Homophobia Awareness Ebook Giveaway!

One of the things that turned me toward M/M romance was repeated encounters with a double standard of homosexual acceptance.
For years, everywhere I turned, I kept hearing the same thing: "women can be lesbian, nothing wrong with that, but two guys that is just wrong and gross and unnatural."

And yes, I've heard a reversed version of this double standard in which a person accepts male homosexuality but rejects the validity of the same in females. But I've heard it a great deal less often. As in, so rarely it's virtually nonexistent.

Now, I'll be the first to acknowledge that it's a reading preference when it comes to book content. How a reader finds entertainment and the subject matters they enjoy most are individual and unique, nor should they ever be infringed upon.

But when those personal preferences are focused outward and reflected on others to dictate what is or is not acceptable choices, or valid identities or orientations, when one individual seeks to set limitations on social acceptability and equality? Then there is most definitely a problem.

People fear what they don't understand, and so often that fear translates into hatred, suppression, and discrimination.

In Dark Edge of Honor, my co-writer and I tackled just that -- from two wholly separate angles. The romantic plot arc of Mike and Sergei's relationship is a two-sided battle of self-identity, confidence, and acceptance -- mutual and individual. It isn't a journey that Sergei, more prominently, makes easily or quickly. His is the most obvious, in part because he's a member of a society and culture that expressly and actively prohibit homosexual activity. He begins the story, in fact, as a homophobic person despite his awareness of his homosexual nature. He knows he has this "dark, ugly side" of himself, and he can't help but indulge his "baser cravings."
Mike's struggle is more subtle, and largely internalized. His cultural origins encourage freedom of individuality and equality, yet he has suppressed himself. Learning to open up again, to find the courage to be vulnerable and feel, is a more subtle thread in the story.

Share you thoughts, or your own experiences!
Comment on this post with a contact email address to enter my "Hop Against Homophobia" drawing.
Open worldwide. Entries close 20 May 2012 at midnight (EDT). Two randomly selected commenters will win a free PDF copy of Dark Edge of Honor. Winners will be contacted via email, and also announced here on the blog on 21 May.

Check out the rest of the authors, reviewers, and readers supporting the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia! For the full list of Hop participants, click here.

Comments

  1. Another interesting post. I' m getting lots of different views from all your comments - thanks.
    Suze
    Littlesuze@hotmail.com

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  2. This blog hop is huge and every post is meaningful so it's taking a lot of time to get through. That's a good thing! I'm really enjoying reading the different stories, experiences and thoughts being posted.

    andreagrendahl AT gmail DOT com

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  3. Love should always triumph over hate and I believe it always will.

    kimberlyFDR@yahoo.com

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  4. I'm working my way through the hop...taking a while as there are so many posts. But it's wonderful that so many people are taking part.
    Great post :)
    Please don't enter me in the draw - I already have Dark Edge of Honor - read it recently and it was fantastic!

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  5. I absolutely loved Dark Edge and I think it is an excellent choice to give away for this Hop! I already have it, so please do not enter me but I wanted to let you know I stopped by!
    Take care!

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  6. I'm enjoying all the posts the writers are making in honor of Hop Against Homophobia. I hope it gets picked up by the news.

    Please enter me in your giveaway, your book sounds great :)

    ~ Penumbra
    penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. I have witnessed friends and family members deal with the small-mindedness of bigots. It breaks my heart to see people I love be hurt. I want the world to evolve faster than it is.

    geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

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  8. @Suze Thanks for stopping by! There were a thousand things I wanted to say, actually, but I tried to keep it short and simple.

    @Andrea Yes, there are a large number of active participants, and I am holding out hope that the sheer volume of varying perspectives will impact some with the "theme" that carries through -- which is, regardless of what labels we use on ourselves or others, it should not preclude us from treating our fellow human beings as equals.

    @Kimberly Love *should* always triumph, yes -- but what form that victory takes, and what prices it exacts, will vary quite widely. So much so that in some cases the state of triumph might be argued...

    @pointycat *waves* I haven't even begun to scroll through the collection of posts myself, I'll be doing that this weekend! Thanks so much for stopping by, and I'm so glad you enjoyed Mike & Sergei's story. =)

    @Brenda *waves* Thanks! =D Love hearing that, it's not an "easy" book to read for most.

    @wulf That would be an amazing and wonderful thing, if the Hop got picked up by the news in honor of IDAHO. Fingers crossed!

    @Stacie Evolution is, sadly, always a slow and arduous process. It's usually irreversible though, so that's a good thing. I can only try to open their eyes and spread a little enlightenment. One person at a time. :)

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  9. Thank you for being part of this HOP and helping shine a light on this important issue.

    musings-of-a-bookworm@hotmail.co.uk

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  10. Thank you for the blog post.
    Yvette
    yratpatrol@aol.com

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  11. Thank you for being part of this hop. :)

    I read Blacker than Black this week and I loved it.

    viggnell(at)gmail(dot)com

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  12. Thank you for sharing with us!

    burchills AT gmail DOT com

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  13. I agree that there is much more stigma and homophobia towards gay men than lesbians. However, I think the negative responses grow louder the further you are from the accepted norm for your gender. I came out at twenty-one and faced much less homophobia than my partner. She is not even slightly feminine and is treated differently. Unless we are together (then anyone can tell we've been together forever), most people assume that I am straight. Less feminine women and more effeminate men are usually treated much worse than those of us who fit within the "norm." Homophobes don't like to have their preconceived ideas of gender appropriate behavior shaken. Their beliefs about sexuality are the only ones they are open to and anyone outside those beliefs is a deviant.

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  14. Maybe it is because I am in the UK, but I have heard more "eww" comments regarding two women together than regarding two men. Not that I think there should be any need for such reactions in either case.

    Thanks for taking part in the hop.

    lmbrownauthor at gmail dot com

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  15. Thanks for taking part, Rhi :)

    Erica
    eripike at gmail dot com

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  16. It is a bit of a strange double standard, whichever way it goes. I've also heard people who think that gay or lesbian sex is hot... but two such people could never be in a loving relationship. I mean, what's with that? Anyway, thanks for sharing, Rhi.

    ashley.vanburen[at]gmail[dot]com

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  17. I''ve heard the same double standards, even form friends that are homosexual. I feel that even if an individual doesn't understand something, doesnt mean they should condem it as 'gross' or 'unnatural'. Lillywriting at gmail dot com

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  18. Thanks for the post. The hop was great.

    peggy1984@live.com

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  19. Thanks so much for sharing. Most of my friends are guys and whenever we talk about this or I bring up that I like M/M romances, they also think it's so gross. Yet, most of them think two girls "getting it on" would be hot. There is such a double standard that it's ridiculous. And it's a form of homophobia all on its own. Thanks for bringing up this valid point and for participating!!

    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  20. Thanks for participating in the HOP.

    gisu29(at)gmail(dot)com

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  21. Already have a copy so don't enter me in the contest ;)
    Here showing my support of a great blog hop!! I truly believe that love is love. No one has the right to tell another person how or what to feel, period! The double standard on what the majority find acceptable is sad but true. I have an on going discussion with my husband on that very thing. Although he is at least open minded enough to not judge me on my reading and enjoyment of M/M literature. (smart man!!)

    *hugs*
    Kassandra

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  22. Not here for the contest :)
    Just thanking you for the post, always good to read you Rhi.

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