Response 6/16/146/16/14 Response
page of a German leading thinker in the girlfag/guydyke community is
under siege from The Usual Suspects, presumably the same people who sent
me hate mail when I announced Girlfag. A few thoughts, which you're
welcome to share in appropriate venues:
Re: "These people are fetishizing gay male/lesbian sexuality." Well, duh. All sexual fantasy is inherently fetishistic (unless you know someone who fantasizes about whole people, including their intellect, their personality, their spirituality, their favorite foods, their grooming habits, their favorite TV shows and their pets). Unless our *behavior* is in some way unacceptable, STFU.
Re: "The word 'girlfag' is hate speech." Perhaps (although we note that most of you toss around "fag hag" pretty freely). However, a lot of good minds in the GF/GD community have put a lot of brainpower into trying to come up with an alternative English language word for "woman who identifies with and is sexually attracted to gay men," because we're not all that thrilled with it either. (The word was coined in the era when "faggot" was being actively reclaimed - the same era that Dan Savage's column was called "Hey, Faggot," and his correspondents of all orientations were encouraged to use that salutation on letters to him.) Unless you can suggest a better alternative, STFU.
Re: "You're all just a bunch of straight girls who want gay men as arm candy." Few of us are straight; many are bi, some are lesbian. And a woman who turns her back on hetero possibility because she'd rather take her chances in a world where very few men will ever be interested in her (but the ones who do will reinforce her sense of herself as non-heterosexual and possibly non-female) is no definition of "straight" we've ever heard. Unless you can come up with a definition of "straight" that encompasses butches, femmes, bisexuals, lesbians, and women who want men (but not hetero men), STFU.
"If you're not gender-dysphoric, you can't call yourself 'trans'." Some girlfags identify as trans, some don't. Some hate their bodies, some like some parts but not others, some don't mind their bodies but still don't necessarily feel all that female, and some are fine with their bodies. Some are planning to transition, others aren't, others haven't decided yet. "Trans" and "cis" are not the only two boxes one can check - there is a wide spectrum of possibility between the two. (Jack D Molay's excellent "Crossdreamers" page is a good place to start learning about those who inhabit the world between those extremes.) If you're so rigid and so self-righteous that you won't recognize other ways of being in a body than those two, just, well, STFU, because you're hurting a lot more people than GF/GD - including, arguably, yourself.
"I disapprove of women who insist on invading men's space." So do we. Did something we said make you think we thought that was in any way OK? If you think we have anything to do with straight girls who like to give their bridal showers in gay bars, you're not paying very close attention. We're not who we are because we think you're "adorable" or "harmless"; we're who we are because we think you're hot, because we want to fuck you (if you want that too; if not, we promise to keep out of your face), because we're as uncomfortable and unhappy in hetero culture as you are. We are your allies, not your enemies. Please welcome us. If you can't do that, at least tolerate us. If you can't do that, at least acknowledge our existence. If you can't do that, well, STFU.
I was invited by I.G. Frederick to participate in a fascinating experiment in writerly self-promotion. It's called "The Next Big Thing," and in it, each participating writer answers ten questions about their current project, and then asks authors they know to answer the same ten questions. It's been going around a bit, so many of the writers I asked had already been "tagged" to participate; I had a hard time finding enough authors to reach my quota of five. If you're interested in participating, please drop me a line.
It's an interesting tour for readers to follow because of the variety of projects underway and the interrelationships of all the authors involved. It certainly offers an opportunity to entice readers into checking out writers they may not have encountered before by learning about their "Next Big Thing."
My Next Big Thing
1) What is the working title of your book? "Impervious: Chronicles of a Retired Deviant."
2) Where did the idea for the book come from? Many people ask me about why, after so many years as a very active sex and BDSM educator, I've fallen out of public view. The backstory is an interesting and dramatic one. So it's time to tell it.
3) What genre does it fall under? Memoir.
4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Lena Dunham resembles the young me quite strongly and would be a great choice for the earlier parts. For the later parts, Carrie Fisher. My spouse E would be played by David Bowie (who he resembles strongly), my ex-partner J by Bill Paxton, and my co-author Dossie by Meryl Streep.
"But the mirror showed the same heavy-lidded, slightly protuberant brown eyes and the same wispy brown hair and the same plump feminine shoulders it always had." - from Girlfag
5) What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? One woman's path into a life as an internationally famous pervert, and back out again.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Don't yet know. I've had some interest from an agent.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft? Not yet completed! I just "unstuck" a key part and am hoping I can get some momentum going on a draft. Perhaps another year?
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Kate Bornstein's "A Queer and Pleasant Danger," Susie Bright's "Big Sex Little Death," Stephen Elliott's "My Girlfriend Comes Into the City and Beats Me Up."
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book? My story is, as far as I know, unique: I've never heard of another sex educator who left the work because of the issues I've faced. It's a story that should be told, both as an inspiration and as a cautionary tale.
10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? It's an insider's look at the thrills and foibles of the world of high-end BDSM! What more can I say?
Follow the trail to the next authors:
I'm starting to get some of the author tour set up - for sure here in Eugene and in San Francisco and Santa Cruz, and I'm working on LA, New York and Philadelphia, plus maybe Chicago and Denver. If you work at or know of a bookstore or erotic boutique that would like to host an event - a reading, workshop, discussion or party - please let me know. I'll be posting dates as soon as I have 'em.
Well, here it is - my first post on the new website.
The proofs for the book are shipping today, which means we'll be seeing it in two to four weeks - omigod omigod omigod. I've gotten *way* far behind in terms of setting up my author tour - if you know of any stores, clubs or other entities that might like to do a book party, reading or workshop (I have a pretty good one called "Girlfags and Guydykes, and what they mean to our understanding of gender and orientation"), please let me know. I'm hoping to make it at least to New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and LA - plus, of course, Eugene ;)
Some of the kerfuffle when I first started to promote this book on Kickstarter will undoubtedly resurface, doubled, redoubled and in spades, when the actual volume is in print. Given that I am approximately the most conflict-averse person in the four western states, I dread it... but I'm trying not to let my dread get in the way of my marketing plans. Inspirational Girlfag of the Week is George Sand, who never let controversy get in the way of her politics or her love life.
If you have any comments about any of this - the book, the new website, the blog, my hairstyle, whatever - feel free to drop me a line. Admittedly, constructive comments are likely to get answered first...