RENAE: Today on my blog, I’m going to be interviewing some old friends – Liam and Jay from my first novel, Loving Jay. Welcome guys. Have a seat.
JAY: Thanks for having us here, and thanks for making a spot on your blog. Oh my Gawd! I’m so excited to be back and I’ve been looking forward to it for days.
Liam rolls his eyes behind Jay’s back.
JAY: Oh my Gawd! I mean, so much has happened since the end of the book that I just want share all the news with everyone and thank everyone for their kind support and tell them I’m so glad they loved our story and all. I mean, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and the story was kind of brief. I mean, I could’ve gone on and on and on about it more if I was the writer, but I wasn’t. You were. I know this. And that’s okay. I’m just saying that there's more to our story than just us kissing on the oval and declaring to everyone our love and…. **words become muffled as Liam places his hand over Jay’s mouth and whispers something in his ear. Jay’s eyes widen and he nods before Liam releases him.** Right. Yes. Sorry. Liam was just reminding me that this is your interview and that I shouldn’t be taking over. Even though I—
JAY: Oh, yeah. Whoops. Stopping talking now.
LIAM: That’ll be the day…
Jay glares at Liam.
RENAE: **trying unsuccessfully to hide a smile** Right. Now. Liam? We’ll start with you.
Jay pouts and slumps in his chair.
RENAE: People have described your story as a gay-for-you story. Is this correct?
LIAM: A what?
JAY: **sighs** You know? You remember – when you turn gay for just that one person? So did I turn you gay or were you gay before you met me?
LIAM: Ohh! Yeah. Umm…. **hesitates** Look – truthfully I think I was always gay. There just wasn’t anyone before Jay that I wanted to come out of the closet for. I’ve tried to assign labels to myself since coming out, but nothing really fits. I can’t say that I’m bi and if being gay is what Jay feels, then I don’t think I’m gay either. I’m just me. But yeah, I’ve probably always been gay. I’ve always felt the attraction to men, that’s true, but I was afraid.
RENAE: Afraid? Afraid of your father?
LIAM: No – not like you mean. Not afraid he would hurt me. More afraid of his reaction and disappointment in me. I was more afraid that people would treat me different because I said I was gay. I had this dumb picture in my mind of what a gay man looked like, acted like and behaved like. That picture didn’t represent me, so I assumed that meant I wasn’t gay.
RENAE: So what did you think a gay man looked, acted and behaved like?
LIAM: Well… umm…
JAY: **laughs** Like me?
LIAM: Well, babe. You can’t deny it…
JAY: Why would I want to deny being gay? Being gay is so much fun!
RENAE: So, Liam – now that you are a gay man, is life more “fun”?
LIAM: **chuckles** Truthfully, it’s about the same. I really don’t do anything different, apart from try to keep Jay out of trouble. Jay’s a lot of fun, I admit that. But I still hang out with my old friends and watch footy. I still go fishing with Aaron every second Saturday. And I know now to leave Jay at home when I go fishing…
JAY: Oh my GAWD! Can you believe he tried to take me fishing! He said it would be fun. He said I would have a great time. Then he hauled me out of bed at a ridiculous hour and made me forgo makeup and nice clothes. I couldn’t believe it when we arrived and he expected me to wade out in the water up to my knees. I mean, I was wearing my stonewashed skinny jeans. Those suckers are painted on and could not be rolled up. And then he made such a song and dance when I insisted he piggy-back me to the boat. I still can’t believe it. Oh my Gawd! Did he expect me to get wet or something?
JAY: Then! After freezing my arse off for ages while we rode out to the middle of nowhere in this tin can, they wanted me to bait a hook! Aaron just passed this bucket over and I looked in and there were all these little fish and prawns. Raw! Not like nicely cooked and presented with a salad or anything. They expected me to cut them up and put them on a hook. I know! It’s like inhuman or something. Then, when I thought I had done the worst possible thing ever—
JAY: —Liam actually caught a fish on the end of his line. Alive! I mean it was flopping all over the place.
LIAM: Oh, for goodness sake, Jamie. What did you think we would pull up on the end of our line? Nicely filleted fish? Perhaps a tin of tuna?
JAY: **crosses his arms** Well I just didn’t expect it to be alive alive. I thought it would be dead.
RENAE: **struggling to hide her humour** So tell me, Jay, is there any time you’ve taken Liam to do something gay-orientated and he’s not—
JAY: **squeals** Oh my Gawd! The Pride Parade!
JAY: I have to tell you about Liam’s first Pride Parade.
LIAM: No. Please don’t—
JAY: Hush! It’s my turn to talk now. So about two months after Ben’s wedding, we had the Pride Parade in Perth. I go every year. It’s so much fun! We always get this huge crowd together and dress up. I had these tiny white shorts that I had found and were so much sexy that I had to wiggle them on. I worked on my nails for ages and managed to make them rainbow coloured and even did my hair as a rainbow. Oh my Gawd! It was great. So Liam didn’t want to come, but he had this idea that I would get hit upon or something – haha, like that ever happens at a Pride Parade. **giggles** So he comes out of the bedroom dressed in these jeans and grey shirt, and I’m like, “No way, Jose. You have to dress up!” But he didn’t. He’s such a pain. Then we get there and he standing there with the huge shocked look on his face. Like he expected us to be fully clothed or something. **laughs** So then the parade starts and me and the boys are cheering from the side, but no Liam. I thought maybe he’d gone off to the toilets or something. An hour later I tracked him down inside this pub. He’s in the corner, talking to this old guy about beer.
LIAM: Beer is very important.
JAY: But you missed the parade!
LIAM: You guys didn’t stop shrieking enough to watch the parade. Besides, my leg was starting to hurt.
LIAM: Shut up. You didn’t miss me for nearly an hour.
JAY: I did too. But we’ll discuss that when we get home. I want to tell Renae about the Queen. So then…
LIAM: Please Jay, don’t—
JAY: …we’re in the bar, and this big ole Queen comes over. Her name was Miss Gayleena, and everyone knows she is the biggest bitch in town. You don’t insult her.
JAY: Hush. It’s my turn to talk.
LIAM: **muttering** It’s always your turn to talk…
JAY: So this Queen is sashaying around, making rude comments and insulting everyone, when she spots Liam over in the corner of the bar, having a yarn to this old guy and ignoring the rest of it. She makes a beeline to him and I’m freaking out, wanting to rush over and rescue him, but not wanting Miss Gayleena’s gaze to find me. Oh my Gawd! That woman makes my balls shrink with the thought of her skewering me with an insult. So she taps Liam on the shoulder and he turns around and gets a look of this Queen in her finery. I mean, she was glittering from head to toe, had slapped the makeup on and had so many feathers in her hair she must’ve denuded three peacocks.
Liam sighs and covers his eyes with his hands.
JAY: I see Liam’s face, and I’m thinking this is not going to end well. Liam’s staring at this Queen like he can’t believe she’s moving and talking. She says to him, loud enough so everyone can hear, “So what’s a cute little straight boy like you doing in town on Pride night?” Now, we all know she’s trying to get a reaction from the crowd, and I’m almost pissing my pants in fear of how Liam’s going to react. He takes this big step back as if he’s afraid of her, and say, “I’m not bothering anyone. I’m just having a beer.”
LIAM: **muttering** I didn’t know why she was picking on me.
JAY: Because you look so straight! So anyway, she laughs at him and says, “We all know what the cute straight boys want on Pride night. How about you let me take you home and I’ll give you a piece of Gayleena’s meat?” And Liam looks shocked before saying, “I’m not into that.”
LIAM: Well, I’m not! All I was meaning was that I don’t bottom.
JAY: **laughing** I knew that. But she didn’t. She got all excited like she had a live homophobe on her hands. She turned to the crowd, who were ready for her pointed barbs. A homophobe in Northbridge on Pride night is like a rabbit at a party of foxes. She said, “Oh, darling. All straight boys are into that once they’ve had Miss Gayleena.”
LIAM: Does that line work? Like ever?
JAY: **ignoring Liam** And Liam says, “Thank you for the offer, but I have other plans.” Oh my Gawd! He was so polite, and I could see it was shitting her right off. So she says, “Tell us, cutie. What plans does a man like you have? After all, you’re hanging out at a bar filled with gay guys on Pride night.”
Liam rolls his eyes again.
JAY: Then Liam – the love of my life – turns to the biggest Queen in the whole of Perth, looks her up and down once, and says, with the biggest sneer, “It’s none of your business, but if you must know, I had planned on taking my boyfriend back to our home and fucking him senseless on our bed.”
Renae chokes with mirth while Liam shakes his head sadly.
JAY: Oh my Gawd! It was classic. Every single jaw in the room dropped, including mine.
RENAE: Then what happened?
JAY: Then he looks over at me and calls, “Babe? You ready to go home and be fucked?” And I’m standing there with my tight little white shorts on, my rainbow nails and matching tank top, with little fairy wings on my back. Suddenly the spotlight’s on me. So I just waved and said, “Ready when you are.”
Renae wipes at the tears of laughter.
RENAE: And then?
JAY: Then he pushed past Miss Gayleena, nearly mowed down these oblivious lesbians kissing in the middle of the room, and slides his arm around me. I swear I was the envy of every single gay boy in that room.
LIAM: What? Because I shot down that preening queen?
JAY: No. Because you shot her down, showed your alpha side, and then marched over and claimed me in front of everyone.
Liam rolls his eyes again. Renae is scared he'll go blind.
LIAM: So what was I meant to do? Scuttle away from her in fright? There’s nothing alpha about standing up for yourself. And claiming you? Pfft. I just didn’t want anyone else to take you home. You’re mine.
JAY: Aww. Liam…
Renae sees what’s coming a quickly interjects.
RENAE: Ahh, guys? Public interview? If you want to do more you need to go home.
Liam and Jay still make goo-goo eyes at each other.
RENAE: Liam? Jay? How about you tell me about your new home?
LIAM: **still holding eye contact with Jay** Home? Great idea. Let’s go home.
Liam and Jay stand up and make to leave.
RENAE: Wait? What? No! Guys, please. You were supposed to…. **realises she’s talking to an empty room** …. Right. Damn.
How to contact Renae: