Homophobia Hurts

About fifteen years or so ago, I became good friends with a gay couple who lived next door to me. They were great guys, and fantastic neighbors. It never dawned on me that someone in my family would have an issue…but someone did.

Now, it wasn’t some big hate filled drama like a lot of folks have experienced, but it really hurt me that someone I love would reject someone who had become a good friend. And the worst bit? It was caused by ignorance–the lack of knowledge kind.

So I had my family member come over and I introduced him to my neighbors. He was afraid he would catch gay cooties or something. Or that he’d get somehow groped and have to fight his way out.

Then something crazy happened. Brace yourself, it’s wild. He realized my neighbors were–wait for it–regular guys. *gasp* I know, right?

There was absolutely nothing to be afraid of. They weren’t going to do bad things to his ass, they weren’t going to do anything to his ass. (Okay, they may have sneaked a peak when he wasn’t looking!)

Thing is, I saw something that day that changed me as well. I saw someone overcome an irrational fear and learn to accept someone for their differences. It was a really beautiful thing to see.

Irony? A few years later, that family member became a “boss man” at his job. And he hired an assistant who could flame on. Whoa did that fella have more than his share of flamboyance. And it didn’t bother my family member at all. He’d shrug and say, “That’s just him. He’s funny, huh?”

I know I can’t really take the credit for that change taking place in him, but I’d like to think that I played a small part.

Homophobia is so very real, and it hurts. I’d like to think I do my part to change people’s lives. I don’t allow gay jokes to be told in my presence. It’s a little thing, but I stand up and say “no, it’s not okay.” I don’t try to force anyone to believe the way I do, but I make sure they know what I believe and why.

It’s the little things that make a difference. I truly believe that. Each person who makes a change starts a ripple in the water. Those ripples turn into waves. And one of these days–one day very soon–there will be more people who aren’t afraid and uneducated than the other.

That’s my hope. I see the changes happening, one person and one family member at a time. I’d like for it to be faster, of course. I’d love for my new friends to not have to worry about hate and fear. For them to live their lives filled with love and support.

It’ll happen. One day soon. Until then, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. I’ll keep finding little ways to make a big difference.

Homophobia may hurt, but we have the power to heal. I hope the blog posts today for the Hop Against Homophobia will do that in some way.

The organizers have asked us to donate a prize. I’m happy to do so. If you’d like to read my book, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll draw a winner. Please take a look at some of the posts by other authors in this event. Each of us can support the other and this community of change.

We’re ready to end the hate.

You can find more information here: http://hopagainsthomophobia.blogspot.com/

A Week in Review

Poppy’s Grandma

Whew! What a fantastic week this has been! I made a quick trip down to Florida to visit my grandma and hand deliver a copy of Mind Magic. She wasn’t proud or anything. Nope, not one little bit. She sat down and read her copy right away. And said it was the raunchiest thing she’d ever read! Gotta love an 86 year old grandma who will read anything her granddaughter writes, even if it does have “those scary vampires and shifters”. She has requested a cowboy book. No worries, Grandma. I’ll see if I can wrangle up a hot rancher, just for you.

Friday, I posted an episode of Boxer Falls over on the M/M Romance Group at Goodreads. Are you following Boxer Falls?? If not, you should be! It’s a Gaytime Drama and is soap-tastic. No worries if you’re behind! You can catch up by checking out our “reruns” over at the Boxer Falls website.

Saturday, I had a fantastic chat over on the Dreamspinner Facebook page. Made a ton of new friends, and even had a marriage proposal! (Okay, so I swiped someone else’s proposal and pretended it was mine…but it was on my chat so I called dibs! *g*) The conversation turned to bacon, as it tends to do when I’m around.

Fast forward to Monday, and I’m over at Paranormal Paradigm’s posting about The Hulk. Yep, that Hulk…the big green guy! In Make Like the Hulk–And Shift, I gab about the importance of the little details in world building. Things like what happens to a shifters clothes when they shift! I happen to think that the Hulk wearing shredded clothes is downright sexy. There must be someone out there who agrees with me. Anyone? Anyone? *taps microphone* Is this thing working?

Monday night found me out to dinner with the fantastic folks from Mantastic Fiction. They are doing a really great challenge in preparation for the GayRomLit retreat this October in Albuquerque. The challenge is to read a book from every author attending before the retreat in October. They have it broken down by week, and last week I was on the list.

*pants for breath* Sheesh, I was busy last week, and I’m only through Monday!

On Wednesday, I was interviewed by the lovely Dawn at Dawn’s Reading Nook. She *may* have gotten me tipsy first. I can’t be blamed for any silliness!

I also had the opportunity to hang out over at Joyfully Jay! I explained a bit about the Magic in Mind Magic and how the “power of three” works in the novel. And the best part? You can ENTER TO WIN a copy of Mind Magic by leaving a comment on the post. It’s only open until Tuesday, May 8 so hop on over and leave a comment.

Well, I’m only to Wednesday and have written volume one! I suppose I’ll shut my pie hole and get back to writing. Next week, I have a ton more blog appearances lined up…and if you’ve ever wanted to hear what your favorite Poppy sounds like, tune in Wednesday, May 9 for the ParaYourNormal Radio Show. I’m their featured guest!