Welcome to my Hop Against Homophobia blog post. I have a special interview with two very cool Canadian men who'll talk a little about growing up as gay men in Canada and about how they do their part to keep the issue of homophobia, fear and hate from becoming, excuse the pun "closeted". The instructions for my give-away are at the bottom - I'll be choosing two winners at random from the comments -- winners' choice of an ebook from my backlist (even though I don't have much of one) or one of my two new releases for June (Lucius' Bite or Countdown to Daddies), plus two $10 gift cards to All Romance Ebooks.
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I welcome Patrick Levesque and Tyrell Witherspoon to Chaos in the Moonlight today on International Day Against Homophobia. Thank you for being here guys. I appreciate the Canadian support, eh. Lol. Sorry.
First of all, can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
PATRICK: I'm 31-years-old, an entrepreneur, have two dogs (minature dachshund-chihuahua crosses) and am a kid at heart. I live in the beautiful city of Vancouver and I am the co-founder of Masc (shopmasc.com), a men's skincare & grooming product store and webstore, as well as the co-founder of Homroazzi.com, an gay info-tainment site boasting 30,000 visits a day.
TYRELL: I am 25-years-old and kind of a jack of all trades. I have a day job working for a transportation company but I am work on pursuing a full-time career in arts and entertainment. I am a musical theatre performer about to head to Winnipeg for a short run of Footloose and I also dance in film and TV here in BC. I am currently working on my second studio EP for release at the end of the summer. Oh ya, and I write for Homorazzi somewhere in there.
I hear congratulations are in order. Would you tell us a little about how you met, how your current status happened and whether you have any definitive plans yet?
PATRICK: When we first met over two years ago, Tyrell was living in Winnipeg and I was here in Vancouver. I guess he was a Homorazzi reader and had added me on Facebook as a result. Some time had passes and I looked through his Facebook a bit and saw the he was a dancer - a really good one and was auditioning for SYTYCDC. I thought it'd be great to highlight a dancer on our site and sent him a message to ask him. He was all over it, so I sent him a list of questions… One of which was if he "played for our team". That's right, based on his FB profile, I didn't even know if he was gay or not.
about how the engagement went down.
TYRELL: Patrick pretty much nailed how we met so I’ll go into the engagement. You the saying “when you know, you know?” That’s totally how it was with Patrick. Last summer, we started talking a lot about marriage and I was ready to pop the question. I had all these big plans to ask him during one of my live shows and even during Britney Spears’ show here in Vancouver. When all of those fell through, I was a little discouraged. One day while talking in bed, I mustered up the courage to ask Patrick to marry me. He said yes and we immediately began the process of telling our friends and family who were ecstatic for us! Wedding plans are underway and we are hoping to get married next summer!
Congratulations! That’s so exciting. J
Patrick, you grew up in Terrace, BC, and Tyrell, in small town Manitoba? (I was born in Virden, Man by the way) Can you tell me a little about growing up as gay young men in Canada? Did you come out when you were still in school? If not, what stopped you?
PATRICK: Growing up gay, I definitely was very afraid of anyone knowing and didn't come out while at school. In fact, the first time I told someone was two years after graduating from high school, the summer I was going to move away to finish my last year of University. When I had moved away to Victoria, I felt more liberated and that I could really be who I wanted to be. That being said, I was still hesitant in telling classmates and even my roommate at first.
When I fell in love with my boyfriend (who I was with for 6 years after that and who I started Masc with), I had to tell my parents. When I went home for Spring Break, I forced myself to tell them. I was tired of lying and keeping things from them. "It got better" after that. I didn't come out in high school because I didn't feel like I would be accepted. I was definitely not ready myself anyway and that's a very important part. Also, I feel like the world has changed so much since I was in high school (in good and bad ways) but overall find that there is much more support and more awareness in terms of gay issues through the various campaigns that have been executed in the past couple years.
TYRELL: I don’t think I really realized I was gay and what being gay really meant until the beginning of high school or grade 9. I had a few gay experiences throughout high school but never really opened up about them or told anyone. The summer after graduation, I finally came to terms with my sexuality and started telling close friends. I kept it from my family but unfortunately, was outed to them. I really wish I would have had the chance to tell them myself. It took a long time for them to really understand and my dad especially. After my mom passed away and met my stepmom, she really helped him understand that love is love and if I’m happy, that’s all that matters. What probably stopped me from coming out was the stigma that came along with growing up in a small town and the fact that they wouldn’t understand. (I grew up in Glenboro and Killarney, MB FYI)
As gay men and a gay couple in the public eye, what have your experiences been with homophobia in Canada? Do you believe it’s changed in the last few years? In a good or bad way?
PATRICK: I believe homophobia is changing rapidly in Canada. I personally haven't experienced it much if at all (thankfully), but I get the sense that it has become "not cool" to be homophobic, when in the past it was the opposite. Because there are so many rural cities and towns I know this isn't the case everywhere, but I believe it's heading in that direction.
TYRELL: Like Patrick as well, I haven’t had too much experience with homophobia however in the theatre industry, it is very accepted so I was lucky in that regard. In the music industry, it’s crazy how openly gay artists still don’t seem to get the recognition they deserve. Artists like Ricky Martin and Adam Lambert are really helping pave the way. It’ll take more artists like that to help everyone out.
How do you feel about Canada’s view on gay marriage in comparison to the rest of the world?
PATRICK: I think with all of the campaigns and celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres and the likes that have stepped forward to voice their opinions on bullying and gay marriage, with even President Obama making history by endorsing gay marriage, more and more people are opening their eyes.
TYRELL: We are very fortunate to have the laws for gay marriage that we do in Canada and I know sometimes, it’s easy to take it for granted, especially when we watch what happens in the US sometimes. I think with Obama and Biden stepping up and saying they endorse gay marriage along with big celebrity names, times will change. We just have to keep fighting for what is right.
You’re both been involved in the website Homorazzi.com (Patrick, you’re one of the founders ) - would you please tell us a little bit about the website and what it’s all about?
PATRICK: Homorazzi is your source for the latest in music, movies, television, gay news & issues, eye candy, and more. Each of the writers on the site write from their own perspectives and opinions, and even readers are encouraged to send their own articles in. We've also recently debuted a 'Homorazzi' show on OUTtv (Canada's LGBT TV network) where a panel of four (including myself) discuss the same types of topics that we do on the site.
TYRELL: Patrick pretty much covered it all.
The International Day Against Homophobia is a very global way for people to reach out to each other and raise awareness. Do you take on gay and homophobic issues on Homorazzi.com?How important do you think it is for anyone - young, old, man, woman, gay, straight - to be aware of the issues involved with homophobia?
PATRICK: We absolutely do take on homophobic issues on Homorazzi.com and we try our best to do what we can in getting important messages and stories out there. It is important for all people to be aware of issues with homophobia because it affects everyone. Chances are everyone knows someone, works with someone, is related to someone and homophobia kills. It can only be stopped when people are more aware and when people speak up.
TYRELL: Definitely. I like to write about these issues as it drums up a good amount of discussion. The more people that are talking about it will help make it move forward. Homophobia has affected us all at some point – if not directly, to someone we know and it’s our job in the position we are in to help combat these issues and bring light to situations.
Patrick – you did a post on Homorazzi.com last year about online bullying. What was the reaction to that and have you and Tyrell experienced online bullying being that you’re both very public?
PATRICK: Yes, I'm glad you got to read that post! It's interesting, I didn't get bullied growing up (thankfully) and it wasn't until we first started the site that I had received some pretty hateful, and awful messages and comments. Since people can be anonymous online, they feel they can say whatever they want and there's no accountability or respect for the person on the receiving end.
It took some getting used to, but I realized that this was the unfortunate nature of the world I had ventured into. I have found that if you don't engage in it, they go away. I should also note that it got better… Since Homorazzi is still around after three years, I think the haters that wanted us to fail have been proven wrong and they've more or less silenced.
TYRELL: On Homorazzi, we definitely experience online bullying on a daily basis. The saying “everyone’s a critic” definitely becomes true when you put yourself out there. For the 4 people that like you, there are going to be 8 that don’t. You have to learn to have a thick skin and let it roll off your back or it will destroy you. Haters will be haters and every day, I work hard to prove them wrong and be the best I can be. Period.
Finally, you both just did a NOH8 photoshoot. How was that? You got to meet Adam Bouska? When do we get to see the pics?
TYRELL: The NOH8 shoot with Adam was awesome. It’s such a great cause and Adam does such a great job working the hundreds of people that show up to these events. He’s done great work to spread the word on this with his images and I am so thrilled so see so many people come out to participate.
One last question since I’m obsessed at the moment - I must ask you the very important question… who is your favorite Avenger?
PATRICK: Haha, well I haven't seen the movie yet (although heard great things), but I'm going to have to say Iron Man.
TYRELL: We haven’t seen it yet, but I do like Thor a lot. (Tyrell just got extra, extra, extra Brownie points in my eyes :P)
Thanks guys. I appreciate you stopping by and letting me grill you. I hope to run into you in Vancouver sometime when I’m visiting my daughter – maybe at
Go check out Homorazzi.com - it's a very entertaining, thought-provoking site. You can find both Patrick and Tyrell on Twitter.
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1. Leave your name and email address.
I'll be picking two winners of something from my backlist
or one of my two new June releases.
Winners' choice, plus a $10 gift card to All Romance Ebooks.
Winners' choice, plus a $10 gift card to All Romance Ebooks.
I'll also post the winners May 21 on my blog, as well.
2. If you have any questions or comments for Patrick and Tyrell, I'll be glad to pass them along, or any comments in general are always appreciated.
3. If you haven't been to the William Neale - In Memory Of - post here on my blog - here's the link.
4. You can check out my books at kleeklein.com or
on my GoodReads author page http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5073338.K_lee_Klein
5. Keep on hopping - there's lots to discover
6. Join the cause in your own personal way
to make homophobia, hate and fear a thing of the past.
Cool interview, and it was good to learn about William Neale, too.ReplyDelete
Great interview! Just want to congratulate Patrick and Tyrell on their engagement. :) I will definitely be checking out Homorazzi. Sounds like a cool site.ReplyDelete
Love the interview! All kinds of awesome.ReplyDelete
Wonderful post! Thanks for taking part in the hop :)ReplyDelete
Congratulations to the guys! And thanks to them for the interview. Role models and people willing to be visible are so vital for young kids and teens (like the ones I see on my YA LGBT book group.) "You are not alone" is a powerful message.ReplyDelete
wonderful interview and congratulations to Patrick and Tyrell! I agree, too, Thor is ALWAYS the right answer!ReplyDelete
I just wanted to stop by and tell you how very proud I am to know you!! You are simply the best!
I enjoyed William Neale's books and was looking forward to meeting him at GRL and was saddened to hear he passed. May he RIP! Great interview with Patrick Levesque and Tyrell Witherspoon they sound so cute together and good luck to them both.ReplyDelete
contact at mchoule dot com
Loved the interview! Congrats on your engagement. It's so interesting to learn about GLBTQ rights in other countries, since my focus has mainly been on the USA.ReplyDelete
Footloose, Thor, yes, scored big time with me as well, hehe.
Kudos on Homorazzi, Patrick ^.^ I stumbled onto that site a couple of weeks ago.
eripike at gmail dot com
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
I having a lot of fun reading all the stories and experiences in this blog hop.ReplyDelete
forgot my email the first time :)
andreagrendahl AT gmail DOT com
Great interview...Congrats on the engagement guys :)ReplyDelete
raynman1979 at yahoo dot com
Being the hopeless romantic that I am, Tyrell and Patrick's story just made my day. Sounds like they were meant to fine each other. Congrats gents!ReplyDelete
Thanks for the interview and the hop!!ReplyDelete
Great interview!! Congrats on the upcoming nuptials!!ReplyDelete
Great interview, Thank you so much for bringing it to us.ReplyDelete
Sounds like a marriage made in Heaven! Too bad the US can't take a tip from Canada and Europe and give everyone equality. Great post K-lee -I still miss our Bill. JPReplyDelete
OMG! I'm from Swan River and had a good friend in university from Killarney and I may have some obscure family in Virden. Small freaking world. :-)ReplyDelete
Congratulations on the engagement, have fun planning the wedding. I'll have to keep an eye out for the show on Out, I'm kind of over the Addams Family which plays on continuous loop there. *eye roll*
First of all big congrats to your engagement. Thanks for the inside information about the GLBTQ scene in Canada.ReplyDelete
Great interview and congratulations to them on their engagement!ReplyDelete
Thanks for the giveaway!
ineedtoread76 [at] gmail.com
As a Canadian girl, I'm in love with this interview! Thanks for sharing, it's brilliant!ReplyDelete
Angela S Stone
Great interview! I will definitely be checking out Homorazzi. Sounds like a cool site. Also want to congratulate Patrick and Tyrell on their engagement. :)ReplyDelete
Great interview Thank you so much for such a great read... am passing this along to some GLBT friends and their families...ReplyDelete
what a wonderful interview. I have yet to get William's book but I plan to.ReplyDelete
please enter me in your contest
yinyang1062 at yahoo dot com
Congratulations and thanks to Patrick and Tyrell and wishing them many years of happiness!ReplyDelete
Patrick and Tyrell congratulations to your engagement! It was a great interview, thank you for that and well of course Thor is always the right answer! ;)ReplyDelete
anzuazura at yahoo DOT de
Thanks for sharing! Congrats to Patrick and Tyrell on their engagement. I'll keep an eye out for their NOH8 photos - I was at the D.C. shoot last year. What an awesome campaign!ReplyDelete
Hi dear-- I tried to leave a comment last night but Blogger ate it! Thank you so mush for organizing the Hop. I love being a part of it. : )ReplyDelete
Thanks for giving us this interview! Congratz guys! After the Hop I will be checking out your site for sure! I can't wait for the day that everyone can marry whomever they wish because marriage is a commitment to the one you love and it should not matter what the gender of those two people are.ReplyDelete
Two handsome young men! Much luck and happiness to them and to you as well K-Lee!!!ReplyDelete
*Sigh* Don't you just love it when you hear successful stories of love?
Loved the interview. I love hearing real life love stories. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, K-Lee for your efforts to put this hop together, and a big thank you to the guys for that wonderful interview. Congratulations on your engagement and I wish you both a beautiful and wonderful life together.ReplyDelete
Omg the pictures are so cute!!! I love it!ReplyDelete
Thanks for the great interview!!!
Thanks for the awesome interview, guys (and gal). I gotta say that I'm with Patrick though. Go Ironman. Though Thor is pretty high up there.... :DReplyDelete
Cool post! Very interesting to learn about these two men and what Canada's attitudes and etc are like:)ReplyDelete
What a very handsome couple :) Congrats guys on the engagement. It's wonderful to have such a positive story among the hop!ReplyDelete
Felicitation Tyrell and Patrick. I wish you a fabulous wedding. I'm gonna check out the Homorazzi.com.ReplyDelete
Great interview! It's interesting to see how the issue of homophobia is treated differently in different countries and I'm happy that it wasn't much of an issue for Patrick and Tyrell. Congratulation to the engagement guys, you make a cute couple!ReplyDelete
lyraDOTlucky7 at gmail dot com
Great interview with Patrick and Tyrell. Great to hear that Canada allows you to marry - have a great day when it rolls round.ReplyDelete
Lovely posts, KReplyDelete
Loved the interview with Patrick and Tyrell. Thank you so much for introducing us to them. They are beautiful together and I wish them the best! Will definitely be visiting their website.ReplyDelete
Another awesome post,babe.ReplyDelete
Great interview with Patrick and Tyrell. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
Great interview with some very interesting guys.ReplyDelete
Awesome interview. Thanks againReplyDelete
K-lee. These guys are a rocking good time, aren't they? (and yes, Thor is *always* the right answer.
What an awesome interview and Patrick and Tyrell seem like an awesome couple. Thank you for that glimpse into their lives, and into Canada as well (I'm so close, I should go and check out that country one day. LOL).ReplyDelete
Thanks for the post K-lee.
Hello from Alaska K-lee,Patrick & TyrellReplyDelete
Wonderful interview, and thank you both for sharing your lives with us...*S* I wish you both a very happy wedding & celebration, and so glad your hopes, dreams and love is in both your lives together.
Wishing you all the best and thank you for sharing with us...*S*
What a great interview! Thank you for sharing.ReplyDelete
Great interview and congrats to the guys. email@example.comReplyDelete
Wonderful interview guys!ReplyDelete
Thanks for the chance and being a part of a wonderful blog hop!
I kind of wish I lived near these two so I could just stare at them all day long. Not in a creepy stalker way, but in a OMGILY! kind of way :)ReplyDelete
Thank you for helping to organize this. You rock, K-Lee!
bellaleone4 at gmail dot come
I would love to say congrats to Patrick and Tyrell. I went to William Neale's site and left a comment. He was such a wonderful writer and will be greatly missed. Thank you for participating in the hop. This is a wonderful cause. I pray that one day it will not be needed.ReplyDelete
What a great interview. I wish Patrick and Tyrell a long and happy future together and success in all their projects.ReplyDelete
lmbrownauthor at gmail dot com
I was awsome metting you boys, hope you live a happy, happy life together.ReplyDelete
marinaroumpi at gmail dot com
ninajanke at gmail dot comReplyDelete
Great interview .... Congrats on the engagementReplyDelete
Going to check out the site looks fab
Could you please tell Patrick and Tyrell that they are wonderful and that the website is great and I will be hanging around there lots.ReplyDelete
Also I am glad that Canada allows gay marriage. I hope that someday we will in the UK too!
Wow, great post. And I love the site with all the character pictures on the right sidebar.ReplyDelete
Stephanie Abbott (AKA S.A. Reid)
Awesome interview K-lee. Thank you for introducing them to us :)ReplyDelete
Lovely interview. They are adorable!ReplyDelete
Great interview :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for participating in this great blog hop. I'm enjoying all the posts.
Great interview, I loved it! Congrats to Patrick and Tyrell! :)ReplyDelete
Wonderful interview...it was great learning about Patrick and Tyrell. Also thanks for the introduction to the great new website homorazzi :) It good to see different views from other countries. Thanks again!ReplyDelete
Thanks for having a great article and a great giveawayReplyDelete
Thanks for the interview and giveaway. Also for the William Neale info.ReplyDelete
The interview was great, and who doesn't love Thor?ReplyDelete
What an awesome couple! Thanks for the great interview :)ReplyDelete
Excellent post! The gentlemen are lovely and I'm off to bookmark Homorazzi right now.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for taking the time to Host this Wonderful Blog Hop with Erica Pike & N. J. Nielsen. I am truly amazed with the amount of Extremely Talented Authors that have come together for such a Great Cause, the Hop Against Homophobia
What a Great Interview and congratulations to Patrick and Tyrell on your Engagement!
I very much enjoyed reading William Neale's Books. He was a Very Talented Writer & will truly be missed…but we can Rejoice in His Life by the Wonderful Gifts He left Us….His Amazing Books.
I would very much appreciate the opportunity to be considered in your very generous giveaway. Thank You.
Take care K-lee & Wishing You All the Best,
paranormalromancefan at yahoo dot com
Thank you all for reading my post and giving such kind words to Patrick and Tyrell - aren't they adorable. :)ReplyDelete
Bob (random.org) has chosen my winners... *drum roll*
will each receive a gift certificate for All Romance or Amazon if I can figure out how to do that AND one of my ebooks, winners' choice. :)
Congratulations to Patrick & Tyrell! What a great interview.ReplyDelete