The Intimacy of Flame Retardant Clothing
Posted on June 25, 2015
I’ve been feeling the urge over the past year to instill some depth into my work and admit that I’m searching for a little more depth in life. Why the change? Probably because life is changing so drastically around me. Well, around us. It was easy as a child to not give a rip about what was going on outside the house or beyond when the next sci-fi or horror movie was coming on television. But these days? If one blinks, one could suddenly find themselves in a world they no longer recognize.
I wrote a story last year for an anthology and while I’d decided to delve more into the area of romance, I wanted to stretch beyond just that word. I wanted to say something with the two characters. They were going to connect, but they were going to connect on a very, very personal level. Eden Winters nailed it when she told me I was going for “intimacy”. Intimacy, to me, is an indicator of depth, which I really wanted to see if I could write. Sex, as it turned out, wasn’t easy to write. And genuine intimacy? Ugh. I may not be doing that again for a long while.
I’ve begun to look at life a bit more seriously, which is something else I wanted to reflect in my work. I’m technically a minority in that I happen to have been born gay. The truth is being gay for me is a non-issue. I embrace that part of my life. I love my husband. I love the fact I can have a husband and that women can have a wife. I don’t care that some men want to marry women or that some women want to marry men. Do you know how much that affects my life? It doesn’t.
The characters in my stories are a mix of gay and straight. They interact as they should, with non-issues regarding their sexuality. They don’t threaten to set themselves on fire if two members of the opposite sex are allowed to marry. They don’t propose initiatives to have straight people shot in the head or by some other convenient manner if they’re caught having sex. They don’t threaten civil disobedience if marriage equality is legalized.
Could you imagine if someone wrote a book with this as the basic plot or announced these things out loud via the press? It boggles the mind, doesn’t it? Yet these very same things are being said about gays if marriage equality passes and the people saying them act as if they’re serious. My marrying my husband makes you want to set yourself on fire? More power to you, but I’d wear flame retardant clothes if I were you. You want to shoot someone for having sex? Better check yourself into the psychiatric ward because you need help. You want civil disobedience for denying me civil rights? Then get ready because the fight is just getting started.
See what I mean now about blinking and finding yourself in a world you don’t recognize? It’s absurd. There was a politician in Michigan last week who announced schools should be held accountable for telling students it’s okay to be gay when these same students end up with STDs. Because, apparently, only gay students get STDs. Now, folks, I understand satire. I read The Onion. But this guy was serious.
I like to think that I tackle issues in my stories. Sometimes I even do it with my blog posts. They may not be huge issues, but they are human issues. Whether it’s what can happen to a family after a member with Alzheimer’s passes away, like in the short story I wrote last year, or about intimacy, or sacrifice and doing the right thing, like in the story I just finished writing, these things mean something to me. It’s the depth I’ve been searching for and am trying to find a way to share.
And, honestly, it beats setting oneself on fire, doesn’t it?
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.
8 Responses to “The Intimacy of Flame Retardant Clothing”
Katherine Trick says:
June 25, 2015 at 9:31 am
I’m hoping the Supreme Court makes the right decision today and that all those lunatics out there have the fire department on speed dial. They’re going to need it. Flame retardent close only can only do so much.
I love how you see the world around you and use humor to deal with all the ridiculousness. Without humor, a person could go slowly insane. Not a fun place to be (although the ride there could be fun). See……..I have a weird sense of humor, too. LOL!
June 25, 2015 at 3:19 pm
You have a wonderful sense of humor, not a weird one. =) And no announcement today. Perhaps tomorrow, just in time for the weekend.
Dorien Grey says:
June 25, 2015 at 10:03 am
I think it’s important to follow Polonius’s advice to Laertes: “This above all else: to thine own self be true, and it then follows, as the night the day, thou canst not be false to any man.”
June 25, 2015 at 3:22 pm
I loved reading Shakespeare back in the day. Of course, you have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon.
Patricia Hebel says:
June 25, 2015 at 12:03 pm
Well you can have my premise for a book. A mother has been in a wheelchair for 10 years, due to the auto accident that took her husband’s life. She is a church goer, and a big helper of soup kitchens, etc. in the community. she has a 19 year old son who is gay. She loves him anyway. The religious folks find out and give her and her son hell. Eventually they have to move away. In the end they find happiness in the new town.
June 25, 2015 at 3:23 pm
My sweet? You write your own book. I have enough plot bunnies to keep me busy for the next decade. =)
Patricia Logan says:
June 25, 2015 at 2:28 pm
I was talking to AJ this morning about the nut who wants genocide on gays to be legalized in California. As I told her, let these asshats get stuff like this on the ballot. Am I afraid it will pass? No. Not really. Yes, we passed prop 8 but the timing was off. The Southern Baptist AME churches went out to vote for Obama that day and because prop 8 was on the ballot, because that group is typically very conservative in their social issues when it comes to gays. That doesn’t translate to genocide. No one in their right mind is going to vote to put gays to death with a bullet between the eyes. Even the conservatives. I know that no one wants a repeat of the holocaust in California. And trust me, it would be the end of their miserable lives at my house before I’d let anyone drag my gay son out and shoot him just because he is gay. I’d be the one holding the squeeze bottle filled with gasoline and the flame thrower at my front door to greet them.
June 25, 2015 at 3:24 pm
Was relieved to read last night that the referendum will never even make it onto the ballot. His family must be so proud.