Greetings, blog hoppers! If you’re visiting today for another reason, learn about the Hop Against Homophobia and get the participant list here.
For those who don’t know me, a quick intro: my fiction is usually about kinky LGBTQ characters and fits somewhere between erotica and erotic romance. As you can see if you look around the site, I want to educate visitors about consensual erotic dominance and submission.
Everyone who leaves a comment on this post between now and May 20 can have a chance in a random drawing for a free ebook. It’s not automatic – you must tell me you want to be included. This site asks for your email when you post, so I can contact you with that. If you can’t post a comment, send me a note instead. Two winners will get a copy of “Ad-Dick-tion, Volume 2“, a collection of ten M/M erotica and romance stories with a variety of themes. I’ll announce the winners in a post on or near May 22 and contact them directly.
If you’ve been visiting even a small fraction of the over 250 blogs in the hop (I’m #227), I probably don’t need to explain homophobia, heterosexism, or heteronormativity. I’ll skip to my personal experiences, something you won’t find elsewhere. After that, some useful links.
In my early college days, I tried renting a room in a group house. After one man told the owner of the house that they had a “cool new lesbian housemate”, the owner (the father of one student) said I had to move out. I hadn’t – and never – met this man, nor knew what sort of threat I posed. A few years later, in graduate school, my partner and I were denied access to graduate student apartments intended for couples. The reason we were given for two women not being allowed to share a one-bedroom apartment was the illegality of sodomy. This was in the early eighties when (I think) the way we made love was still a felony. I consider myself fortunate that these inconveniences were my biggest (but not only) problems from people other than family members.
More recently, my experiences with homophobia have been less direct, but more devastating. I spend considerable time on a gay men’s forum where heartbreaking stories appear all too frequently. One thread started out relatively mildly – no disownment by parents or fear of violence. A gay college student complained about his roommate spying on him and his date via a hidden webcam. Forum members offered advice and the young man seemed willing and able to take the necessary steps to correct the situation. A few days later we were horrified to learn that several hours after his last post, this man – Tyler Clementi – took his own life by jumping off a bridge. We wondered if we could have made a difference. Within a few days, the site had a new section with anti-bullying and anti-suicide resources. Many of us donated to the Matthew Shepard Foundation (see resources list below) in response to a matching funds offer by the site owners. Others made a video for the It Gets Better Project.
Below are some links to help people get educated, donate, volunteer, and continue spreading the word.
Some homophobia-specific pages:
International Day Against Homophobia (May 17)
Plus, I just started reading an impressive book, Homophobia: How We All Pay the Price by Warren J. Blumenfeld.
Selected resources for fighting homophobia and bullying, promoting diversity, and supporting the rights of sexual minorities:
The Matthew Shepard Foundation works to erase hate through diversity education and other efforts. Matthew Shepard’s parents founded the organization after their gay son’s brutal murder. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed into law in 2009, creating hate crimes legislation covering various target groups.
The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth.
The It Gets Better Project was created to show young LGBTQ people, primarily through a series of videos, the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives can reach if they can get through their teen years. The first video was released the day before Clementi’s suicide.
Empty Closets has coming out resources and a forum for LGBTQ members 13 years of age and older.
PFLAG – Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays is a national support, education and advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC with local affiliates in more than 350 communities in the US and abroad.
GLSEN – The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network has dozens of chapters across the US to help assure that each member within a school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
NCSF – The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom was created to fight for sexual freedom and privacy rights for all adults who engage in safe, sane and consensual behavior. While focused on BDSM, efforts extend to other alternative sexualities and lifestyles. The NCSF has formed alliances with other organizations that defend sexual freedom rights: Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the Gay and Lesbian Activist Alliance, among others.