As many of you know, yesterday I finished the first draft of my novel, Shades of Gay. This novel represents so much. It’s my tribute to Gavi and the thousands of people like her. Gavi used to be suicidal because she thought there was something wrong with her sexual orientation. Luckily, she wasn’t struggling alone and she came through to the other side of that determined to be herself at all costs.
Gavi’s determination is an inspiration to many other non-heterosexuals and Transgender people because she refuses to be afraid.
I’m hoping Shades of Gay will inspire people similarly. It’s written from the point of view of a gay teenager as he navigates the tough high school world of coming out, dating, friendships and college applications. It’s meant to make other LGBTQ teens realize they are not alone, they are not aliens, they are not wrong or evil or bad.
In addition to the inspiration factor, Shades of Gay is the beginning of a new life for Gavi and me. Right now I am writing five to eight articles a day for Ehow while Gavi is creating an American Sign Language class and researching ways to sell her artwork. We are living life on our own terms, refusing to be tied down to outside jobs that are totally irrelevant to who we are as people. Sometimes it is difficult…like last month when we had $7 left after paying the rent. Plus even though I love to write, the freelancing I’m doing is starting to feel like it’s in the way of what I really want to do. The hours I put into those articles are hours I’m not putting into writing fiction or promoting Shades of Gay or participating in LGBTQ activism in other ways.
So I’m hoping Shades of Gay will be the beginning of the next phase of our lives. Gavi’s doing the cover design and writing an afterword while I focus on editing and promotion now. I’m a little nervous…my previous book, Winter’s Silence, has only sold 150 copies so far, and I would hate to put all this work and all this dreaming and all this hoping into Shades of Gay and then somehow only sell a handful of copies. But this time I am determined, just like I am determined to live on my own terms and find a partner who fits into that life. Shades of Gay is going to be extremely successful.
There’s also so much I have to do…I have to get bar codes and copyrights and all sorts of things to physically produce the book. I have to figure out the price. I have to get in touch with my web designer. I have to write press releases. The list goes on and on. It’s a bit overwhelming. Maybe it’s a good thing I haven’t found my life partner yet…because where would I find the time to spend with hir right now?
Anyway, tonight I’m enjoying listening t the thunder while I write this blog and watch Gavi cook. I’m imagining it’s a cleansing rain, washing away the parts of my life that aren’t as they should be so that new blessings can come in. I can’t wait until Shades of Gay is actually published. I can’t wait to see the difference I make in people’s lives, starting with my own.