Time to be Unreasonable

§ November 26th, 2014 § Filed under Queer Stuff § Tagged , , , , , , , , § 2 Comments

My patience is wearing thin. I am done with the “reasonable” debate about the rights I “deserve,” if falling in love somehow makes me “less” than other people, if I’m safe to be around children. I’m done debating if my landlord has the right to evict me, if my boss has the right to fire me, if I have the right to be upset about people debating my rights.

I don’t care what your religion says, how grossed-out you are, how upset if someone calls you a homophobe. Fuck “reasonable,” “measured” debates. My life is not a problem other people have to solve.

Fuck the “same as you” arguments which pander to the fear of, and simultaneous fascination with, queer sex, fuck the way people try to “normalise” queerfolk. We were never abnormal to begin with.

Fuck wondering what jobs I’m capable of, what I’m safe to be allowed to do. I don’t need community rehabilitation, because I am part of the community already. We are legion. So fuck trying to keep us in the closet by threatening our livelihoods if we dare come out.

Fuck whitewashing us from history, from society, from the school and the street and the workplace. You have always lived alongside queerfolk, you have shared classrooms and changing rooms and office space and gym memberships with us your whole life. We are not shadowy strangers “out there,” we are here, beside you. Doing no harm.

Fuck the people who want us criminalised, who want us rounded up and gassed, who want us stripped of our rights to live and love, to lobby and assemble, to say fuck you to begin with. Fuck the president who let a plague go unchecked, and the people who hide behind false idols and fraudulent studies to strip us of our humanity.

Fuck those who say we can change, who prey on the fears of parents to torture and emotionally abuse their queer kids. Fuck every parent who has ever disowned a child. Fuck the families who come out of the woodwork after a death in order to loot the estate. Fuck the law which makes that possible.

Fuck the courts who hear the animus, fuck the “gay means stay” approach, fuck every pompous old man who feels uncomfortable acknowledging our existence. We will not go away, for we have nowhere else to go.

Fuck the mother scared of raising a “sissy,” who won’t let her son near anything pink or her daughter near blue, the father who tells his boy to “man up” and teaches his girl to be scared of men, the teacher who steers girls towards textiles and boys towards woodwork, the coach who calls a kid a “pussy” if he shows he’s hurt. Fuck gender normativity.

Fuck pink and blue, boys and girls, gay and straight. Fuck meaningless binaries and two-faced allies, every person who’s watched gay porn and turned against us in the privacy of the voting booth. Fuck delaying and denying our rights, fetishising our bodies, othering our lives, loves, desires. Fuck treating gay bars like zoo exhibits, gay men like predators, fuck the semantics of fear and loathing.

Fuck the closet, the word “partner,” fuck turning our marriages into business arrangements, forcing us to bind ourselves with powers of attorney and living wills and thousand-dollar pieces of paper to protect ourselves from our own flesh and blood when our hearts are no longer beating. Fuck smothering us, hiding us, pushing us away. We’re here. We’re queer. Get used to it.

New Release – THE MASTER – Coming 24/11

§ November 22nd, 2014 § Filed under Books § Tagged , , , , § 4 Comments

Woop! It’s here! The Master, Free Men, Book 3, released Monday 24 November.

TheMaster 200x300 New Release   THE MASTER   Coming 24/11

 

Being rescued was only the start.

Otiz lies in ruins. As underlord of the region, Lysander knows where his responsibilities lie. He has an obligation to the survivors to rebuild their homes and their lives. But what about his home, his life?

Kai needs help. The damage inflicted on him goes beyond the marks left when he was tortured, but healing him might require more from Lysander than he’s capable of giving. Of one thing he’s certain: Tam and Kai will never be endangered again because of who he is, even if saving them means setting them free.

All Lysander wants is to be left in peace. To recover from the horrors of his experience at the hands of his enemies. But with pressure piling up from every angle, peace is the last thing he’s likely to find. Suffocated by guilt, Lysander begins to spiral. How can he hold everything together, when inside he’s falling apart?

FreeMen 300x145 New Release   THE MASTER   Coming 24/11

Available from AmazonAllRomanceEbooks, and Smashwords.

 

Release Day! Woo-hoo! #mmromance #lgbt

§ October 27th, 2014 § Filed under Books § Tagged , , , , , , § 2 Comments

TheSlave horz 300x224 Release Day! Woo hoo! #mmromance #lgbt

 When Tam’s Master sent him to purchase a new slave, he never expected him to  return with Kai, an enemy soldier. At first both slaves are resistant to their changed circumstances, but as the three men grow closer, so too does the war raging around them.

The Slave is available now from  Amazon, iTunes, AllRomanceEbooksBarnes&Noble, and Smashwords.

The Soldier is available now from Amazon, AllRomanceEbooks, and Smashwords. Coming soon to B&N and iTunes.

TRAILER

★☆★☆★ Reviews ★☆★☆★

StraightNotNarrow: “Kate Aaron, without a doubt, has outdone herself! The Slave is a captivating tale.”

Literati Book Reviews: “From the first lines, I was enamored, intrigued, scared, hopeful… I was hooked.”

Sinfully Sexy: “Practically from the second Tam started to tell us his story I knew I was going to fall in love with this tale.”

Helena’s Heat: “This book is both incredibly hot and heartbreakingly tender.”

On Top Down Under: “Fantastic fantasy and sexy as sin, The Slave is just that little bit different and highly addictive.” (Link NSFW)

So, This Happened

§ October 23rd, 2014 § Filed under Books § Tagged , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off

ace 300x255 So, This Happened

 

I can’t believe it. Ace was a year old at the end of September, and I decided to run a promotion. Those who bought a copy, thank you! It was an incredible couple of days, and making #1 LGBT book on Amazon.com was such a thrill.

TheSlave horz 300x224 So, This HappenedComing 27 October – The Slave and The Soldier, books 1 and 2 in my Free Men series. Book 3, The Master, is coming 24 November.

The Slave is available for pre-order now from Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes&Noble.

On release day both titles will also be available from Smashwords and AllRomance.

The first review of The Slave is in, courtesy of the awesome Kazza at On Top Down Under (warning, link images NSFW). She gave it five glorious stars, saying, “Fantastic fantasy and sexy as sin, The Slave is just that little bit different and highly addictive.”

 

Ace is on #Sale – Ends 16/10

§ October 14th, 2014 § Filed under Books § Tagged , , , , , § 2 Comments

Yes, you heard that right. From 14/10 through 16/10Ace will be on sale for the bargain price of $0.99. Available at Amazon and ARe only.ace cover 200x300 Ace is on #Sale   Ends 16/10

 

And, like that wasn’t exciting enough, I haz Puddledown swag! All you have to do to get your mitts on these lovely button badges for free is sign up to my newsletter.

buttons 300x165 Ace is on #Sale   Ends 16/10

I promise, no spam, not ever! Details of how to get them will be coming in the next issue, which contains information about the release dates of my upcoming Free Men trilogy. You don’t want to miss out!

TheSlave horz 300x224 Ace is on #Sale   Ends 16/10

Good News Day

§ October 6th, 2014 § Filed under Books § Tagged , , , , , , , , , § 4 Comments

I’ll start with something personal, The Dead Past is a Rainbow Award finalist! At only $0.99, why not check it out for yourself?

rainbowfinalist 300x300 Good News Day

 

From the honorable mentions: “I was immediately hooked by the old-style English but perfect writing style of this first book of probably a series which I am going to definitely follow,” and “The author drew me completely into the setting to the point I felt like I was there.”

Then there’s the national news… SCOTUS denying cert. to all seven same-sex marriage cases. It had been mooted as a possibility, but I never thought they’d take it. And finally, PA just voted to add LGBT and gender identity protections to their hate crime laws. Today I am mostly flailing around like a giddy fool. The tears of the haters taste delicious.


Stay tuned for release dates for my new trilogy, Free Men. The first two books are coming later this month! Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to get all the latest news (I promise: no spam, not ever) and some exclusive swag — coming soon!

 

Something in the #Facebook Water #MyNameIs

§ September 23rd, 2014 § Filed under Random § Tagged , , , , , Comments Off

So this all began a week or two ago, when Facebook deleted a ton of accounts en masse, all belonging to drag performers, all for contravening a ‘real name’ clause in their terms. Basically, they can all use their full legal names (and Facebook is requiring legal ID to evidence them), switch their existing profiles to ‘fan pages’, or get off Facebook completely.

mynameis 300x273 Something in the #Facebook Water #MyNameIs

Source: Unkle Mikey, Facebook

§ Read the rest of this entry…

The Gay PDA

§ September 21st, 2014 § Filed under Queer Stuff § Tagged , , , , Comments Off

Okay, I’m going to talk about something which is going to make many of us uncomfortable: the gay PDA. More specifically, about the reaction to gay PDAs.

resting face staring 189x300 The Gay PDA

§ Read the rest of this entry…

Facebook, Redux #Namegate

§ September 16th, 2014 § Filed under Random § Tagged , , , , , § 8 Comments

Following on from yesterday’s saga…

The email I sent bounced back with a generic “We don’t deal with this, go to the Help pages” response. I found a page that let me file a dispute to an account being disabled. Hurrah! Except… they want me to scan my ID (drivers’ licence, passport) and upload it as a JPEG. I decided to send this instead.

KA ID Facebook, Redux #Namegate

 

I amused myself in nothing else.

But then — disaster!

disabled account screenprint 300x199 Facebook, Redux #Namegate

 

So apparently the account I’m blocked from isn’t actually disabled, meaning I have precisely zero ways of resolving this issue, because clearly finding a human being at Facebook is less likely than finding a baboon picking its arse on Mars. In fact, I’m inclined to think there are no people at Facebook, just cyborg overlords, and arse-picking baboons.

So, fine, I decided to go back, and was greeted with this:

login to continue 300x47 Facebook, Redux #Namegate

Yeah, if only I could log in, there would be no drama. Oy.

Then, on a whim, I decided to see what would happen if I entered a false name.

~cue choirs of angelic cherubs singing aaaaaaaah-aaaaaaah-ah~

katrina 300x140 Facebook, Redux #Namegate

 

Ladies and gentlemen, Katrina Aaron has entered the building.

No, I don’t know who she is, either.

The bot then scolded me for telling porkies in the past, and informed me that I can never, ever change my name on Facebook again. So. Apparently they prefer the pet name my high school art teacher gave me over the name my parents chose. There is a delicious irony to this that, being English, I adore.

No doubt next week Facebook will inform me that I’m actually Norwegian and I’ll stop being amused.

So I am back, although FSM knows for how long, but during my 24-hours without my lord and master, without sanctuary and security, when I was just a lone voice crying in the wilderness, I did at least learn a few lessons.

1. I am way too dependent on Facebook.

I advocate diversity in ebook distribution because I recognise that a monopoly is A Bad Thing, so why not with social media?

2. I’d miss you guys if I couldn’t get back on there.

I have over 700 Facebook friends. I don’t interact with all of them, but I do with a startling number, many of whom I don’t know/follow anywhere else. Finding you again would become my lifelong quest if I lost you.

3. Facebook is about more than my online friends.

My school friends are on there, and people I used to work with. I like seeing what they’re up to. There’s also photos on there, of me and my friends, of big occasions in our lives, which I’d be devastated to lose. For the past nineteen months, AJ and I have spoken on Facebook messenger every single day. Usually for hours on end. From the moment she got up in the morning to the moment I went to bed, if our timezones were in sync we were talking. We fell in love on Facebook. Our whole history was there. And now it’s gone. It might not be a real-life tragedy, but I’m genuinely gutted.

With that last point in mind, there is something we can all do — download our Facebook data.

print1 300x286 Facebook, Redux #Namegate

At the top right of your screen, click on the faded down arrow, then click ‘Settings’.

print2 300x134 Facebook, Redux #Namegate

That will bring up your General Account Settings. At the bottom, click ‘Download a Copy’ of your Facebook data. You’ll be taken through setting up an archive, then they’ll email you when the file is ready and you download it as a zip. It will contain all your contacts, all your conversations, all your pictures, and also some bonus goodies like the ads you’ve clicked on, the time you’ve spent online, and your security details. All stuff worth knowing and keeping, because you don’t want conversations you’d prefer to keep for ever and ever to end up like this.

pms 300x231 Facebook, Redux #Namegate

 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to read my wall posts from 2007.


 

TL;DR. In future, I will be on Facebook. There are people and groups there I don’t want to lose contact with. I will, however, be less dependent on any single network. I’m active on Twitter and Tumblr as well as Facebook and this blog, and I’ve just entered the murky waters of G+. I hope to see some of you on those other platforms, too. And don’t forget you can always sign up to my mailing list if you’d prefer that I contact you about new releases and special promotions (I promise, no spam, not ever).

WTF, Facebook?

§ September 15th, 2014 § Filed under Random § Tagged , , § 21 Comments

So, I’m sure you’ve heard how certain trans* performers and drag artists have recently fallen victim to Facebook’s sudden insistence that everybody on its site uses their full, legal name. I’m sure you’ve read all about the potential pitfalls and repercussions attendant with such a stipulation, especially in a country where in most states you can still be dismissed from your job and evicted from your home for being LGBT. Plus, y’know, the very real risk some people face of being physically harmed, were their identities known.

Authors, too, have many good reasons to use pen names. Again with the LGBT firing/eviction thing, but also because *whisper it* there are some crazies out there, and maybe we don’t all want our fans googling where we live and stalking us outside our homes, mmmkay?

Now I knew all of this, in an intellectual, it-doesn’t-affect-me kinda way. See, I use my real name on facebook. That’s because I was born and raised in a civilised country where I have certain legal protections which mean my boss can’t fire me for writing m/m, and nor can my landlord evict me. I know, I know, a glut of luxuries — right?

So my personal facebook page became my business facebook page. Fans and authors brush shoulders with ex-colleagues from my last day job, and people I went to school and college and uni with. You’d think, with so many different people knowing me, sharing and tagging pictures of me, and stipulating from whence they knew me, facebook would understand that I’m actually who I say I am.

Apparently not.

update name 300x173 WTF, Facebook?

Huh.

I wasn’t expecting that.

So now I’ve got to give facebook my real name, otherwise I’ll be locked out of my account for ever and ever and ever. No problem, right? I’ll just put in my real name — i.e., the one I was using all along — and things will be fine. Right?

approved 300x104 WTF, Facebook?

Huh.

I kinda was expecting that.

But this raises some interesting questions. Who approved my name (or didn’t, in this case)? What information do they think they hold on me that they think they know, without asking me for confirmation, what my “real name” actually is? What database are they accessing, who gave them access to it, and how are they using it? They haven’t asked me to provide any evidence of my name (but if they think they’re getting a scan of my passport, they can think again), they’re telling me outright, “Nope, we know that’s not your name. Try again!”

Well, bullshit. Firstly, that is my name. Secondly, how do they think they know that it isn’t, anyway?

Honestly, I’m past trying to get my account back.  Now I want to know what information they’re accessing about me.

Also, I’m a little bit pissed at the sheer inanity of the process. “Enter Name.” “Wrong Name. Enter Name.” Well who the fuck do I contact if you think the right name is the wrong name? There’s no support link. I go to facebook Help and under “suspended accounts” they tell me to follow the instructions on screen to unsuspend it. “Enter Name.” And round we go again.

So. I’m on Twitter, I’m on tumblr, I’m on my blog. I might or might not get a response to the shirty email I finally sent to disabled@facebook.com. Given I was asking more questions about their information source than getting my account back, I’m not holding my breath.

If they do respond, the next question I’ll be asking is why it’s only LGBT people I’m hearing that are affected by this move. Again, I won’t hold my breath for an answer.

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