From the daily archives: Saturday, May 16, 2015

In the face of adversity, sometimes standing your ground feels strange, sometimes downright wrong, like maybe it’d be better to remain quiet, mind your own business. I mean, you wouldn’t want anyone thinking you’re trying to antagonize a situation, start trouble, get in their faces . Right? What if the situation involves you directly though? That always hits a little closer to home, don’t you think? Are you willing to hold all you’re feeling inside, not let anyone know where you stand or worse yet, allow them to believe your silence means you agree with them or condone their behavior?

HAHABT 2015

Today, May 17th, is the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

And today I’m going to share an experience I was subject to when I first began writing. One I didn’t expect, for Who in their right mind would be offended by a character in a book and the life that character lives? I recall thinking at the time because I was momentarily left without words when it happened. It took me letting this person carry on for a few minutes before I regained my mental footing enough to come back with an argument she couldn’t refute.

One of my first published works was a novella called If I Were a Lady…. This story was about a fifth grade English teacher who happened to be a transgender woman. Yes, it had erotic sex in it, but no, that’s not what the story was about. Not ONLY, anyway. Kendra (the main character) happened to live a life that any outsider in her world would consider “normal”–those who didn’t know her secret. And that was the main point of the story, that those of us who embrace the T in the spectrum sometimes end up living double lives, secret lives, lives we feel we must hide from others and live that way for many personal reasons, but many times, because of fear. Fear we’ll lose our friends, our jobs, and the ultimate: our lives.

At the time, a coworker of mine wanted to know about my writing. Acted truly interested. Excuse me for being cynical here–But never let that fool you.

I gave the person a brief synopsis, about as much as I’ve given you above, when her jaw dropped and she began to hyperventilate. “Well, I never!” she said. “I’d remove my children straight out of that school immediately if I found out they had a teacher there like that!” One hand fanned her face, while she pretended to be still her rapidly beating heart with the other. “Who would EVER read a book like that?” she asked me.

I got my bearings and finally answered her with this: If you’d let me finish, you’d realize the main character is a person, just like you or me. She loves teaching and loves children and there’s even a happy ending for her.

From the look on her face, I was either not very convincing or simply not changing her mind. “I just don’t think I could let my children be around someone like that.” Her look of repulsion repulsed me.

At this point in the conversation, I was admittedly pissed, so I decided to end it with this: “To answer your question ‘Who would EVER read a book like that?’ I have to tell you, I wrote it with close-minded people like you in mind, hoping you’d actually pick it up, and read it, and maybe actually learn something.” And then I left her office, never to speak to her again.

Why sometimes it may seem awkward or difficult to stand up for what’s right, it’s really about speaking your mind. Be unafraid to tell others how you feel and why. Just do it. If things go south during a conversation or slightly heated debate, remember: Everyone’s entitled to an opinion. If your adversary is a close-minded jerk, who cares what he/she thinks, you can always walk away; but if the situation sparks a disagreement with a friend, the worse that could happen is he/she agrees to disagree–if he/she is truly a friend, that is. And that’s okay, the discussion is still open at that point and so is your friend’s mind. Isn’t that the least we can hope for?

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  Have you ever had to step in and defend someone? Or yourself, as in my example? If not, what would you do if a situation arose? I’d really like to hear your  stories. Please share, to be entered to win a copy of my print book Trey #3, a coffee mug, hat, various swag, and a copy of my latest ebook Tengo una Pistola.  Entering is simple: go to my Facebook Page here–and leave a comment there–or here, if you don’t Facebook. You can always LIKE my page while you’re there too!

 

Now, keep on hopping.

**The contest ends next Sunday, May 24th, so Like and Comment for your chance to win!

The Winner will be contacted Monday, May 25th and announced on my Facebook Page.

 

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