Just follow this link to the post on a new rainbow.gate feature, Authors Speak! Includes an excerpt, the blurb, and links to the other blog tour spots.
Author Archives: lsylvestre
IDAHOT Hop for Visibility, Awareness, and Equality, take 2—an apology and thoughts about self-knowledge
First, an apology. IDAHOT’s official name has expanded to “International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia,” and it’s about time. Maybe the name still isn’t inclusive enough, but it’s better.
My first hop post (please read it here) focused on visibility. Well, I’d be willing to wager bisexuals are among the most invisible people on earth simply because people assume. I should know—I’m one of them. And all my life has been a journey in and out of the closet, often finding myself boxed in there when out was where I truly wanted to be–especially true in the workplace. You may think that’s easy to overcome, but for me, it wasn’t—and it still isn’t even though I’ve reached my sixties, write gay books, and work at home.
So this apology is to all of us bisexuals. Here I’ve been trying to tout visibility—being visible and making it safe for people of all Queer spectrum identities to be visible—and I’ve effectively closed the blinds on us. How easy it is to make that kind of mistake! Vigilance is required for all of us.
So, that brings me to the second part of my post, essentially about how human brains work. It’s called growth.
I’ve been reading other blogs in the hop and I’m impressed. People are just awesome. Me? Maybe not so much! I see people who have known exactly where they fit on the gender and sexuality spectrum all their lives, and on the other hand allies who were allies from day one.
Me? Not so much. First, I wanted to be honest and open and live with integrity from day one, but I had to do a lot of unlearning and re-teaching myself before I was any good at it. Maybe it’s because most of the people whose posts I’ve read are significantly younger than me and the world has changed with every passing year. Whatever the reason, I had to listen to people, examine my own mind, and find understanding before I knew exactly where I stood in relation to others on the spectrum, and even in relation to my particular location in the rainbow. I am not ashamed to say there was a learning curve. Although I never had an inclination to dismiss someone as a non-person or hurt them because of sexuality or gender identity, knowing queer people as no different from me and knowing that love is love was not something that came automatically. Nor can it have done so for anybody else—even if they are not aware of having learned these things. Wherever and whenever it happens, we are what we learn.
Found this on Pinterest (and I agree):
Hopping for Visibility, Awareness, and Equality—Focus: Visibility (Or, on peeing in North Carolina and such)
Well, that’s a lot to talk about, so let’s break it down. Let me start today by talking about visibility, and specifically visibility in the United States.
This year, Trans-related issues are big on everyone’s radar, what with hater legislation (let’s call it what it is) about—of all thigs—bathrooms being very visibly bandied about and enacted in several states, with North Carolina’s HB2 taking a front and center position though Tennessee and eight other states including Minnesota have similar bills. Yes, visibility is an issue across the LGBT-QIA spectrum, but for now, let’s talk about Trans, baby.
“Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry—which is happening as I write—is one of them.”
Why focus on visibility?
As I see it from a historical perspective, because visibility is the crux of this focus on toileting. Conversely, invisibility has been both a product and a tool of hateful bigotry for… well, maybe as long as there have been humans who hated. If you are a member of any group that has been marginalized (to any degree) by the dominant culture, you very likely have experienced invisibility. Sometimes, it is a protective instinct to retreat into it. If a hypothetical ‘they’ don’t know that a hypothetical ‘you’ is African, Native, gay, lesbian, refugee, bisexual, HIV+, immigrant—anything that doesn’t match ‘their’ perception of ‘like us’—if ‘they’ don’t know, it is possible to avoid being excluded, ridiculed, ignored, followed around by the store detectives, or beaten to a bloody pulp. Sometimes, invisibility isn’t on purpose. ‘You’ can’t or won’t or just don’t happen to hide your color, country of origin, sexuality, gender identification, age (etc), and therefore the store employee skips over you, your job application gets lost, you speak and no one hears you.
But it shouldn’t be like this. Not only does rendering certain people invisible in society result in numerous individual violations of constitutional human rights, it attempts to rob people of status as human beings. You realize, don’t you, that in the sixties, if you had asked school officials about gay or queer students, they very likely would have said they didn’t exist?
I believe bigoted people feel threatened because trans (and other rainbow spectrum) individuals have shrugged off their cloaks of invisibility—a brave thing to do, dangerous, but life-affirming. People have embraced their identity and thus their humanity. “I am this person, exactly as I am meant to be.” That is a joyful thing, to be celebrated.
Except to the person who keeps their mind closed around the training tapes they’ve heard all their lives, which make it clear that if someone is different, they’re dangerous. If that’s the case, you’re likely to be afraid.
Two ways to deal with fear. One: find out why and fix it. This usually involves a willingness to learn and understand—to listen and truly hear. Two: turn it into something else—hate.
Hate= “it’s not me it’s you.”
So we have Hate Bill 2 and around 100 antil LGBT-Q spectrum bills around the US.
Getting back to North Carolina where you might have to flash your birth certificate to get into a bathroom (because hey, what’s more important for a state legislature to spend time on than where people pee?), just today I saw an article relative to North Carolina’s ridiculous law, being trans, and visibility. Singer Laura Jane Grace, founder of the punk band Against Me, decided they shouldn’t cancel their appearance. In her particular case, she thought another approach would be more effective.
She’s a trans woman, you see, so she burned her birth certificate on stage.
~~Laura Jane Grace
Thank you for reading and hopping for the cause. Comment on this post and enter your name for a giveaway: $15 Gift Certificate Dreamspinner Press, ARe, or Amazon. I’d love to hear how you feel about visibility, whether you have experiences to share, news, or thoughts on the subject. Or, comment on any aspect of these issues, the hop, or my post.
Here are all the blog hop links, for your convenience! (Thanks all you bloggers!)
Hi readers! This will be a quick post, but fun. I joined a facebook group called Rainbow Snippets, which believe is the brainchild of the talented author, Charley Descoteaux. I’m supposed to post a snippet here, and then link back to the group. So here is a tidbit from Saving Sonny James, the fourth book in the Vasquez and James Series.
No matter what else, one thing that would always be true for Luki was that he loved Sonny, and never wanted him to hurt or fear or even endure discomfort because of him. So Luki stood up and opened his arms—but tried to keep his pits under cover—and when Sonny stepped in close and melted against him, Luki squeezed him hard. Before he broke the embrace he kissed Sonny’s damp cheek, and then Sonny kissed his lips—put into it a little more than relief, a little less than heat. For just a moment, all the clouds that hung in curtains across Luki’s mind parted, and he saw a future—a day when trouble would pass and he and Sonny would have a happy day.
But not yet. Because some blond guy who reminded Luki too much of the infamous Richard entered the Cup O’ Gold and said—loudly and nasally—“I’m looking for Sonny James.”
Comments welcome! 🙂
Oh, hello. I just remembered I have a blog here…
Not really of course, but I’ve neglected it for far too long. So to celebrate my return I’m offering an excerpt from my book coming out on March 16th, A Shot of J&B, and a chance to win something a little strange. I’ll tell you about that at the end.
For now, let’s start with this: You can preorder the book at Dreamspinner, and save 20%, simply by keying in this discount code: ASHOTOFJB. You can get there by clicking this link: http://goo.gl/K6Dj2d. This book starts a new series, Vasquez Security, the Next Generation, and as you might have guessed I’ve spun it off the Vasquez and James series. The main sweeties in this one? Jackie and Brian (J&B).
And, also in case you haven’t seen it yet, the Blurb:
Six years ago, Brian Harrison helped save the life of Jackie Vasquez, and he’s never really forgotten him. After the rescue, Brian ended his employment with Jackie’s uncle Luki and left the US for England, aiming to distance himself from the confused feelings—not lust, but not brotherly—that then sixteen-year-old Jackie engendered. Now Jackie has become a man, and when they meet again by chance, lust with a dose of D/s rope kink is definitely on the list of possibilities. As they get to know each other, though, lust shows every sign of growing into love, deep and true.
When Jackie moves to London for graduate studies in criminal psychology, he and Brian hope they’ll be able to enjoy each other’s frequent company. But they haven’t factored in the claim Brian’s police job with Scotland Yard will make on his time, especially when the “Gaslighter crimes” sap investigative resources. An abandoned aide dog named Soldier leads to a breakthrough clue, and a chain of discoveries fall like dominoes. As Brian rushes to beat the criminal’s game before it escalates to true terror, he comes to an undeniable conclusion: Jackie Vasquez, the man he loves, is in mortal danger.
Now, the excerpt. A little scene setting, it’s December 26th, and Brian is visiting Luki and Sonny while in the States for the holidays, and just by chance, Jackie is there. (They haven’t seen each other for close to six years.)
“Don’t think I don’t see what’s going on,” Sonny said, with no preamble.
Brian actually felt himself start to blush, but he clamped down on his emotions and played it cool. He hoped. “What?”
“He’s a wonderful guy. And he’s all grown-up, now.”
Brian said nothing, wrestling with some unruly plastic wrap more viciously than necessary.
“Jackie, I mean,” Sonny clarified, though he obviously was aware Brian knew.
After stowing the covered dish in the fridge, Brian stepped back, put his hands in his pockets, and decided not to even try to be coy. “I know, Sonny. And you’re right—I can’t help but be conscious of him when I’m in the same room. It’s the same feeling I had when we first met, that we have some connection we don’t know about. Only now, he’s obviously… an adult. So there’s another… dimension to it. I… I don’t know,” he finished, aware that it sounded lame.
“I don’t know, either, Brian,” Sonny said, wearing an easygoing, practical look that Brian recognized. “But that’s just it. You never know. I know you have your club, and that meets your needs for now. But maybe keep an open mind?”
When Brian paused, Sonny inserted, “Yes, control. Domination. On the lighter side, though, if I’m not mistaken. Ropes, maybe?”
Brian chuckled. “Damn, Sonny! How do you do that? Yes, that’s it exactly.”
“And you’re worried.”
“Yeah!” Brian huffed out a somewhat frustrated breath. “I mean, I know Jackie… I remember what he wrote in his e-mails, and things. And…. Well, frankly, I have enough experience to know a sub when I see one, usually. But….” He stopped, trying to compose his thoughts, so he could speak them clearly. “He’s been hurt, right?”
He waited, but this time Sonny didn’t rescue him from the need to express himself, only glanced at him, gave him a quick nod, then returned to wiping down the counter.
Brian sighed, then struck out into dangerous territory. “He interests me, and honestly I think I interest him. But I’m afraid that if we were to get together, it wouldn’t be good for him—he might be hurt. I don’t want to be part of that.”
“I’m glad to hear that, Brian.” Sonny hung up the dishtowel, then leaned back on the counter.
“But not surprised. You’re a good man, I think. Do you want advice?”
“Please,” Brian answered.
Sonny scratched at his chin thoughtfully. “I’m not really in the habit of giving it, but okay. First, don’t put the cart before the horse. Foresight is good, but why worry about something that doesn’t quite look to be happening yet?”
“Right,” Brian said, feeling a bit foolish.
“There’s no reason to feel foolish—it’s good that you care enough to think about these things. I’ll give you a little information: Jackie has come a long way since sixteen. He’s worked very hard to understand himself and put the things that happened to him in some kind of context. He’s strong and bright, and yes—adult. Anything more is for him to tell you, if he wants. So I suggest you talk to him, and maybe listen to him. If something develops between you, trust him to know what he wants, and trust yourself, too.”
Brian smiled. “Thanks,” he said quietly, because he knew what Sonny said was not only right, but should have been obvious.
Sonny slapped him on the shoulder in a friendly manner, and said, “I hear Luki calling the dog for his walk. We should all go, get outside while it’s not raining.”
And the contest: comment on this blog post, and you’re in the running. What’s the prize? Heh. I’ll name a character after you, or put your dog, cat, or bird in my next book in this series (Your choice.) Any takers?
Just a quick note: Still time to enter my personal giveaway (scroll down to the next post), and the group giveaway (3 $35 GCs)! You have until 1/6 to make the circuit. Here’s all the links:
I know, what does slinging ink have to do with cooking, right?
Here’s the way it works:
You can “choose your own dinner adventure” from appetizers, soup, salad, main dish and dessert, but those of you who visit and comment at each and every blog will be entered into a drawing for one of three (3) $35.00 gift cards to the venue of your choice: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or All Romance Ebooks.
Plus, some individual authors might include a private drawing for those people who stop by. (A comment on this post, for instance, earns you a chance to win any Vasquez and James e-book.)
So read, drink and be merry! Happy New Year from all of us, at the M/M Writers’ Buffet!
For full blog links visit http://zammaxfield.com/new-years-eve-progressive-dinner/.
Now down to the business of cooking:
My cooking theme these days is simple, light, and tasty, and all the more so for New Year’s Eve, and my soup choice is dead on. This recipe comes from Fitness magazine online, “12 Simple Soup Recipes,” and it’s one of the few recipes I don’t alter at all when cooking. It’s not going to break the bank, require a foot-long shopping list, or keep you busy for hours chopping stirring. And, it uses up the extra can of pumpkin that always seems to remain in my pantry after the holidays! Most importantly: it tastes righteous. (Nomnomnomnom…)
- 2 slices of bacon
- 1 can of pumpkin
- 3-1/2 c. chicken broth (low sodium works well here, and vegetable broth is a veggie alternative)
- 1 c. applesauce (the more apple-y the better, and if you feel like working a bit harder chop up a half cup of apple (peeled) and sauté it with your bacon)
- 2 tsp ginger
- salt and fresh ground pepper
- sour cream (the recipe says light, but… I can’t do it)
Putting it together:
Saute the bacon (with apple if desired), drain fat. Add (to the bacon, not the fat, heh)the pumpkin, broth, applesauce, ginger, salt and pepper, bring to boil, simmer for a little while (non-specific, I know). Garnish with sour cream. (Easy-peasy, right?)
I like to have a little sparkling apple cider to complement this, but if you’re a lush… er, person who drinks wine, you might like something light and white, a tad fruity.