the n word

Empire and the "N" Word; Queer As Folk Nudity; Booking Pros for Three-Ways

Empire and the “N” Word

There’s been criticism about why the TV show, “Empire,” will use the “F” word as a pejorative toward gay men, but they won’t use the “N” word.

Terrence Howard, the show’s star, had come out saying using the former is needed to make the show more authentic. “I’m mad that we don’t say n– in the show,” he told Entertainment Weekly in February. “Why is TV showing something different from the reality of the world? Why is there a thing called censorship that stop people from hearing everyday talk? We use n– every day. It’s become part of a conversation—why aren’t we using it in the show?”

Strong insisted that was not necessary. “It’s not a documentary about hip-hop,” he said Saturday, addressing Howard’s comments. “It’s a soap opera that takes place in the hip-hop world.”

There’s more here. Although I do believe words have more strength than most of us realize I also believe in creative license and I don’t like censorship of any kind.

Queer As Folk Nudity

They’ve been playing old Queer As Folk shows on Showtime lately and I happened to catch the pilot one night last week. I hadn’t seen any of the show since it went off the air…years. It was amusing to see how they handled certain things, especially the sex scenes. It made me wonder if TV hasn’t gone backward in the sex department since then.

“The day of the screen test they sent over — and I’m not making this number up — a 21-page nudity rider,” said Paige, who had only done nudity once before. “There were two pages that were the actual rider that said, ‘This is the the kind of show this is. If you are not down to do this, don’t take this job.’ And then it had 19 pages of the script attached, which were all just ass fucking.”

Once the laughter died down, Paige looked over to Cowan and Lipman. “They didn’t want us not to do it,” he said. “You guys were, like, ‘Basically, even if your character isn’t getting laid in this episode, you’re going to be. Which I took as a bonus!”

After seeing the rider, his manager told him not to take on the role. But Paige insisted he needed to be a part of “Queer As Folk,” regardless of what it would do to his career.

“I remember vividly waking up in the morning and going, ‘I’ll kill myself if I have to watch somebody else do this show,'” he said. 

Looking back, most LGBT shows since then have been fairly tame…with the exception of Jonathan Groff’s anal douche scene. 

You can read the rest here.  

Booking Pros for Three-Ways

The gist of this article is that three-ways are big. So big it’s now being suggested couples look for an outside source to help them out in the three-way department…basically, hiring an escort.

So what’s the advantage of hiring your third rather than picking them up on OKCupid or Craigslist Casual Encounters? Winner of “Best Top” in the 2015 Hookies escort awards, Austin believes that the parameters of seeing a sex worker offer a higher sense of control over the threesome. “The experience has a contract, and with that comes many securities. I won’t fall in love. I won’t interfere with their relationship.” Dave agrees, and adds that a professional is more likely to be safe… and have much needed experience. “If you find a good escort, they’re going to be dependable, they’ll be comfortable in their skin, they’re going to have sex skills, and they’re likely to be health-tested regularly.”

Aside from the obvious, I guess it’s much easier to just hire someone. But, there’s the obvious. Male escorts don’t come cheaply, pardon the bad pun. And frankly, I’d rather buy a new jacket than pay for penis. And it isn’t as if there aren’t plenty of guys out there looking to be part of a three-way. But to each his own.

The rest is here. You don’t want to miss the comments this time. It’s amazing that some of these people leaving comments aren’t running for President.

The Rainbow Detective Agency: On Fleek


 
 

Alec Baldwin Gay Slurs; Free Excerpt Tea Dance

I really do like to post more positive things on Fridays, but I just couldn’t ignore the recent gay slurs from Alec Baldwin again. And in light of what’s been happening with Paula Deen all week, I think what Baldwin did is highly relevant when it comes to the different standards we set.

Evidently, Alec Baldwin didn’t like something a reporter wrote about him, and he went off on that reporter on twitter. There are links to this everywhere. This is from gawker:

I’m gonna find you, George Stark, you toxic little queen, and I’m gonna fuck…you…up. http://t.co/eoHfGGjD46
— ABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) June 28, 2013

Here’s a link, with screen shots. I don’t like sharing screen shots because they belong to the author of the article (it’s like a photo), so full credit is due with this link. And if you haven’t read these tweets in full, you might want to seriously check them out.

Here’s another link to back the first one up, with more examples of Baldwin’s hate speech toward gays, in detail. And that’s what it is. Hate speech from a nasty, privileged hateful man.

Angry about a Daily Mail story that reported his wife, Hilaria, had tweeted during James Gandolfini’s funeral, Baldwin let fly a series of tweets that took a homophobic turn, calling reporter George Stark a “Toxic little queen.”

What I find most interesting is that Alec Baldwin has done this before. And once again his hate speech was directed at gays, and the UK. In this article he gets us all.

The Twitter messages were directed at the editor-in-chief of the New York Daily News, British-born journalist Colin Myler and read:

“Ever since that English Queen took over the Daily News, they lie like the Post…” and

“Her Highness Colin Myler… Please don’t do to the News what you did to NOTW…”

And finally, this article mentions Alec Baldwin’s hate speech toward gays, and what I brought up earlier in this post about Paula Deen and the double standards we set in the media.

 “This is the kind of incident that shows the hypocrisy of the liberal media. Paula Deen says something bad decades ago and has her whole career destroyed,” he said. “Alec Baldwin fills his career with embarrassing moments – saying awful things to his daughter, getting kicked off an airplane and now, the ultimate PC sin, anti-gay comments. And his career will continue unharmed.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/06/28/alec-baldwin-calls-reporter-toxic-little-queen-says-wife-did-not-tweet-during/#ixzz2XWTyrqVm

I would take this even a step further. I think this is a double standard against gays in general. What else could you call it? What Paula Deen did was wrong, but she admitted it openly, talked about it openly, and literally begged for forgiveness on national television. And even with all that, her empire has been crumbling all week…and it might continue. Random House still hasn’t made a decision about her book release in October in spite of what I hear about all the pre-release sales.

What Alec Baldwin did was far worse in my opinion because he threatened someone with bodily harm and vituperative gay slurs, but I don’t see the same media frenzy with out of control vicious Baldwin that surrounded Paula Deen. And I don’t see the studios, networks, and advertisers with which he’s associated firing him and ruining his entire life. Why not?

What this suggests to me is that you can say anything you want about gays and get a free pass, but if you make other politically incorrect comments off the cuff, in private years earlier, you’re finished. And the worst part of it all is now we’ll have to suffer through more of Alec Baldwin’s pinched face sneers and superior unwarranted attitude on good old boy TV shows like Letterman where Baldwin will turn this entire thing into one big funny-ha-ha joke and get away with it.

Photo here.

Free Excerpt: Palm Beach Stud

On a more positive note, I wanted to post a free raw (before final edits) excerpt from an upcoming release in the Bad Boy Billionaire series titled, The Palm Beach Stud. This particular excerpt deals with gay culture and gay tea dance, which I posted about earlier this week here.

Brady stood up and leaned back into Farman’s chest. He kissed Farman on the cheek and said, “I’ll do that.” Brady failed to mention they really hadn’t done anything different at all. They’d basically done the same thing they’d been doing since they’d met. The only thing different was they’d done this on a Sunday morning instead of a Friday or Saturday night. All at once, the thought of doing this same thing for the rest of his life sent a wave of panic through Brady’s entire body. It ended with a sting in his gut and he took a deep breath.

          Then Farman patted his bottom and turned to leave the room. On his way out, he stopped and said, “Speaking of breaking up the routine, do you mind if we skip brunch today?”
          “Skip brunch?” Brady almost fell off the bed. They’d only skipped brunch that one time a few months ago when Farman had come down with the flu.

          “I promised Lucky I’d come over and show him a few things about foursquare,” Farman said. “We can all go to tea dance [J1] later, just like we always do.” Brady had been the one who had introduced Farman to the entire concept of tea dance when they’d first met. Up until then, Farman didn’t know tea dance was a big thing in gay culture, or that gay men all over the world went out on late Sunday afternoons to gather at gay clubs to do anything from dancing, to drinking, to watching strippers.

          He hadn’t heard Farman make these plans with Lucky. They must have discussed it while Brady hadn’t been paying attention. This didn’t bother Brady as much as it should have bothered him. He shrugged and said, “It’s fine with me. It will give me a chance to go over a few things about the wedding with Mother.” The truth was Brady had never been a huge fan of brunch. He preferred to eat later, and most of the time during brunch he forced a salad down his throat in order to please Farman. If anything, it was a relief not to go to brunch.

          “Excellent,” Farman said. “I’ll go shower. I told Lucky I’d be over sometime after ten this morning.”

          Brady turned toward the master bathroom and said, “I’ll shower and clean up and then I’ll make some coffee and breakfast if you want.”

          “Just coffee for me,” Farman said. “I’m not that hungry this morning, and I don’t want to keep Lucky waiting.”

          Brady just smiled and shrugged. He wondered if Kevin knew about their plans. As Farman headed to the guest bathroom, he went into the master bath. Although Brady knew how to cook, and he wouldn’t have minded making breakfast for Farman, cooking wasn’t something he loved doing either.  He almost suggested they shower together, but then stopped and closed the bathroom door. When he realized he wanted to shower alone that morning without Farman, he felt a wave of relief.

* * * *

                    When they returned to the house in Brady’s car, they found Michele and Brady’s dad standing on the front steps. Brady parked under a tree and sat there gripping the wheel for a moment. “What’s he doing here today?” He hadn’t expected to see Rick this soon again. He’d been hoping he wouldn’t see him ever again after what he’d done at the dance club the night before.

          “Who is that?” Farman asked. Brady hadn’t mentioned anything to Farman about Rick yet. He’d told him the basics: that his dad was gay, he was a semi-pro race car driver, and that he lived the life of an aging circuit queen traveling from one city to the other where trendy middle-aged gay men tried as hard as they could to cling to their youths.

          “It’s my father,” Brady said. “I ran into him last night at the club by accident. Mother invited him to our wedding.” He decided not to mention what Rick had done to him the night before. It was too revolting to revisit.

          “He seems so young,” Farman said. “He’s very attractive.”

          Brady rolled his eyes. “He’s pure compost on the inside.”

          “Well.”

          Brady climbed out of the car and Farman followed. When they reached the front steps, Michele looked at Brady with a guarded expression and said, “I heard you bumped into your father last night at a night club in South Beach.”

          Brady forced a smile so Farman wouldn’t see his real feelings. “Oh yes, mother. Did Rick tell you how interesting it was? I have to admit, it was the surprise of a lifetime.” He glanced at Rick with absolute disgust.

          “I heard,” Michele said. “Your father came here this morning to explain.”

          Rick looked at Brady and said, “I’m not staying. I only wanted to apologize again. But I hope I get to see you again while I’m in town.”

          “I guess I’ll see you at the wedding,” Brady said. He still hadn’t introduced Farman—on purpose. Farman had begun to rock back and forth, as if eager to meet Rick.

          Rick frowned and looked down at the pavers. “I was hoping we could get together before that, but it you don’t have time I understand.”

          Michele reached out for Rick’s hand. “I’ll talk to him, Rick. We’ll work something out.” She’d been urging Brady to get to know his father better for years, in spite of everything Rick had ever done to her.

          Farman had grown tired of waiting, so he leaned forward and extended his hand to Rick. “I’m Farman Lexington. I’m the happy groom who is marrying your son.”

          “I’m sorry,” Brady said. He patted Farman on the shoulder. “Farman, this is my long-lost father, Rick James.”

          “It’s very nice to meet you,” Rick said, shaking Farman’s hand.

          Farman lifted his chin and spoke with his Ivy League voice. “Likewise, I’m sure.”

          Then Kevin opened the front door and looked at everyone. He wore nothing but rumpled boxer shorts. He had a huge mug of black coffee in his right hand, and his hair was all messed up on top. “Well, well. What’s going on out here?” He set the coffee down on top of a Grecian urn in such a precarious way it looked as if it would fall off. He walked up to Rick and hugged him. “No one told me my favorite ex-father-in-law was here this morning.”

          Rick hugged Kevin and said, “I’m leaving. I’m driving up to Daytona this morning to meet a few old friends.”

          “Don’t let us keep you,” Brady said. He wanted him out of the house. He also wanted Kevin to put on a robe because his junk moved around in the boxer shorts in such a vulgar way each time he made the slightest move.

          Michele rolled her eyes and she sent Brady a vicious glare.

          Rick seemed eager to leave, so he said, “I really do have to get moving.” Then he said goodbye to everyone and stopped when he reached Brady. He hugged him, even though Brady made no attempt to return the hug, and said, “I hope we can talk while I’m in town. It would mean a lot to me.”

          Brady stepped back and squared his shoulders. “We’ll see.” Then he turned and walked into the house and left the rest of them outside.

          A moment later, Michele walked into the kitchen and glared at him again. “How could you be so heartless? He’s your father, and nothing is ever going to change that.”

          Brady noticed Kevin had followed her, with his junk moving around even more in his boxer shorts. “He’s never been a father to me, and you know that better than anyone.”

          “So he tried to get into your pants last night,” Kevin said. “It was an honest mistake. You can’t blame him. I did the same thing the first time I saw you.” Kevin had been even more aggressive than Rick had been the night before. They’d met in a club and he’d literally pulled Brady out to his car, shoved him into the backseat, and pulled his pants down.

          But Brady didn’t want to listen to any of this. He turned to Kevin and said, “Go put on a robe or something. You shouldn’t be walking around that way in front of my mother.”

          Kevin laughed.

          Michele said, “Give me a break. I have two sons. I’ve been married more than once. I’ve seen it all and Kevin has nothing that’s going to shock me.”

          “Where’s Farman?” Brady asked. “He was right behind me outside.”

          Kevin smiled. “I sent him out back to the pool. Lucky was out there waiting for him. They are supposedly going to play foursquare or do something like that. I wasn’t paying attention to them.” Evidently, he knew about their plans.

          “Where are Jackson and Lawrence?” Brady asked.

          Michele said, “Jackson drove down to Key West.” She frowned, which meant he’d gone to meet his married lover, who had a house down there. “He’ll be back in a day or two. I’m not sure. And Lawrence is still in bed sleeping.”

          “I’m going to change and go for a swim,” Brady said. He wanted to get away from Kevin and he wanted to stop talking about his father. He figured that if he was really lucky, and if history repeated itself as it usually did, Rick would forget all about the wedding and not show up at all.

          “I’d like to discuss a few things with you first,” Michele said. She smiled at Kevin and patted him on the arm. “If you’ll excuse us, dear, I’d like to talk to Brady in the conservatory.” She spoke in a rare tone, one that she used whenever Brady had done something wrong.


 

Gay Content; More Paula Deen; Equal Rights Blog Hop

I posted yesterday about something that happened to me during final edits for an upcoming book about tea dance in gay culture, and I just wanted to elaborate on why I’ll probably vet gay content…or gay cultural content…even more now.

But I’m not going to go overboard either, and I also wanted to get into why it’s important not to add too much information in fiction. Tea dance for me and thousands of other gay men of all ages…it’s not an age thing or a generational thing; I know gay men that range from age 21 to 91 who go to tea dance in Sunday afternoons…is something we don’t even think about twice. I e-mailed good friends yesterday to back me up and they agreed with me. But I do understand how many people who are not gay, or familiar with all the details of gay culture, would not know anything about tea dance. So I added a few lines to the book in an appropriate place to explain tea dance.

But only a few lines. I didn’t go into a long dissertation with multiple paragraphs on tea dance or the history of tea dance. I didn’t want to stop the story to do that, I didn’t want to lose the reader, and I think the explanation doesn’t disrupt anything in the book. If I had gone into a long explanation of tea dance I would have run the risk of boring the people who do know what tea dance is, and even boring those who don’t know what it is. In other words, the book is about a Palm Beach rake (bad boy), it’s not about tea dance in gay culture. And it’s important to stay focused on the story and not the elements surrounding the story.

As for all gay content in general, I’m going to be thinking differently now whenever I write something into a book where I mention something dealing with gay culture that I take for granted. With all the blogs and information I see out there at a glance, I honestly did think someone, somewhere, had posted about tea dance and I thought it would be redundant to explain it in the book. But I’m not going to assume anything anymore. There are blogs I see sometimes that post up to five five or six times a day about gay history and gay couples, but now I’m starting to wonder how deeply those posts go. In other words, I’m starting to think all these articles flashed on blogs and social media are nothing more than excerpts and quotes from other practical academic sources with very little original content that’s based on any personal…or solid…experience about gay culture.

One of the things I find most difficult, as a gay writer, is finding good solid information about anything online dealing with gay culture when I need a resource. For example, in this article/post that deals with gender power in m/m romance, everything is based on academic information you can find in a text book in any community college. It’s a good article; it can’t be disputed. I completely agree with it. However, I find it lacking like most other gay content I find online. And that’s just a very small example. The majority of information I read online always seems to skim over gay content, with haphazard pieces about gay couples in history, or famous people who may (or may not in some cases) have been gay, always leave me wondering why no one ever digs deeper. It’s one thing to post about Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas on the surface and say they were gay, but it’s another to really get into a least a small part of the dynamics behind their relationship.

When I wrote the Titanic historical gay romance over a year ago (which will be released soon with Ryan Field Press as a .99 e-book) I found basically nothing about gay men in the Edwardian era when I was researching. And that’s because the word gay with regard to sexuality didn’t even exist back then. If they weren’t referred to as homosexuals, they were queers and fags and a variety of other pejoratives I would rather not repeat here. And no one talked about it openly, so no one recorded anything. And the best we can do now is guess about what it was really like.

But things have changed, and gay content isn’t that difficult to find anymore. The big problem I see right now are the sources where the gay information is offered is often lacking in substance, and lacking in content because it’s not coming from people who know how to dig deeper…or want to take the time to dig deeper. As a result, nice people take for granted that’s all there is and they don’t question anything because they don’t realize they aren’t getting all the information. And that’s where it’s important to vet gay content these days. In other words, don’t just take what you see on a blog that posts tons of gay articles daily and think it’s valuable information. It’s information, and it’s most likely correct, but it’s not going to tell you about things like gay tea dance. I’m going to try to work harder on this in the future.

More Paula Deen Issues

It was announced yesterday that now Wal-Mart and Caesars Entertainment will be backing away from Paula Deen. And there might be more to come.

Walmart and Caesars Entertainment joined Smithfield, a food company specializing in pork products, which dropped Deen on Monday. The Food Network also decided not to renew Deen’s contract after her remarks.

QVC told TMZ.com it was “closely monitoring these events and we are reviewing our business relationship with Ms. Deen. In the meantime, we have no immediate plans to have her appear on QVC.”

Equal Rights Blog Hop

A blogging buddy of mine sent me information about a blog hop for his new web site that’s focused on equal rights.

From my inbox:

The Equal Rights Blog Hop
As most of you know, equal rights are something that the GLBT community (or whatever acronym you prefer) has been fighting for across the world for some time now. The right to marry whomever we love. The right to be protected against discrimination in the workplace. The right to be protected from acts of violence that stem from who and what we are. We are making gains in some areas–many more countries are recognizing same-sex marriages as a legal right. We are losing ground in others, such as the increase in state-sanctioned violence against homosexuals in Russia and transgendered people in Greece.

July the 4th marks the celebration of Independence Day in the United States. We invite you to take place in a blog hop to celebrate our own march toward independence!

Queer Town Abbey is hosting a blog hop July 4th through 7th and we want YOU to participate! We’re calling on writers across the GLBT genre to join us: our theme is “What does being a member of the GLBT community mean to you?”

Please write a blog post on this topic and post it on your site on the 4th July. Feel free to also promote your books, too. Consider offering a prize to readers who comment on your post, as this will help ensure that people circulate the entire blog list.

This is a serious subject but we want you to have fun too! Share with us what being a member of this fabulous community means to you while taking the opportunity to introduce yourself to new readers and potential fans.

For more info: http://queertownabbey.com/join-the-equal-rights-blog-hop-july-4th-through-7th/

 

Paula Deen the N-Word; The Q-word; Supreme Court/Gay Marriage

(Update: It doesn’t seem to be ending for Paula Deen. More sponsors may terminate their relationship with her, and Smithfield Foods has terminated their relationship with her and issued a striking statement.)

(Update 2: And now there are more allegations of racism surfacing about Deen and her family. An attorney for the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition said current and former Paula Deen employees told him the famous cook and her brother discriminated against black employees, one of whom was consistently referred to as “my little monkey.”)

According to one article I read this morning, Paula Deen’s employees will now be affected by the category five shitstorm that happened when she admitted to using the N-word.

Paula Deen’s TV career is toast after the Food Network announced Friday that it would not be renewing the popular shows “Paula’s Best Dishes” and “Paula’s Home Cooking” after her contract expires at the end of June.

But is she really “toast?”

Tons of fans, of all races, have swamped her facebook page with support. I read another article this weekend that said fans and supporters lined up in the hundreds outside her restaurant in Savannah. Fellow chefs have come to her defense. There are far too many to link to or mention. But here’s one I found that’s less slanted than most.

“I was shocked. I thought she’d get a fair trial,” Wilson, a nurse from Jacksonville, Fla., said Saturday after stopping to buy souvenirs at the gift shop Deen owns next to her Savannah restaurant. “I think the Food Network jumped the gun.”

Here’s a link to Deen’s facebook page. I don’t follow her.

Of course I can’t help thinking about how all this is related to the Q-word…Queer. I’ve been open about how I find the word Queer cringe-worthy at best. It brings to mind negative images from my past and present, and I know for a fact there are still people calling gays “queers” in a very negative way. There are bad jokes about queers, and offensive metaphors and similes about queers. I know many other gay men and women who agree with me (a lot e-mail me in private because they are afraid to talk about it openly). However, I’ve learned to live with the Q-word because I don’t seem to have any choice in the matter. I don’t hold it against anyone who uses the queer word the “right” way. There are people who use the word because they claim it will take the negative stigma away. I get that. On a certain level I agree with it, but I’m a realist, too, and words are strong.

In the same respect, there’s been this very same debate over the N-word. I remember Oprah Winfrey devoting an entire show to it once a while back. Frankly, when I first heard that Paula Deen admittedly used the N-word I started to wonder about how often she used the Q-word, too. It stands to reason. Then I started to wonder how she would use the Q-word…in what context. Clearly, from what I’ve read, Deen was not using the N-word in a positive way.

Evidently, there’s a double standard, though. It’s okay to offend me and thousands of other gay people by using the Q-word because it’s politically correct to do this, but it’s not okay to use the N-word at any time, or in any context. Because in spite of all the lobbying I’ve seen to take the negative stigma away from the N-word by using it openly, no one has yet to remove the hideous racist images that the N-word is associated with. It’s still offensive in any context, especially if you use it and you’re not of African descent. And I think what happened to Paula Deen is a good example of this, and how strongly so many of us feel about the racist implications associated with the N-word. But there are some who can get away with calling me a queer and I’m supposed to smile and take it because they don’t mean any harm. But they are also the same people who would never use the N-word. If that’s not a double standard I don’t know what is.

I’m starting to think that maybe it is time to remove the stigma and negative associations to both words…queer and the N-word. Unfortunately, I just can’t bring myself to type the N-word out no matter how hard I try.

Supreme Court/Gay Marriage

This is the day many of us have been waiting for. The Supreme Court will be ruling on gay marriage, and we’ll find out whether or not the massive fight for equality continues on.

As the term draws to a close at the end of this week, the nine justices still have not released decisions in two highly anticipated gay marriage cases—Perry v. Hollingsworth and Windsor v. United States—as well as two key cases involving race, Shelby County v. Holder and Fisher v. University of Texas.

At 9:15 a.m., the experts at SCOTUSblog—SCOTUS stands for Supreme Court of the United States—will begin analyzing what the Court might do in the liveblog below, and when a decision is handed down, this liveblog will likely be the first place to break the news.


I have no idea how to predict this one. When you’ve been kicked around and disappointed so many times, you learn to anticipate with caution, and never to assume anything. You are also prepared to stand up fast, and keep on fighting if that’s what you have to do.

Photo


Sam Taylor-Johnson Fifty Shades Movie; N-Word Paula Deen; Ex-Gay Group Apology

According to this article, they’ve chosen a director for the Fifty Shades Movie, Sam Taylor-Johnson. So the movie adaptation is moving forward, but still no announcement about who is going to star in the film.

Sam Taylor-Johnson (formerly Taylor-Wood), a famed photographer and visual artist turned filmmaker, made her directorial debut with 2009’s “Nowhere Boy,” a chronicle of the early years of John Lennon, played by future “Kick-Ass” star Aaron Johnson. The director and her star were later married, despite her being 23 years his senior.

Does this mean Aaron Taylor-Johnson — the couple hyphenated their surnames after getting married — is now the top contender to play Christian Grey? Probably, even if only unofficially.
 
I have never seen any of her work, but I’m actually kind of glad they chose someone who has done films like “Nowhere Boy.” That’s a biopic that’s focused on the YA years of John Lennon. And now I’m going to make a point of watching it.
 
I’m not certain about Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Sam’s husband, playing Christian. I’m still plugging for Matt Bomer, and this time I’m doing that because he IS gay. That’s right; just because he’s gay. For years gay men in the film industry have played straight characters and no one ever knew it because those gay men were not able to come out of the closet. And now that gay men are able to come out of the closet in an industry that claims to be so openly liberal about everything I want to see these gay actors get the chance to play straight roles…just like Michael Douglas and Matt Damon played the gay roles in the Liberace film.
 
Let’s see how THAT works out!!
 
Just think about it for a minute. An openly gay man like Matt Bomer playing a straight character, instead of a closeted gay man like Rock Husdon playing a straight character. It’s an interesting concept with just the right twist of irony that might catch on someday.
 
Paula Deen and the N-Word
 
Speaking of politically incorrect train wrecks, this entire shitstorm with Paula Deen using the N-word has left my jaw hanging for the past two days. As far as I can see, this issue isn’t new. This all started over a year ago when a former employee sued Deen and her brother for racism, sexual harassment, and assault…but the transcripts were just released. And some of the things Paula Deen says in those transcripts makes me wonder how much butter is between her ears.
 
…she’s just given a deposition in which she admits that “Yes, of course” she throws around racial slurs at work and thinks an elegant idea for a wedding might be to staff it with black men pretending to be slaves. Who doesn’t? We’re all Americans here, right?
 
You can read more here, and this is a link to the actual deposition. If you do a simple search, this is trending everywhere from twitter to facebook.
 
This, I think, is a good example of what happens when dumb people get too much exposure and power. You can only hide that kind of stupidity for so long behind that good ole down home image, but sooner or later it’s going to be exposed, Y’awl.
 
Ex-Gay Group Apology
 
I’m a little sorry I didn’t write a completely separate post about this because it’s so interesting. But I was afraid I would ramble on too much, and I’ve learned through experience the less said the better sometimes. Long blog posts lose readers.  
 
The ex-gay group, Exodus International, is closing down and offering apologies to the LGBT community for things they’ve said and done in the past.
 
 I am sorry for the pain and hurt that many of you have experienced. I am sorry some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents.
 
This is what the logo on their banner reads: “Proclaiming Freedom from Homosexuality Since 1976.”
 
I think we’ll look back someday at reparative therapy as one of the most ridiculous concepts of our time.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bill Cosby On the "N" Word; Reader Question; Cost to Self-Publish Chase of a Dream

This past weekend Bill Cosby spoke to graduates at Paul Quinn college, and among other things he mentioned the “N” word.

Cosby spent most of his time making people laugh, but he also imparted a serious message about culture and raising children, advising graduates never to use the “N” word.

“Because it’s not entertainment,” he said sternly.

Cosby said that the civil rights movement is ongoing and that Saturday’s graduates and Paul Quinn faculty are helping to bring about change.

“The faculty continues the civil rights movement by making sure you know your stuff,” he said. “That’s civil rights.”

I couldn’t agree with him more. I’ve posted about this topic before with regard to the “Q” word. I don’t see any differences in the arguments that support use of the “N” word and the arguments that support use of the “Q” word. To this day, in spite of all the arguments we’ve heard about the “N” word it is still is one of the most offensive words around. I feel that way about the “Q” word, too.  The interesting thing is that the people who can’t wait to call me queer, without even thinking twice that it just might offend me, would never, EVER, use the “N” word in public.

And I’m not fond of double standards.

You can read more here.

Self-Publishing Question From Reader

I often receive questions from readers that vary in subject from self-publishing to LGBT issues. And I’ve decided to answer these questions in blog posts for others who might be interested. This following question came from a reader who has always wanted to write. I’ve asked for permission to publish it here.

I see so many people talking about how expensive self-publishing is. Can you give me a ballpark figure of how much it cost you to self-publish your first book, Chase of a Lifetime?

Before I get into how much it did cost me, I want to state I’m only talking about digital self-publishing. I also think it’s important for me to mention that I didn’t go into the self-publishing arena with no experience. I’ve been getting published for over twenty years, so I know how the process of getting a book released works, in digital and hard copy. Although things do sometimes vary from publisher to publisher, the basic process is always the same. In other words, what I did might not be as simple for someone who doesn’t have any publishing experience. That’s not always the case, and I’ve posted about self-published authors like Joe Mihalic who did great jobs without experience. But I think it’s important for me to disclose this up front for those who really don’t know anything about publishing books. It’s not a simple thing to do, not even with experience. Actually, getting Chase of a Lifetime out was one of the most difficult things I ever did, and the most fulfilling, too.

I know there is a lot of information out there about self-publishing, and a great deal of this information talks about how expensive it is to self-publish a decent book if you ever want to be taken seriously. I’m not saying new writers shouldn’t look into self-publishing services, but I have seen a lot of exaggerated articles about how expensive self-publishing is that made me wonder if the people who wrote the articles really know anything about self-publishing. And the information about distribution blows me away, too. It didn’t cost me anything more to release my self-pubbed books on Smashwords, allromanceebooks, or Kobo than it did to release them on Amazon. So where these people come up with these extra costs for distribution passes me by.

I also want to mention that a good deal of self-publishing comes down to personal choices and how much control the author wants to maintain. There are literary agents out there who offer self-publishing services to their clients, and these clients seems to be doing well with them. One of them is NLA Digital Liaison Platform, LLC, which is offered by the Nelson Literary Agency, and you can read more about that sort of thing here.  If I were an agent, I’d most likely be doing something similar to this, and talking about it openly so people interested in self-publishing know where I stand.

There are other self-publishing services out there you can hire and you don’t need to be affiliated with a literary agent. I don’t know any well, so I can’t recommend.

But the costs of self-publishing does vary and so far I have not found anyone with the perfect solution to this. In my case, with Chase of a Lifetime, I paid a cover artist and I paid a good copyeditor. I’d worked with both of them before with publishers and I felt comfortable working with them on my self-published books. To date, and this was an accident, the Chase of a Lifetime cover will always be my favorite. Other than that, there were some small added costs Tony handled for me that didn’t amount to much. All in all, the cost for me to self-publish CoaL came to around 400.00.

Could I have skipped the copy editor altogether? Of course I could have. But it’s always been my experience that the copy editor is the most important person in the process of releasing a book because he or she is the one single person you depend on to find issues in grammar and continuity. And even though I always go back to the book and give it my own final edits after I get it back from the copy editor (I do this with publishers, too), I wasn’t willing to take a chance on releasing a self-published book without having a good copy editor.

I should also disclose that Tony did all of the HTML formatting and uploading for me. I told him where I wanted the book distributed, and where I thought it would be easier to get for my readers, but he did all the detailed tech work. He’s been doing this for years. He’s begun to do this for a few author friends I have, and for a literary agent I know. If I had had to pay someone to do that, my costs would have been far more extensive. And that’s because I probably could learn to do it myself, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it myself. When you already have published books out there, you don’t want to release a self-published book that isn’t equal to them.

So the bottom line, for me, is that I’m not sure there is a set figure for anyone when it comes to the cost of self-publishing. If you know how to format and you feel comfortable with uploading books than you’re going to save a good deal of money. If you know how to design covers, you’ll save even more. I know authors who paid even less than I paid to self-publish their books on Amazon and those books seem to be doing well for them. I also know authors who used self-publishing services, and they aren’t complaining either.

But one thing is important. Make sure you know what you’re doing so you can release the best self-published book possible. This varies from writer to writer and only you know what you’re capable of doing, especially in the beginning. And watch out for scammers. They are out there and they all make self-publishing sound so good you’ll be tempted to believe them. And don’t be shy about asking questions. Authors like me are always willing to help if we can.