Friday, November 11, 2016

There's Still Room for Hope #LGBTQ #election


Friday morning I read a statement by the Trans Lifeline, a suicide hotline tailored to the unique needs of transgender people. The day after the election, 8 transgender people killed themselves and several others were hospitalized for unsuccessful attempts.

It broke my heart to learn the most vulnerable section of our Rainbow Community is in crisis. Every day we lose another life. Why? Because the press is predicting Armageddon and headlines are scary as shit right now.

I've had the same I-don't-want-to-live-on-this-planet-anymore sensation as everyone else this week, but I think in our rush to get past the awful foreboding to a real scenario, we're making too many assumptions and forgetting a few key truths.



Truth 1: You can't trust the press, a fact they've demonstrated consistently for at least a decade now. Accuracy doesn't matter. They print whatever gets the most clicks even if they have to outright lie. Let's face it, fear sells even better than sex. 

The stories they're telling are pure speculation based on nothing but conjecture and assumption.

Yes, the haters are out in full force because they think the election results mean hatred is now fashionable. That's not true. The new President-Elect won because of the Electoral College, not because a majority of Americans agree with his racist, divisive policies...as evidenced by the tens of thousands of protestors still in the streets days later. Clinton won the popular vote and when everything is tallied, they expect her to be somewhere around a million votes ahead. 

As usual, the haters are ill-informed.


Truth 2: Just because we're putting Toilet Paper (Trump/Pence = TP = toilet paper) in the White House doesn't mean the rest is guaranteed. Neither of these men have any experience on The Hill and there is no proof they are widely respected in D.C. There is, however, overwhelming proof one of them is widely loathed. 

Congress has spent the last eight years proving they can be childish and petty. It's difficult to predict what that snotty attitude will mean when Toilet Paper starts trying to push bills through. It wouldn't be the first time Congress decided to block something they secretly agree with just to be spiteful.



Truth 3: We have built an incredible movement over the last several years. Not just here, but internationally. Our push for equality started a wave that has washed over every continent, empowering millions. We even gained the official and enthusiastic backing of the United Nations.

We're not in this alone. We have allies and activists all over the world fighting with us. 

Yes, this is a slap in the face and yes, holding our ground may be a struggle, but it's not impossible. I've read the requests for the new administration to roll back our federal rights. While that may happen, it doesn't mean we all go back in the closet. It means the fight reverts to each individual state. That's not a tragedy. Dozens of pro-LGBT organizations are already in the midst of that battle.





Take heart, my Rainbow peeps! Don't let the stories of an anti-LGBT apocalypse scare you. So far, they're only stories. When the real version hits, we'll tackle it one obstacle at a time, the way we always have.

The Toilet Paper era is temporary. Our fight for equality isn't.

I'm sharing this video again because I'm in love with it! And because I think we need the reminder. 


We're not alone. 





Together we can do this.





Wednesday, November 9, 2016

America's Brexit - Now What? #election #LGBTQ


If you're feeling a bit panicky today, you're not alone. So many Americans freaked out last night over the election results, the US crashed Canada's immigration website. No, I'm not kidding. (Sorry, Canada. We're having a moment.)



We're about to put two men in the White House who stand firmly and proudly against every minority in the country. One of whom made cyber bullying his official campaign platform. The other turned his home state into a haven for homophobes. I imagine a lot of people are standing around with a knot in their stomach wondering what the hell we do now.

I have a suggestion.

Get involved.

A lifetime of personal catastrophes have taught me not to dwell on the wreckage, but to gather my resolve and move forward. That's what we have to do. It doesn't matter who's to blame for this dark moment in history. What matters is how we respond to it and I'm with HRC President Chad Griffin when he said "[we] will continue our fight for equality and justice for all with greater urgency and determination than ever before. We must. Lives literally depend on it."

We need to be prepared to meet whatever challenges are coming, which means there's no time for wallowing. Every day counts. 

If you're not plugged into an LGBTQ organization, now is a great time to do so. Volunteers don't need any special qualifications beyond a determination to see people's rights protected. If you're not in a position or location that makes it possible to donate time, donating money is a great thing to add to your list of New Year's resolutions.

This election means some things will change. Probably for the worse. It might force us to live our truth a little louder. A little prouder. A little more determinedly, but we will get through this together. Thankfully, we have a lot of people in LGBTQ history to use as inspiration. They didn't give up. Even when things looked hopeless. Neither will we.




Monday, October 24, 2016

Win It Before You Can Buy It Contest - WE HAVE WINNERS! Fade to Blue #Giveaway #GayRom


It's almost here!

The countdown has begun for the release of Book 3 in the Blue Series. This is your chance to win a copy before you can buy it! Five winners will get a free copy of the ebook and you could be one of them.






Fraud? Lies? Deceit? Everybody needs a hobby.


Brady Halverson is a self-made man with his life under control. He has the money. He has the man. He has it all until an international scandal pits brother against brother, and he realizes how quickly he could lose it.

While Brady is learning the truth behind his brother’s lies, his boyfriend Blue is learning another lesson. A careless moment divides Blue’s circle of friends, threatening to tear it apart. Putting things back together forces both of them to test the bonds of friendship and family.

For one man, things will never be the same.










Excerpt


Blue sat on a black leather couch in the lobby of Berner, Riley, and Stone, watching people in suits stride past. Everyone was in a hurry as if the law firm had a minimum speed limit through the reception area to foster the appropriate atmosphere of urgency. After all, nobody wanted to see their five-hundred-dollar-an-hour lawyer stroll casually past the front desk like they had nothing better to do.

It was the only humorous thing about that morning, and Blue clung to it for a moment before letting the thought drift away.

He hadn't planned to spend their anniversary getting a closer look at the rat race. He'd imagined a lazy day in bed, rolling in wilted rose petals with Brady and wishing they had room service. Mark’s call last night had shredded that fantasy. He had news and the tone in his voice hadn't implied it was good. 

Dressed in jeans and a dark green button-down shirt, Blue sat next to Brady, a hand rested on his thigh for moral support. He had a feeling Brady was going to need it before the morning was over. Brady's more severe outfit said the same thing, black pants and a black polo shirt broadcasting his mood to anyone not capable of reading it on his face.

The quiet chime of the elevator floated in from the bay around the corner a moment before Dina and J.P. stepped into view. Dina strode to where they sat, inspiring Brady to stand and greet her with a kiss. J.P. gave them a wave on his way to the reception desk.

"Morning, Dina." Blue stood with Brady and kissed her other cheek.

"Morning, Blue. This is a shitty way to spend your anniversary, isn't it? I'm sorry."

He smiled because he couldn't help it. Her choice of words contradicted her tasteful outfit and conservative pearls. The trappings of immense wealth couldn't smother the attitude of a woman who had spent half her life struggling to survive. He was sure she caught plenty of socialites off guard.

"It's okay. He'll make it up to me."

"And then some," Brady said. "Have a seat, Mom."

They didn't have a chance to get comfortable.

"Mr. Stone is ready for you now." One of the receptionists walked from behind the front desk, J.P. trailing her. "I'll show you to the conference room."

She walked them down the hall, past lawyers in their individual cells with backs to the high-rise view, too focused on their computer screens to notice. The room where Mark would spend the next hour flogging them with sharp bits of reality was in a corner. Large windows looked out on the neighboring building and traffic twenty stories below. Empty, the space looked cozy. Blue expected it to creep toward claustrophobic when they all gathered around the table, discussing the disaster annoying everyone but Terry, the man who had caused it.









Congratulations to the contest winners!

Des L.
Debra G.
H.B.
Marie C.
Jen


Sunday, October 23, 2016

It's Time to Give Back! @TrevorProject #LGBTQ #WA4Trevor



IT'S TIME TO GIVE BACK


If you've spent any time buzzing by my social media accounts, you've heard me talk about The Trevor Project. If you haven't -- no worries. I'm 'bout to take care of that!





The Trevor Project is the leading organization for crisis intervention and suicide prevention in LGBTQ kids. To put it in simplest terms, they are all about saving young lives. All day. Every day. And this week I'm all about helping them do that!


Why Trevor Project? 
Because of this:
  • 52% of young LGBT people report having engaged in self-harm at some point during their lives.
  • 44% have considered suicide
  • 1 in 3 have attempted suicide
  • 9 in 10 report having been bullied in school by peers and/or staff
  • 1 in 5 homeless teens identifies as LGBTQ

Those aren't pretty numbers. Fortunately, this one is: every year, over 200,000 kids nationwide reach out to The Trevor Project through the hotline, Trevor Text, and Trevor Chat. When they do, trained volunteers are ready to help. 

Think about that. 

Hundreds of thousands of our LGBTQ kids feel the only safe place they can go for help is to a sympathetic stranger on a crisis hotline. And those sympathetic strangers at The Trevor Project answer. Every time. 



photo credit: Kompania Piwowarska via photopin (license)



Join me in supporting this incredible organization! The more we give. The more lives they can save.



You don't have to give big, but please...GIVE and then SHARE!












Despite the hashtag (#WA4Trevor), proceeds are not designated for any specific state or program. They go to assist any kid who calls, chats, or texts for help. Regardless of where they live. 


Thursday, October 6, 2016

HALF OFF on Blue! #LimitedOffer #GayRom #Sale



Blue is on sale!



To celebrate the imminent release of Fade to Blue, I'm having a Blue Series sale! Blue and Rhythm and Blue will be 50% off for a limited time at Amazon and All Romance. 

That's two books for the price of one.

Pick up your copies today because this won't last!





One ultimatum cost him everything.

Injured and near death, Blue collapsed in the yard of a stranger with nothing but a grisly scar and a pile of hostility. Only one man can reach him. Will it be enough to save him from himself?   




     












Watch out for the spotlight. It burns.

A Grammy nomination drags the searing spotlight of fame uncomfortably close, setting Blue's almost orderly life on fire. Scorched by betrayal and doubt, fame isn't what Blue imagined. 

Unintimidated by the fire, his boyfriend, Brady puts his career aside to shield Blue. Fame can warm you one minute and burn you to ash the next, but Brady won't let anything--or anyone--burn Blue again. 













Wednesday, September 28, 2016

COVER REVEAL - Check out the cover for Fade to Blue and enter to #win! #GayRom #Giveaway



Join me in celebrating the upcoming release of book 3 of the Blue series!




Fraud. Lies. Deceit? Everybody needs a hobby.

Brady Halverson is a self-made man with his life under control. He has the money. He has the man. He has it all until an international scandal pits brother against brother, and he realizes how quickly he could lose it.

While Brady is learning the truth behind his brother’s lies, his boyfriend Blue is learning another lesson. A careless moment divides Blue’s circle of friends, threatening to tear it apart. Putting things back together forces both of them to test the bonds of friendship and family. 

For one man, things will never be the same.


Fade to Blue continues the best-selling Blue Series and includes a cameo  by the star of my previous saga, Saving Liam.









Enter below to win a $25 gift card!


a Rafflecopter giveaway





Monday, August 1, 2016

Hold Tight and Breathe #LGBT #Pride


Fuck me, this has been a traumatic Pride season! 

Sorry. Is it too early in the post to swear? Okay then. Holy buckets, it's crazy out there!






I usually take the summer off to enjoy Pride, think about how far we've come, and regroup but this year there hasn't been time. There's too much happening and most of it has left chunks of the US Rainbow Community jumpy and scared. 

I know how you guys feel, though I'm experiencing things a little differently. I lost my patience with fear a long time ago. What I have these days is a temper on a low boil. I go from okay to volcanic in the space of a single ignorant sentence, and they all seem to be coming from the same direction lately. Funny that.

This post isn't aimed at the coldhearted and self-absorbed because I see little point in talking to that bunch. This goes out to my Rainbow peeps who saw the name Pence attached to the Republican ticket and had a panic attack that hasn't quite dissipated yet. (Don't recognize him? Google "Indiana Governor religious freedom law" and read a few posts. I'm sure it will come back to you.) Pair that nightmare with the Republican platform that places religious pandering over equality and I don't blame people for thinking our Rainbow bus is about to run off a cliff.

With so many political experts predicting a win for the wrong side, the fragile hope keeping much of our community afloat is deflating. We all know how dangerous it is when our most vulnerable lose faith. Addiction goes up. Self-harm goes up. Suicide goes up.






I'd like to offer a bit of solid reassurance to counter some of that uncertainty.

Even if the worst happens and the wrong guy wins, this is not the end of the LGBTQQIA2SGnc movement. Activists all over North America are gearing up for battle, and we will be ready to duke this out. I know because I am one of them. 

Combined, we have decades of experience, thousands of donor members, and hundreds of our own lobbyists. It's too late for anyone to shut us down (regardless of how big their ego is) and no political magic wand can force us back in the closet. We won't go. It's that simple. 

Personally, I can't imagine any scenario where someone could successfully convince HRC to sit down and shut up. Or Amnesty International. Or Lambda Legal. Or The ACLU. Or PFLAG. Or GLSEN. Or the flock of celebrities and YouTubers standing behind Trevor Project. Trust me. We're ready for this! It might not be easy but when has this fight ever been easy?

To those who are still trapped in the shadows of oppression and feel brokenhearted because you think you're watching your chance to finally come out of the closet evaporate: don't panic. Hold tight and breathe. We're still coming to help you! 

After all, you're why we're fighting in the first place.