Thanks to the awesome folks at Queer Town Abbey for organizing this hop! Over 40 writers of LGBTQ fiction have banded together to celebrate the march toward independence around the world!
What’s a blog hop without prizes? A lot less fun, for one thing! Comment on my blog and answer the question for an entry in the Grand Prize drawing, and throw your name in the hat (okay, random number generator) for my prize—a $10 gift certificate to Dreamspinner Press!
I’m the bi mother of a trans lesbian.
Try saying that three times fast! 🙂 In all seriousness, it’s not easy coming out—not for anyone I’ve ever discussed it with, anyway—you never really know how someone will react until the moment they have to. I’ve done it many times over the years, and in many different ways, but the one thing that hasn’t changed is that coming out as a bisexual instantly turns you into a teacher. The same goes for having a child who’s trans. Even a casual reference at an LGBTQ workshop can turn into an extended Q&A session. I guess it’s not surprising, when even respected activists don’t understand what it means to be bi.
While I don’t claim to be speaking for everyone who identifies as bisexual, I’ve talked to quite a few over the years and there are some things we agree on. So here goes—
Bisexuals are not monosexual, meaning we’re emotionally and physically attracted to more than one gender. Sounds simple, but a lot of crazy ideas have been attached to that very simple concept—none of which I’ll repeat here. I’ll just say that someone’s gender identity or expression usually has as much to do with who I’m attracted to as which public washroom their mother told them to use when they were five.
And there you go—this is the only thing that’s different about us. In every other way we’re the same as lesbians and gay men and straight allies. Some of us are kind and some of us are jerks; some of us are faithful to our partners and others aren’t; some of us experience fluidity in our orientation at some point in our lives and just as many don’t. We’re all individuals—some of us are freaky and some are so normal it’ll make your teeth hurt (because of all the cookies they bake for their kids—what did you think I meant?).
I’ve been writing fiction with queer characters either in starring or supporting roles since the 1980s. I didn’t start seeking publication until the mid-90s, but that was still too early for mainstream publishers so most of it was rejected. Some of those stories found homes once I changed or deleted the “objectionable” bits (first as an experiment and later with resignation and not a little bit of rage). I don’t have to do that anymore, and am over the moon with the way attitudes have changed. The internet is home to an amazing and accepting community, and I appreciate all of you who make it that way. We still have a long way to go, but every baby step gives me hope.
One more piece of business—the question. Answer this in one word or less: What part of the LGBTQ alphabet soup applies to me?
Okay, now I’ve finished with the serious part—on to the fun part! I’ve already celebrated one release this summer, and on July 7th I get to do it again. My Amber Allure release A Sunday Kind of Love is the story of Jake, and how his life opens up when he reconnects with his past.
A Sunday Kind of Love, by Charley Descoteaux
How many second chances can one man expect?
Jake McKynnie, middle-aged jazz musician, has the chops to solo—in every sense of the word. He’s living a lonely life in LA, convinced that’s the best he can expect. DJ, the boy who calls him Dad, turns up the day after his high school graduation like a sucker punch from the past. Could their celebratory trip to the salon be the catalyst for Jake’s duet with the enigmatic stylist, Mason?
Excerpt (Rated R):
Jake ducked back into the salon and almost ran into Antonio. “Thanks for taking care of him on such short notice. You’re the best.”
“You’re right about that.” Antonio kissed Jake’s cheek and leaned back to look at him. “And it was no notice, but who’s counting. You okay?”
Jake ran a shaky hand through his own short hair which, if he were completely honest, felt just that side of shaggy. “Will be. Didn’t expect to see him today.”
“If you need someone to talk to you just call me, honey.” Antonio hugged Jake hard for a short moment and then released him and gave him a significant look. “We’ll get coffee.”
“Hope I didn’t tick off your neighbor by monopolizing his chair.”
Antonio grinned so loudly Jake had to turn away.
“I’m sure Mase didn’t mind. You know he gets all drooly over hard-bodied men with tattoos.” He traced the Celtic braid encircling Jake’s left biceps. “And you have tattoos. Mase! Mason, come over here and tell Jake you don’t mind he grabbed your seat.”
Jake watched Mason stalk across the room and pass Antonio going the other way. Antonio must’ve winked or signaled him somehow because Mason’s step turned slinky as soon as he saw past him to Jake. Mason looked hot all in black, leather pants and a sleeveless shirt that wasn’t quite see-through. He could’ve lost the leather bands around his biceps as far as Jake was concerned, but that was the only fault he could find without more time.
“I don’t remember you grabbing anything.” Mason shamelessly looked Jake over.
They’d met before but Jake didn’t think the other man remembered him from the jazz club. Jake could name the month Mason had started at the salon, but for no reason he wanted to name he’d kept his distance.
Jake shook his head slowly and started walking toward the hall without thinking about it.
“Refresh my memory.” Mason took Jake’s hand and pulled him down the short hallway to the Men’s Room. Just inside the door he turned and pressed Jake against the wall, trapping him there with his body. His mouth began to work on Jake’s neck as his hands kneaded the muscles in his arms and shoulders. “You can grab my hair while you’re fucking my face.”
Thanks for reading, and for visiting my spot on the hop! Don’t forget to answer my question, and then click here or the hop button up top to return to the list and hop on!
Answer in one word or less: What part of the LGBTQ alphabet soup applies to me?
Check out my stop on The Romance Troupe’s Sizzling Summer Blog Hop for another steamy excerpt and another chance to win prizes!
I have this weird inclination to say “Sesame Street…brought to you by the letter B”
….wonders where my head is at O.o
*lol* Thanks, Lee, I needed that giggle this morning!
Yep, brought to you by the letter B and the number 4. 🙂
^^ i agree w/ lee 🙂
You’re a B! Now, as it’s Independence Day, I’m wondering how many of the “Founding Fathers” dipped into the LGBTQ alphabet soup? LOL.
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com
Ooh, good question, Catherine! Seems like there should’ve been at least one somewhere-just playing the odds. 🙂
Not sure about the “Founding Fathers”, but there was an interesting article in Salon a while back about our first gay president — I just looked up the url, if you’re interested: http://www.salon.com/2012/05/14/our_real_first_gay_president/
The answer is James Buchanan, but it’s worth reading the whole thing, which is fairly short.
B! (And, oh god, SO MUCH LOVE for the Sesame Street train.)
And so much love for this post in general. If it wasn’t on my monitor, I’d be drawing lines under all the parts I agree with it. But just to start:
I’ll just say that someone’s gender identity or expression usually has as much to do with who I’m attracted to as which public washroom their mother told them to use when they were five.
So much this! (Though, if I’m reading you right, I recently learned that ‘bi’ isn’t exactly the right word for people like us; there are moves towards calling this orientation pan-sexual. I can even understand the logic. But given the flak one can catch for admitting to being bi, I suspect trying to tell people you’re pan-sexual is just going to result in eye-rolling at how ~edgy~ you’re trying to be.)
And there you go—this is the only thing that’s different about us. In every other way we’re the same as lesbians and gay men and straight allies. Some of us are kind and some of us are jerks; some of us are faithful to our partners and others aren’t; some of us experience fluidity in our orientation at some point in our lives and just as many don’t.
Again, a refrain of ‘so much this’! Also, I’m both freaky, and willing to bake 😀
Hit enter too soon!
Hi Molly! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! *hugs*
The whole bi v pan debate is a touchy subject in some circles. I will say two things, though. 1. Everyone gets to identify the way they choose, and they shouldn’t be shamed or ridiculed (or anything else) for that choice. 2. I don’t see anything wrong with bisexual. I’ve identified that way since the 80s and it’s just who I am and what I’m comfortable with.
Okay #3: I’m not sure where the whole pan thing started, and maybe I’m just old & unhip, but to me it sounds like a mythological creature. I’m not part human and part animal–I’m a person who’s attracted to more than one gender &/or expression. *shrug*
So. I’ll be stepping off this soapbox now . . . I don’t want to cut in to your baking time too much because the world needs all the sweetness it can get. You’ll bring some to share, right? *lol*
Everyone gets to identify the way they choose, and they shouldn’t be shamed or ridiculed (or anything else) for that choice
I absolutely agree! I’ve only recently even learned the word, and I confess that I find it ill-fitting even though I’ve been using ‘bi’ for a significantly less time that you (I was barely born by the 80s). I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that the term itself is a touchy subject. I appreciate the heads up and will most definitely read up on it more.
And I didn’t feel like you were being soap-boxy at all — a gentle correction is much easier to live with than ignorance, and I am grateful for it. I am sincerely sorry for any offense I caused. It wasn’t intended.
(And sharing is pretty much my sole reason for baking, so for sure!)
Molly, I sure didn’t mean to sound like I thought you said anything wrong–so I apologize if it came off that way. You didn’t offend me in the least, hon — in fact, your comments made me a little misty. *hugs* I love it when people want to talk about how they identify and why & am always happy to meet another B!
If you like pan, you should use it! It’s all about what fits the best. 🙂
Oh, yay! I’m really glad to hear that.
As for bi vs pan, I’m still undecided. It’s so strange to be 30-something and only now start being confused — and not even about my orientation, just what to call it!
That would be B (and now every Sesame Street B song is popping around in my head, so I’m right there with you all)!
Hi Trix, great to see you! I know, right? I’m studying and I keep hearing the numbers in The Count’s voice. *lol*
Thanks for a great post and hop. Answer is Bi.
Thanks, Cornelia! 🙂
B is the answer.
Thanks for taking the time to participate in the hop and sharing your own story.
humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com
Thanks for stopping by & reading! 🙂
To misquote a comedian, You are a B, but, heaven help us, not a C! Thanks for hosting and I enjoyed the excerpt so much I going to read the next part. Doesn’t anyone know that I am too poor for my book addiction!
romanczukc AT yahoo DOT com
Thanks for the giggles, Cathy, and for the compliment! I hear you about having a book addiction. If not for free reads I’d be in big trouble some months! 🙂
Have a great weekend!
You identify as a B 🙂 Thanks for participating and for your interesting post.
Thanks for reading & commenting, Penumbra! 🙂
B is the answer. Thanks for the giveaway.
sstrode at scrtc dot com
Have a great weekend, Sherry–I hope you enjoy the hop! 🙂
The answer is B. I’m on the Sesame Street train as well. The fact that my daughter is currently watching it is making me giggle.
*lol* Yep, Sesame Street has so many layers of cool. 🙂
Thanks for playing!
I’m a straight mom of a trans male who may or may not be bi
He struggles every day with his gender identification and, still being in transition, confuses people especially when he has dr visits or other places, since he has a very feminine name. Eventually that will take care of itself, but is a bit hard now. He’s got my total support though. we will do what we have always done, figure it out together.
and I forgot to say that you identify as BI
Thanks for visiting me for the hop, Lena. It’s always cool to meet another mom who understands what it’s like.
I hope you & your family are having a great weekend! *hugs*
You identify as Bi. Thank you for your blog post and for participating in the hop!
Thanks for reading, Marie! And for playing along. 😀
I’m not surprised you end up being a teacher! There’s a wealth of information to be had at your hands here. B is your ‘letter’. ::-)
How much do I love people talking about their transgender kids! I don’t have anyone in my life who is, but I’m just very passionate about that part of the alphabet soup. There’s so many rights and misunderstandings still to be fought for, but just the fact that it is acknowledged and that parents are helping their kids through growing up just fills me with joy. Obviously, not all families are, but I hope that those kids will find help in the LGBTQ family online or in local groups.
Just in case anyone reads this and needs a link: http://www.transkidspurplerainbow.org/ I am so impressed by Jazz and her family’s role in helping and educating others.
So glad you were part of the hop, Charley, and I appreciate you sharing some of your story!
Thanks Carolyn! My kid is grown now, but will always be my kid. 🙂
Thanks for posting the link; orgs like this are popping up all over the place now and that’s another baby step in the right direction.
Charley, great post. Left a comment than obvi didn’t save, So will say it again, I remember you not being sure about posting this one before. Well done you finally did it. xxx Best of luck on your forthcoming release too.
Thanks for dropping in, Shey!
I smoothed out the rough edges first & it seems to have worked out well. 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing and participating. And the answer is B!
Thanks so much for sharing Charley, and for participating!
There is so much misunderstanding when it comes to the B in the LGBT, I’m glad you addressed it in your post.
OceanAkers @ aol.com