Coming out has a lot of facets, it seems. I'm a life-long resident of Rural Oklahoma, and the closet I have been in is romance. I have long had the desire, maybe even been driven to write it. My own doubts kept me from doing it. Fear of not being accepted--not being good enough--ridiculed, and even laughed at.
One thing I have learned for certain--life doesn't pass by--it zips away at the speed of light. What we leave behind is up to each of us. I felt I had something to contribute, even if just for a few other people. Could I do it was the big question? My realization about almost everything is to never let myself be limited by someone else's in-capabilities, lest there be no reason to ever try..
So, I have written. Once you have written, I suppose for many, doesn't satisfy the need and desire to do so, but unleashes it. The first thing I did was flee and abandon my comfort zone. To write at all means to me to write it all, whatever comes out.
Rural people, I believe, in their diversity have always had great acceptance of gay and bisexual persons among them, all things considered. Among the most seemingly closed minded people--right around the edges--and often in their very midst, were those held as "different". They have always been here, and some are the very best, but all are a part of the fabric of the community.
To write rural romance--to me--necessitates that include gay and bisexual people. How could it not? It's a challenge, not any less than it ever is; writing from someone else's viewpoint. To capture people's feelings, and emotions . . . to be able to define who someone else is, or might be, is often--at best--always guess work. To let the same old tired stereotypes slip in and dictate a character is inexcusable to me. Those aren't the people I've known. I'm not writing about a group, or an over-all summary of people based on their sexual preferences, but about individuals. Gay rural people are as diverse as straight rural people-they are all just PEOPLE!
My writing has been a success, at least to me. I am just now doing the indie publishing and have sold virtually no books, and may never do so, but I have the satisfaction of having lain every excuse not to aside and embarked on what my heart has been telling me to do, forever it seems. I have four books on Amazon, and half of number five completed. One book in the series, Abel's Flock, deals with the emotions and bonds of two men in particular. How their story unfolds might not be what any particular person would like to see, but realism is hardly ever what we want it to be.
I intend to keep writing. When the story line includes a person that's gay or bisexual, I intend to treat that person with the same dignity, and hopefully careful insight as any other character. This is romance, and that includes everything that goes with it, including sex. But it isn't limited to just that, at all. People are much more than what goes on in their bedrooms. When they share more . . . everything--that becomes the greater consideration in telling their love story to me--that's what romance is really all about.
I am feasting on the stories! I am not entirely sure how to make this work, but I want people people to read my story. I will try to make it available for free for anyone that would like to, as soon as I figure out how to do it.
Not sure where this might best be posted.