I’ve found myself paying more and more attention to people lately. Not because I want to, but because, as a writer, I really have to. Strangely enough, what’s really caught my attention is the way people, in general, typically see gay men.
Take my father for instance. He’s a product of the 60’s and was only seventeen when I was born in ’69. (yeah, I don’t mind telling my age)
He reached adulthood in the middle of a worldwide revolution of epic proportions with the equal rights movement, Vietnam, The Cold War, sex, drugs and rock-n-roll, not to mention becoming a father while still in high school.
For a blue-collar, country boy from east Texas, and rather conservative in his ideals, he’s secure enough with his masculinity to admit his man-crush on Matthew McConaughey. (Who hasn’t fantasized about that one?)
That being said, he still falls into a category of people who believe gay men are, as he’s put it, limp-wristed. He’s under the impression that in order for a man to be gay, he must be overtly feminine, and for a woman to be lesbian, she must be excessively masculine and butch.
Sadly, he’s not alone.
It’s this wide-spread misconception that drives me to write gay, male characters more aligned with the reality of all men, gay or straight. They come in all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities. They have different likes, dislikes, personalities, and believe it or not, they can like sports, and kick some ass. They can be broody, hard-headed, and even out of touch with their emotions and feelings. Sounds like any man, right?
Gay men are no different than straight men, with the exception of the obvious, their sexual preferences. It really bugs me when people see a stereotype and run with it, as though it’s the “rule”.
There have been occasions when my kids and I have been discussing certain movies or television programs, and one of them (usually my oldest daughter) mentions the fact that a particular actor is gay. We’ll start discussing how much we love the actor, his partner, and how cute they look together.
This is when my dad usually freaks out, unable to believe the actor is gay. “That guy’s not gay. He’s playing a married man!”
Um, yes, Dad. It’s called acting. 🙂
The same goes when people see a straight man/woman playing an LGBT character. People really don’t get it, and I find the confusion intriguing, but disheartening at the same time.
What’s so hard to understand?
Are we so far behind in social development that everything and everyone must follow some rule or ideal to make everyone else happy?
Should gay men wear pink or a sign on their chests declaring their gayness? Look at me!! I’m here! I’m gay, and I’m fab-u-lous!! *finger snap
I don’t wear a sign stating: Middle-aged, Overweight, Under-sexed, Mother of Four.
Though, to be fair, nobody really cares about me anyway.
I, for one, love the surprise and the refreshing truth of being human, sexuality aside. The hype behind how one should “look” or “act” depending on their sexuality is outdated and cliché. And to be honest, it’s somewhat naïve and borders on being insulting.
I personally enjoy writing male characters in general, gay or straight. Characters who break the molds, and live up to their reputations as dominators, the protectors, the chest-pounding, howling at the moon, alpha male. Or the smart, geeky guy who still saves the day with his brains and clever wit. Outsmarting his foe with finesse and style, but who will still take a beating or a bullet for the one he loves.
The kind of man who rules the bedroom with a fire in his eyes, and a feverish need in his groin, wrapped in a package of muscles and brawn, who will take you like a hungry beast when passion flares, or instantly morph into the tenderest lover ever known at the sound of his partner’s vulnerable sigh.
There’s no degree of masculinity set in stone for any character as long as he meets the qualification of a hero and exceeds the reader’s expectations.
So the next time you pick up a book, take a second to think about what you expect to find between the pages. If the hero surprises you, then you’ve found exactly what every character, gay or straight, should bring to a story—reality.
Evernight Publishing’s Alpha’s Claim Manlove Anthology
Every year, wolf packs along the Texas Gulf Coast gather for what is known as the becoming. A ceremony where young adult shifters transition into their wolf form for the first time and when each wolf’s spirits selects their destined mate.
As the son of an alpha, Josh Spinner has dreaded this day ever since he first realized he was gay, but planned to go through with the becoming, denying his true self forever.
Braden Scott, the only son of an exiled omega wolf, has lived in the shadows of shame since his father’s banishment before he was even born. The becoming was his only shot of ever being accepted into the fold.
Neither man expected their undeniable attraction and neither are prepared for the fallout that follows.
Natural selection separates the men from the boys, but destiny seals their fate.
Braden followed him for several minutes until the light from the campfires faded into the darkness behind them. Out of breath and feeling like he was about to come out of his own skin, he backed off. “I’m just trying to figure it out, man.”
In an instant, Josh stopped, turned on his heel and charged at Braden, slamming him against a tree.
Braden’s heart jumped, and his cock thumped the second he felt Josh’s erection pressing against his hip.
“Leave me the fuck alone.”
Braden drew in a deep breath to calm himself. “Why?”
Josh’s nostrils flared, and he seemed to search Braden’s eyes. The tight strain on his brow loosened with each passing second, and he slowly released the intimidating hold on Braden. “Because you’re gonna fuck everything up.”
Confused, Braden reached out and gripped Josh’s shoulder. “I didn’t do anything.”
Josh’s gaze drifted down to Braden’s mouth, and he licked his lips. “My future’s been planned. I’m destined to be an alpha.” Pausing, he clenched his jaw and blinked rapidly as though desperate to explain. “But I’ve never—”
“So you do feel it?”
Josh pushed away. “My whole fucking life I’ve waited to feel … that. Whatever it was.”
“I have, too.”
Josh’s chest rose and fell, and his expression twisted. “They won’t allow it.”
“You don’t know that.”
He shook his head. “Yeah, I do.”
“Are there rules?”
“Rules?” Josh stepped back and laughed sarcastically. “Some rules are the same in all societies, shifter and human.”
Braden reached out for him, unable to go another second without touching the other man. “I have to know.”
“This.” He grabbed Josh by the collar of his shirt and jerked him near. “I gotta know, even if it’s just one time, how it feels to be true to myself.”
Josh closed his eyes. His nostrils flared wide, and his hands trembled as he grasped Braden’s shoulder.
Braden’s shaky exhale echoed between them, and he inched closer until he could literally taste Josh’s breath. “Gotta—”
Josh’s mouth engulfed his, and Braden whimpered from the rush of emotions bombarding his entire body like hot coals from a raging fire zapping out one by one, torpedoing his skin, inch by glorious inch.
Braden wrapped his tongue around Josh’s and sucked it into his mouth, deeper and deeper, as if consuming the other man would satisfy his insatiable appetite for more. He jammed his hardened cock against Josh’s and dry humped him through their jeans. “Feels so right.”
All buy links here: https://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/alphas-claim-manlove-edition/
Tyler Robbins is the pen name of author Robin Badillo, who lives in a small Texas town and is the mother of four nearly grown kids, two boys and two girls.
Tyler enjoys stepping out of her comfort zone and pushes the envelope on the stories she writes every chance she gets. She hopes her readers are just as thrilled as she is with the chances she’s taking.
Always the optimist, Tyler is a firm believer that gray hair is merely God’s graffiti!!
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