Being Out and Looking Forward
I have been pretty much out of the closet for twenty-five years. I can’t help it. I stayed in there too long. I hid from myself. But once I was out, that was it. Not more hiding. Even a time or two when it was dangerous. I just couldn’t lie anymore about who I was.
Twenty years ago I would walk through a mall holding a boyfriend. His mother asked if it was something we should be doing. “What if children start asking questions?”
What she wasn’t getting was that was a big part of why I was holding hands with that boyfriend. “Let them ask questions,” I said. See, what I was thinking about were the children. Especially that kid who knew he was different and was afraid and maybe even hated himself (as I once did). What if he saw the two of us? Maybe we changed lives. Maybe some boy saw us and his heart sped up and tears of gratitude welled in his eyes and he thought, I’m not the only one! Look at them!
None of us ever know what lives we touch every single day. Surely a reason for us to always be our best?
I was listening once to a gay activist, I don’t know who is was now. Someone asked him what the everyday person could do to help with gay liberation. His answer was to be out. People needed to see that there was nothing to be afraid of. We were just regular people.
As the years have passed I’ve seen acceptance grow and grow and grow and I am sure a big part of it has been because of the people who took that activist’s advice. More and more people seeing that their brother is gay, their neighbor is lesbian. Their dog walker and their teacher and their doctor and a sports star and that police officer and the college student who mows their lawn and their favorite actor. That GLBT people surround them and that there is nothing to be afraid of!
I have seen wondrous things happening in the world. Things I never thought would happen in my life time.
Gay marriage is a huge one. I’m married! I didn’t think this was going to happen in my lifetime, and here I am married to a man! Legally married.
So I hear the people talking about the horrors of what is happening to the GLBT community. What is going on in Africa and in Russia and the fear they fill because of a certain elected official. And yes, it’s bad. I don’t close my eyes to it. But it wasn’t that long ago that gays could be arrested in the United States—and were. For simply being.
We see what we are looking for. We can wring our hands about the horrible things happening to the GLBT community. Or we can applaud the good. I choose the later. I believe we manifest what we focus on.
I remember a few years ago I saw something else. Tiffany & Company, one of the most renowned jewelers, is now endorsing gay marriage! And instead of protests? Overwhelming support.
I know it is sad that there are those that surely see all of this as the final signs of the coming of the Beast. But I’m sure that is how they felt during emancipation or when women were given the right to vote.
Because I’m not only talking about the growing acceptance of gays and lesbians. It is far more than that. The world is waking up. Love grows and grows and grows. That is what I chose to focus on. Why recently Transparent, the television show about transgendered people, won two major awards at the Golden Globes. How wondrous! How wonderful! When have a transgender person where I work. He is allowed to use the men’s room. No screaming and shouting. In fact, most people don’t even realize what is happening.
I am grateful for the growing acceptance in the world.
I also believe people are waking up. I believe the old ways are dying. I think a sign of that is the recent election. Because even a mouse will fight in back in the end. And that is what this is. The end. Not of the world. Not of us. Not of GLBT people and their supporters. No! It is the end of those who think ugly and evil and pretend it is God’s way and will. I think the country and the world needed something ugly to finally kick their collective butts into the new world. Into the right way of thinking. I believe there is going to be regret. And with regret comes change. And the change is here!
It’s like that quote I keep hearing from Independence Day. “We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive!”
That’s us! Please, please stop posting doom and gloom on your Facebook page. Look for the good. Look for solutions. Look for a way out. Rejoice that we live in a country where we can protest. We have that right. Post pictures of kittens and puppies. Post reviews of the new book you just read that filled your heard with joy. Tell us about new relationships and marriages and joy. Do something to change to world for the better.
Write that next wonderful novel that will leave us giddy with love. I’m writing one right now about…. But no! That would be telling.
I’ll tell you about one that is coming out in about a week! It’s called “Do You Trust Me?” A few years ago I wrote a novella called “Trust Me” and I loved and…didn’t. The publisher only allowed 40K words. And my story wasn’t done at that point. So I had to slap an ending on it that I didn’t like. But now that has changed. Dreamspinner Press wanted it and agreed it needed to be longer. I added well over 20K more words and gave it the ending it always needed. And the story got a lot of expansion in between as well. I am so happy about this new book. And it is the way I am starting my year.
How about joining me?
Namasté, B.G. Thomas
The path to happiness starts with acceptance, and sometimes the chance for a bright, loving future means letting go of the past.
All his life, Neil Baxter has buried a large part of himself—the part that’s attracted to other men. He married a woman and denied that side of him existed. And he plans to keep right on pretending to be straight after his beloved wife has passed away.
To help him deal with his grief, Neil’s sister-in-law convinces him to vacation at a dude ranch. There, Neil meets Cole Thompson, a young, gorgeous, unabashedly gay wrangler—who is unabashedly attracted to Neil. And try as he might, Neil cannot deny he feels the same way. But desire soon becomes something more profound as the two men get to know each other. Cole is much more than a sexy cowboy: he’s kind, spiritual, and intelligent. In fact, he’s perfect for Neil… except he’s a man, and Neil isn’t ready to let go of a lifetime of denial. If he cannot find the courage to be true to himself, he might let something wonderful slip through his fingers.
First Edition published as Trust Me by Amber Quill Press, 2011.
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B.G. Thomas lives in Kansas City with his husband of more than a decade and their fabulous dogs Sarah Jane and Oliver. He is blessed to have a lovely daughter as well as many extraordinary friends. He has a great passion for life.
B.G. loves romance, comedies, fantasy, science fiction, and even horror—as far as he is concerned, as long as the stories are character driven and entertaining, it doesn’t matter the genre. He has gone to literature conventions his entire adult life where he’s been lucky enough to meet many of his favorite writers. He has made up stories since he was a child; it is where he finds his joy.
In the nineties, he wrote for gay adult magazines but stopped because the editors wanted all sex without plot. “The sex is never as important as the characters,” he says. “Who cares what they are doing if we don’t care about them?” Excited about the growing male/male romance market, he began writing again. He submitted a novella and was thrilled when it was accepted in four days. Since then the romantic tales have poured out of him. “It’s like I’m somehow making up for a lifetime’s worth of story-telling!”
“Leap, and the net will appear” is his personal philosophy and his message. “It is never too late,” he testifies. “Pursue your dreams. They will come true!”