Why Take The Road Less Traveled?

Hello and welcome! I’m participating in the Rainbow Review Blog Hop along with over 70 other authors and many of your favorite publishing companies.What does that mean for you? Follow the link back to the Blog List and discover the full extent of prizes up for grabs, as well as the links to all the other participants in the hop. Leave a comment with your email address on the various blog posts and you’ll be in the running to win books, gift coupons, and more! Not to mention you’ll read what brings writers in the GLBTQ community together from such diverse walks of life–some shared experiences will break your heart, others will make you laugh, and in still others, you might recognize your own life experience.

Do join the party as it plays on from August 24-26th!  It’s going to be a blast!

The contest is now closed. If you are reading this blog and wish to leave a comment, you are more than welcome (in fact, invited!) but the winner for the e-book giveaway is Sue (corieltauviqueen at yahoo dot co dot uk). Thanks for stopping by, everyone!  It’s been great chatting with you!

So why take the road less traveled, anyway? Why not move along with the herd–surely the majority knows best, right?  You want that broad, well-marked path to take you to the same destination that are your friends and neighbors are planning to go. You don’t want to get lost or be left out!

You know what’s cool about the road less traveled? It’s usually quieter. There’s less noise and bustle, fewer people crowding their way along the path you’ve chosen. There’s time to listen to the birdsong, and close your eyes to the feel of the sun on your face.

Just be sure to open them so you don’t face-plant in the mud.

I often get asked why I choose to write M/M romance. I’m certainly not a gay man. Technically, I’m not a member of the GLBTQ community, unless I count by being a supporter. I have a few friends that are true members; what I experience as a supporter is not the same. I could no more truly understand what it is like to be discriminated against and actively hated for my sexual identity than I could for being black, or disabled, or overweight, or Muslim—or any ‘group’ of people that another, larger group feels it is okay to revile. So why do I write this form of fiction instead of traditional romance anyway? Given the meteoric sales of 50 Shades of Gray, I could take what I do, which is write sexy stories about people finding their way to love, join the masses of other authors writing traditional romances and not look back, right?

I’m not going to fall back on the stock answer of ‘if one guy is hot, two together is even hotter!’ (Not that there’s not some truth to that for me as a writer!) I think that’s an easy answer designed to fit into the 140 characters that Twitter demands of us. Thanks, Twitter and Facebook, BTW, for teaching us to deliver every meaningful thought as a sound bite. Look at me, I even included the shorthand for ‘by the way’ here without thinking.

I can’t completely explain my fascination with M/M romance. There are lots of factors that go into it, and I’m sure psychologists would have a field day with the subject anyway, but the bottom line is that for me personally, reading my first M/M romance story felt like for the very first time I was reading adult fiction. It was a revelation and I couldn’t get enough of it. It probably didn’t hurt that I discovered it through fanfiction, and that I loved my pairing to the extent I would read *anything* I could get my hands on about them. Reading about them lead to writing about them, and what made that experience so special to me was the chemistry between the characters—and the fact that even though they loved one another, they didn’t lose their ability to function, they could still do their jobs. Oh sure, there were misunderstandings, but not on the scale that I saw in most romances, where a simple conversation between principles could have saved everyone a ton of grief.

MLR Press is about to release a book titled Why Straight Women Love Gay Romance, a series of interviews with women all over the world asking this very question. I have to say, I can’t wait to read it. I want to know more about the legions of readers out there just like me. Who love stories about two men finding love on what is usually a rocky road.

Certainly, in the big scheme of things, we know that authors write about subjects they may not have specific personal experience with because that’s what writers do. We write about cancer, blindness, and zombie apocalypses. Elves, trolls, and hobbits. Vampires (sparkling or otherwise) and werewolves; hell, shifters of all sorts. Life on other planets. So while sometimes I wonder if I am unfairly capitalizing on the pain and unhappiness that can sometimes go along with life in the GBLTQ community, I remind myself that we as writers transmute everything we experience and turn it into empathy with someone else’s life experience. Yes, there are those of us who understand isolation and bullying, even if it has nothing to do with our sexual orientation. We’ve been caretakers, even though our dying loved one might not have had AIDS. And I would go so far to say that as a woman, I can look at the war being fought over my reproductive rights and see correlations in the right of two men or two women to get married if they so desire.

Because the right of two people of the same sex to marry, or the right of a woman to have access to birth control, to be able to make health care decisions concerning her own body, both come down to the same thing. A larger, more powerful group is trying to make laws that make these decisions for us—without our input or approval.

I grew up just after the Civil Rights movement had fought and won some of its strongest battles. I was raised to believe I could choose any profession I desired, that I was not limited by gender. My biggest problem was the competition I faced from all the young women just like me entering my field for the first time. The ground had been broken by others before me. I foolishly believed that once these battles had been won, they were victories forever. It wasn’t until I left college that I ran into real gender discrimination for the first time and it staggered me. I thought that war had been fought and won—game over, dude!

I can remember being asked on my first farm call how I, as a 120 pound woman, would handle a 2,000 pound bull. I raised an eyebrow at my questioner.

“It doesn’t matter if I’m 120 or 220, the bull still outweighs me by a factor of ten. I’m going to do what any sensible person would do. I’m going to use a head chute and drugs.”

The response got me a certain amount of grudging respect. Unlike the salesman who refused to show me a car with a stick shift.

“Aw, now honey,” he said to me, trying to put his arm around me to steer me in the direction of the long line of automatics. “You don’t want to have to be thinkin’ while you’re driving, now do you?”

I ducked out from under his arm. “What I don’t want to do is pay an extra $1500 for a transmission I don’t need.”

Needless to say, he didn’t make a sale that day.

Years later, I read an account of the first women’s astronaut program—the Mercury 13—and discovered that when I was a child, a woman couldn’t rent a car in the U.S. without the signature of a male relative. Presumably so a woman could not leave her husband without the permission of a father or brother. Regardless of the reason, I was floored by this revelation. A woman could not legally rent a car without a man telling the rental company that it was okay for her to leave her home. Even reading these words now, I find them hard to believe. I see too, that I was on the cusp between one generation’s beliefs and the next. Thank God, my mother believed in two things more than anything else: her heroine, Amelia Earhart, and the power of books to change your world.

Yeah, the car rental thing boggled the mind, but there was worse to come. That was when I realized that civil rights were fluid, based entirely on the whims of the people we vote into power. That’s why I’m horrified when I see some of my friends on Facebook come out in support of people who are bound and determined to take those rights away from us. You know what? Someone show me how my access to affordable birth control through Planned Parenthood has any impact on the economy. Show me how prohibiting same sex marriage is a boon to the bottom line. Tell me how prohibiting same sex marriage is any different than prohibiting interracial marriage—and yet that particular form of discrimination would be unthinkable now.

Well, perhaps not in another twenty years. It depends on who we vote into power over us.

So yeah, that’s why to a certain extent, I do feel as though I am a part of the GLBTQ community. Because I am passionate in my belief in marriage equality. Because I believe that no one should have to hide who they really are for fear of being abused or worse. Because we are all people in this together. And if the road I journey is a little less traveled, that means I’ll have time to notice you and smile on the way. And you know what? If enough people walk a certain path, it becomes more clearly defined so that other travelers can find it as well.

For everyone who leaves a comment here today, your name will be in the running to win a signed, print copy of Crying for the Moon (restricted to the Continental U.S.) or your choice of an e-book from my backlist if you live overseas. Please leave your email in your comment if you wish to take part in the contest.

Coming Soon from MLR Press: Going for Gold, the Olympic-themed M/M anthology including Lightning in a Bottle, a novella by Sarah Madison. (Release date August 31, 2012)

 

72 thoughts on “Why Take The Road Less Traveled?

  1. Thanks for being part of the blog hop. I’m finding a lot of new-to-me authors and it’s interesting reading what their writing and characters mean to them.

    • I love being part of these hops as well! I love finding out more about my fellow authors, many of which are new to me, too. And I always love a good discussion about characters and writing!

  2. I’m looking to find new, to me, authors, and I’d love to be included in your draw. Thanks.
    Btw, I love the ‘one man good: two men better’ adage :-))

    • I’m glad to meet you, Zoe! Your name will go in the drawing. 🙂

      You know, I’m on board with the two men are better thing, and yet menage does nothing for me. Maybe because I always worry that one person will get less attention or something. I know, I should add a fourth! 😉

  3. i do agree you shouldn’t have to HIDE who you are. some of the nicest people i know are either gay or lesbian. i can also understand what some of them have gone through, having disabilities i have faced similar issues with discrimination so i am sympathetic and am the FIRST person to support my gay friends to the max

    parisfan_ca@yahoo.com

    • Laurie: I’m with you there! No one should have to hide who they really are. No one should have to live in *fear* of who they are.
      When a friend of mine moved from up North to my area many years ago, her teenaged son was attacked at a gas station and beaten up for ‘looking gay’. For his appearance, for the possibility that he might be ‘other’ than the good ol’ boys who live locally.

      Now mind you, I realize the concept of ‘tribes’ is hardwired into us–that teenage males have been roving in packs millienia, lashing out at anyone and anything that is not a member of the pack. We see it all the time, in religion, in politics, between nations and cultures.

      But my German Shepherd is hard-wired to chase things. And I don’t let him–and I give him other outlets for that energy. I don’t say, “Oh, he’s just a dog” and let him persist in behavior that is dangerous to him and others. We are not dogs or cavemen. We’re supposed to be better than that. This Us Against Them mentality is so potentially lethal because we’re not satisfied until the “Them” is eliminated. Kudos to you for standing up for your friends!

    • I do too! Only I get a little overwhelmed sometimes trying to keep up with all the blogs! Thank goodness we have three days this time–I might get them all read… 🙂

  4. I love men, and so I love the broader spectrum of personalities and experiences presented in m/m romance: not just control-freak het romance alpha males.

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

    • You make a very good point–when I first stumbled on M/M stories, I was like “Finally! Romance I can relate to!” Because either the heroes were, as you say, over-the-top alpha males (which sound fun on paper but yeesh, try to live with one!) or the normally intelligent heroine does stupid things that necessitate the hero stepping in to rescue her. And I HATE seeing a smart, savvy woman fall in love and suddenly be unable to cross the street without assistance.

      I loved that moment in Ever After, when the Prince rushes in to save Drew Barrymore’s Cinderella but she’s already making her way out of the castle because she saved herself. 🙂 I think we see dynamics closer to that in M/M romance over traditional het stories.

  5. I remember some guy telling me that as a woman I just couldn’t do the same things a man could do. When I pointed out that I had served in the military during a war, he got a funny look but said, “That’s fine. Nursing is woman’s job anyway.” I almost slapped him, nothing wrong with nursing, three of my five siblings are nurses, but I did radar/air traffic control and when I told him that, he got all silent. Sexist a-hole. I never did go out on a date with him again. *g*

    My point? I don’t like being told what I can and cannot do. I like to read, write and review m/m books. I also love het romances and have since I was 12. Quite frankly, I just like love stories.

    So, you keep writing and I’ll keep reading! Great post.

    • Man, you showed some restraint there! I suspect that you ran into that kind of behavior a lot in the military–I led a pretty sheltered life growing up and I was really taken aback the first time I ran into blatant sexism.

      I have to giggle though–you reminded me of another incident shortly after I entered the workforce. I had gone to an after-work party at a friend’s house–the kind of gathering where most of the people there didn’t know each other very well and introductions were made with a job title. I was standing in a circle, waiting for my drink, when it was my turn to speak. I said I was a veterinarian, and the guy on my right said, “What’s the matter, nursing school too difficult for you?”

      Of course now, I realize this was the equivalent of pulling my pigtails, but at the time, I just made the ‘ha-ha, you’re so funny face and turned to the person on my left. The conversation made its way around the circle again, and this time, people related what they’d done that day. When it was my turn again, before I could speak, Sexist Jerk pipes up and asks, “What did you do all day? Hold Fluffy’s paw?”

      “No,” I said,without skipping a beat. “I castrated thirty bull calves. And you?”

      He set his drink down without another word and walked away. *snicker*

      Ah, if only it was that easy to handle this kind of jerkish behavior all the time. 🙂

      I’ll definitely keep writing! If I had my way, that’s all I would do. 🙂

        • I swear to god, the blood left his face, he set down his glass on the counter and simply walked away. I realized later my ‘and you?’ could have been interpreted as ‘you next’ instead of ‘and how did you spend your day at work?’

          No regrets. 🙂

  6. My feeling is that there is not enough love in this world, so when two people can find love, why should it matter to anybody else what their race, gender, religion, height, weight, etc. is? Though I sure don’t mind reading about it, especially m/m. *waggles eyebrows*

    As for politics, it really pains me that fiscal conservatives (whom I agree with in principal) belong to the same party that also embraces the religious zealots who believe that THEIR way (whatever that is) is the one and only way. Hypocrisy and intolerance are what should be outlawed, not marriage rights for anyone.

    margec02 @ gmail.com (But you don’t need to select me for CFTM, since I have the paperback already, plus all of your books as ebooks. VBG)

    • My feeling is that there is not enough love in this world, so when two people can find love, why should it matter to anybody else what their race, gender, religion, height, weight, etc. is?

      THIS. WORD. Because how does same sex marriage threaten your heterosexual one? If you are against same sex marriage, DON’T MARRY SOMEONE OF YOUR OWN GENDER. End of story, end of your need to input your opinion because in no way does Bert and Ernie getting married reflect on or impact the marriage of some celebrity socialite that lasts less than 72 hours, or some GOP republican who marries and divorces in a serial fashion (I’m looking at you, Mr. Gingrich!).

      Hah, if you win the prize, I’m going to have to scramble to find you something worthy! Your comment here made me grin from ear to ear!

  7. The road less traveled. I am with you with that desire. My hubby will tell you that my standard answer to why I did something or why would I want something – Is – Why by Normal? Why follow the crowd. I really believe that everyone should be allowed to be their own ‘normal’ – love who they want – marry who they want – make their families with whatever kind of love THEY want. Freedom to make whatever choices they want to make. Hopefully, as a society, we will get there someday.
    Thank you for writing what I love to read – (even though most of my family would not consider it to me normal) I do love a good romance!!

    • You know, I don’t believe there is any such thing as normal–it’s a complete myth fabricated by 5th Avenue so we’ll try and buy anything in order to fit in.

      I remember in high school biology being shown a picture of a ‘normal’ cell and learning all the structures within. I was struck by one comment the teacher made. She said, “Now, there isn’t one single cell out there that contains all these structures. We’re depicting it this way for the purposes of education.”

      It made me realize that if my education could be bent to make learning easier, it could be bent based on individual bias as well. I’m hearing that in neighboring states, laws are being passed banning the discussion of the potential effects of global warming on certain prime real estate, that text books are being re-written to remove or diminish mention of slavery, that teachers are forbidden to use the word ‘gay’ when discussing matters of health among students.

      A friend of mine has a bumper sticker that reads, “That’s okay, I wasn’t using my civil rights anyway…” I used to think it was funny. Now I think it is tragic.

      I love a good romance too, but I can’t even tell my mother I’m a writer. She would be appalled even if I only wrote racy het romances; writing M/M (where the heat index is off the scale) would make her start praying for my eternal soul. Again. 😉

  8. Great post! I like the way you think. 🙂

    I love to read m/m romance. I’m really glad we have so many great authors, like yourself, that like to write the types of stories I enjoy reading. Keep up the good work. 🙂

    Lisa H
    lkbherring64(at)gmail(dot)com

    • I once heard someone say, ‘Once you cross over to the dark side of M/M romance, you’ll never go back!’

      I must admit, I struggle to read the average het romance today because they all seem so vapid. However, a part of me would like to write one some day in which I create a heroine that doesn’t make me want to slap her five paragraphs into the book. 🙂

      Why must all the heroines have lavender-colored eyes? Aside from Elizabeth Taylor, has *anyone* out there met someone with that eye color? And why must all heroines be so drop-dead gorgeous they never need makeup, can eat whatever they want, but still have no idea how beautiful they really are?

      Ouch, I think I hurt myself rolling my eyes there. 🙂 Thank you for joining the party–I put your name in the drawing!

  9. I’m a new LGBTQ author participating in the hop. Just wanted to stop by. I’m not exactly sure why society thinks they should choose the person we love. My heart chooses who I love and that’s why my heart has been with the same person for almost 14 years! Good post!
    Stacey aka Coffey Brown

    • Welcome! I’m new to the hop as well! I’m looking forward to reading your post. 🙂

      You’re right, no one should have any input in who we choose to love except ourselves. And 14 years is nothing to sneeze at–far more stable than many of the relationships that are held up as being representative of the sanctity of marriage.

      What is more threatening to the ‘sanctity of marriage’? Honoring someone you love, regardless of gender or cheating on your spouse, committing serial marriages (thus necessitating serial divorces) or marriages that last less time than the lifespan of a mayfly?

      The sad thing is I don’t believe a lot of politicians give a rat’s ass either way, but because they believe their constituents do, they will beat whatever drum they think will get them the most attention. 🙁

  10. thank you for participating in this blog hop. it’s been interesting to hop around reading author’s passion on writting GLBTQ. =)

    lohahmooi(@)hotmail(.)com

    • I’ll be honest–sometimes I worry that I’m not ‘authentic’ enough for the genre. Then I remind myself that I’ve written stories about people who were blind, or had spinal cord injuries, or lived and worked in outer space. I think my heart is in the right place, and I believe in doing my research, so hopefully I don’t come across as a privileged idiot.

      My BF keeps encouraging me to write het (and there are days when I consider his suggestion seriously). But it all boils down to the fact that I can only write what interests me, and right now, that’s M/M romance. What can I say? Guys fascinate me. 🙂

  11. Thanks for participating in the Hop and your post. Glad to be introduced to authors that are new to me.
    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

  12. If it tells a good story, then it doesn’t matter whether the main characters are men, women, werewolves, aliens, or anything else.
    I’m really loving this hop, I know a lot of the authors from Coffee and Porn in the Morning, but so much fun to meet new ones. My Goodreads list is getting dangerously long.
    shawnyjeann @ gmail.com
    cupoporn.net

  13. My Goodreads list is getting dangerously long.
    That made me giggle–I know what you mean! 🙂

    And I’ve commented on so many blog posts this morning that I almost added my own email here at the bottom…

  14. Sarah, I’m so excited to see you taking part in this hop, where I seem to be following you!
    I’m equally excited to see RainbowReviews starting up.
    I am addicted to m/m reading, because the dynamic between two male characters in a romance is just so much more angsty, more heated, more everything than in a conventional romance.
    Thanks to all the great writers taking part in the hop, and many more, so many genres have developed within m/m romance that it has something for everyone.

    I’d love a chance to win a book, please.
    corieltauviqueen at yahoo dot co dot uk

  15. I am addicted to m/m reading, because the dynamic between two male characters in a romance is just so much more angsty, more heated, more everything than in a conventional romance.

    I confess, this is a big part of the draw for me too! (And your excitement is contagious, now I’m excited as well!)

    Your name is in the running!

  16. Your car buying experience reminded me of a trip I took down south with my girlfriend at the time. I won’t say *how* we ran out of gas in Kentucky, just that we did. So we put the dog on a leash, and walked a mile or so to the nearest gas station. It was rather late at night, but there were two of us, and the south is friendly, right?

    We arrived at our destination and I explained to the station attendant that I needed to buy a gas can and some gas. He looked at me. Looked at my girlfriend. And scratched his head. “Y’all are travellin’ alone?”

    I blinked. “Well, there’s two of us, we’re not exactly alone.”

    Still bewildered, he repeated with more emphasis, “You mean y’all are travellin’ alone?”

    Sigh. “Yes. Now can we please just buy some gas?” Because what he really meant was: “you girls are on the road without a man??”

    And yet, it seems like more and more this kind of attitude is surfacing in the world of politics: you little ladies need men to make your decisions for you. It’s infuriating. I don’t know if its just that with the Internet age we hear more about it, or if ultra-conservatives are just pushing back because they see the progress that the rest of the world is making toward equality.

    • You make a good point–are we more aware because there are more cameras pointed at the problem or is it really escalating? I think it’s a bit of both. We’re much more globally connected and socially blended than ever before–and I think that makes some people panic and strike even harder to maintain the separateness and importance of Us over Them.

  17. Can I just have a huge LOVE button to push for your entire post? 🙂 Your comments always make so much sense, and are written so eloquently! This is why I want to (and try to) read every single thing you write.

    I’m looking forward to “Why Straight Women Love Gay Romance”. I’d love to be able to put into words, and maybe be able to coherently explain to my husband why I find these relationships so compelling.

    And I’m right there with you at being horrified at what some of the politicians are proposing, and I can’t believe that people want to put these predjudiced, apparently uneducated people in positions of power when they choose to distort facts to support their bigoted opinions.

    • Hah! I’ve been reading other people’s posts on this blog hop and thinking, ‘damn, why didn’t I say that? They said it so much better than I did!’ So thank you, for bolstering my flagging confidence. 🙂

      I’m really looking forward to WSWLGR too! WE ARE NOT ALONE. That’s the answer I’m hoping for.

      The direction politics in the country is taking frightens me more than I can say. What disturbs me the most is how many young people shrug and say there is nothing they can do and they aren’t even going to bother to vote, as it will change nothing. NO! Every single person has an impact. By simply walking the same path in the woods every day, the path becomes clearer to the next person who comes along. Otherwise, the traveler might stand at the edge of the thicket and think it is impassable. 🙁

  18. Hi, Sarah.

    You are a new author for but not for long. I look forward in reading your works.

    The post was a great read; I enjoyed it.

    Thanks,
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

    • Thank you! I’m enjoying this hop tremendously myself–I’m meeting so many people and learning so many interesting things about them and their stories. I’m so glad you stopped by–I put your name in the hat! 🙂

    • Thank you! The rental car thing really shocked me. The Mercury 13: The True Story of Thirteen Women and the Dream of Space Flight was a real eye opener for me in many ways.

      I also knew intellectually that women fought and won the right to vote–I knew they chained themselves together to make human barricades and that they were arrested for their actions. It never really dawned on me until much later that they were beaten, raped, and murdered for their beliefs too.

      So for every person that gave *everything* for my right to vote, I feel very strongly that I should look out for the rights of others, too.

    • I have less hope now than I ever have. 🙁 I just hope we’re not as stupid as a nation as I believe we are.

      But if you can have hope, maybe I can too. Thanks for commenting!

  19. I am not a member of GLBTQ community unless we are counting supporters. I read it because I like it. Plain & simple. I don’t hide the fact I read m/m. My hubby doesn’t understand it but he also doesn’t judge me for it. Thank you for the giveaway.
    kaylyndavis1986@yahoo.com

    • I think supporters count! And kudos to your husband–my BF read one of my stories online before we ever went out and he STILL wanted to go out with me. He’s been one of my biggest supporters and we will have been together four years next month. 🙂

    • Aw, thank you! You’ve left a big goofy smile on my face now. 🙂 Anne Cain did the cover for Crying for the Moon and she captured Tate to a T. 🙂

    • Thank you! I’m working as hard as I can on the next one, but the day job is keeping me running. Speaking of running, you’re in it for the contest now! 🙂

  20. Thanks so much for participating in this hop! I have parents that are very fundamentalist religious and every time they say something and ignore how I feel on the subject. They think I am in favor of LGBTQ rights because of college rebellion… Sad that its in my own family.
    OceanAkers @ aol.com

    • I know what you mean. I grew up in a religious household, I have strong religious beliefs myself. I find it odd that the Fundamentalists seem to concentrate on the Angry God of the Old Testament and ignore the teachings of Jesus–who never said a word about homosexuality, stopping the stoning of an adulterous woman, thought that crimes of pettiness and ethics more unforgivable than murder, and had some strong opinions on paying taxes when owed, and the ability of a rich man to get into heaven. *winks*

  21. Reading your post made me raise my fist in the air and shout (mentally) What do we want? EQUALITY When do we want it? NOW In the olden days I marched until the blisters on my feet bled for the ERA, I pounded the pavement for candidates like Jimmy Carter. Now I’m just too old and tired to do it anymore. My heart was lifted when Jimmy Carter made his statement supporting gay marriage, maybe there is hope.

    • Your comment here made me grin for so many reasons, not the least of which is that we owe marchers such as yourself so much for being willing to go out on a limb and demand equal rights for women. I don’t want to see the clock turn back to the 1950s, and that’s what I’m afraid will happen if people don’t wake up and start paying attention to what is happening to civil rights across the board…

    • Heh-heh-heh. I agree, and it is one of the reasons I write what I do. I’m so excited about Going for Gold I can barely contain it! So looking forward to reading the other stories in the anthology! 🙂

  22. I loved your post, it really rang true for me. I think that empathy is one of the most important things an author can have, because with that they can write characters that anyone can relate to. Thank you for sharing!

    Lilly
    Lillywriting@gmail.com

    • Thank you! Your kind words really mean a lot to me–I’ve been reading everyone else’s posts on the hop and suffering from a little blog-envy. 🙂

      Empathy is important, though, so we can connect with each other through shared experiences. Thank you for reminding me of that!

  23. This the best post I’ve read on this blog hop so far. I was a student in London in the early 70s & marched to those slogans. I have seen the changed you mention in women’s rights in my own lifetime. I write too – so that outmoded discriminatory reactions will eventually look as silly as the ones you cited; You rock!
    Cameron Lawton recently posted..Rainbow Book Reviews Blog-hopMy Profile

    • Aw, that is very kind of you to say, thank you! Every woman today owes a great deal to people like you who went out and marched, though. Did you know today was Women’s Equality Day? I didn’t until I saw it on Twitter, but I thought it was very timely in light of this discussion–and the challenges we as women are facing today.

  24. It makes me sick to read about how women are treated like property and children even in 2012. I’m inspired that you stood up to those men. Keep fighting for our rights!

    I’m in the US, but if I win I’d love an e-book of Unspeakable Words instead of the paperback.

    Ryan Loveless
    mslovelesswrites at gmail dot com

    • It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? But then I’m still stunned by racism and homophobia too. I think women are facing a critical time right now, however. I think we stand on the brink of losing much of what we’ve fought for in the last century.

      It’s all about power. How do you undermine the power of the opposition? You prevent people from getting an education by making it harder to get student loans. You break up the teacher’s unions and slash pay to educators. You prevent abortions, while at the same time you tie up birth control and ban sex education, thus increasing the chances that you’re going to end up with an ostracized single mother who can’t get ahead. You don’t like your voting district? Re-structure it so it is in your favor.

      I could go on, but I just hope that people wake up and realize just what’s at stake before the next election.

      But you put a big grin on my face by wanting to read Unspeakable Words. 🙂 Thank you!

    • Thank you! It’s been a lot of fun! I’ve met some great people, but I’ve also learned a lot from the shared experiences here. 🙂

  25. Truly, straight supporters are often the backbone of most of the volunteer organizations for GLBTQ. There are just so many more of you. *laughs* And we were raised by you, loved by you, and befriended by you… so don’t ever make it ‘less’ to be a supporter who happens to also be straight.

    And I’ve never ascribed to “an author should write what they know”, I’ve always been a follower of “an author should write what they are passionate about”, and you obviously are passionate about what you do. I’d love to be entered in your giveaway and thank you so much for participating in the Hop!

    • That’s a really nice way of looking at it–thank you! Makes me feel much better about being ‘just’ a supporter. 🙂

      I like the idea of writing what you are passionate about too–I think there is not enough passion in this world (and I don’t just mean the physical kind! 😉

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