Seasons Greetings & The Future of the Face of Gay: 2013
Posted on December 22, 2012
Did you ever have that dream? You know, the one where you see yourself standing in sun-god robes on a pyramid, with a thousand naked women screaming and throwing little pickles at you? Me either. Seriously, I think Patricia Logan may be the only person who has that one…or the only one who ripped it off–sorry, liberated it–from Real Genius. Still, it’s entertaining and so is she in her own little twisted unique way. But you see, I had a dream of my own earlier this year that’s only continued to grow. Maybe the best way for you to understand my inspiration is to do a little name dropping. What do Josh Pacheco, Brandon Elizares, Jack Reese, Eric James Borges, Kameron Jacobsen, Asher Brown, Jamie Hubley, Billy Lucas, Phillip Parker, Jacob Rogers, Brandon Bitner, Jamie Rodemeyer, Justin Aaberg, Seth Walsh and Rafael Morelos have in common?
They’re gay kids who committed suicide.
President Obama announcing his support behind gay marriage many months ago came as a shock to me and, in all honesty, made me cry. They were tears of joy, pure unadulterated joy, which then turned to terror, pure unadulterated terror. If the GLBT community thought we had it bad then, just imagine how much worse it could get with a presidential spotlight on us. And, as predicted in the elections, it came down to voting for Democrats if you were gay and wanted any kind of a future, or voting for Republicans if you wanted to force the gays back into the closet. It was as divisive as divisive gets.
So much of how we live our lives is based on perception. We use products we perceive as being something we want or need. We friend people we perceive may add to our lives. We believe what the media tells us based on the perception of what they want us to believe. What would the perception of gays become? Would the liberal media embrace us or simply take advantage of us for the purpose of sensationalized headlines? We already know what FOX News thinks of us…roughly the same thing I think of them that includes the same language pertaining to orifices familiar to the male gay population. And in anticipation of this, what could we do to counter the negativity? What could we do to present the other side of the story?
The idea became putting a face on the GLBT community, a face on being gay. The only problem is that it somewhat limited the audience of writers out there who could contribute. So, why not open it up to someone straight whose life had been touched by someone gay? Now we have expansion, but the dream lacked legs. We needed people who were willing to open up and contribute stories of a fairly personal nature. They were out there, but they had to be found, convinced the cause was worthy and then there was a matter of finding readers. Damning the lack of photon torpedoes, we went full speed ahead and the first Face of Gay was posted on Saturday, June 30th.
Each of the 22 posts this year–a 23rd will hopefully be posted next Saturday and it’s a special guest–have been worth all the effort in getting them to you. There’s been some begging involved on my part, some simply asking around, and some folks who’ve contacted me after reading a post that inspired them. To all of you who’ve written, to all of you who’ve commented and to all of you who’ve shared these posts, I thank you. It’s because these stories continue to resonate and the list of gay suicides continues to grow that I’m going to do my best to keep the Face of Gay alive in 2013. They have to know others like them are out here. They have to know we survived and we can help. That being said, I believe I may go to posting them every other week unless readers suggest otherwise and the number of submissions increases. Because some of the stories have been as emotional as they are, I suspect there’s been some reader burnout, so every other week gives a little bit of a break in between.
So the only thing that’s left for me to do is extend a heartfelt Happy Holidays to you! Thank you for all the kindness you’ve shown throughout the year, for sharing the laughs, the sadness, the triumphs, the losses, and the promise of all that is yet to come. Here’s looking towards all that 2013 has to bring!
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
6 Responses to “Seasons Greetings & The Future of the Face of Gay: 2013”
December 22, 2012 at 10:24 am
The single most positive characteristic/trait of human beings is the ability to hope against all odds. Keep putting The Face of Gay out there! And let us all hope for a 2013 of continuing (if never fast enough) progress.
December 22, 2012 at 11:51 pm
I have a few ideas for it. We’ll see if I can kick them into fruition.
Patricia Logan says:
December 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm
I now find myself panting every Saturday (shut up Kris), waiting for my Saturday Serial, FOG. I’m not old enough to remember the weekly serials in the newspaper, but they must have been like this… I love your readers stories and their real life ‘lives’. Keep it going. Publish it and make it a non-fiction series for everyone to read. Just think about how your serial will impact even more lives, if on the shelf to read!!! Good going, Kristoffer Gair. We are all better people for your readers contributions.
December 22, 2012 at 11:54 pm
You know what, though? I really do think there’s a tiny bit of reader burnout going on. I watch the hits in analytics and even with the holiday taking traffic away, that’s when you give it a bit of a rest. If the submissions come in next year that warrant more than two a month, I’ll gladly increase them to once a week again. Unfortunately, I spend a heck of a lot of time trying to make sure the next week is taken care of and that’s taking away from other things I should be doing. It’s been worth it, so I can’t argue that.
Katherine T. says:
December 22, 2012 at 9:37 pm
“Face of Gay” is a project that touches people’s lives and makes us all feel a little less alone. It shows us that we, as humans, have more in common than not. Starting this series was a pure stroke of genius, Kris. It has changed people’s lives in ways you may never know, but in helping even one person find their way it is a great thing. Truly, these stories need to be compiled in a book and published so that they may reach even more people.
You bring hope to people in what you do, Kris. Thank you for that and for being you. Yoy àre a rare snarky, sarcastic ray of sunshine in so many lives and I love ya for it.
December 22, 2012 at 11:56 pm
Awww, Katy, you know exactly how to flatter me in that second paragraph! lol Thank you.
What I need to do for the series is find ways to continue getting word out and gain readers for it.