Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bisexuality, Biphobia & Life Under Glass (in this case, a microscope)



As we all know, I'm prone to wordy titles. This clearly applies not only to my books but to my blog posts, as well. Hopefully this post will be more interesting and (possibly) entertaining than it sounds. Heh-heh.

So a week or so ago, I was pointed towards an article, located here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-browne/bisexual-not-such-a-dirty-word_b_2662176.html?utm_hp_ref=tw in which the author speaks about bisexuality and some of the perceptions associated with that state. I do say "state," in the sense of bisexuality being a condition, much as heterosexuality and homosexuality can be considered states of being. Not inherently good or bad, but simply the way things are.

My position -- and please tell me that none of you thought I wouldn't have one because you should all know by now that I always have an opinion (on everything! LOL) and I'm more than happy to share -- is that bisexuality is not only real, but more pervasive than is generally admitted by society at large. I think that most people are bisexual to some extent, whether they choose to act on it or not. (This is, in my opinion, the only instance in which sexuality is a choice, and even with those who are bisexual, it depends upon where they sit on the spectrum. If you're confused, don't worry. I'm about to explain -- in possibly exhaustive detail.)

We, as a society, are so used to defining things as one thing or another. Black or white. Gay or straight. Rain or sun. Hot or cold. We LIKE defining things. We like to think things are simple and easy and we like being able to classify ourselves and others with short, facile phrases.

"I'm Straight." "I'm Gay." "I'm a woman." "I'm a man." "I'm a Christian." "I'm a Buddhist." "I'm a vegetarian." "I'd kill for a steak."

All these things are labels, and simple ones at that. Even when we combine them, as we usually do, and come up with a near-infinite assortment of labels -- "I'm a straight, female atheist who loves a good steak, horror movies, and karaoke." -- these are simple labels that don't leave much room for interpretation. We like to think that we are what we are, and we identify most strongly with others who share at least a few of the labels we assign to them and to ourselves. This is how we form groups outside of family units. We find and attach ourselves to those with whom we share common traits, aka labels.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with this, as a general rule. I mean, it wouldn't make much sense for us to surround ourselves with people with whom we have nothing in common. We like to have a sense of belonging. It's why we form relationships outside of our families, really. (Well, that and the desire to NOT turn into a big bunch of inbred freaks, but I digress.)

The problem for a lot of people with regards to bisexuality is that there's no easy label, aside from "bisexual," and as it turns out? That's apparently too vague for a lot of folks, isn't it?

What does it mean? How can someone be attracted to both men and women when men and women are so very, very different? And how dare someone think they can have it all instead of having to pick a path and stick with it? That's just… not fair! And besides, there's no such thing as bisexuality, right?

Hell, depending on who you ask, there's no such thing as homosexual, either. Gays are just straight people who've decided to buck the system and have sex with people of the same gender. They've made a CHOICE to do so, apparently just for shits and giggles (and pleasure because it's not possible for two people of the same gender to have romantic feelings for each other)… and because it's so much FUN to leave yourself open to attacks of more than just a verbal nature. And the people who believe that would know, wouldn't they? (Yes, I'm rolling my eyes right now. At that mindset, not at writing about it here. Heh.)

Bisexuality is actually a "thing." Meaning it's real. It exists. It's not just guys and girls being unable to make up their minds. It's not people deciding that they want to be "greedy." And it's definitely not something people DO because it makes their lives EASIER. If anything, it has the opposite effect.

When you're bisexual -- admittedly bisexual and "out," so to speak -- most of your straight friends and family don't get it, and neither do many of your gay friends and family. You're caught in the middle, trying to live your life on your own terms, all the while knowing that whatever you do, SOMEONE is going to have a problem with it, whether that problem is merely disappointment or something that could very easily become hate. And then there's the fear society feels for bisexuals.

Fear is the most pervasive force that drives us as humans. We fear what we don't understand. We HATE what we don't WANT to understand. The things we've grown up hearing about as evil and wrong and just plain unacceptable are the things we don't want to examine too closely, because if we really look and research and open our minds, we might find that we DO understand… and from everything we've been taught, that's JUST AS BAD as being or doing whatever it is. (This is, of course, solely my opinion and you, dear readers, are welcome to disagree. I make no claims to being right all the time. Only MOST of the time. *grins*)

The thing is, there's an entire spectrum of human sexuality. It's ridiculous to say that there's gay and there's straight, with nothing in between. That's like saying there's only black and white, with no shades of gray, and we all know there are infinite variants on gray, right?

There are also myriad variations on sexuality.

Some people truly are a hundred percent straight. They've never had a single sexual thought about a person of the same gender, other than to possibly notice that so-and-so isn't hideous. The same applies to gays. And with those two extremes, that's what? Twenty percent of the population, at most? What about the other eighty percent?

I propose, as I know actual scientists have done in several studies, that the remaining eighty-plus percent of us are various degrees of bisexual. Some more attracted to people of their own gender, some to people of the other gender, and some -- maybe ten percent or so -- falling right in the middle.

Laid out this way, it seems obvious, right? The majority of humanity is technically bi. And no, I'm not saying people should leave their significant others and experiment with their bi-leanings. Let's face it, if we were going to do that, we would have already. What I AM saying is… I think I have some small understanding about why so many people of a certain political party and a certain assortment of religious sects are so sure that homosexuality is "a choice," because the law of averages states that a fairly large percentage of those people are actually bisexual and CHOOSE to live their lives in a way that is acceptable to their chosen segment of society and doesn't make things more difficult than necessary.

I also understand why these same people want to insist that nobody is BORN gay. THEY were able to make a choice and they're just regular folk, so it must follow that their children are able to make a choice as well. They fail to realize -- or refuse to admit -- that for someone whose position on the spectrum is different from their own, "choosing to be straight" is often physically impossible, or at the very least extremely uncomfortable and prone to causing severe psychological disturbance. Or perhaps they do realize these things but live with so much fear of being "evil-wrong-bad" that they don't care.

See, on the face of it, bisexuality seems like a sweet deal -- aside from the stigma attached. I mean, think about it. You're not restricted to one gender, you have a much wider dating pool than you would if you were either straight or gay, and that increases your possibility of finding the right person (according to popular myth).

The second face is… you don't fit in. Anywhere.

The straights won't have you, unless you lie (especially if you're a male, because for some reason bisexual females are more acceptable to straight people). The gays don't want you because you're just greedy and eventually you're going to decide to "play straight" to avoid all the bullshit gay people have to deal with… and there IS no bisexual community, as such. Or maybe there is, but the last time I traveled, I heard all about gay bars and straight bars, but nobody said fuck-all about bi bars, so what does that tell you?

It tells ME that as a society, we're far too oriented towards recognizing the extremes and ignoring the middle. That we're afraid of the truth. And for me, the truth is this…

We don't all need to be the same, but we do all need to accept that whatever any two (or three or more) grown adults do is their own business, not ours. We need to understand that there is no one true way. We need to embrace those who identify as bisexual, just as we need to embrace the other orientations. Human is human, people. No phobia, be it bi or homo, should be allowed! (I'm sure I'll discuss our asexual brothers and sisters at a future date, but for now, this post is long enough! Heh-heh.)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Release Day - Something in the Way He Needs by Cardeno C.


My newest book, Something in the Way He Needs, was released today. This book is the first in my new Family series and it's a little different from what I've previously written (or at least that was my goal). I hope you'll enjoy it and that you'll share your thoughts with me.

Blurb: Police captain Asher Penaz’s staunch professionalism bleeds into his home life, down to his neatly pressed attire and spartan apartment. He enjoys being the man in charge, and leather bars satisfy his need for dominance—so his sudden and powerful attraction to the lighthearted, free-spirited Daniel Tover throws him for a loop. In his entire life, Daniel has never gotten what he needs, so he moves to the next place, the next job, the next attempt to find something worth staying for, always landing at the top of his game, but never feeling like he belongs.

The chemistry between Asher and Daniel sizzles, so Asher invites Daniel home. As both men struggle to learn themselves while getting to know each other, the lines of desire and control blur. With all that fire comes the risk of getting burned. But if Daniel and Asher can walk through the flames together, they might find what they desperately need.

ebook link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3599&cPath=776

Paperback link (first 20 are autographed): http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3600&cPath=776

Based on e-mails I've received, I know my last book sold better than I hoped because of reader recommendations. So I want to thank you for letting your friends know about my books and for taking the time to rate and review them on Amazon, Dreamspinner, All Romance ebooks, etc. You're the reason I have the privilege of starting another series. Thank you so much.

CC
www.cardenoc.com

Sunday, February 24, 2013

This is the best thing I've seen all week...


Seriously, I laughed until I couldn't breathe. If you don't, go get yourself checked. You might be dead.

A handful of young men singing "Poker Face" A-capella. By the end of the song, even the dudes singing can't keep a straight face.



Friday, February 22, 2013

Recommendation and Apology - by BG Thomas



First--apologies. After knee replacement surgery and two months of intense recovery, I am back to work. I work a rough job and I get home and collapse. And I am still on partial duty! So my posts went away for a few weeks. I intend to be more on the ball, but could still slip up a week or two. Hope you will forgive me.

Next: After slamming a movie a few weeks ago, I thought I should offer up a good one!

I had a rough night recently and couldn't sleep and got up way late (early) and watched this movie and loved it! I had wanted to see it, but with the following blurb, I had sorta ignored it...

"A fr...esh face comes to Hollywood to act in movies but only the gay porn studios are eager to provide him with work."

It just sounded like another low-budget gay movie with gratuitous nudity. BOY was I WRONG!

What a charming movie with little nudity--you don't even see the star in the all together and he has done nude spreads--is he a porn star?

It has a fun cast and most perform well. It includes Matthew Ludwinski (the star who is great in this movie--sweet and charming and a good actor!), Allison Lane (as the best friend who turns in an acceptable performance), Michael Medico (love interest and I loved him! I will look for him again!), Casper Andreas (who wrote and directed, did a GREAT job in those roles but sadly was weak in the acting--he is so good in other things--maybe he shouldn't direct and act?), John Schile, Bruce Vilanch (doesn't he direct gay porn--he was very fun), Judy Tenuta (disappointing performance), Jesse Archer and the terrific comedian Alec Mapa in a cameo appearance!

After being so furious over the movie "Dream Boy" several days ago with its Brokeback-philosophy on making movies (you can make a gay movie as long as there is tragedy in said movie), I dearly loved "Going Down in La-La Land." Check it out!  Please!


A real feel good movie and I've now started showing it to friends and they are recommending it as well.  I hope you feel the same way!

And now I must enter Kansas City's SNOWPOCALYPSE!!! Nine to twelve inches.  Hope I make it to work!
 
Peace and love,
BG
 

 
 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sick and...well...just sick.


I am Florence-freaking-Nightingale when anyone in my family gets sick, making chicken soup (some like it with matzo balls, others with orzo, others with rice, so what goes in the pot all depends on who's sick), running to the store for medicine, holding someone's hand at the doctor's, and so forth and so on.

I am also first to admit I'm a piss poor patient.

When I get sick, I get grumpy. I can't help it; it's the way I'm programmed. When I'm under the weather and can't do the things I normally do, I get irritable.

Especially when it comes to writing. The voices in my head have absolutely no sympathy for poor, sick little me, you see. They chatter on, ever insistent that I write their story, with absolutely no consideration for me and my head cold/bronchitis/stomach flu/whatever. This only adds to my irritability factor.

Take yesterday and today for example. I woke up yesterday with laryngitis. Seriously, when I spoke I sounded like what you'd get if  Janis Joplin and Barry White had a baby. My throat hurt, my glands are swollen, I'm running a temperature, and all I want to do is sleep.

Three a.m. rolls around. I'm in bed. I'm sleeping. There's drool on my chin. Suddenly, I'm sitting up, wide awake. Why? Because the voices in my head decided it would be a great time to give me a really good story idea.

And what happens when Kiernan gets a really good story idea?

She needs to write it down, or she'll forget it, that's what.

And once I'm awake enough to write something I might have the slightest chance of deciphering come morning, I'm up, period.

Damn voices.

So that's where I am. Writing, swallowing medication, and making my own damn matzo ball soup, because everyone else in the house is asleep except for me and my voices.

And they wonder why I'm grumpy when I'm sick.



Monday, February 18, 2013

How is it already Monday? by Cardeno C.


Happy Monday, y'all. I have no idea where the last week went. It flew by. Kind of like the kamikaze birds that keep hitting my windows. Anyway, it's Monday, which means it's my day to blog and, well, you know how that usually goes so ...

  1. I'm giving away a copy of my upcoming release, Something in the Way He Needs, over at Stumbling Over Chaos. Check it out here.
  2. The check engine light is back on in my car and the mechanic is "trying one more thing" - I'll keep you updated on this exciting progress.
  3. I'm throwing in the towel on my cell phone carrier and switching carriers. So I need to find a new carrier and a new phone. This has taken up way more time than is reasonable with a bunch of different friends with different phones on different carriers coming to my house to check out my service level in every nook and cranny. (That sounds way dirtier and more fun than it was in real life.)
That's it for now. Off to write. Have a wonderful week.

CC
www.cardenoc.com

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Olde City, New Blood Con


Got back Sunday night from the Olde City, New Blood convention in St. Augustine, Florida. This past weekend was the inaugural launch of the con, and I was pleased and honored to be a featured author at the event.

What was cool about the con was that it brought writers of both straight and GLBT paranormal and urban fantasy romance together.There were many panels where writers of both genres sat together to discuss whatever subject the panel was assigned.

I sat on three panels. "GLBT in Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance," "Shifters, Where the Weres Are," and "Is Your Manuscript Ready?" plus two meet and greets.

There were many familiar faces there. I got to hang out with T.c. Blue, K.C. Burn, Mary Calmes, Amy Lane, Damon Suede, Poppy Dennison, and many other writers. I had an absolutely fantastic time. Lord knows, I laughed A LOT.

One panel I did not sit on but attended was the flash fiction panel. Amy Lane and Damon were on it along with a handful of het authors. Good grief. The het authors didn't know what hit them. I'm sure they weren't ready for the panel to go off into the nether regions of naughty humor the way it did, but we gay romance writers expected nothing less. When T.c. Blue gave the prompt "platypi invasion," all bets were off. It got dirty and hilarious quickly from that point on.

All in all, I think the con was a success, and I'm already looking forward to next year!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Just a Random Update by Cardeno C.


Happy Monday, y'all. Not much to say on my end. (I know you're shocked, but pick up those dropped jaws, it's really not becoming.) But I'm going to do my bloggy best and just share some news from the past few weeks.

  1. I think that I should be in some sort of Android/iphone commercial or test facility. As you might recall, I spilled coffee on my iphone, thus making the ear piece unusable. My friend has since fixed it, but in the meantime, he got me an Android phone, which he swore I'd like better. It's a Samsung Google Nexus and it is a really great phone. As far as many features (Google compatibility, access to open aps), he was right and I like it better - point for Android. But (you knew there would be a but), I've had multiple struggles trying to sync it with Outlook (for my day job) and I never had that problem with iphone - point for iphone. Also, the battery lasts about four hours if I use it (to check FB and twitter and otherwise stay connected). This caused a problem the other day when I wanted to take pictures in the evening and my phone was dead. I had to borrow someone's iphone - that's a point for iphone for those of you keeping track at home. I might or might not send the phone to Samnsung to see if they can fix the battery issue. This is currently the big question before me. What can I say? Mine clearly is not a complex life.
  2. Kelly Shorten, web/graphic guru extraordinaire and Musa Publishing designer, spiced up my website. Among other things, she added a stunning banner that Shirley Frances made for me using the cover Reese Dante created for Something in the Way He Needs, my upcoming release. I can't stop looking at it, that's how much I love it. Check it out here
  3. The check engine light (a.k.a. "that light that looks like a submarine" - cue smirks from mechanics and friends alike) in my car has been going on for the last couple of months. I've been to the mechanic four times and I think he wants to pull his hair out. Status update on this: no light lately, so maybe he fixed it and all is well. Either that, or he broke the bulb. Not sure I care either way.
  4. Top2Bottom Reviews is reviewing the Home series books and they posted a review of He Completes Me that made me all tingly inside. Check it out here: Review of He Completes Me. They also did a wonderful one of Home Again: Review of Home Again
  5. I put out a twitter/FB question about how old is too old to text "u" instead of "you". Turns out it was the most controversial thing I've ever written. Who knew? This popped into my mind as I read the responses: Are you ready to rumble?.
  6. Some other recent randomness (as tweeted):
  • My friend's description of kids on her son's football team: yankers. I died laughing. Feb 10, 2013 
  • I just experienced an auto-spinning showerhead. It was disconcerting. Feb 07, 2013 
  • I just stumbled onto heaven: Ghirardelli espresso shake. Feb 06, 2013 
  • I just witnessed 5 grown adults getting into the backseat of a Chrysler sedan. That's all for now. Carry on. Feb 04, 2013 
  • Crisis averted. Caffeine consumed. All systems go. Feb 04, 2013 
  • Missed morning coffee. In line @ airport McDonald's. Guy in front of me asking about ingredients & delaying my caffeine is risking his life. Feb 04, 2013 
  • Tragedy. The milk was sour. I didn't know until after I poured it into my coffee. Jan 31, 2013 
  • My friend: "Tip: don't write anything down that you don't want your mother or the Supreme Court to read." I think I'm in trouble. Jan 27, 2013 
  • My friend will never lend his sister his car again.
  • Standing in mall looking at porn on Twitter while my computer is being fixed. Need caffeine. Jan 25, 2013 
  • Ummm ... Jan 23, 2013
That's all for now. Hope you have a wonderful week.

CC
www.cardenoc.com

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Irrelevant stuff for all! :)


Okay, so my sister's mother who was so ill in upstate NY passed away last week; thus my lack of posting then. Between that and a deadline for a story I finally finished writing, I've been insane.

Things have settled down somewhat in the last day or so, but it's been a traveling week on top of everything else, and that means I have nothing prepared for today (obviously).

Instead of BSing you guys, I thought I'd share the following instead. Please keep in mind that I do NOT photograph well. Poor Adam Bouska had his hands full with me. Again! Hahaha!

And now, without further ado, I give you... my NOH8 pictures, taken this past November in Gaithersburg, MD. I will be in the corner hiding. Peace! :D

And my first one, from early in 2012:
Yes, I have a hat fetish. :P

Okay, NOW I'm going to hide. Wake me up when these photos are forgotten! LOL

Friday, February 1, 2013

This Year's First ANTI-Recommendation; by BG Thomas



So before you even think about renting or streaming this movie...DON'T!

I found this on one of those lists of gay movies you should see. I looked at Amazon and there were nice reviews with comments like...

"Both the book and movie forms of "Dream Boy" are recommendable" and "When I read the book I considered it one of the best I had ever read and I can say the same for the film. Beautifully photographed, great acting and one of the most faithful adaptations of a story to the screen since Brokeback Mountain. Strongly recommended!"

Recommended? Recommended??

Maybe if you are a self-hating-homophobe! I am so damned tired of It's-Okay-To-Make-A-Gay-Movie-As-Long-As-Someone-Dies! What the hell is going on?

Yes, I think "Brokeback" was an important film. And it was beautiful. It got its message across that the two men could have been happy had not the hetero-centered world given the men a chance. It opened eyes.

But for God's sake! As long as our movies are about unhappy endings--death by AIDS, gay-bashings, break-ups because "gay men can't find love"--then we are broadcasting the message that that is what "gay" is all about!


Why can't there be more movies like "Shelter" or "East Side Story" or "Boy Culture" or "Long Term Relationship?" What is going on?
 

Here is a blurb for "Dream Boy": Shy teenager Nathan (Stephan Bender) and his family have moved from one town to another trying to escape the domestic disintegration within their own home. Roy (Max Roeg) and his family live a quiet life on a farm. When Nathan moves in next door to charismatic Roy, the boys strike up a friendship as high school study partners. Their strong emotional bond soon takes a natural turn toward physical passion, a secret they must hide from those around them in the backwoods rural community ... A haunting and mythical tale of first love. Directed by James Bolton (EBAN AND CHARLEY, THE GRAFITTI ARTIST). Featuring Diana Scarwid and Rickie Lee Jones.

"Dream Boy" starts beautifully. I read that it is a terrific adaptation of the book. Young men falling in love and realizing they are gay. The young actors are lovely. The acting all around is amazing. As the couple fall in love I was breathless. The love scenes were handled beautifully, sweet without being under-age-pornographic. They go right to the wall though. Powerful stuff.
 
 
Then--SPOILER ALERT!--we find out bad/sad stuff about one boy's past, including sexual abuse. I could live with that and waited to see how the boys would overcome.
 
But then the movie suddenly gets silly, ridiculous, trite, cliche, and more. Death follows. Something supernatural. Ghosts? Hooey is what. I was so mad I stomped around the room, which isn't easy on a cane after a full knee replacement surgery.
 
Send out the word! Do NOT watch this movie! Write Hollywood! Tell them we are tired of this filth. Gay is good. Why can't we have happy gay movies?
 
Thank God for M/M romance!

 
XOXOXOXO
BG Thomas