I'm one of the authors who stepped up and defended AJ in the whole "OMG AJ IS A WOMAN!!!!" debacle. I defended him in the only fashion I know - loudly.
I've gotten barraged with messages regarding my defense, all of which, I've ignored until this post. Here are my answers, if anyone cares. (And for the record, I don't care if you care or you don't.)
Q: Don't you feel like this is a slap in the face to the GLBTQ community??????
A: Let me understand the reasoning here. A transgender man feels he has to hide his status in order to gain acceptance. That's supposed to be a slap in the face? What it *is* is a sad commentary on our society, and the m/m writing community.
Q: People look to m/m romance for guidance and insight, especially questioning youth. The lies of "his" "gay" situation are monumentally destructive, don't you think?
A: First of all, if anyone is looking to m/m romance for guidance and insight, all they're going to learn is that anal sex can be done without lube, men frequently fall in love with other men on sight, and gay men are incapable of keeping their hands off each other in any situation. Seriously. That's the majority of the gay romance out there. It's FICTION. You wouldn't learn how to be a veterinarian by reading The Pokey Little Puppy, would you? If Aj were purporting to be a certified expert on something, then fine, yes, I'd agree with you. But Aj purports to be a writer of smut just like the rest of us. I certainly hope no one is looking to my books for guidance and insight. Christ, just do a google search - you'll get better information.
Q (or more of a ranting statement, actually - and I'm quoting this one directly) : "Listen, asshole, Llewellyn has on MORE THAN ONE OCCASION bemoaned and bitched about female authors like myself trying to cash in on the gay male experience by using gender neutral pen names and now you defend her??? That's bullshit!"
A: First of all, if Aj is transgender, which he claims to be - and we have no proof he's not - then he's a HE not a she. Second of all, if Aj is a transgender MALE who is sleeping with/fucking/in love with/having wet dreams about/masturbating to the idea/image/memory/dream/whatever of another MALE then he is indeed GAY, or at the very least, bi. Which would make his outrage reasonable, yes?? Or does one have to have a functioning, semen spitting penis in order to be "really" gay? If that's the case, I know a few infertile, erectile dysfunctional gay men who are about to rip off their pointy-toed pumps and stab your eyes out with them. :-) And by the way, that's MISTER Asshole to you, sweetie.
Q: Who is Ann Somerville, anyhow?
A: I haven't the foggiest. I've never heard of her until this whole thing happened. Although she's probably never heard of me, either.
Q: Aren't you worried that people will stop buying your books because you defended her?
A: AGAIN, he's a he until we have proof he's not transgender. No, I'm not worried. Frankly if people want to not buy my books because I've defended someone, that's fine with me. I would rather them hate me if they need to, than falsely kiss my ass.
Q: Doesn't it matter to you that he's not really a he?
A: Nope. The gender of an author makes no difference to me. Do you have any idea how many other authors are presenting as one thing but are really another? There are females pretending to be males, males pretending to be females, and transgender males pretending to be "natural" gender males.
I think people read my works based on my talent and characters, not what's between my legs. But for the record, if it matters to anyone, there's a vagina between my legs.
Q: Is he really Dj too????
A: How the hell would I know? Why don't you write their publishers and ask? Better yet, find someone who has their phone numbers (there has to be an author out there with them) and call them both at once. Can't really fake that, hmm?
Q: But what about all the lies she told in her blog about coming out and being bullied?? She's trivializing the gay experience.
A: (I'll let the she/he thing go...apparently it's beyond reasonable grasp....) I can't say as I recall reading any such posts (not saying they're not there, just I don't remember reading them) but how do you know they're not real?? DID he come out to someone as a gay male? HAD he been bullied? Transgender people deal with our share of bullying all the time. How do we know those posts aren't based on reality?
Q (or really another rant, quoted verbatim): "SHE LIED TO US! She deceived all her readers! We believed what she said and it was all lies!! We have a right to know the truth!!!!"
A: You have a right to know the truth?? Seriously?? Are you listening to yourself? You don't have a RIGHT to know anything. Not one single, solitary thing. You have the privilege of being let into someone's life, and you have the responsibility to be respectful of them. That's where it ends. You don't have a right to know anything about anyone, especially if they're not impacting your ability to function in your daily life. Some of these authors write the smut you enjoy at great personal risk. Some have lost their families over it. Some have even been forced to stop writing and go into hiding. HIDING. Over a book. How ridiculous is that? It's completely stupid that someone risks their life to bring you a feel good moment. You're welcome.
Q: Did you read Damon's post about this?? Don't you agree with him? He's right about so much!!! How can you not agree with him? I met him in New Orleans and I think he's awesome.
A: I did read the post. I agree with some points. As you can see from the above, I disagree with some points. I'm free to agree or disagree as I wish. I met him in New Orleans, too and I agree, he's pretty cool. Although I have no idea what that has to do with anything else.
Q: I heard some publishers make you take a male or gender neutral pen name. Is that true? Do you think that's dishonest?
A: Since I'm not published with every GLBTQ publisher out there, I can't speak for them all. I've had one publisher say I'd need a gender neutral pen name, yes. I already had one, based on being transgender, so I didn't have any issue with it. And it's no more dishonest than anything else going on in the m/m community at the moment.
Q: Do you know who started all this? Will you tell me?
A: I do. I won't.
That's it. That's all I have to say. Comment or not, agree or not. I don't really care. :-)