Talk about getting your happy bubble popped… What happy bubble? A story contract! Yes! I signed my first contract (since 2007) to publish one of my short stories. Edom The Treasure Keeper will appear in the fourth anthology, At Second Glance, produced by Gay City Arts. I still do the happy dance when I think about this success.
However, there’s a swirling storm of asshatery that surfaces when I tell certain individuals about my recent publishing venture. Example most recent and the most blatant attempt by a very ignorant individual to besmirch my moment of fulfillment: I recently had a conversation with an acquaintance who was asking about my writing success. I’ve been very excited about this since getting the news nearly a month ago. Publication is a few months off, yet, too. So there’s nothing in “hard copy” to show yet. It will come and an Inkster Dispatch will alert you. But recent conversation regarding this success was a totally downer. Now, I’m just irritated. Irritated at the person I had the conversation with, irritated that such crap-producing thought even still exists.
Bubble Popper: So where can I see some of your published work? (this is a standard question when people find out I’m a writer)
Me: Well, I just signed a contract for an anthology produced out of Seattle, so you’ll be able to see that soon. (I’m smiling and doing an inner happy dance at this point)
Bubble Popper: Oh? What’s it called.
Me: It’s the fabulous anthology put out by Gay City Arts. This one will be titled …
BP: Gay City? You tell people that?
Me: Yes, it’s very respected and I’m happy that I was chosen as a contributor.
BP: I would never put that on my resume.
Me: I don’t have a …
BP: I mean, are you Gay?
I didn’t even answer the question. Instead, life had a way of letting me exit without making a total and huge scene, which I was just about to do. Instead, I had to excuse myself at that point, my son was calling me and when my son calls in the middle of the day, something is up. I went outside to take my call and then promptly left the venue I was at where this conversation took place. I was stunned. Speechless. Shocked and Disappointed in humanity. It also brought to light the more subtle “oh’s” to when I had told other folks about the acceptance letter and subsequent process to sign a contract. They would just say “oh, that’s nice,” because it was clear that they were uncomfortable. In my head Beavis and Butthead were in the background behind these people snickering and saying “hehehehe, she said gay.”
Why are we still having this conversation? Why is it that the word Gay is so pejorative in so many circles? Some of the healthiest relationships I look to in my life are my LGBTQ friends. Some of the unhealthiest relationships I know are my Hetero friends. But I’m not suppose to be happy and proud that my work is going to be featured in a publication that has also featured folks like Ursula K. Le Guin, Tom Spanbauer, Michael Thomas Ford, and many other respected authors? Screw you, Bubble Popper. Screw you and your sexual insecurity. Screw your homophobia. Get over your ignorance and stupidity and realize that not everyone can live like you. You don’t get all weird when someone drives a different vehicle than you, or decides to be a plumber or engineer instead of being a lawyer (reminds me of this spoken word piece…Mali had his lawyer, now I’ve gotten mine), nor when I purchase one brand of paper towels instead of the one you purchase. So why, Bubble Popper, is having the word Gay associated with my work shameful and non-resume worthy? Simply put, because you are small brained. Yes, my mind raced and I spewed words I would have liked to say straight to these people, especially Bubble Popper, Esq. You aren’t worthy of reading the work in this excellent publication. No hater, you …there are insufficient language here for you and your closed-mind thinking skin of a human being.
Then the voice of reason and Spock-like non-emotion spoke to me. No, I won’t embarass this person(s) or myself in gossip-producing scenes in the produce section of the grocery store or at my local restaurants and community gatherings. No, instead, I’ll be getting some extra copies. Signing them and gift wrapping them to these individuals. Talk about success being a gift.
~Keep Writing and Send it Out~