When I heard about the Hop Against Homophobia I quickly signed up to take part. I confess I’ve not taken part in many Blog Hops before but I couldn’t NOT take part in this one.
I’ve been writing gay romantic fiction for almost ten years now – only about six years as a published author – and when I began it was purely for my own pleasure. I admit I never really gave a lot of consideration to the facts of life for a gay man, I was purely wrapped up in the sexy romance of two hot men! However, it didn’t take long once I was published and became more involved in the publishing world of gay romance to learn how much I DIDN’T understand about the subject I was involved in writing about.
Being from the UK I’d always considered the gay people in my country were much better off than their counterparts in other countries, in particular the US, and while that is still true in many cases, there are far too many situations when homophobia is alive and kicking in the UK. Here’s a quote from an article I read only at the beginning of this month on the blog of one of our national newspapers, The Independent:
“A few days ago, it was revealed that the Catholic Education Service, the body responsible for all state-funded Catholic schools in England and Wales, had sent a letter to all of the schools in their network urging them to encourage their pupils to sign a petition against gay marriage. Critics, including the British Humanist Association, who hope to mount a legal challenge, claim that the move contravenes the Equality Act of 2010, which prohibits, amongst other things, discrimination on the grounds of sexuality.
This isn’t the first time that Catholic schools have been accused of breaking equality laws. Earlier this year, a number of schools across the Lancashire region distributed a booklet to pupils with the enticing title “Pure Manhood: How to Become the Man God Wants You to Be.” This US publication, by a Jesuit priest discussed a boy dealing with homosexual attractions, that suggested, could stem from “an unhealthy relationship with his father, an inability to relate to other guys or even sexual abuse.” It went on to claim that the homosexual act is “disordered” and was directed against “God’s natural purpose for sex – babies and bonding.”
The first paragraph was bad enough, but seeing as how I live in the Lancashire Region the second paragraph really hit home. Later in the same article I read this comparison regarding schools in the US which should be a ‘lesson’ to us all:
“Experience in the US has shown us that institutionalised homophobia can have tragic consequences. A school district in Minnesota recently saw a string of nine suicides over two years by gay students in one middle school after enacting a so-called ‘no homo’ policy in the district, in which teachers were forbidden from doing anything to normalise homosexuality in lessons. When the subject did come up, they were forced to portray the lifestyle as a sinful or “wrong” choice, on pain of being fired.”
I live in hope that the authorities in both countries find the common sense to put a stop to such outrageous behaviour.
It was very uplifting to read the following comment in the article and it gives me a degree of confidence in the future:
“Their position is also not a popular one. Recent polls suggest that the majority of people in the UK are supportive of gay rights.”
If adding my name to the growing outcry against homophobia can help, if only by opening the eyes of one person, then I feel I’ve achieved something very worthwhile.
As a thank you for reading my blog – and visiting the blogs of the others wanting to have their say on this important subject – I’m offering one lucky reader an ebook copy of a novel of their choice from my published books. I’ve provided a link to each of the books for information:
I’ll choose the winner from those who post a comment on my blog or my website mentioning the Hop Against Homophobia.