Guest Author: Tempeste O’Riley: Breaking through the walls we build

Good morning! *waves* Today I’d like to tackle a little topic… homophobia. Well, honestly, it’s not just the gay part that I’m speaking of, but homo/bi/trans/gender/etc. As you’ll see in my guest spot below, it’s a personal issue, not simply one that I feel strongly about for others. There’s more to the story, of course, such as one of my children being bi, another being gender fluid, and another being asexual, but the point remains the same, no matter what person I’m fighting for.

I’ve taken some of this and used it in my novels—Temptations of Desire has a bi man and a genderfluid person fall in love. Both characters have been shunned, dumped, and hurt in many ways because of who they are… who they love…. how they present to the world. Truth in Lace is where Lexie, the genderfluid character above, first begins to embrace the shift and flow of gender, thank to the help of his twin (Truth is a short, not a full novel).

Now, on to my slightly rambling but truly heartfelt post….

ho·mo·pho·bia noun \ˌhō-mə-ˈfō-bē-ə\
Definition of HOMOPHOBIA:
An irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals

* The same goes for biphobia, transphobia, and so much more.

Yes, you read that right. The official definition says it’s an irrational fear or aversion to US. To people being whom they were born to be. And while I’m not sure I agree (hate isn’t fear, it’s being an ass hat and hiding behind religious, societal, etc. excuses to hate, abuse, and even kill others) I will thank the dictionary for admitting that it’s irrational.

We as a society do the most harm to the individual. It’s that simple, yet it’s so much more than that. Humans like things in boxes. The problem is that so many people don’t fit in those boxes, the ones that others deem acceptable or real. Yes, we even argue over which boxes are valid, not just which ones we want to accept as okay.

I have to say a big Hell No to those that try to not only put me in boxes, but also tell me which boxes are real. I was recently asked what it is that draws straight women to read M/M books and I had to answer that I had no clue as I’m not either of those things. I am a omnisexual/pansexual (even less believed in that being bi :/ ) and genderfluid person. I happen to have been born with female bits, but that does not mean that’s who or what I am.

Boxes are things I both love and hate. Love them for storing things; hate them when others try to classify me. I’m not homosexual enough, being bi/omni/pan. I’m not straight enough, being bi/omni/pan. I’m not male enough, being I have girl parts. I’m not female enough, being I have many, many male days. I’m not trans as I have many girl days. I’m not cis, as… I have many boy days. And then you have those that don’t believe Bi even exists (your belief in me does not invalidate my existence, I promise).

Now, my experiences may skew my worldview, but from others I’ve met, the political fights going on across this, and many other countries, and the thousands of blogs and people out there, I don’t believe I’m unique. Instead of boxes and walls, we need to focus on the individual. Why does the body matter so much to others? And why do others feel they have the right to categorize, and then often dismiss, others?

Don’t assume what the person you are speaking to or about is what you think they are. That beautiful woman may be struggling because her body isn’t what matches her mind and spirit. That handsome man may have been born a woman. That pretty boy you assume is a gay twink might just be a straight man. And that big butch man? Yeah, he just might be a happy, dedicated bottom.

We build the walls that imprison us, and only we can make the change needed to tear them down. Take a moment to look around you and check out the walls and boxes you live in. Are they right? Are they restrictive? Do they even truly match who you are inside?

We are many individuals, not one singular society. We have many hearts and lives, not one collective experience. Never allow yourself to be placed in a box or hidden behind a wall—that goes for the boxes and walls we build ourselves. You can only be who you are, to be anything less would be to betray your very soul. Never let others (or self) force you to be something you are not.

We are individuals. We are people who have hearts and souls. We love, laugh, live, fight, and die. But we are not merely the labels others give. I am who I am, and that’s enough for me. If it’s not for others, that’s their loss as I will not hide my soul or allow others to hide it for me.

updated tempeste

Designs of Desire Bound by Desire Desires’ Guardian Temptations of Desire Truth in Lace

Grand Adventures Hope & Love Caged Sanctuary 

About the Author:

TO-logo-250-white_zpsfd9ed5d1Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud pansexual genderfluid whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what she couldn’t–defy the hate and come out. He has been her hero ever since.

Tempe is a hopeless romantic that loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, she has done many things in her life, though writing has always drawn her back–no matter what else life has thrown her way. She counts her friends, family, and Muse as her greatest blessings in life. She lives in Wisconsin with her children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.

Tempe is also a proud PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, Rainbow Romance Writers, and WisRWA. Learn more about Tempeste and her writing at http://tempesteoriley.com.

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Facebook group – Tempeste’s Temptations

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About Author Nikki

Nikki Prince is a mother of two, who’s always had a dream to be a published author in the romance genre. Her passion lies in raising her children as readers, gaming, cooking, reading and her writing. Her mother can now breathe easy about the child who used to get in trouble because she was hiding books everywhere and reading when it wasn’t appropriate. Nikki’s a multi-published author with several epublishing houses. She loves to write Interracial romances in all genres, but wants to let everyone know to not box her in, because there is always room for growth.

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