Monthly Archives: January 2013

Why Equal Marriage Matters

Hands up who’s bored of the equal marriage debates rumbling through virtually every country in the west at the moment? It seems every other US state is currently having a referendum on the matter – with some voting for, and some against – the UK bill just hit parliament, and Paris was invaded by hoards marching both for and against. SCOTUS briefs are currently being filed in advance of the hearing on DOMA.

Whatever your political position – for, against, ambivalent – you can’t escape it. I’ve heard arguments every which way recently, opinions and surveys and outright lies in some instances spread across the media. The most common complaint I’m hearing is that – in most places – us gays already have civil partnerships, so why are we banging on about marriage? Continue reading →

Chicks With Dicks: Covert Desires

I thought I’d throw my two penneth into this debate (because it hasn’t been discussed enough!!). For too long there has been an undercurrent of certain readers rejecting (queer) male characters that they refer to as chicks with dicks.

Firstly, I think that’s a horrible expression. Somehow it manages to be homophobic, transphobic and misogynistic all at once. I’m sure whoever coined it thought they were being sooooooooo witty. But what does it actually mean?

See, I happen to think that actually when people use that expression – or think about its usage – more often than not they’re confusing two entirely different things: (queer) male effeminacy; and bad writing.

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When Sex Gets Boring

Yes, really. In certain circles, there seems to be a general malaise with the standard tropes of m/m sex. Anyone who’s dabbled even slightly in the genre will know exactly what I’m talking about – a trope best described as 1-2-3-lube. If you don’t know, don’t ask!

Sometimes, it seems like every book contains the same damn scene. And while it might have been hot as hell the first time I read it, after the hundredth it’s just…boring.

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Drawing the Line

In June 2011 when I first published Blood & Ash, no-one knew me. The wonders of anonymity – I could wander out into the big, bad world and do as I pleased. That is no-longer the case. A year and a half down the line, my identity has been compromised; the line between my fiction and my reality blurred. As an author – rather than just Kate-who-wrote-a-book – I try to keep some distance between my everyday life and my online life.

We all do, because we’ve all heard horror stories of fourteen year olds who announce a birthday party on Facebook, only to have the house trashed when three hundred twenty year olds gatecrash; or individual cases like the editor who got carjacked by an irate author whose book she rejected – who found her by stalking her on Twitter. This stuff happens.

So where’s the line?

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Naming (and Shaming) Sexual Identities

We’ve all heard the term LGBT, right? Gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans*. Do you know how many groups consider that acronym redundant? The NYT ran an article recently on what it dubbed “Generation LGBTQIA”. Here’s just a sample of some of the labels you can apply to your sexual identity: gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, queer, homosexual, asexual, pansexual, omnisexual, trisexual, agender, bigender, third gender, gender queer, intersex, two-spirit, polyamorous… The list goes on.

Do we really need all these different definitions? Is it really necessary to split our community into smaller and smaller chunks of identity? At what point does an identity become so individual that it ceases to have any relevance to a wider group – and are we damaging our own equality movement by getting bogged down in a plethora of unnecessary labels?

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Putting the T in LGBT

We’ve all heard the expression LGBT Community. Yet too often that very thing – community – is most lacking. There are lines drawn in the sand all over the place: between gay men and women; between gays and bis; between trans* and everyone else; and between all the different shades of grey that make up each stripe of our little rainbow. Humans are essentially contrary creatures and too often it’s the case that the more marginalised we are ourselves, the quicker we’ll kick discrimination down the line to someone else.

Why that should be, no-one knows. Personally, it riles me no end that we can’t all get along as human beings without having to distinguish between creed, colour, race, religion, gendered or sexual identity. Someone once said that the day we actually discover alien life will be a watershed, not because we’ve proved that we are not alone in the universe, but because for the first time we’ll all be united as a single species. Chances are that even then we’ll find something to disagree with our neighbours about.

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Coming Out: A Never-Ending Process

I’ve just read a great blog post about coming out, which has got me thinking (again) about the whole process. I always say I came out at 14, but of course that’s not strictly true. What I mean by that is I told my best friends (via email – my bestie responded with I KNEW IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) but everyone else took a little bit longer, and it’s a process that’s still not really over. It never will be.

How many times do you refer to a gay person as ‘out’? What you’re saying, in effect, is that they’re out to you. That’s all. There is a perception that coming out is a single act, that one day you’re sitting quietly in your closet and hoping that no-one looks at you too closely, and the next day you’ve emerged in a shower of rainbow flags and glitter and from that point on everybody knows, for better or worse – but that simply isn’t true.

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