Today is Bisexual Character Day, in which three fabulous authors introduce you to their bisexual characters.
First up: Garrett Leigh
Hello! First of all I’d like to thank Charley for hosting me. Bi Pride is a wonderful event and I’m honored to be a part of it.
It took me a while to pull this post together. In my Roads series, both my main characters identify as bisexual (when they’re not being snippy about labels), so I figured I’d have no trouble getting either one of them to tell me what it meant to them.
Famous last words. I asked Ash, but he was having a bad day and didn’t feel like talking. All I got from him was a quote from Slide, and a polite request to leave him alone.
Gay. Huh. Those labels held too much power, like you were marked for life by a tiny little word, frozen within the restrictions of an umbrella you’d stood under too soon. Gay, straight, bi… what the hell did they even mean? Why couldn’t I just be me?
Bless him. Ash is a sensitive soul.
So, I turned to Pete. Man, that dude can be so ornery. I love Pete, I really do. The guy loves the bones off Ash, and the few others he lets close to him, but sometimes, he’s just an ass. I gave him a few prompts, based on a few comments thrown his way in Slide, and I got my response back in a snarky rant.
What can I say? Pete doesn’t care much for explaining himself, and I’d like to make it clear that Pete is a fictional character, and these views are his own. He has a rather unique way of looking at things, and he’s been through a lot.
“I don’t get it. Are you gay, or what?”
Man, if I had a dollar for every time I heard that shit. Gay, bi, whatever. Like I care. Who decided those teeny tiny words had the power to define me? To define anyone? Society likes labels, and bisexual is one that confuses most folk. They don’t understand, and they don’t want to. They just wanna put you in a box.
Why can’t you just decide?
Yeah. Because we all get to choose, right? Idiots. That would never work, least not for me. What if I chose wrong? You see, there was a period of my life a long-ass time ago when I believed I was straight. I was fourteen and I’d just seen my first pair of boobs. They looked like big squishy pillows and I wanted to touch them. Who wouldn’t? But if someone had told me that touching them meant I’d never be able to love the man I do now?
Nah. Can’t even think about it, ‘specially not right now. He’s sleeping, you see, and I kinda love watching him sleep.
You don’t look gay.
Translation: you don’t look like you take it up the ass. Another classic. What? You’re really gonna tell me being a scruffy motherfucker defines who I love? Next question.
Both? That’s just greedy.
If you say so. I like pizza and beer. Same thing? Yeah, you decide. My mom’s a catholic…one of those batshit crazy catholics who talks to her rosary beads. My buddy Mick reckons I’ve never defined myself as gay or straight because I don’t want to make her choose between me and God. Like, as long as a possibility of a chick still exists, fucking about with guys is okay. Bullshit. My momma knows I love the bones of Ash, and that’s all she ever wanted.
Must be how you were raised.
Not likely. I grew up with a dad who took me everywhere with him, when he was around, at least. Ball games, fishing. Smokey bars where he played card games with his friends. He took me with him because I wanted him to. Because I loved him, and doing all the things he loved doing. If I’d wanted to go to ballet class, he’d have taken me there too. Why? Because he loved me.
Ash never had any of that. For a long time he had nothing and no one. We’re different men, and it took me a long time to see the world through his eyes, but we fall the same way on this. We love who we love. No matter who, or what, they are.
I’m a man. I’m in love with a man. Does that make me gay, or bi, or just plain indecisive? I don’t think so. It makes me ME. I’m proud of who I am, and who I love.
Taken from Slide (Roads #1), the debut novel from Garrett Leigh. Available to preorder from Dreamspinner Press NOW. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4259
Slide (Roads #1)
Don’t look back. Don’t you ever look back…
Shy tattoo artist Ash has a troubled past. Years of neglect, drug abuse, and life on the streets have taken their toll, and sometimes it seems the deep, unspoken bond with his lover is the only balm for wounds he doesn’t quite understand.
Chicago paramedic Pete is warmth, love, and strength—things Ash never knew he could have, and never even knew he wanted until Pete showed him. But fate is a cruel, cruel mistress, and when nightmares collide with the present, their tentatively built world comes crashing down.
Traumatic events in Pete’s work life distance him from home, and he doesn’t realize until it’s too late that Ash has slipped away. Betrayal, secrets, and lies unfold, and when a devastating coincidence takes hold, Pete must fight with all he has to save the love of his life.
Marked (Roads #1.5)
Missing Moment from Slide…
It’s been six months since Ash shuffled into Pete’s life and turned his world upside down, and six months since they sat in an all-night diner plotting Ash’s theoretical solution for Pete’s faded, botched tattoo.
Pete has just about given up hope of Ash ever fulfilling his promise when one day the end of a long shift finds Ash waiting for him.
Tonight is the night.
Ash is ready, and it seems the time has come for him to leave his mark on Pete in more ways than he ever imagined.
Preorder now from Dreamspinner Press http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4305
Follow Garrett Leigh
Cover art enquiries: email@example.com