Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Will we ever learn-- The harsh realities of the MM genre

In the years that I’ve been writing I’ve seen a lot of crap. Last year at GRL a new to MM author, though not new to writing as she has multiple MF bestsellers under her belt, approached me and said, “Well it’s obvious I’m not part of the ‘in’ crowd.” She went on to tell me that she’d never felt so ostracized and left out of an author group as in a group of MM authors.

Two years ago the MM community decided to spread lies about Kindle Alexander and to this day people still believe those lies. Every time Kindle Alexander has a new release, her FB page gets reported. People treat her like crap and talk shit about her.

For a group that talks about equality, fighting for gay rights to marry, or not marry, or just exist without persecution, we sure don’t apply those same feelings or fight to make sure other people aren’t crucified. Kindle was judged harshly based on a lie that just won’t die. Readers like Kindle Alexander’s books, get over it.

Now, on to what this post is really about. A reader was recently thrown under the bus, and accusations of her being evil were tossed around FB like candy at a parade. Her biggest sin, she is a Christian. She has not reported anyone. She has never been hateful, but her family doesn’t know she’s bisexual. So as a community, the MM group decided to flay her. Congratulations, we’ve lost a reader.

Many new readers to the genre might be in situations where they CAN’T have their family find out that they read MM romance because then it would expose the truth that they are gay or bi. Yes, it’s a big beautiful world out there for gay people who are out and who have support, but not a week goes by that I don’t see a story of some guy or girl getting beat up because they are gay, bi, or trans, and that’s in the USA where we have some protections for gays.

Be kind. If you don’t like someone on FB, block them. Unless you have proof, please don’t treat others like this poor reader was treated. She’s done nothing wrong, other than try to hide the fact from her family that she is bi.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Growing Up Without a Choice

I’m 45, from small town Texas, and when I was younger there wasn’t a choice in what you were or who you could become. Girls were girls, and boys were boys, that was it, no other options. In my family, there were even fewer choices than what others had. My life was limited by the following parameters. I would make A+’s in school. I would wear a dress to church. If I wanted to go to college I would study something “respectable”, not art or writing. No talking at the dinner table. Act like a lady. Don’t lift weights because girls don’t lift. And I would do as I was told or else. I felt alone, lost, abandoned because the restrictions I was forced to live by felt wrong.

As soon as I was old enough to have any say in my life, I stopped going to church because I wasn’t going to wear a dress. As for college, I received my degree in business and went on to study engineering for my masters, but I write fiction books and make book covers for a living, so I have branched out in some ways. I did get all A’s in school because I didn’t have any other choices at the time. Now, I curse like a sailor, drink beer from a bottle, and act like myself instead of trying to be a perfect lady. I also lift weights and love it because everyone can lift.

Having no choice in life put me in an odd place where I hated myself, I hated my life, I hated everything. I never fit. I don’t get women and when I was younger I didn’t get girls. It’s not that I don’t like them, I don’t understand them. I’m not feminine and I have no desire to be. I don’t want to be a man either. I’m me. I don’t want to be a guy or a girly-girl, I want the chance to be me and not boxed in to what society expects because of my cis female appearance.

Maybe if I’d had choices growing up I would have lived differently, or maybe not, but it would have been my choice. Few people outside of my close circle of friends get what I’m talking about. Stop putting me in the box of woman, girl, lady—they don’t fit. I’m tired of being grouped with all ladies when marketed to just because I’m seen on paper as a woman. I’m sick of being spoken down to by politicians. I’m done with people assuming what I want to wear or hear, or watch, or talk about…But really, none of that matters. People who are stuck in their binary world with no options and no ability to even see outside of their perfectly square boxes will just dismiss me as another complaining bitch. They have no thoughts outside of what they are told to believe so I have no time for them.

This is for those of you who crave the freedom to be yourself. It takes courage to step outside of the box. Maybe you were born with cis female parts and don’t feel female but really don’t want to transition. You don’t have to. You need to be you. You will never be happy if you try to please others. It takes too much energy to live pleasing other people. I tried it for years and it wore me out. I can’t be what other people want me to be, only myself. I will never be what my father wants or fit into the narrow box the family I grew up with put me in. I’m me, and I’m not ever going to be someone else.

Choose your path. People given options might be like “whatever” but for others who weren’t given any options in life, break out. Stop living your life based on what other people choose for you. Embrace your queerness and be yourself, because in the end, living for others will only lead to disappointment.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

To all young gay, oppressed teens

Because of what I write I get a lot of letters from young women and men about things that happened in their past. Jack and Andrew’s story in the A Southern Thing series touches their hearts because they’ve been there. Every week I get a new note from a kid or adult who has lived through the pain and the punishment inflicted on them because they are gay.

Marriage equality is wonderful, but if you’re a young man or woman living in an oppressive family that is against being gay you may only hear negativity and condemnation about the “gay lifestyle.” Know that your life doesn’t have to be defined by a narrow definition of what some people call marriage or “right living.”

God doesn’t hate gay people. So called Christians will tell you differently, but know that much of the bible is interpreted and written to show a bias against gays. Investigate on your own. A good place to star is here Also Matthew Vines is another good place to find information.

You can be a Christian and gay. There isn’t a discordance, and you aren’t going to hell for being gay. Your life will get better, really it will, if you open your heart and move forward you’ll see that there are possibilities out there for you that exceed what you can dream up with your imagination. Stay safe and don’t lose hope. People care about you and about your future.


Sara York

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dear Glenn Beck and the 10,000 or so pastors willing to die if marriage equality becomes a reality

Dear Glenn Beck and the 10,000 or so pastors willing to die if marriage equality becomes a reality,

I was going to write a passionate letter about the good of marriage equality, but why bother. You don’t care.

10,000 pastors weren’t willing to die when it was found that children were being assaulted in your churches. And it’s not just the Catholics that abuse children, it’s the Jehovah Witnesses, the Methodist, and the Baptist, too. No one was willing to stand up and stop the abuse because you don’t care.

There weren’t 10,000 pastors who were willing to die when it came out that multiple pastors were having affairs, which happens to be much more damaging to marriage then two guys having sex. Why? Because you don’t care.

10,000 pastors aren’t willing to die for those who can’t afford to feed themselves. Instead, you want to let them die, or at least many candidates in the Republican party want that. Again it’s simply because you don’t care.

Pastors have shown over and over again that they don’t care if people in their congregations can’t make rent, only that you get a new tie, or boat, or that your suit is crisply pressed, or your car has new tires on it, or you get a plane, or you have the latest and greatest in sound design because God forbid, someone sitting at the back of your multimillion dollar, high-tech facility can’t hear you begging for money.

You simply don’t care about people because your version of Christianity isn’t about God or Jesus, but it’s about what makes you look good and you all know that money makes you look good. I’m not saying this from the outside, so don’t dismiss me as someone who hasn’t spent time on the inside of the sanctuary. I’ve taught bible study for years, sat in chair that cost a lot of money, listened to the high tech presentations, and heard you beg for money. It’s disgusting.

If you cared about what God or Jesus wanted, you would have stood up against child abuse. If you actually cared about what God or Jesus wanted you would have stood up against divorce. You would have stood up against men and women who rape instead of saying “Oh, think of how those boys lives will be ruined.” But you don’t give a damn as long as you have money. That’s what this comes down to. You don’t care if gay people exist, you just want people to give you money.

Church attendance is down and people aren’t giving. I used to tithe, but never again, not after seeing pastors refuse to help families who were in need, and especially not after seeing pastors take trips on the church dime to Australia and France. I won’t give to support your lavish lifestyles. You preach the bible, condemning those in your congregation, but you don’t live it.

You don’t really care about gay marriage, what you care about is the money you fear losing when people see your hypocrisy. So threaten the sky falling, the world ending, but nothing bad will happen. Kill yourself, go ahead, and guess what, that means there will be fewer bigots crowding our planet. We’ll have fewer people trying to make people’s lives hell, taking their money, making them feel small.

Sure, not all pastors are money grubbing jerks, but enough of you are that I’ll never give my money to any organized religion again, and certainly not to an organization that doesn’t support LGBT causes. Throw a fit, scream and threaten, but we all know you really just want money, nothing else, but money.

Sara York