Author Archives: lsylvestre

Grace Duncan on lighting up the darkness; Resist and Triumph charity anthology

Resist and Triumph AnthologyOnce upon a time in the not-too- distant past, there was an election. It scared most of us in the LGBT community, myself included. I remember vividly working my way through most of a fifth of Jameson the night of the election as the results came in.

The next month or so I spent a good deal of time fighting despair. I was sure things were going to get very, very ugly, but I didn’t know what to do. Many of my fellow authors were struggling with the same thoughts. And how in the hell do we right under that cloud?

It was quite obvious to me that we needed good stories more than ever—to escape the depression, to find home, to see the positive side of things. But how to write when our own emotions are in such turmoil?

At the same time the #Resist movement had been born. I realized it was good opportunity to help me focus in a positive direction and offer some up. Thus, the Resist & Triumph anthology was born.

My contribution to the anthology wasn’t exactly light for the whole thing. It was, in fact, quite dark. But I wanted to show that, if I can quote Dumbledore from the Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban
movie:

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest times if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

So, I thought maybe I should… turn on the light. Even with things are hard and scary and dark, there is light and I wanted to show that. We’ve had more than a few dark moments in the history of our country, but we made it out on the other side. With White Rabbit, I wanted to show that now, too, we can do that.

White Rabbit by Grace R. Duncan

“White Rabbit” is part of the Resist & Triumph Anthology

The unthinkable has happened. Seemingly in the blink of an eye, the United States has taken a giant leap backward in equality. Women have lost their rights. The government, having undergone a coup, has taken control with an iron fist.

And LGBT people are downright illegal.

New camps have been set up to “treat” LGBT folks and many are being turned in to be sent to one, even by their own families. When one of Josh’s students approaches him to explain he’ll be leaving– running to hide– Josh can’t resist helping. He takes Andy home and, with the help of his partners Keith, Lainey, and Sara, comes up with a plan for getting Andy to safety.

Despite the high potential for disaster, they’re determined to keep Andy out of the camps. If they succeed, though, they could make a bigger difference than any of them could possibly imagine.

_____________________

As 2017 opened, the United States took several steps back in the progress toward equality. In response, a group of authors has stepped up to offer positive stories of hope and love. In an effort to help fight and support those groups who are facing even greater challenges, we wrote these stories to offer a small amount of aid.

Stories of hope, resistance, and ultimately triumph fill the pages of this anthology. All proceeds of the anthology go to The Trevor Project and GLAAD to help fight the effects of the dark times we’re facing.

BuyResist and Triumph here:
https://www.amazon.com/Resist-Triumph- Grace-R- Duncan-ebook/dp/B078NKHVCK>

Author bio:
Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age—many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica. A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind. As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

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Filed under #Resist, Author, homophobia, just a category, New Release

Lou Sylvre’s Word of the day: Upcoming

Upcoming. Seriously, I love that word. Its dictionary meaning—stuff that’s going to happen—has a connotation of anticipation rather than anxiety. But in my mind it also signals an expectation of things getting better—up coming, coming up, like climbing a ladder, like your star being on the rise, like ascending, maybe even like transcending.

Well, that’s all spiffy, but it isn’t what this post is about. This post is about what’s coming up for me—Lou Sylvre—and for sylvre.com. This year of 2018, which I’ll venture to call new even though a couple weeks have flown since it’s birth, seems for me to be about renewal, refreshment, re-energizing, and I hope that’s going to show in my writing and my blogging.

On the writing horizon, I’m excited about a few things, preliminary though they may be:

I’ve got the series starring Jackie Vasquez and Brian Harrison out to a publisher for consideration. Two of those books are written, one underway, and another one planned. Fingers presently crossed, but one way or another, I hope to get these stories—stories quite a few readers have asked for—out there and available.

Each of the three nights that had passed since Brian left for LA, lying in bed alone looking out at the Nebraska winter, Jackie missed Brian so much it hurt. Missed the smell of him, missed his weight creating a dent in the mattress next to him that Jackie couldn’t help but roll into, so that regardless of how far apart they started when they said good night, in the darkest hour he always found himself right up against Brian, usually ensconced in his arms. Safe.
He’d learned enough to know that he couldn’t entrust his safety to another, not really. He was his own responsibility—and he knew himself to be capable of meeting it. Still, in Brian’s arms was his favorite place to be, especially around two a.m. So when he woke deep in the darkness alone half a continent away from Brian, he ached for the man.

Writing partner Anne Barwell and I have finally got down to brass tacks with our Scottish historical fantasy romance, The Harp and the Sea. We’re on target to finish the writing in the first half of 2018, and (drops voice to a whisper) one top-notch publisher has already expressed interest.

“Ian, please. You see, before, always when I got into this boat, I did so because I wanted… needed to get away. And always I woke up many years later, many miles distant.” He forced his voice into what surely must seem like anger, but it was no more than determination. “Sir, I do not want to wake up away in the future, I want to wake with you. I am so afraid to climb in that boat that I cannot make my limbs move.”

A couple of brand new characters introduced themselves to me and demanded their story! It turns out to be a holiday story. I’m calling it The Holiday Home Hotel. I’ve got a publisher interested (though again, it’s preliminary) for a possible 2019 debut. Yes, 2018 would be better, but I’m happy with the encouraging “maybe” I already have. Meanwhile, I’m loving the characters and enjoying the writing.

As he walked back to the table where his friends sat waiting, with applause for his performance echoing in his ears, Daren felt power coursing through his veins. He was high on it as he’d never been before, and the feeling so far surpassed the booze that Gunny had tried to get him drunk on that he didn’t even want to sit back down. He needed to move.

“Let’s go,” he said, looking at Jimmy but oh-so-aware of Gunny’s hungry look. Daren didn’t know what that look really meant, but he liked it, and he thought he might have just made a discovery about himself that had been a long time coming.

Or maybe several discoveries, all because he liked that look. A lot. He liked knowing he’d affected Gunny by his drag Karaoke—by his look and his voice and his walk, all of which were different from, but somehow part of, everyday Daren. He liked that it made him want to get up next to Gunny and move, and he loved the feeling—the certainty—that Gunny would want that too.

I have a few other things queued up, and I’m hoping I can get some things out for readers this year, but in case I don’t, as Lou Sylvre, I do have something coming up in YA from Harmony Ink under my alternate pen name, Lou Hoffmann. Here’s a bit from Ciarrah’s Light, book 3 of The Sun Child Chronicles, which is destined for release in October.

“How’s your leg, Uncle?”

“It hurts,” Han said after swallowing a mouthful. “But it’s better, and I’m not feverish. You did a good job, Luccan.”

Lucky’s heart lightened a little, both with the news and the praise, although it made him feel a little awkward. In an effort to get past that, he chewed attentively for a moment, noticing the meat was either surprisingly flavorful or well-seasoned by hunger. He swallowed, took a sip of water, and returned his mind to practical matters. “You think it’ll be okay until we get back to the Sisterhold?”

Han took a deep breath. “With Behl’s help, yes.”

Lucky pushed his hair back and scratched at the back of his head to help him think. After a quiet moment, he spoke up to share what was on his mind. “Han? Uh, you know…. K’ormahk is magic, right?”

“Well, yes, in a way. I mean, the winged horses are a natural species, but like dragons—some dragons—they have a magic of their own. What are you thinking?”

“You know when we were on the ridge? I called him somehow, and there he was. All the way from Morrow’s lands—which isn’t even part of Ethra, really, from what Morrow said. So, if K’ormahk could do that, maybe if I asked him to he could just, um, transfer us to the Sisterhold. What do you think?”

“Makes sense,” Han said, his warm, dark amber eyes crinkling with his smile. “Worth a try!”

K’ormahk proved even more magical than Lucky had suspected. After they loaded up, before Lucky even had a chance to put his request into word or thought, the huge black horse turned his head back to flash a suspiciously twinkling eye at Lucky, and they were off.

The time they flew certainly was no more than minutes, but the flight was so breathtaking Lucky felt it was worth an eternity. They rode straight through stars clustered in colorful nebulae—Lucky was sure that was true, though he would have been at a loss to explain how they could do that and never even have trouble breathing. Stars were born all around them like the greatest ever fireworks display in slow motion. Lucky even heard a kind of music, a wavering and weaving discord like battling electric guitars but eerie and enchanting.

But things are coming for this blog, too. Some of you who’ve been around for a while may remember the author features I used to post a couple times per month. If you’re not familir or don’t remember, maybe check out the archives. Sylvre.com featured such authors as Andrew Grey, Ariel Tachna, Sjd Peterson, Tj Klune, Rhys Ford, and many more. At some point, life kicked me out of pocket and those posts and other good things slowed to a crawl and all but stopped. This year, the features will be back—I’m hoping for one per month. Next week on January 23rd, I’ve got Grace R. Duncan slated, and then in February, J. Scott Coatsworth. Exciting times for me, and I hope you’ll ‘tune in.’

In other news, I’m hopeful that the Authors Speak Newsletter will kick off within a couple of months, and then we’ll be quarterly after that. Just like on the Authors Speak blog (now cocooned to transform into a newsletter), we’ll have thoughtful articles from various authors and maybe readers, too, as well as book and event announcements and more. I’ll announce it here when it’s out, but if you want to be sure to get a copy of the first addition, register with your email at the Authors Speak blog page

You can still catch my monthly blogs at Love Bytes—I love blogging there, and frequently have great discussion with readers in comments. Starting something new, too—I’ll be honored to appear with a quarterly post on the Queer Romance Ink blog.

I’m adding a couple of new fixtures here on sylvre.com: A page that will list links to all my blogs, and a front page widget that gives the reading order for all my books in a series.

I sound busy, don’t I? I’ve got more percolating, so time will just have to stretch for me. No problem, right?

Thanks for reading. I look forward to seeing you a lot more often in the months to come. In case you don’t know it, I love comments! Sometimes I even bribe readers with a contest for them, but this time, I’ll just say, hey, I’d love to hear your thoughts about anything in this post, or about your plans for 2018. Otherwise, I’ll see you soon.

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Filed under A Shot of J&B, featured authors, just a category, Lou Hoffmann, Lou Sylvre, M/M romance, News, Vasquez Security TNG

World of Love—New Zealand, *Sunset at Pencarrow* by Sylvre and Barwell coming in June!

Dreamspinner World of Love Collection emblem
Co-author Anne Barwell and I are delighted with the scheduled publication date June 7, 2017 for our novella, Sunset at Pencarrow, which will represent New Zealand in the Dreamspinner Press World of Love collection. For a look at the stories already released, go here. We have had a sneak peak at our cover image, made by exceptional artist Reese Dante—stay tuned for the big reveal, most likely on May 9th. Meanwhile, how about the blurb and a couple of images that helped us with inspiration as we wrote this story of international romance.

Kiwi Nathaniel Dunn is in a fighting mood, but how does a man fight Wellington’s famous fog? In the last year, Nate’s lost his longtime lover to boredom and his ten-year job to the economy. Now he’s found a golden opportunity for employment where he can even use his artistic talent, but to get the job, he has to get to Christchurch today. Heavy fog means no flight, and the ticket agent is ignoring him to fawn over a beautiful but annoying, overly polite American man.

Rusty Beaumont can deal with a canceled flight, but the pushy Kiwi at the ticket counter is making it difficult for him to stay cool. The guy rubs him all the wrong ways despite his sexy working-man look, which Rusty notices even though he’s not looking for a man to replace the fiancé who died two years ago. Yet when they’re forced to share a table at the crowded airport café, Nate reveals the kind heart behind his grumpy façade. An earthquake, sex in the bush, and visits from Nate’s belligerent ex turn a day of sightseeing into a slippery slope that just might land them in love.

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(NZ photo one: By Phillip Capper from Wellington, New Zealand – Misty suburbs and the Orongorongos, Wellington, New Zealand, 1 July 2006, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17726972)
(NZ photo two: By Phillip Capper from Wellington, New Zealand – Pencarrow Head, Wellington, New Zealand from ‘Santa Regina’, 24 Feb. 2007, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2893263)

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Filed under authors, just a category, Lou Sylvre, M/M romance, Upcoming release

Falling Snow on Snow Tour Schedule

fallingsnowonsnow Hello everybody. Stopping by the home blog to post the schedule for my blog tour for Falling Snow on Snow, a holiday novella releasing on 12/23 from Dreamspinner Press. I’m excited about this book, a contemporary romance with characters who made me fall in love with them while writing. (I hate/love it when that happens.) Falling Snow on Snow is up for preorder now and I’m on tour. Links are below, and a rafflecopter giveaway, with a couple of chances to win the book, and more.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you’ll join me on the tour! Thanks for reading!
cropped-icon-sylvredotcom-1.jpg

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Filed under Dreamspinner Press, Falling Snow on Snow, just a category, Lou Sylvre, M/M romance, New Release

Happy Holidays Blog Hop! A list of lists and a giveaway from Lou Sylvre

author-happy-holidays-hop-2016
Hello, and welcome to my post for the style: color;maroon>Happy Holidays Blog Hop! I decided to keep it simple, and post a short list of short (holiday-flavored) lists. That’s coming right up. I’ve also got a little Lou Sylvre news and info, and a prize drawing and teensy swag offer for Holiday Hoppers. For more holiday-style goodness, check out the other bloggers in the hop, listed right here at this link to the blog of our host, Nikki J. Markus..

Now to the lists!

My three favorite things about the holiday season (not counting being with people I love, because that goes without saying):
(The first list.)

  • Lights! Or perhaps I should say “light,” because winter is soooooo dark. It would be different if I lived in the southern hemisphere, I suppose, and I don’t’ think I felt this way growing up in Southern California, where it never gets quite as dark in December as it is here, a mere thousand miles north in Washington. Our daylight hours here are pathetically short for the months bracketing the solstice, and the low-angled sunlight often hides behind cloudy skies. Holiday lights and candle flames truly “make the season bright,” and it’s a life-saver.
  • Pajamas. No seriously. It’s a family tradition to gather on the day of our celebration for breakfast. The rule is pajamas. No one is allowed to be dressed in actual street clothes, even if driving many miles to get to the gathering. This is my rule, and since I’m the grandma, well, it goes. I’d make allowance for guests, but generally speaking, those outside our immediate family who have chosen to join us are perfectly willing to get into the spirit, and they wear pajamas too. In fact, they often wear the silliest pair.
  • BreakfastWe have lots of food. I no longer have to cook it all. We all manage to squeeze in at the round table . Those are all good things. But my favorite part about the day is German pancakes—that’s what we call them, and they’re reasonably close to what I’ve seen called a German pancake in the few restaurants that have them on the menu. But this is a family recipe. Interestingly, my mother, who was from Germany and came to the US as my father’s bride when he was stationed in Frankfurt in the late 1940s, had never seen such a pancake in her homeland. She learned the recipe from her mother-in-law, whose heritage was a mix of Native and French Canadian. Regardless of whether they’re German, they’re darn good eating, a hefty version of a large crepe, which can be eaten with maple syrup, or rolled up with jam (or whatever) inside. They were always a treat when I was growing up, and now the big treat for me is to see not only my children, but my grandchildren devour them.

(The second list)

Three lists of holiday books (a list of lists in a list of lists):

  • On Goodreads, “Best Gay Winter-ish Holiday Romance”. I love the title, and this is a great big list, with more than 250 books.
  • M/M Holiday Delights.”This is more than a list, really. A long series of cover-blurb-link type posts hosted by Melyna on her beautiful Books, Coffee, and Captured Moments blog. Delight-full. (heh!)
  • My own tiny list, right here:The Christmas Wager by Jamie Fessenden, Finn’s Christmas by Angel Martinez, and (yes, of course I’m going to put my own book in here!) Falling Snow on Snow by Lou Sylvre.

(The third list)

Four winter holidays, with a tradition and song to go with each

falling-snow-on-snow-descriptive-graphic
That’s it for my holiday bloghop entry. Comment by 12/21 with a tiny winter list of your own and enter win a $10 GC for the Dreamspinner Press catalog.

Some Lou Sylvre news: Falling Snow on Snowreleases 12/23 from Dreamspinner, available for preorder now, and I’m on a blog tour! Start here at MM Good Book Reviews blog for day one (yesterday), and get all the links for preorder and for the rest of the tour. While you’re there enter the blog tour giveaway, too! Here’s a review by Mt Snow on Rainbow Gold Reviews.

a-cup-of-kindness-vignette-12-16-print-cvr One last special thing. I’m giving away a litte, itsy-bitsy holiday Vasquez and James Universe vignette, available online at Love Bytes blog, or get a printed and signed copy. If you trust me with your mailing address (I won’t abuse it), write me at lou.sylvre@gmail.com, and I’ll mail you a copy.

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Filed under blog hop, Contests, just a category, Lou Sylvre

Rainbow Snippet from Falling Snow on Snow—expected winter release from Dreamspinner

rainbow blend heart goo ftuos5709280823_c133084bce_z

Hi readers! I’m trying, this month, to catch up with a few of the things that I’ve fallen behind on, and one of them is “Rainbow Snippets”, a brainchild of author Charley Descoteaux. The idea is for lots of authors to post snippets and link them to the associated Rainbow Snippets Facebook group. Click that link, and from there link to dozens of authors posts. It’s a great way to shop for a book that hooks you, and believe me, many of them will do just that with only a few words. Go see for yourself—but not before you check out my contribution this month, please!

I’m happy to spread the news here that this holiday-themed contemporary romance is accepted by Dreamspinner Press for release this winter. Here’s the snippet, blurb to follow:

The scene is inside Pike Place Market in Seattle, pre-Christmas, and guitar-playing busker Beck Justice is playing something rare—a holiday song he likes—even though he knows it won’t bring the big tips. And as he plays, an unseen singer joins in.

Snow on Snow guitarist market

Beck wasn’t, in fact, a man of religion. And though he admitted the possibility that something more existed than what could be seen, the closest he knew to spirit lived right there, in the music. In the tones born in the body of a fine guitar, the passage of breath through the vein of a flute. In the flight of sound on the wings of a perfect voice. Like this one.

“Snow was falling, snow on snow.” The singer wove the words over and under the harmonies he offered up with fingers and strings, turned them into something different, something more.

The song ended, as all songs do. But this time, when the words stopped and the echoes died away, Beck felt a thrill of panic, for he still hadn’t located the singer. What if he never found them, never again heard that soaring voice, never looked into the eyes of the man who sang.

The blurb:

For Beck Justice, December is black-hearted and cruel. It’s been that way for a long time, since before he found himself on the streets eight years ago. His recent step up into a tiny apartment and a Busker’s permit for Seattle’s Pike Place Market has done nothing to change his mind. When singer Oleg Abramov comes into his life, Beck begins to think there might be light in the middle of the bleak winter, but his efforts to get to know Oleg are blocked at every turn—mostly by happenstance, but also by his own fears.

Oleg wants Beck in his life, but when he opens up to let Beck into his heart, Beck disappears. Finally, things begin to look brighter for a possible future with the two of them in it together, until Oleg overhears a phone conversation and jumps to the wrong conclusion. It spells the end for their romance unless they both risk their hearts to trust.

logo web (smaller) jpg

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Filed under Dreamspinner Press, Falling Snow on Snow, just a category, Lou Sylvre, M/M romance, Rainbow Snippets, Upcoming release

The Vasquez and James iBooks bundle—available now!

Here’s the link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1119228592

Vasquez and James iBooks bundle graphic

Okay, really it’s the Dreamspinner Press bundle, available from iBooks!

Loving Luki Vasquez: Reclusive weaver Sonny Bly James and ex-ATF agent and all-around badass Luki Vasquez can run from desire, but they can’t hide from the evil that hunts them. Sonny and Luki will have to call a truce and work together to fight an enemy intent on making sure loving Luki Vasquez is the last mistake Sonny will ever make.

Delsyn’s Blues: While dealing with newly formed barriers between them, Sonny and Luki become the target of a new threat from outside: an escalating and unexplainable rash of break-ins and assaults.

Finding Jackie: When Luki’s teenage nephew, Jackie, is lured into capture and torture by a sadistic killer, the honeymoon is well and truly over. The couple must put aside their differences to find Jackie before it’s too late.

Saving Sonny James: The events of the last couple of years have begun to catch up with Luki, who must break free of the subsequent PTSD and depression and get to France fit and ready in time to save his husband’s life.—Because of Jade: Luki and Sonny must combat self-doubt and fear and help each other learn to parent an unexpected child—and they must also nourish the love that has kept them whole for the past ten years.

Yes: From their first days together, Sonny and Luki stood united against deadly enemies and prevailed. But now the deadly enemy they face is the cancer thriving inside Luki, consuming his lungs.

A Shot of J&B: Six years ago, Brian Harrison helped save the life of Jackie Vasquez, and he’s never really forgotten him. Now Jackie has become a man, and when they meet again by chance, lust shows every sign of growing into love, deep and true. A case from Brian’s police job with Scotland Yard, however, places Jackie in mortal danger.

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Filed under just a category, Lou Sylvre, M/M romance, News, Vasquez & James

Looking for Elizabeth Noble’s Ringed Love Blog Tour?

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. RingedLove_headerbanner

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by | May 27, 2016 · 2:58 pm

IDAHOT Hop for Visibility, Awareness, and Equality, take 2—an apology and thoughts about self-knowledge

Hi again. This will be a short and sweet afterthought to my original 2016 hop post. Here I address something different, and personal.
HAPHOBIAUMBRELLA2016

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.
BiRaindrop

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.

Cool.

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.

Frankly, I’ve decided that admitting I had to go through this process is like a coming out for me. I’m hoping by talking about it, others will be encouraged to examine their beliefs and prejudices (we all have them), to adjust lifelong thinking, to understand that such work is not only okay, but for many of us a necessary part of growing into the kind of people who can consistently squash hate under the weight of love.

Found this on Pinterest (and I agree):

FEAR False Evidence Appearing Real

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Filed under Biphobia, IDAHOT Blog Hop, just a category, Lou Sylvre

Hopping for Visibility, Awareness, and Equality—Focus: Visibility (Or, on peeing in North Carolina and such)

Hello! It’s IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia), and I’m here (with the rest of the hop bloggers and readers) to talk about visibility, awareness, and equality.HAPHOBIAUMBRELLA2016

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.”

~~Bruce Springsteen

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.

© Brian Ach, Invision/AP

© Brian Ach, Invision/AP

“Goodbye gender.”

~~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!)

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Filed under blog hop, Contests, homophobia, IDAHOT Blog Hop, just a category, Transphobia