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.
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! 🙂
DEFINED BY DECEIT
~ A.E. Via ~
M/M GAY ROMANCE CONTEMPORARY
Edited by: Tina Adamski
Cover Art by: Jay Aheer
PAGE COUNT – 300 pages
Release Date: March 27, 2015
ABOUT THE BOOK
Life isn’t always fair, and that’s something that Llewellyn Gardner knows about first hand. His life was on the fast track until one night of extreme passion changed everything.
Now eight years later, he’s still living with the aftershocks of that night. Everywhere he turns or runs, there’s another reminder. What the hell do you do when you try to drown your demons only to find out they can swim?
Shane Smith, Jr. owner of Smith Construction, could see the emotional turmoil within his new employee — it’s why he hired him. There was something about the gorgeous, misunderstood man with the overly expressive eyes that came to their small town with a past no one was willing to overlook. Shane could see the good in Llewellyn, and those eyes of his were a clear window to his soul. Shane wasn’t going to let the man live a future of solitude because his past had been plagued with deceit.
Llewellyn wasn’t sure what to think about Shane. After years of protecting himself from being tricked twice, he was now faced with worry again. What would happen to him if Shane didn’t believe his truth, and walked away? Llewellyn wasn’t sure he’d be able to survive being left alone. Again.
Llew turned at the sound of the sure voice behind him. Since he seemed to tower over everyone he looked down at the pretty brunette with dark brown eyes to match. “Um. Sorry.” Llew mumbled quickly moving out of her way.
“Well don’t be sorry shuga’, just escort a lady inside.” Llew didn’t blink as he watched the lady stalk towards him. Her full chest sat above an extremely narrow waist. It almost looked unnatural. She dressed and wore the amount of makeup that a grown woman would, but her smooth face and approach screamed her real age. She was jailbait if he’d ever seen one. Llew gave her a slight head nod and turned to leave when his elbow was hooked.
“I saw you in the general store applying for a job. You musta’ jus’ got into town, because if not I’d have known, honey. So you got kin here?”
The laugh was an all-out immature giggle and it graded on his nerves. “Cat got your tongue, darlin’”. She moved in even closer and dragged a long red nail down Llew’s arm, tilting her head back to look up at him. “You want me to beg, huh? Come on now, handsome. Escort a lady to a movie… then maybe -”
“Maybe when he sees’ a lady… he’ll escort one.”
Llew diverted his attention away from the overzealous minx that was practically humping his leg and focused on the beautiful man approaching with another guy in tow. His voice wasn’t overly deep like his own, it was a smooth and melodic southern drawl. Like he could be a singer or a poet. He walked with an unhurried gait that was a mixture of ‘I’m in charge’ and ‘you’re on my time, not the other way around’, and Llew found it sexy as fuck. His tall friend chuckled behind him, moving away to purchase their tickets. Is he on a date? No, their demeanor definitely said ‘friends.’
“Mind ya’ own business Smith, Jr. I saw him first.”
The man hooked one thumb in his pocket not the slightest bit fazed at the remark. But Llew was thrown. Was this guy actually gay or was she being a smart aleck? The man gave him nothing to go on. He moved closer towards them and Llew got a nice whiff of his spicy, bold cologne when a cool breeze blew his way. It was an interesting contradiction, because the man’s entire persona said ‘cool and composed’.
“Mosey along, Sallie Ann. Don’t make me ring ya’ daddy. He told me keep an eye on you while he’s gone and I agreed. He’d be rather put out if I didn’t follow through on my promise.”
She reluctantly let go of his arm, letting loose a long drawn out huff of annoyance. Llew didn’t bother watching her walk away. She was irrelevant. With his hands tucked deep in his pockets he eyed the man in front of him with a mixture of curiosity and wistfulness.
“Sometimes a person has gotta’ run interference with that girl. She’s usually not that bad but her daddy’s outta’ town, so ya’ know how young girls can be.”
Actually, not really.
“Hi. I’m Shane Smith, Jr.” he stuck out a large, calloused hand and it took Llew a couple seconds to process that he was going to touch him. Llew shook his hand, his mouth still closed tight as he watched the man’s eyes. They were light brown and full of humor and amusement. He immediately thought that this was obviously a guy who had little worries if any in life. Wait a minute…Smith….Jr. Is he the owner of? He let go of the strong grip on his hand and wished he’d been able to hold it a little longer.
“And you are?”
Llew swallowed before answering. “Llew.”
Those eyes twinkled again and dark brown brows rose up in question. “Llew…just Llew.”
It was a humiliation when a man hated to tell someone his name. But by doing so it meant that they would soon know who he really was. Know who he was classified as. He didn’t want this man to know that, god help him he didn’t. But lying wasn’t an option. Fuck it. “Llewellyn Gardner.”
So many broke eye contact with him and Llew was more than intrigued that Mr. Shane Smith, Jr. was staring at him just as hard as he was staring back. He didn’t know why he was looking at him that way but he didn’t mind it.
“Now that’s a name.” Smith smiled beautifully.
Llew wasn’t sure if this guy was flirting with him or not, he’d been in a place where flirting didn’t exist for so long, he’d forgotten what it looked like…what it sounded like. The way Shane Smith, Jr. was smiling at him it sure seemed like it. Llew could imagine himself with a strong man like this. A man who was gorgeous but didn’t know it. Not overly done up in fancy digs, he was dressed like a working man but he wore that look well. He appeared simple but confident, like a man that followed his own counsel and was not easily persuaded. But Llew wouldn’t dare get his hopes up. As soon as word got out that there was a newly registered sex offender in their quaint little town, Smith, Jr. might be leading the lynch mob to run him out of there.
Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Defined-By-Deceit-A-E-Via-ebook/dp/B00UZDNRJI/ref=zg_bs_7588788011_13
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A.E. Via is still a fairly new author in the beautiful gay erotic genre. Her writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to spicy to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.
When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children.
While this is only her seventh novel, she has plenty more to come. So stalk her – she loves that – because the male on male action is just heating up!
Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak on upcoming work, free reads, and where she’ll appear next.
Author Official Website: http://authoraevia.com
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/aeviaauthor
Facebook (Friend me): https://www.facebook.com/authoraevia
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/A.-E.-Via/e/B00GMNMS4U/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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: