unmentionable: The Men Who Loved on the Titanic (link) Edwardian Historical

Jolly Roger (link) Originally pubbed in an anthology by Alyson Publications ten years ago.

Banned Books Week and "Skater Boy"

After what I experienced last year with censorship, I had to write something about Banned Books Week and my short story, “Skater Boy.” I see it all the time everywhere I go. Most people in a general sense focus on big books being banned, like “Fifty Shades of Grey,” or “Catcher in the Rye,” but they never consider the fact that a lot of books are banned quietly that no one ever knows about. 

I guess it’s something inherent to publishing and writing, as it is to other arts like acting and music. No one ever mentions the career musician in the orchestra or the working actor who has made a decent living all his life playing small parts. They focus on Lady Gaga or Merele Streep the same way they focus on authors with big books.

But there are a lot of career writers out there who don’t necessarily care whether they have a big book or not. They focus on writing jobs and making a decent living as writers. I’ve always fallen into that category. I do it because it’s what I love doing. And when I have a book banned for a ridiculous reason involving the way search engines pick up tags, it can get frustrating to say the least.

That’s what happened to me last year when PayPal was going through that stage where they decided to censor authors and publishers, and everyone freaked out. I posted about it here…the link goes to more than one post I’ve written about censorship, including my own personal experiences. And the reason why I decided to release “Chase of a Dream,” in two versions: one with sex scenes and one without.

In my case, “Skater Boy” was censored and banned in several places because of the word “boy” in the title. The book had nothing to do with underage characters. I don’t write about underage characters, never have and never will. But because the word “boy” was in the title, and the tags, the story was banned because search engines picked it up and no one bothered to check out the content.

So it’s not only big books that get banned. And it’s not always books with questionable content that get banned. These days books can get banned for a variety of reasons, none of which have anything to do with the actual content inside the book. I will be the first to admit that I write erotica that is for adults only and I don’t think a lot of my fiction should be up front on the main display table at the local library. But I do think that we all should be able to read what we want to read, when we want to read it, and no one should tell us we don’t have that right. And if it were up to a lot of people, they would be choosing our reading material for us. They would be telling us it’s for our own good, like not smoking or wearing our jeans too low below the waistline…or even seatbelts for that matter. And I get tired of someone else telling me what’s for my own good. And it’s important to speak up sometimes and tell them to shut the hell up, because I want to read anything I want without listening to anyone else’s hooded opinions.

Here’s a link to the Banned Books Week web site, where you can read a variety of different pieces on the topic. If you’re a reader or an author I think this is important to know as much about banned books as possible. I never thought I’d find myself with a banned book based on one word that had nothing to do with the content in the book. It can happen. It does happen. And don’t think it can’t happen to you someday.

I Guess I’ve Been Banned, and for No Valid Reason: "Skater Boy"


Before I get into this, I’d like to clarify that I have never written anything with underage characters, bestiality, incest, or any of the other things/topics that have been banned because of the recent PayPal issue. I’ve heard PayPay is not the blame, and I’m not pointing any fingers at them now. But I’ve been banned for no good reason and I’m not happy right now. It’s one thing to be censored for a reason, it’s a completely different issue to be censored for no good reason.

My publisher informed me my story, Skater Boy, has been banned on ARe. And I do, indeed, take offense to having a book banned on ARe or anywhere else…censored…that doesn’t contain anything that’s considered part of the taboo list. The term “Skater Boy” is widely used in the gay male community as a type of guy who wears baggy jeans, funky hats, and tends to be rough around the edges.

But, I assure you, there are no underage characters in this short book. I don’t judge those authors who decide to do things like this, but I’ve never done it and never will do it. In fact, the main character, Jared, the guy referred to as a the Skater Boy, is only a quasi skater boy. He’s in his twenties and is clearly a consenting adult. This is one of the tamer stories I’ve written.

To add to this, the original version of this story was published in an anthology by Cleis Press in a book, get this, titled “Skater Boys.” I didn’t come up with that title. The editor at Cleis did. I just released a newer revised version of my story with Loveyoudivine.com as a digital short story because I didn’t sign an exclusive with Cleis, and I wanted to change the story and see how the story would do on its own. The original title of my story in the anthology was “In This Our Day.” Interesting how they failed to check this out before they banned the book.

What infuriates me more than any form of censorship is when the censorship isn’t even accurate. The only reason why this book is being targeted is because the word “boy” is in the title. It has nothing to do with content or what’s part of the banned list of topics.

Here’s the blurb for Skater Boy, and I defy anyone to find a hint of underage content in this story.

When Bradley Klinger (a consenting adult, not a minor) moves from the city to a small town in the mountains of upstate New York, the last thing he expects to find is a hot young skater boy named Jared who never stops flirting with him. They meet in the small restaurant Jared (Jared owns a restaurant; he’s clearly over the age of twenty-one ) owns, thanks to Jared’s sixty year old partner in New York with whom he shares an open, sexless relationship. Though Jared is kept by the older man in every sense of the word, from his Bentley Continental to his small restaurant in the mountains, Jared doesn’t waste any time getting to know Bradley much better. And though Jared is the kind of young skater boy, in baggy, low-hanging jeans and loose T-shirts, Bradley has always dreamed about, Bradley is concerned the age difference between them might be too vast. (The age difference is between two consenting adults, not an adult and minor) But Jared doesn’t stop pursuing Bradley, to the point where he actually follows Bradley home one night on his skate board.

I’d really like someone to clarify why this book has been banned. I’ve also let my publisher know she can change the title to “Skater” if she wants to. I hate to buckle to that kind of censorship, but if one word is going to hurt the publisher I’d rather concede. And I hope ARe and other retail web sites that sell digital books are paying closer attention to the books they are banning. This is an implication and a reflection on me as an author, and the kind of fiction I write, and I’m not fond of being targeted and placed in a category for no reason at all.

(update: Here’s a direct quote from the book about the character referred to as “skater boy.” “Mt. Saint Hope was a small town; people talked. Over the next week, Bradley heard Jared
was the lucky twenty-one-year-old…”
And, I just learned the Cleis Press book, “Skater Boys,” has not been banned on ARE.)

New Release for May 6th: Skater Boy


For those who are fans of skater boys, you might be interested in this short story e-book. And for those who are fans of attractive middle aged men meeting younger skater boys in their twenties, you might be interested too.

Below is a blurb for the story. Here’s the link. It’s more modern romance than traditional romance. And there is hope for a future relationship between the two main characters. Those who’ve read my work know that I almost always have a happy ending. Life’s hard sometimes; not everyone gets a happy ending in real life. There should at least be a happy ending in fiction.

When Bradley Klinger moves from the city to a small town in the mountains of upstate New York, the last thing he expects to find is a hot young skater boy named Jared who never stops flirting with him. They meet in the small restaurant Jared owns, thanks to Jared’s sixty year old partner in New York with whom he shares an open, sexless relationship. Though Jared is kept by the older man in every sense of the word, from his Bentley Continental to his small restaurant in the mountains, Jared doesn’t waste any time getting to know Bradley much better. And though Jared is the kind of young skater boy, in baggy, low-hanging jeans and loose T-shirts, Bradley has always dreamed about, Bradley is concerned the age difference between them might be too vast. But Jared doesn’t stop pursuing Bradley, to the point where he actually follows Bradley home one night on his skate board.