Hola and a big smushy WELCOME to our LGBTQ event which is here for the month of May. We have reviews, Guest Posts, Top Ten List and lots and lots of prizes all with a LGBT theme. The posts will be indexed on the side and I do hope you hop through … I have been so lucky this year!
Today, on a truly historic day when Ireland became the first country to vote for legalized gay marriage, this post is truly apt. The wonderful Kenzie Cade talks about her reasoning for writing in the LGBT genre which includes watching her gay cousin. She is also giving away a $15 ARe voucher and an eBook from her backlist to the lucky commenter
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I’m asked often why I write what I write, and, outside of the fact that I simply love this genre, I have several reasons. But there is one that sticks out among the many.
I grew up in a fairly conservative, Southern Baptist family. At times I was told what to believe and when to believe it. Still, when it came to my mother, whom I adore very much, I was taught to have my own mind. So I did.
The younger Kenzie tended to be a bit naïve. It just so happened to be that period of my life when my cousin married Brandon. I’ll be honest in telling you that even after they were married, I didn’t know him very well. Though I heard the stories. You see, Brandon is not technically my cousin—though he will forever be family to me. He’s a beautiful, strong, amazingly wonderful father and husband—and he is gay. Brandon, my cousin by marriage, was my first, very real contact with the word “gay.” In my family, it was said in secret. One of those words you whisper so the neighbors don’t hear you, so they don’t assume… anything.
It was when Brandon and my cousin began proceedings for their divorce—which, by the way, had nothing to do with the fact that he was attracted to men (I’d like to make that clear)—that Brandon became a very prominent figure in my life. Though neither of us would know so until much, much later. At that point, I had yet to spend time with him longer than it took to say “hello.”
There’s a story told in my family about the conversation he and my aunt had. It’s funny how things impact different people, and thinking back on it, the conversation was so minor and brought about with different motives—yet it changed my life. When my aunt asked Brandon what it was like, being attracted to men, he had an answer that to this day—over a decade later—stuck with me.
“It’s about preference,” he’d said. “Like how you prefer Diet Coke and I prefer Coke.”
To give you some background, my aunt is an avid Diet Coke drinker. To give her a Coke in its place would be horribly offensive, bordering blasphemous. Brandon—he’s a Coke drinker, who would never touch a Diet Coke. Needless to say, it’s not a striking statement, but to my younger, sheltered mind at the time, it had been everything.
What I took from that conversation was world-changing. For me anyway. Up until that point in my life, I did not understand the word “gay” other than to say it was when someone of the same sex was attracted to or loved another person of the same gender. It had never impacted my life. And then it did. I wondered why it had to be one group of people against another. Why we couldn’t all see that people are people. Before then, I didn’t understand Brandon’s fight—what is now his and his husband’s fight.
I do now. I see the struggle Brandon and Thomas (his husband) face every day, and my heart aches for them. I also rejoice. Because my cousins persevere—they fight and they stand strong. They have a beautiful family—two wonderful children who they’ve both raised and love so much. And they have each other.
On May 12, 2014 Brandon and Thomas were married at the Arkansas State capitol. It was a monumental day for many people in our state. It was a time of celebration of which the likes have not been seen here before or since. I say since because only a few days later the edict to make marriage equal for all in my state was quashed. They just celebrated their one year anniversary recently, an anniversary that is no longer acknowledged as legal here. We still hold out hope though. We still fight.
I am an ally because I learned a long time ago what was right, to speak my own mind, and to lead instead of follow. I love love. I believe in what is good and what is right. I fight because no one deserves to be told who and how to love. I fight because it’s my duty.
That’s why I write what I do—to have a voice, to show the beauty in all love. I write m/m because I love it. I write m/m because I can, because it’s my right. I speak up because everyone deserves to be heard and no one deserves to be put in a box or shoved back into a closet.
I’m giving away one of my titles and a $15 GC to Amazon or ARe—winners choice. Just leave a comment and tell me about the person or people in your life who have changed it for the better or tell me why you love the m/m genre.
To honor his grandmother’s final request, Trenton Appleton drops everything to visit the family’s ancestral home: Hummingbird House, where he experienced his first kiss and first heartbreak with Callum Eason.
Eight years ago, confused by his attraction to Trent, Callum reacted badly. But with help he never expected, Callum found himself and learned to accept who he was.
Now Trent is back at Hummingbird House, and Callum has his opportunity to salvage their friendship, at least. But Trent is less receptive than he was all those years ago. Still, Callum is determined to show Trent he has changed and keep his promise to Trent’s grandmother. When past mistakes repeat themselves, Callum must break the cycle before his last chance with Trent passes him by.
About the Author
Kenzie Cade was born and raised in the South where she spends her days in the field of private medicine observing interesting people and committing them to memory for later use. When she isn’t reading, experimenting with recipes, or being distracted by social media, Kenzie spends time with her family, friends, and fur-babies who likes to keep her company while she writes. Writing to keep the fictional voices at bay, Kenzie enjoys the journeys her characters travel to find their happy endings, and she loves the challenge of writing a great love story.