HAHaT 2013: Thoughts About Legalities, Love, Fear… oh, and there’s a freebie

Hello blog-hoppers! This post is my contribution to the Blog Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia, or HAHaT 2013. I hope tons of you visit, and we can discuss some serious matters, while having some fun, too. Read all the way to the end to find out about the small but noticeably free-of-charge thing I’d love to give you…

The hop supports the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Undoing the knotted mass of threads that is homophobia/transphobia is a necessary focus, because, well, it’s all over the place and it’s messed up.

“But,” you or someone you know says, “it’s all coming up roses, isn’t it? Laws are being passed, people are getting married. It’s a brighter day!”

Yes! It is a brighter day, indeed!

But before we assume that laws leaning more toward fairness and equality mean the demise of fear and hate, let’s think about history. Some questions to ponder:

  • Did legalizing the right of women to vote and work give them equal standing in the community? (If you think so, you and I should talk.)
  • Did abolishing legal slavery create attitudes of fairness and equality toward African Americans?
  • Did laws prohibiting brutality lead to the end of child abuse?

In the USA, we’ve had eleven states (I think) pass laws saying GLBTQ people can marry. In some of those states, the spouses can also adopt children, should they wish. These changes have led to many lovely, loving moments and years, and beautiful images, for us all to cherish, that have made it into our lives.

Like this one:

And this one:

But eleven states is only twenty-two percent of all the possibilities. To me, the progress of human rights in terms of marriage equality has seemed like a snowball rolling downhill. But there is no guarantee that the ball will keep rolling! If anything, I think this is the point in the battle when so much can go wrong, simply by virtue of a broader, shifting field–and this is even more true because the fight for fair laws is an international one.

And the fight for legal equality is also, moreso, a fight for the hearts of all good people.

Forgive me, for I am about to commit the fiction writer’s sin of thinking all points can be illustrated by a scene in their novel. No, really. This is a very brief excerpt from Saving Sonny James, the finale to the Vasquez and James series, which has been submitted to the publisher a few days ago, but not yet accepted. Here, Luki and Sonny have recently been through hell (which anyone who’s read the series has come to expect 🙂 ). In this case, hell is in Paris, France, where equal marriage has recently been codified as law, in the real world.

The black car rolled up to the embassy, an elegant building with an expanse of lawn, a pair of huge flags—US and France, and a red-trimmed, white fabric canopy over the entry walk. Jean Baptiste let them out at the street curb, and they walked along a paved semicircle drive, hand-in-hand, though they weren’t conscious of it until they got some looks from the Gendarmerie in their peaked hats. Sonny might have tried to extract his hand, but Luki held on tight and gave one or two of the gendarmes his iciest look.

When they reached the canopy, he quietly said to Sonny, “Tell me those bigots don’t have the power to make you ashamed of me… or of who you are.”

“Of course not, Luki!” Sonny was emphatic, but he chuckled and added, “But they do seem to have the power to make me nervous.”

Luki glanced sideways at him and back at the police—whose attention had gone elsewhere, now—“Fuck ‘em, baby. We’re legal in this country, you know. Just like at home.”

“Yeah but honey, when Washington State decided we could marry, that was a vote of the people, and the people that didn’t like it didn’t join up in mobs and start beating people up and killing folks wholesale in the street. Here…”

Luki heaved a tired sigh. “I know, but it’s—”

“Safer to be right up front with it. I agree. Thanks for holding my hand, husband.”

I invite your comments and discussion! I’d love to hear about fictional characters (movies, books, TV, ballads, whatever) that have put the haters in their place. Can be humor or badass-ness, or whatever. Tell me about your fave, and you’re in the drawing for a $15 certificate for Dreamspinner Press, anything at all from their catalog. The contest runs all ten days of the blog hop, and you can enter more than once as long as you have new material in your comment. ‘Kay? Please play! (By the way, I’ve had to put comments on moderate for awhile because of ugly spammers. Please don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away.)

65 Comments

Filed under Contests, Dreamspinner Press, Finding Jackie, homophobia

65 Responses to HAHaT 2013: Thoughts About Legalities, Love, Fear… oh, and there’s a freebie

  1. KimberlyFDR

    Thank you for taking part in the hop!

    I’ve always been fond of the approach that Priscilla Queen of the Desert took. While there are bigots around, being secure in yourself can help open others’ eyes, and maybe change the world one person at a time.

    kimberlyFDR@yahoo.com

  2. Trix

    I love Quentin from Tara Lain’s HEARTS AND FLOUR…he’s comfortable in his skin whether dressed as male or female, and changes people’s perceptions just by steadfastly being himself, and acting out of love!

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

    • Hi Trix! Now this is one I haven’t read, but it’s sounding like I’m going to have to add it to the “to read” list, which never seems to get any smaller. I’m glad you came by! You’re in for the drawing.

  3. Kat

    Xander and Chris’ interview on national TV at the end of Amy Lane’s Locker Room was an amazing and inspiring coming out.

  4. Issa

    As goofy as it may be, Lady Gaga’s “Born that Way” is a favorite, not just the music but the words. I covers just about everything.

    cojazzchick AT yahoo DOT com

  5. Trix

    Just finished Michael Murphy’s LITTLE SQUIRRELS CAN CLIMB TALL TREES, and while it wasn’t always my thing, I *loved* Kyle’s confrontation of the homophobic preacher, winning over a whole room of fundamentalists as a result!

    • Did I reply to this before, Trix? If not, sorry! I haven’t got to read that yet, but it sounds like it has some great moments–such as the one you describe. Fabulous.

  6. Verena

    I really love the scene in Queer as Folk when Brian shows up at Justin’s prom and they dance in front of everyone. I know it didn’t end well, but it still took a lot of courage.

    • Verena, that’s excellent! You’re right sometimes the action is more important than the outcome… well, depending on your perspectve. Anyway, I’ll enter your name in the drawing, too, and thank you!

  7. H.B.

    He Completes Me by Cardeno C has a scene in which Aaron is at a gay rights organization event and tells off an acquaintance because he insulted Aaron by suggesting he shouldn’t have such a flamboyant boyfriend.

    Also thank you for taking part in the hop and for sharing the to Saving Sonny James. I look forward to seeing that book published =)

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

    • Good point, H.B., it seems like there’s recently been more than the usual amount of judging within the ranks of GLTBQ–men too flambouyant, women to butch, whatever. I like your choice. Thanks for coming by, and I’ll drop your name in the hat for the contest, too.

  8. Joe

    One of my favorite fictional “Take that, homophobes!” moments was at the end of John Simpson’s Condor and Falcon when David and Shane get married. This wouldn’t be terribly remarkable, except for the fact that David happens to be the President of the United States and the wedding is held in the White House. The story itself can be a bit on the ridiculous side, but could you imagine an event more calculated to give the religious right apoplexy?

    • Joe, I’m sorry I didn’t see your comment before. I haven’t read that book, though I’ve thought I probably will. But that is a great example! Love it. Thanks, and you are in the drawing.

  9. Wow, what a terrific post!
    Here’s to the day that we no longer have a need for a Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia!
    ~Cody

    • Thanks, Cody! I’m glad it spoke to you in some way. I’ve been around a little and seen some wonderful posts this year! I plan to visit more–I’m glad this is spread over ten days. You didn’t make a contest entry. Do you want to? (It’s okay if not, I just want to make sure.) 🙂

  10. Marie

    Thank you for your great post. This might be silly, but there’s a line in a Garth Brooks song, “We Shall Be Free,” that talks about the importance of being “free to love anyone we choose” which has been a reassuring message. Thanks for participating in the blog hop!

    • Marie, I have to say, I don’t really pay attention much to new popular music these days (a matter of time), but knowing Garth Brooks is a country/western singer, I’ll admit I’m surprised! Pleasantly! Thank you for sharing that little gem, and I’ll enter you into the contest, too.

  11. Dorome

    Great post!
    Behind Closed Doors by Matt Fishel came to my mind imidiately.

    • Okay, another one I’d never heard, only because I’m backward, more or less. 🙂 But I went and listened to it. Right on. Yes. Perfect. Thank you so much for sharing. And, you are incidentally entered into the contest, Dorome.

  12. You’re so right. It will take at least a generation for public opinion to shift and although we’re seeing progress, I don’t think there will be a time when EVERYONE sees gay marriage as ‘normal’. But I do keep my hopes up.
    Thanks for participating in this hop, Lou!

  13. You’ve made some really good points. We still have a long way to go, but I’m enjoying celebrating the small successes along the way. One of my favorite “take that, homophobes!” scenes is from Glee, season one, episode 20, when Kurt’s father stands up for him against his soon-to-be step-brother for using gay slurs.

    • Hi, Madison, I’m probably one of the few people in the world who hasn’t seen Glee, just because I hardly ever watch TV, but that sounds like a moment to remember. Thanks, (in the drawing…)

  14. Trix

    I always liked Bis’ “Tell It To The Kids”–sassy Scottish high-schooler Manda Rin yelling “Hey you, homophobe! Life without your frontal lobe/Your prejudice lies while innocents die,” behind some very catchy (if rather techno) indiepop. Nobody gave them many props for it because they were a bunch of teenagers who also loved video games and cartoons, but the lyric sticks in my head 16 years later.

  15. Oh, and how could I not mention Lily Allen’s song “F*ck You (Very Much)” in which she sings:

    So you say
    It’s not okay to be gay
    Well I think you’re just evil
    You’re just some racist who can’t tie my laces
    Your point of view is medieval

    Video:

  16. We’re watching history being made.
    I’m really happy change is happenning, somewhere. (Even if it isn’t my country)

  17. Inosha

    Did my earlier comment get through. I’m just glad change is happening in some part of the world, even if it’s not mine.

    But history is being made. Glad to be a part of it.

    • Got ’em both, Inosha! Thanks for coming and commenting. (I had to put my comments on moderation because of spammers, so I apologize if it seemed to be a delay. Usually, once you’ve had one approved comment, you can post directly.)

  18. I hate to toot my own horn, such as it is, but I still get a dark chuckle out of a scene in Infected: Shift, where a bunch of extremely stupid skinheads try and start some shit with Roan while he’s talking to a client and some of his friends … who are hockey players. They assume they’re gay as well (only one is, and he’s closeted). Needless to say, this doesn’t end well for the skinheads at all.

  19. andreaspeed

    I hate to toot my own horn, but I still get a dark chuckle out of a scene in Infected: Shift, where a bunch of skinheads decide to start some shit with Roan when he’s talking to a client and some of his friends, who are hockey players for a local team. The skinheads assume they’re gay, even though they’re (mostly) not. This does not end well for the skinheads, as you might imagine.

    • Toot away, Andrea! I tooted my characters’ horns right there in the post! What is a fiction writer for? No, seriously, I think it’s a great example!

  20. annebarwell

    I’m currently reading the latest in Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series. Jules Cassidy is a main player in her series and is a FBI agent who kicks arse. One of my favourite scenes in the book (Force of Nature) where he and Robin – now his husband – finally get together is when they’ve just been through hell and Robin (a movie star) outs himself by kissing Jules in front of a news helicopter or as Jules puts it ‘right in front of the whole, wide world’.

  21. Beth

    There are too many characters in GLBT literature to choose from so I think that I will choose from TV. I loved the show The New Normal. I thought that the show touched on some really important issues in our society and I am really disappointed that they did not get the ratings they needed to stay on the air. But Bryan and David are still my favorite gay TV characters ever.

    I think that one of my favorite scenes in the show was in episode 3 when Bryan yells at a man who yells at him for kissing David in the store. I don’t think that I could accurately convey that in a blog post but I encourage everyone to go look it up.

    Thank you so much for your post and doing the hop.

    • That sounds great, Beth! As I said above I hardly ever watch TV, so I’m always in the dark about these things, but this sounds worth watching. Thanks for your comment! You are also, incidentally, in the drawing.

  22. Jana

    What a great post. Oddly enough most of the books I’ve been reading haven’t actually included a hater put in their place scene but like Marie, I do love that song by Garth Brooks, We Shall Be Free especially since it caused him a lot of trouble, radio stations refusing to play it, people outraged and he stood by it (it also promoted freedom of religion and equality for all, apparently some very dangerous notions for some).

    • Wow, Jana (and Marie) I had no idea about this song. I will have to seek it out as well as possibly some news bits about it. Integrity will show itself. Very good to hear. Thanks for commenting! (You’re in the drawing).
      🙂

      • Jana

        It’s really only one line ‘free to love anyone you choose’ but the implications are obvious

  23. Nancy S

    I have to agree with Trix, just loved that scene in Little Squirrels. Thanks for hopping.

    • Nancy, I think I didn’t reply to this comment! I’m sorry! Thanks for participating, and for seconding the mention of Little Squirrels. You are in the drawing.
      Lou

  24. Trix

    I’ve shied away from this one all week, but it won’t leave my head (and I admit it was the first one I thought of). There was an episode of (the US) QUEER AS FOLK where two characters went to church, and the minister did a full-on reading from Leviticus for the sermon. After the service, one of them (can’t remember who, though it wasn’t one of the regulars) starts chatting with the minister afterward. “Do you eat shrimp?” he asks. “Why yes, it’s my favorite!” the minister replies. The guy grins, and notes that there’s a passage in the same Leviticus chapter that calls eating shrimp an abomination: “So, if you can eat shrimp, then I can eat c*ck!” Just priceless.

  25. Crissy M

    Oooh…fictional characters who have put haters in their place? Hmmm…I love LB Gregg’s Men of Smithfield: Adam and Holden and the confrontation with the priest. And I just finished MJ O’Shae’s Finding Shelter…I adore Justin and the way he and his friends stand up to Justin’s homophobic father.

    • Crissy, thank you for stopping, reading, playing and mentioning those! I confess to not yet having read either, but they were both on my “I’d like to read that” radar, and now I think they’ll go on my list. And your name goes in the drawing… 🙂

  26. Jackie McKenzie

    I loved when James had his big coming out in The Haven House Coffee Boys by Amber Kell. He basically thumbed his nose at all the jocks and his dad, but did it quietly and with some class.

  27. Misha Tzerko in ‘Jude in Chains’ by KZ Snow

    lena.grey.iam@gmail.com

  28. Juliana

    My favorite character that puts people in their place is still Buffy! Not only was she tough & could kick butt, she also was accepting of her best friend, Willow, in her lesbian relationships. Thanks so much for your post in this blog hop! Such an important subject.
    OceanAkers @ aol.com

    • Thanks Juliana! I remember my daughter watching Buffy, and I ultimately decided she was a pretty fair role model! Nice reminder! (you are in the drawing, too.) 🙂

      Lou

  29. DebraG

    I have to say that my daughter is able to put people in their place. She does not care what anyone thinks. I love her attitude. We have come a long way but we are not there yet.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  30. sherry1969

    I know I’ve read some but right now I’m drawing a blank. I read some much that when I try to think of anything it seems like I’m getting a little bit from a couple of stories.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  31. Peggy

    I love in Amy Lane’s Chase in Shadow when Chase is finally like screw it I would rather be with someone I love than miserable.

    peggy1984 at live dot com

  32. Penumbra

    Greg in The British Devil putting Vivian, his boyfriend Danny’s homophobic christian mother in her place at the end of the book.

    Thanks for participating in this great hop!

    penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

  33. chickie434

    Thanks a bunch for sharing and participating!

    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

  34. And the winner is Penumbra! Congrats! You will hear from me shortly. Thanks to everyone for participating in the hop, reading my entry, and playing my game!
    Lou

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