Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia 2013 #HAHAT

Even though the world is clearly changing, there's a long way to go before homophobia is seen by the  entire population as just as terrible of a thing as racism. I do believe there will be a day when the population as a whole will look into history books and cringe at their past ignorance.

There's a handy, interactive graph on the Guardian's website that I highly suggest you poke around on. It was posted May of 2012 and as I write this, it doesn't include Minnesota's newest law change. But it's still a great tool to really see the difference of rights between the communities. It's tangible and clear cut that there's a major difference and that's a major problem.

All these changes are coming from the changing mindset of the population. Change will happen. One day grand kids will be ashamed of their anti-gay grandparents just how today grand kids are embarrassed by granny's racist slurs leftover from the 1950s.

The internet and social sites have really pushed progress forward. It helps get the word out that "Hey! This shit is fucked up. Don't do it. People are people and love is love." Tumblr is a perfect example. The community on tumblr will not hesitate to call you out on anything. (It's a great place for feminism as a whole too)

People are constantly learning and evolving. Someone who was taught homophobia might be on tumblr one day and be called out on using "gay" as an insult, and after hearing the explanation of why it's wrong, that person might just start to change years of narrow thinking. Education and patience (sadly, still patience) is needed just as much as raising hell to get law makers to vote for and sign the right laws.

Overall I have high hopes for humanity even if sometimes it seems bleak.

EDIT: the contest is closed now. I'll be picking a winner and posting it tomorrow. Thank you for the comments!
EDIT 2: The winner has been selected and contacted via email.


If you leave a comment on this post, you'll be entered to win an ebook of my latest novel, Paid Leave. (the winner will be a randomly chosen comment and will be selected sometime after May 22. I'm actually out of the country right now.)

Blurb: Albuquerque police officer Benji Miller made the choice to hide his sexuality and devote his life to his career. He guards his secret carefully, believing he is protecting his job and happiness. Then, during a routine traffic stop gone awry, he shoots a suspect to protect a young girl, and his life spins out of control. A department-mandated paid leave rips away the only distraction he had, and he has to deal with the unsympathetic media who criticize the police department’s every move.

One day, needing to get out of the house, Benji walks into a cafĂ©, where he meets Neal McCoy—a gay man living without shame, unafraid to speak his mind or stand up against prejudice. Benji quickly falls for Neal but struggles to combine his new love interest and his career. With the media threatening the careful illusion he’s built around himself, Benji can’t stand the pressure.

Benji has to decide: sacrifice his happiness in the name of his career and an easy life, or find the courage to give up the lonely existence he knows and take a step into the unknown.


“So is my charm winning you over yet?”
“What charm?” Benji meant it as a joke, but Neal didn’t laugh.
“I’m usually very good at reading men, but you’re sending me mixed signals. I understand if you can’t tell when a man flirts, but at least tell me I’m not making a fool of myself and giving you a funny story to tell your girlfriend.”
“I don’t have a girlfriend.”
“Are we on the same team, Benji?” Neal changed his question into a more direct one Benji wasn’t comfortable answering.
“I have a convincing life of a straight bachelor I would like to maintain.” Benji couldn’t stop himself despite knowing he was ending chances before he even had a chance. “But that’s as far as it goes—a lie.”
“I see.” Neal nodded and watched Lucky chew a few dried twigs.
“I’m proud of what I am, Benji. If I could shit rainbows, I would.” Neal tugged on Lucky’s leash to get his attention and started toward the parking lot. “I like you, but it isn’t my place to convince you to change what you are.”
Benji was lost in a sea of his own insecurities that had flooded in following the shooting. Things he’d never challenged before became the only questions he had. “What if I want to be normal?”
His words froze Neal in his retreat. He looked over his shoulder, and his brown eyes carried sadness Benji wouldn’t have believed he was capable of experiencing. “You are normal, Benji.”
“What if I want more than what I’m allowed to have?”
“You struggle through hell to have what you deserve.”
Benji shook his head. “What if I lose my career?”
“I can’t answer that one. I don’t even know what you do.” Neal returned to Benji’s side and touched his arm. “It sounds like you need a friend more than a date.”
“I have friends.”
“Yeah. But I have a hunch that you don’t have friends that understand what it’s like to be gay.” Neal slipped his arm into Benji’s and started forward on the trail. “Let’s get back to the date. I know you’re not a coffee connoisseur, so what’s your favorite drink?”
Benji forced himself to relax. The trail was empty, and the birds hardly cared if two men touched. “Coke, I guess. After water. Most guys drink beer. I pick a cola.”
“We can break that bad habit,” Neal said. His chuckle warned Benji he was teasing.
“Do you only drink coffee?”
“Of course not. I also like water. We have so much in common, Benji.”

Friday, May 3, 2013

Available Now: Paid Leave

Paid Leave is now available at Dreamspinner Press. You can buy it today!
I'll be starting up promo late on this release. May is a month of vacation and packing the house for a remodel and a possible move. When I return, I'll be hosting a blog tour and giving away coffee from the coffee shop that inspired Beans in Paid Leave, coffee mugs, and of course copies of the book itself.