The Actor Learning to Love

John Irving Wins Lambda Award: Actor Learning to Love; Week’s Bestselling Indies

(Update: Lambda finally posted winners here. )

(Update II: This may be insignificant, but I think it’s interesting to note that several Lethe Press books won in several categories. The reason why it’s interesting is because owner of Lethe Press, Steve Berman, went on an epic rant about the LLF and the Lambda awards not too long ago. You can read about that here. I’ll bet you won’t read THAT update anywhere else online today.)

In order to find out the winners of the 2013 Lambda Awards, I had to go to wiki to find a list. I don’t know why nothing’s been published anywhere else yet, or maybe I missed it. But this is the best I could do with a simple search. I was thrilled to see that a book I read and reviewed when it was first released by John Irving won in the bisexual category, In One Person. I have never read a book that gave a more accurate and detailed account of what it’s like to die from AIDS before. You can read my review here.

Of course this explanation of what attracts Billy as a bi-sexual is vital to the story with respect to how he managed to avoid being infected with the AIDS virus. If I go into more detail here I run the risk of another spoiler, so I’ll stop while I’m ahead. But I do want to say this one thing. This account of what actually happened during the height of the AIDS epidemic is the most accurate I have ever read in fiction. Irving either did a great deal of research, or he experienced all this for himself, because I know for a fact that he nailed it with perfection, from the Hickman catheter to PCP pneumonia. And if you are young and you are LGBT you should read this novel just for the historical facts. You won’t hear them anywhere else. I have over ninety published works out in the LGBT genre and I touch on these topics, but it’s not a place I want to go into detail about because it’s just too painful to revisit.

Although I’m not always thrilled with the LLF, especially because they don’t allow digital books to be entered in the Lambda Awards…as if digital books aren’t even real books…I do think they are important to the LGBT community and I think they finally got this one right with John Irving.

You can read the winner list in full here. I haven’t read any of the other books, and probably won’t.

And, as a side note, I read John Irving’s book, In One Person, in *digital* format, not print, on my iPhone the day it was released.

Most Discussed Books this Week

The most discussed book this week is Dan Brown’s “Inferno.” It’s interesting because I recently downloaded a copy from audible.com and I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet. Tony and I have a seminar in Philadelphia on Thursday and I think I’ll listen to it in the car on the way down.

The most talked-about book in April was also the most talked-about book in May. According to our monthly chart on books trending in social media, provided by CoverCake, Dan Brown’s Inferno is again cropping up in the majority of online conversations centered on books. Jeff Costello, CoverCake’s v-p of client services, said he thought the novel got a boost from a public relations blitz at the beginning of the month, following its mid-month publication. While comments about Inferno have been mixed, Costello said that “people are definitely talking about this book.”

The article also goes on to mention a few other books people are talking about, and there are a few familiar names on the list I read often.

The Actor Learning to Love

My new release in the Bad Boy Billionaire series, The Actor Learning to Love, is out today. I’ve posted about it here with excerpts. I don’t have any links yet, but I will update later today. Update: Here’s the publisher link.

The actor is the bad boy billionaire who hires someone to stay in his NY penthouse and care for his exotic parrot…a talking parrot he inherited from an ex-boyfriend who couldn’t put up with the bad boy actor.

The guy the actor hires to live in the penthouse for one year is Rory, and Rory has a young son and they recently moved out of their Brooklyn apartment. The reason they moved out is because Rory just went through another divorce and he’s fed up with love, marriage, and men altogether.

It seems like the perfect arrangement, but the bad boy actor has ulterior motives that involve Rory and his son. I won’t give out any spoilers, but this is the first time I’ve ever worked the attacks on the World Trade Center into a novel (you can see the twin towers in the background on the cover)…it’s also the first time I’ve ever written a strong lesbian theme into the subplot.


Indie Bestseller List from Galleycat

Here’s list of self-published books that made several bestseller lists this week.

To help GalleyCat readers discover self-published authors, we compile weekly lists of the top eBooks in four major marketplaces for self-published digital books: Amazon, B&N, Apple iBookstore and Smashwords. You can read all the lists below, complete with links to each book.

I still find it amazing that I’m now seeing bestseller lists for self-pubbed books. Even though I’ve self-pubbed several of my own it’s not something I ever could have predicted ten years ago. Notice how they mention digital books, not print books.

I’m going to be publishing more posts on indie publishing over the summer from my own personal experiences. And one of the angles I’m going to take is how some authors need to self-publish now in order to survive. I love small e-publishers, all of them. I don’t have any issues on a personal level and I will continue to support and promote them as much as I can. But I find issues in a general sense that go across the board. These are the issues that prompted me to self-publish my first indie book over a year ago, and I’m going to start talking about them more.

Authors are going to be put in the position of learning to manage their own careers more and more in the future. If you’re lucky enough to have a great agent, that will make the difference. But for those who work unagented like me, it’s important to know what’s right for you. I had one e-publisher once tell me that I was getting too much exposure. I didn’t buy that then, and I don’t buy that now. In fact, Joe Konrath recently talked about this on his blog, and I happen to agree with him 100% on this topic. How can a genre author ever have too many books out and get too much exposure? I’m Ryan Field, not Ryan Seacrest. The more books I have out for my readers, and the better I can price those books, the happier my readers are going to be. But you see small e-publishers can’t compete that way. They are promoting a stable of authors, not just one or two. And the individual authors finds himself or herself in a precarious position, especially an author who is able to release more than eight books and stories a year.

So I will be going even more independent this summer and I will be self-publishing more books and stories on my own. And I’ll go into as much detail as I can about why and how I’m doing it for those who might be interested.

Newest Release: The Actor Learning to Love; FRee Excerpt

Tomorrow I have a new release coming out in the Bad Boy Billionaire series called The Actor Learning to Love.

The actor is the bad boy billionaire who hires someone to stay in his NY penthouse and care for his exotic parrot…a talking parrot he inherited from an ex-boyfriend who couldn’t put up with the bad boy actor.

The guy the actor hires to live in the penthouse for one year is Rory, and Rory has a young son and they recently moved out of their Brooklyn apartment. The reason they moved out is because Rory just went through another divorce and he’s fed up with love, marriage, and men altogether.

It seems like the perfect arrangement, but the bad boy actor has ulterior motives that involve Rory and his son. I won’t give out any spoilers, but this is the first time I’ve ever worked the attacks on the World Trade Center into a novel (you can see the twin towers in the background on the cover)…it’s also the first time I’ve ever written a strong lesbian theme into the subplot.

Here’s a free excerpt from the book. I’ll post about this more with links. This excerpt is from the PDF I got from the publisher so the formatting isn’t perfectly compatible with google blogger…but it’s not unreadable either. This is one example of how difficult it can be when self-publishing and trying to figure out how to format and upload at various web sites where e-books are sold. Not all are the same, nor is it the same process. I can get away with this on my blog because I keep it casual here, but I could never get away with releasing an e-book formatted this way on web sites where e-books are sold. To complicate this even more, I took this excerpt from the perfectly formatted version.




“I want to be clear about this,” Dane said. “We’re never going

to see Thad again, right? He’s gone for good. Motorcycle, tattoos,

and all.”
 

Rory smiled and reached out to hold Dane’s arm. They stopped

to wait for the light to change on the corner of 51st Street. He

glanced down at the child’s sandy brown hair and sighed. “That’s

right. We’re not going to be seeing Thad again.” He looked up at

the clear sky and sighed. “Tattoos and all.” It was January and the

child had refused to zip up the new red jacket Santa had given him

that year. He’d refused to wear, gloves, a scarf, and a hat as well.
 

“I guess that means the wedding is off,” said Dane. They were

carrying suitcases that contained everything they owned. Dane

carried the two smaller bags and Rory carried the biggest two, with

one under his right arm and one in his right hand so his left would

be free to hold on to Dane’s arm. To glance at them, passersby

might have thought they were on vacation in New York. A father

and son on their way to a hotel room.
 

The light changed and Rory gave him a slight tug. As they

crossed to the other side, Rory said, “I wouldn’t marry that man if

my life depended on it. Not after what he did to us. I’m actually

glad he took that job in Canada. When I think about how things

could have turned out if I had married him I get a chill up my

spine, kiddo. Oh no. This is a new beginning for us. No more men

like that and no more being Mr. Nice Guy. I’ve had it with his type

altogether.”
 

Dane didn’t seem convinced. “That’s what you said after every

divorce, Dad. It never seems to work out that way, though.”

Not counting the recent breakup with Thad, Rory had been

married three times in the past eight years. Not always legal each

time, but some gay men use the word marriage as if it were legal

more often than not. With each so-called marriage, he thought he’d

met the man with whom he’d spend the rest of his life. He’d also

thought he’d met someone who would be a good father to Dane.
 

“That’s a terrible thing to say to me,” Rory said. “It’s not like

I married them to wind up divorced on purpose. No one does that.

It wouldn’t make sense. When you get married you expect it to

last the rest of your life. It’s not as easy as it looks. You’ll find out
yourself one day when you meet the right girl and fall in love.”




Though Rory was openly gay, he suspected his adopted son wasn’t.

He’d figured that out without the need for any deep, heartfelt dis

cussions the day Dane had been suspended from school for looking





up another little girl’s dress.
 
 
They passed a dark young man unloading boxes from the back

of a truck. As they passed, the young man sent Rory the eye and

stared at his legs. Then the young man scratched his crotch and

licked his lips in such a vulgar way Rory felt like kicking him in

the groin. Rory walked faster, avoiding direct eye contact, hoping

Dane wouldn’t notice anything. This happened all the time to

Rory. Men like that would see him, give him that intense, desperate

look, and Rory’s knees would go weak. The worst part was if

Rory hadn’t been with Dane and he had been alone, he might have

responded. He’d been so depressed over getting dumped by Thad,

and his ego had taken such a huge hit, he found himself craving

attention from men in a way he’d never experienced before. He

blamed this partly on the fact that he’d never been promiscuous:

he’d always planned his sexual experiences around emotional

relationships.
 

“You sure can pick ’em, Dad,” Dane said. He hadn’t noticed

the way the guy was looking at Rory’s ass. He’d been following a

pigeon on the sidewalk, as if ready to reach down and pick it up.

“Aunt Hazel Ann said you shouldn’t wear your jeans so tight. She

thinks it makes you look common.”
 

Rory took offense at this. His Aunt Hazel Ann in New Jersey

always criticized the way he dressed, wore his hair, and lived his

life.



He stopped in the middle of the block and flung his ten-year

old





son a glance. “And what’s that supposed to mean? I’ve done

my best. I’ve always given you a nice place to live, nice clothes,

and a well-balanced diet. You’ve always done well in school and

you’re not nearly as mixed up as other kids. I don’t think that’s

very fair. It’s not my fault I tend to attract the wrong types. I like

the jeans I wear. I like all my clothes. And I’m not going to repeat

the same mistakes again. From now on things are going to be different,

you’ll see.”
 

Dane shrugged and said, “I didn’t mean to get you upset. I was

only joking about your jeans. I know how Aunt Hazel Ann can be.

She’s a real ball-buster sometimes.” He turned and started walking

again. Under his breath, he said, “Maybe if you were less interested

in guys who didn’t shave every day and guys who had less

tattoos, they might stick around long enough to celebrate a second

anniversary.”
 

Although Rory heard that comment, he decided to ignore it.

The kid was right and he didn’t have much of a defense. At thirtytwo

years old, Rory knew his own weak points better than anyone.

If there were ten clean-cut gay attorneys in one room looking for

a partner and one ex-convict in ripped jeans and oil stains on his

hands, Rory would wind up with the ex-con and oil stains all over

his jeans.
 

They walked a few more blocks in silence, then stopped across

the street from a tall high-rise on Beekman Place. The façade

had a lighter, concrete look than the rest of the buildings on the

block, with a lot of glass. At the entrance, there was a long, curved

chocolate brown awning that led to the curb so anyone walking in

and out of the building wouldn’t get wet in the rain. He’d always

wanted to live in a building with an awning like that. Rory set the

two large suitcases down on the sidewalk and glanced up at the top





floor.
 





Dane held his suitcases tighter. When he saw the building, his

eyes opened wider and he asked, “Is

this where we’re going to





live?” They’d moved around the city a lot. Each time Rory remarried,

they moved in with a new husband. Dane had become accustomed

to attending new schools more often than most kids with

dads and moms in the military.
 

Rory smiled and shrugged. “Unless I got the wrong address,

this is the place, kiddo.” Rory and Dane had been sharing an apartment

in Brooklyn with Thad for the past year and a half. Rory

would have remained in Brooklyn after Thad left for Canada,

but neither of their names had ever been on the lease. Rory had





never known this; he’d figured it was Thad’s apartment when he’d





moved in with him. But about three weeks after Thad left, it turned

out Thad had been sub-leasing the apartment from two lesbians

and they wanted to move back in. It was one of those rent-controlled

deals and the lesbians didn’t want to lose a good thing. Rory

couldn’t fault them. He would have done the same thing.
 
 

When Rory’s agent told him he had another client who was

looking for someone to live in his apartment at Beekman Place,

rent free for one year, Rory jumped at the chance. Beekman Place

was one of the best addresses in the city, with good schools, and all

Rory would have to do to live there rent free was care for a large

bird while this other client of Stan’s was out of the country shoot

ing





a film. Rory had no idea who the actor was; his agent refused





to tell him. All Stan had said was, “I think you should do this, and

the timing is perfect. I really do. And you know I’ve always represented

you and your best interests.”
 
 

“This place looks too good to be true,” Dane said. “It’s even

better than the brownstone in the Village where we lived when I

was just a little kid when you were married to Eduardo.”
 
 

This comment caused a sinking feeling in Rory’s stomach.

“You’re too young to be so cynical, kiddo. C’mon, let’s check this

place out. How bad can it be? Living rent free for one year just for

taking care of a big dumb bird isn’t something that comes along often.

Just think of all the money I can save, and this time next year

we’ll have a place of our own.” Rory worked as a pianist/singer

in small nightclubs all over the city. Although he hadn’t actually

worked in a year because Thad had preferred him to stay home

all the time, he’d called his agent and he was ready to get back to

work full time. Although he wasn’t a big-time cabaret performer

like Michael Buble, he had played some impressive venues, including

one gig in London for a member of the royal family.
 
 

They crossed the street and met a tall, thin man in the lobby.

When Rory saw his traditional doorman’s uniform, he almost felt

giddy. It was too good to be true. He’d always wanted to live in a

building with a doorman, too. He smiled and said, “I’m Rory Daniels.

Stan Cooperman told me you’d show me to the penthouse on





the top floor. Stan’s my agent. And this is my son, Dane. We’ll be





living here for the next year.”
 
 

The doorman smiled at Dane and said, “Yes, that’s right. He

left a set of keys with me yesterday.” Then he took the suitcases

Dane had been carrying and led them to the elevator. While they

waited for the elevator doors to open, the doorman looked Rory up

and down, stared at his legs the same way the guy loading the truck

had done, and pursed his lips.
 
 

Rory just glanced at him and smiled

Cover Preview: The Actor Learning to Love; Patricia Nell Warren Honored; New Social Network "Pheed"

Here’s the next cover for a book in the Bad Boy Billionaire series, “The Actor Learning to Love.” If you notice, in the background they’ve added the Twin Towers as part of the New York Skyline. I requested that on purpose because one of the most emotional parts of this story has to do with the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11/2001. It’s the first time I’ve ever done a book with anything like this, and it brought back a lot of memories I don’t like to revisit. Though the majority of the book takes place in the present, the back story involving the Twin Towers features as highly significant to how the main character lives today. I’ll post more as I get closer to a release date, and below is the blurb in its rawest form before publication, as I submitted it to the publisher.

When single dad, Rory, and his young son, Dane, find themselves divorced and moving to a new apartment in New York once again, Rory is determined to focus on nothing more than his son and his career as a professional cabaret pianist/singer…he’s finished with gay marriage and men altogether. He’s tired of getting dumped, he’s tired of moving, and he’s tired of starting over.

In order to save money, he takes up an offer to live rent-free in a high-end apartment on Beekman Place for one year, as a caretaker and pet sitter for a famous celebrity’s talking pet parrot. The apartment is a dream, the schools are great for his son, and his son forms an immediate bond with the talking parrot. The only problem is the parrot curses with a Croatian accent and the entire living arrangement turns out to be a set-up that threatens the one thing Rory loves most in this world: his son.

When the bad boy celebrity, Drew Steiger, decides to move back to his apartment it’s too late for Rory to make other plans. Although Rory has no idea Drew has an ulterior motive that involves something hidden in Rory’s past, all three form a bond none of them ever expected. Only a deep dark secret that happened during the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center finally catches up with Rory and he’s left wondering what to do once again.

But more than that, will Rory be able to deal with Drew’s mood swings, his temper tantrums, and his disregard for everyone? And will Drew finally come to terms with a secret of his own that’s been haunting him for over ten years?

LGBT Literary Pioneer Patricia Nell Warren

The Lambda Literary Foundation is having an event to honor the pioneers of LGBT literature called OUTWRITE. The event will take place on Saturday, April 27, at the West Hollywood Public Library. Tickets are $85 and are on sale now, where you can purchase them at the link I’m providing below. Among the guests included will be author of “The Front Runner,” one of my own personal favorites, Patricia Nell Warren.

Patricia Nell Warren – prodigious author, activist and journalist, known best for her novels The Front Runner, The Fancy Dancer and The Beauty Queen, the first of which inspired the gay and lesbian running clubs entitled FrontRunners across the nation. Warren has served as a constant inspiration to generations of LGBT writers.

She has, indeed, inspired me as a writer. “The Front Runner” was actually the first gay novel I ever read, and by then it had been out for a while. But, she’s also inspired generations of readers, too. You can read more about this event here at the LLF web site. I’ve posted about her, but I’ve yet to review “The Front Runner,” which is something I plan to rectify in the near future.

New Social Network “Pheed”

Grab your smelling salts, because there’s now a brand new social media network out called “Pheed.” You can check it out here, where they are promoting it as “A New Way To Express Yourself.” Frankly, I think some should start thinking about how to tone down the ways they express themselves these days. But what do I know?

So far, the best explanation I came up with in a simple search for Pheed was wiki:

Pheed provides users with a unified platform for sharing all forms of digital content which includes text, photo, audio clips, voice notes, video, and live broadcast. Users can subscribe to other users’ channels and view their subscribed channels’ content in real time; they can ‘love’ or ‘heartache’ specific pheeds, hashtag and ‘pheedback,’ as well as share content from others’ channels to their own via a feature called ‘remix’ similar to a retweet. Users can search content via hashtags, and limit their search with filters that allow them to view specific content types (i.e. only photos, only videos, etc.).[

It sounds a little complicated, but I’m sure like most new social media it’s not as complicated as it sounds. I will check it out myself, and I might even join because I’m prone to be addicted to these things. I’m on foursquare daily and I’m still not sure why…at least not completely. I once got a free cupcake from a low end bakery, and a free cannoli from a cheesy restaurant. I’m still twirling my finger and yawning. But for the most part, foursquare is something that I do to freak a few local friends out by getting a lot of points in the middle of the night while they are sleeping.

The most interesting thing is that Pheed is monetized.

What differentiates it from other players in the space–aside from the fact that it seemingly streamlines the functionalities of companies like Kik and YouTube into a single service–is that it allows users to directly monetize their content. Users can opt to erect a paywall, charging anywhere from $1.99 to $34.99 monthly, or $1.99 to $34.99 per view of a specific piece of content.

But it’s not all about the monetization. “We’re by no means a premium website,” Mr. Kobo stressed. “We’re a website that simply offers the ability to monetize some things. If you want to share photos or do a live broadcast, monetization is simply a feature. We think it’s fair. We think it’s about time that content providers should own and monetize their content and not the platforms.”

I’m starting to see this in other places. And frankly, I’m not sure there’s a pragmatic way to avoid it…as the Internet continues to grow.

I honestly don’t know enough about Pheed at this point to comment, but it does look different from other social media we’ve seen so far…in a more sophisticated way that takes social media to another level of sleek, for lack of a better word right now. I once posted about how the TV industry was so primitive back in the 1950’s and as it grew it became more professional all the way around. I think we’re beginning to see signs of this happening with the Internet, and there’s no turning back. Personally, I plan to move forward with each thing that comes along.

Gay Marriage: We’ve Been "Married" All This Time and You Never Knew

This morning I received copy edits from ravenous romance for the next book in the Bad Boy Billionaire series, The Actor Learning to Love. In this book I don’t actually get into anything too detailed about gay “marriage,” but I do mention it often because the main character is a gay man who has been “married” more than once. His last relationship, one in which he considered himself “engaged,” has just ended and he’s moving into a new apartment with his 10 year old son. And after so many failed “marriages” the only thing he’s looking forward to is jump-starting his career and making sure his kid gets into good schools.

If you notice, I’m putting the word “marriage” and “engaged” and anything related to this in quotes for a reason. So stick with me.

Whenever I get copy edits back from any publisher I usually tread with care. Most of the time it’s basic because I always try to submit manuscripts that are neat, clean, and don’t require much copy editing. Most of the time I’m lucky. But every so often I get one back with a few notes on the side and that can take up a lot of time. Also, most of the time the copy editor is right and she/he has caught something that needs to be fixed. It’s a mixed feeling. On the one hand I’d rather not have to deal with them, and on the other I’m always thrilled that a good copy editor found an issue I need to address. So, I want everyone to know I’m not talking about copy editors here. I think copy editors are the most unrecognized group in publishing, and also the most important in the end.

Back in the early 1990’s when I first starting going out to gay clubs and meeting other gay people, everything was fairly new to me. I used to pull up to a gay club and wonder about them, in a general sense, when I saw them all going into the club in groups. How did they all get to know each other? When did they do this? Why don’t I know any so I don’t have to go in alone? At the time, it really did mystify my that there were gay people out there socializing and getting together everywhere, not just in gay night clubs and gay cruise spots.

In time, I met a few people and I became part of a circle of friends, too. I stopped wondering and started living. But I do remember certain things that used to come up in the beginning that would stun me. And one of those things was gays being “married.” For example, a friend would introduce me to someone and I would express interest. Then my friend would tell me that person was “married,” and I wasn’t sure exactly what he meant. Did he have a wife and kids? Wasn’t gay “marriage” illegal? I never actually asked because I didn’t want to look stupid, so I listened carefully and figured it all out on my own.

What I didn’t realize back then, and what so many straight people don’t realize now, is that when gay men (or women) refer to themselves as “married,” it’s often in an off-handed way that carries a certain amount of both truth and snark. Sometimes it can be sweet and endearing, and sometimes bittersweet. In other words, they are in committed relationships, and some have been in these relationship for years, but since they aren’t allowed to legally “marry” they use the word “married” anyway in an almost sarcastic…or campy…way. They refer to their partners as “husbands,” or “wives,” too, in the same way. Some even say they’re “engaged.” It took me a while to get the hang of that. I tend to be a very literal person. At first I thought they were really “married,” like with women and kids. But that wasn’t the case then and it’s still not the case now.

So when I looked at the copy edits this morning and I saw how confused the copy editor was each time I used the word “married,” or anything related to that, I knew I had to explain somewhere in the book that this is how a lot of gay people talk when they refer to their relationships or their partners, or their situations. The copy editor, and rightly so, was getting into when gay marriage had become legal in NY where the story takes place, and I had to explain that it doesn’t really matter when gay marriage became legal in NY because the character considered himself “married,” with or without it being legal in NY. The book is about gay relationships and love, not about politics or legal things that don’t matter in this case. I meant to be off-handed and it wasn’t a mistake.

I live in PA where gay marriage is not legal and I still refer to my relationship as a “marriage” and to Tony as my “husband” at certain times. I may not do this in public all the time with straight people I don’t know well, but I do it with good friends and that’s how I think of it. I literally think “married,” and I’m not the only one. I have been hearing gay couples talk this way for twenty years, and they talked that way twenty years prior to that. And it doesn’t end with “marriage.” Gay people who are not allowed to legally “marry” sometimes split up and they consider that a “divorce.” So I saw no need to rectify this in the manuscript. It is what it is.

You see, one of the things I don’t think about seriously is gay “marriage” on a state to state level. I know I probably should sometimes, but I live in PA, only about an hour from NY, and legalized gay “marriage” in NY  or any other state means absolutely nothing whatsoever to me. The moment a gay couple from New York crosses the state line, they are no longer “married” legally. I have friends who joke about it when they fly across country. They take notes during the trip to see which states consider them legally “married.” So, once again, this legalizing gay “marriage” from state to state means nothing to me. And until gay “marriage” is legalized on a federal level, the same way interracial “marriages” were legalized at one time, I’m not going to take the exact dates and times gay marriage became legal in any other states seriously, especially not in one of my own books. 

The irony in all this is that here we’ve been “married” all this time and no one ever knew it. And it had nothing to do with laws or religious groups protesting us, or votes and rallies. It has nothing to do with Presidents or legislators who promise the world and throw us a bone. That’s because we defined it ourselves a long time ago and no one can take that away from us. And if you see me talk about gay “marriage” in a book, or anywhere else, don’t get too hung up on the exact dates of when it was legalized in a particular state, because it means nothing to gay people who don’t live in that particular state. It has to be done across the board. And even when that happens, if I write about gay people who were “married” ten or twenty years ago, I’m still going to refer to them as “married.” And that’s because they thought they were, and that’s good enough for me.