~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~it's all about the love~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Final HAHAT 2014 post 1 of 2 - Being an ally

This was supposed to be my last post of the HAHAT 2014, but I received a surprise in my email this morning so there will be something else posted later on today. But first I want to talk to you about…me.

I'm a straight, married female and also mother of three who just happens to write gay romance. If you've ever watched Sesame Street, you may remember the game "One of these things is not like the others". That comes to mind a lot when people question why I write m/m romance with all my unsuitable qualifications.

The first thing I'm usually asked since I write what I do, am I gay? I honestly don't see how the two are correlated unless I was to write lesbian romance not m/m. But then again, I also know many lesbians who write what I do. So in that case, my answer is just no, I'm a woman who is attracted to and has relationships with men.

Another preconception is that because I am neither a man nor a gay man, how on earth did I become so deluded as to think I could write romances and relationships between men? To this I question the life experiences of other writers. Do paranormal authors (of which I am also one and unfortunately the answer to this questions is no) live with vampires or shifters? Have all crime writers been either serial killers or detectives in their past lives? What about historical or sci-fi writers? Have they lived in the shoes of their heroes or heroines?

I write romantic fiction but I like to think it's based at least a little reality. I have always had gay friends. I watch documentaries and films. I read books, fiction and non. I have immersed and opened myself up to the gay community. I go to Pride and I interview and talk to men in different walks of life, in different stages of their lives and in and out of love. I know how to research and I like to think I can also use my imagination in ways that brings out characteristics and situations that can be both fictional and real.

In short, I don't claim to write hardcore reality. I write contemporary and fantasy. I write cowboys and shifters, vampires and angels, rock stars, lawyers and accountants. And I write happily-ever-after because we all need a little of that in our lives, don't we? What does all this spew have to do with the HAHAT? Well, let me tell you.

When I was first published, I worried about questions regarding my nerve to be writing about things I neither knew nor understood. I admit to being a worrier and fretter anyhow, but putting a story into the universe for others to evaluate, critique and judge can be like throwing your baby to the wolves. And that's what my books are to me—my babies.

New reality came in the form of pieces of fan mail. I received long letters and simple notes from several men who thanked me for writing a book called Lazy Sundays. Some of them said reading about my OCD character (Scott the accountant) was like looking inside their own heads, and that in turn, made them feel less alone and more hopeful. These letters didn't come with any great revelations about falling in love with rock stars (Devon was a rock star) or flashes of lightning that life would suddenly be easier for them. But in their own words, they had renewed belief and validation that the way they handled life and the feelings they had weren't as unusual as they'd feared. They had a small glimpse of faith that they'd find someone to love them just the way they were.

This year I have received mail with regards to Unbreak My Heart, as well—some thanking me for making Brett's journey realistic and hard, others for giving JT the patience and stones to care enough about this broken man to wait for him. One that stands out to me was a thirty-something man who wrote that he'd suffered a great loss in his life. He said he didn't have the words to explain just how lost he felt, how emotions of anger and sadness and fear were wrapped up so tight inside him he could barely breathe, and how he questioned his feelings about himself and life in general. He gave the book to his mother to read and in turn, it opened up a conversation between them about grief and loss and renewal of spirit.

So in terms of grand revelations and lightbulbs going off in my head—I suddenly had a new reason for writing and creating and sharing. I started because it made me happy, it gave me validation that I could do what I always wanted to do, and it gave me a much-needed creative outlet to pour my emotions into. Being published has given me a voice, and my voice has enabled me to become an ally to the LGBT community.

Those letters and even reviews have given me a new definition for being an author or writer. I have taken on the new title of ally now and that's something that makes my heart happy. I don't have delusions of my writing changing the world or even altering the course of gay rights or homophobia, but if I can make one man feel better about himself, feel like he isn't alone, feel like there's hope in some of his dreams—well, then I'm making a difference.

I'm an ally for anyone who believes in love, who needs love in their lives, who needs validation that they matter and they exist. I don't judge on sexual preference, gender classification, life experiences or relationship status in my books or real life. I may not write non-fiction or even fiction without a romantic element, but my books carry a message

As one of the original organizers of the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia, my purpose is that of an ally against these barbaric ways of treating and labeling others. My friends and I started the HAHAT because we believe it's very important to promote and encourage people to understand sexual and gender diversity, and in turn, abolish the discrimination and devastating effects of groups of people who have the same rights as anyone else.

That's what the HAHAT is all about—the coming together of a diverse community of writers, bloggers, reviewers, artists and publishers who just want to make a difference in the fight against homophobia and transphobia. I believe baby steps count just as much in the stairway to acceptance as a method of moving forward in a cause that shouldn't even be an issue in 2014. We can all make a difference—no matter how big or small.

Again, it's not changing the world but it's a small step that I can take for myself, and those I love, admire and respect—a small step we can all take and make our own in our own way. Thanks for participating in the HAHAT this year and I hope I'll see you again next year.

My giveaway is open until the 26th and so do your think on Rafflecopter and I'd really love it if you left a comment here as well. Everyone likes and needs feedback, right? Stay tuned for my final HAHAT post later today.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This link will take you to the Hop Against Homophobia & Transphobia main page OR you can click one of the links below to go to another blog. 



  1. I can't think of any better reason to write, or to do anything in life, than to do it with the hope of helping another person. If we can help even one person not lose hope, then all the hard work will have been worth it. Wonderful post. <3

    1. Thank you, honey. I really appreciate that. It does turn what started out as something to keep my brain occupied into something good and valid. ;) <3

  2. You are a great ally, K-lee. I commend you and the others responsible for organizing this blog hop. Events like this and the stories you write can definitely make a difference in someones life. Keep up the good work. :)

  3. I value your HAHAT posts! They are always interesting and though provoking! (@kaploded on Twitter)