Thinking about the content of this post kept me awake last night
This post could be about three topics:
- The continued development of the Trump regime (and the impact on the LGBT community)
- How gullible some people are online
- the special responsibility LGBT artists have toward our own
Oddly, all these topics are connected, and it all started with a question from a friend online about an author of gay romance. The question is valid: “How can you write gay romance and root for Trump?” Now I understand that a LOT of people voted for Trump, including gays, lesbians, trans people etc. Naturally, I respect their decision. I may not like it, and I’ve tried hard to understand it, but ultimately, I don’t get it, because I weigh my politicians differently.
I understand that many people believe, genuinely, that Trump would make America great again. And I understand that to many of them, the loss of industrial jobs, jobs that don’t require a college education, to Asia, or Latin America made America anything but great. There are a lot of people who lost to globalization. The blame falls on both parties, Democrats and Republicans alike, since both parties favor a globalized economy. So do I btw, but politicians failed to explain how globalization works and they failed to make sure to bring their domestic work force up to speed, to improve education etc.
When I look at a political movement, there are certain things that are important for me, and at the forefront are how they respect my and other minorities’ civil and human rights. All else is irrelevant at least at first. It is the litmus test for any politician in MHO. I understand, as difficult as it may be, that to others, priorities lie elsewhere. The gay man who’s been married to a woman all his life, who has kids and who’s never really known what it truly means to come out (when his parents were still alive and could’ve ostracized him), to be a pariah; to the super rich investor from California who’ll always float above the law by virtue of his fortune, log cabin republicans etc. I get that. But when I suddenly hear about a person who makes money off the back of my people, writing books about us, and still wholeheartedly supports a regime which vilifies us, with a VP who thinks we should “better resign from jobs with god-fearing Christian companies, before we have to force you out with legislation!”, party friends who have already sued to discriminate against married LGBT couples (Texas), to just name two examples, then my tolerance ends. Yes, and I say this emphatically: said author is more than welcome to hold any conviction they may have, and to vote according to their heart’s desire. However, it doesn’t mean that I or anyone else must share their conviction or buy their books.
Because how can I support someone who so openly and without reservation supports a person who threatens the lives of my friends and family, and who surrounds himself with men (and a very few women) who vehemently fight against women’s rights, who think that blacks and Latinos aren’t worth the same as whites, and who think that the LGBT community needs to put in its right place, a regime who in less than a week has trampled on the very constitution they hold dear, issuing gag orders, vilifying the free press, ordering the destruction of sacred indigenous lands, show no respect to our planet or the environment, to just name a select few… How could I? I can’t! And I won’t.
But it doesn’t end there. And this is where it gets difficult. Again, anyone may write anything and publish whatever they like. However, I also believe in honesty, transparency, because it builds trust. I do not wish to accuse anyone, but when that same person, this Trumpista, author of gay fiction lies about who they are, then I start to ask questions. Here are just a few:
- Why would anyone use a photoshopped picture of Kevin Spacey (!) and claim it to be them? Why indeed…
- Why use a picture from a scientific experiment as a second picture and accept compliments for being so “handsome”? And why don’t people react, because clearly the two profile pics look nothing alike? Are y’all blind?
- How can an author publish thirteen (!) books in less than a month? (and nothing since?)
- How can that same author, on their profile page on Amazon write a bio and mention that they also write F/M fiction, an author who’s published ten (!) books in less than a year, yet who does not have any Facebook presence? Even though their M/M counterpart publishes many times daily? Do they not want to sell their F/M books? Why not push them as vehemently as they push their M/M books? Or their Trump convictions?
- How likely is it that one person writes twenty-three books in sixteen months? And why doesn’t the F/M author profile mention the M/M project (which at the time was a future endeavor?)
Lots of questions, not a single answer that I can come up with that makes sense…
I am asking questions. Who knows. There may be perfectly good and logical answers to all of this.
I have my doubts. Why? Maybe it’s because I find it so difficult to reconcile being a Trumpista with being LGBT and claiming to support our cause when you voted for a guy whose closest people absolutely despise us (Pence), want to roll back marriage equality (Pence, Carson) or even put us in camps. Said author claims to be gay and married to a man (yet their profile says “Domestic Partnership”, which never even existed in the state where they claim to live, but that’s just another detail in a story that does not add up. There’s more, but I’ll leave that for now.)
My friend’s initial question hit a nerve. The author in question suddenly suffered (within minutes after posting an outraged post) a “heart attack”, a heart attack so severe that they were released from hospital care within less than a day… A question to medical staff: what heart attack gets you out of a hospital in less than twenty-four hours? None I presume, but I might be wrong… There were so out of it that they posted gibberish online yet magically managed to change their profile and background image? Who suffers a heart attack and worries about their Facebook profile? Just asking…
What does amaze me though is how gullible people are these days, how quickly they fall for almost anything said online, taking things for granted, not asking questions. Mind you. You can accuse me of being naïve, too, at times. I’ve fallen for some pretty bad people in my life. Maybe I’ve finally learned my lesson.
And the assumption of innocence is of course always to be treated with respect. Even said author is innocent until proven guilty of lying and deceiving. All I can prove is they they lied about using a fake photo as their own.
Maybe there are perfectly good explanations about why someone would lie so blatantly. Like I wrote on Monday, some authors are forced to use pseudonyms, are forced to be in the closet. I’ve been there, I used to lie to everyone I knew. I had a pretend girlfriend, I had pretend straight sex (and bragged about it) when I was a teen. I was an expert at lying. Before I came out. Why a proud and married gay man would need to fake his profile picture is above me. The other ‘allegations’ are merely questions, because something just doesn’t add up.
This has most certainly been a most interesting week, but not a good one. People are afraid, women, blacks, Hispanics, native Americans, hell, the whole planet is holding its breath, wondering what Trump and his people will do next. And this is just a reminder to Americans: they can do infinitely more damage abroad than they could ever dream of doing domestically. Just by signing the executive order to halt all aid to women abroad he’s threatening the lives of tens of thousands of women and children!
Why writing this post? Well, trust is great. However, with all the fake news, alternative facts, falsehoods and lies being spread on a daily basis, we have to be careful about whom we trust. This example, while possibly perfectly legitimate, shows that a certain degree of “doubt” is in place, and that we have to make sure to have alternative sources to things we see or hear. Things may not always be what they appear to be, and even honest people can be duped and spread false news online. Add to that the unpleasantness of working in an industry which has seen its fair share of frauds in the past year, fake authors, plagiarism and what not. To be careful about who we trust and what we believe is only sensitive. I’ve thought hard and long about whether or not I should write about it. Maybe I’m doing myself a disservice, by asking these questions of a fellow author. But these are extraordinary times. My people are hurting. We can’t risk to be duped.
What’s your take on all this? Do you have any answers?
Have a good weekend,