GAY PRIDE MONTH; Day Five, Special Guest J. Scott Coatsworth

I am thrilled and overjoyed to say that a number of wonderful MM Authors have agreed to do Guest Posts for Gay Pride Month on what being gay or lesbian means to them, especially during this month, the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Stone Wall Uprising. I have some wonderful authors lined up and they were so kind in accepting my challenge! I cried at the responses and how eager people were to participate. Over the next month you are all in for some wonderful treats!

I am starting today with J. Scott Coatsworth, who I will always have special feelings for. When I was editing, along with Anne Regan, the anthology A Taste of Honey (a bear anthology), I read a submission I fell in love with. Anne and I agreed it should be one of the selections for our book. Turns out it was written by a young man named J. Scott Coatsworth and it was his first sale! And that he had all but given up, figured that maybe he wasn’t meant to be published. Well since then he has sold many stories and has developed into a great author.

So it is with great pride (pun intended) that I present, J. Scott Coatsworth! Enjoy!

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When A Door Opens

by J. Scott Coastworth

A Jewish friend of mine once shared a quote with me:

“If you ever forget you’re a Jew, a Gentile will remind you.”

I looked it up. It’s by Bernard Malamud, a Jewish author who died the year I graduated high school.

It struck me that it’s much the same for us gay folks. Coming out is not a single act, not something you decide to do one day and then wrap up all in one fell swoop.

It’s a decision we make in every day, in every new situation we face. Someone asks me about my last vacation. Do I say “we went to Italy” or “my husband and I went to Italy?” Walking down the street on a beautiful afternoon: Do I hold hands with him? And when checking into a hotel in a small town: Do we opt for two beds or a single queen-sized one?

When I was a kid, I had no gay role models. I grew up in Tucson, Arizona—there were hardly any visible gay people around me. And even after I turned fourteen, realized what I wanted and started hooking up with my friend Damon, I had no one to talk to, and nothing to measure myself against.

In those days, I had exactly three gay references to go by:

The gay couple down the street whom no one talked to.

The over the top gay guy on the TV show, Brothers.

And a movie where a guy in college came out, his father had a heart attack, and his mother put him in conversion therapy.

So if I came out, I learned that I would be shunned, would become effeminate, would probably kill my father by breaking his heart, and would end up in therapy. So I took the hint and burrowed deep into the closet, and for the next nine years I dated women and denied who I was. I lived a lie, and I hurt people that I loved.

Then, one bright summer day in 1991, Damon called me out of the blue. I still remember hearing his voice and shaking like a leaf. Remembering his smell. His taste. His touch. And then somehow finding my voice to tell him I would come see him.

And I remember clearly the moment when my life changed. Damon opened the door, and he was young and beautiful and entirely himself. And in that moment, I suddenly saw a future for myself as an openly gay man. I saw the life I wanted, suddenly, tantalizingly here.

I made a choice that afternoon to come out. To be myself no matter what the cost. It took a weight off my shoulder, a burden that I didn’t know I’d been carrying.

The opening of that door sent me off in a new direction—it led to my husband Mark, and to everything that has come sense.

Coming out is not a single act, it’s true. But it’s an act I now take strength from. Every time I come out to another person, I speak my truth and reaffirm who I am and the pride I take in what I have become.

A proud gay man.

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Scott Coatsworth lives with his husband Mark in a little yellow bungalow in East Sacramento with two pink flamingos out front. He spends his time between the here and now and the what could be. Ushered into fantasy and sci-fi at the tender age of nine by his mother, he devoured her library of Asimovs, Clarkes, and McCaffreys. But as he grew up, he wondered where the gay people were in speculative fiction.

He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t queer characters in his favorite genres, he would write them himself.

His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently—he sees relationships between things that others miss, and often gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He transforms traditional sci-fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

He and Mark also run Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, and Other Worlds Ink, sites that bring LGBTIQA communities together to celebrate fiction that reflects queer life and love.

Scott won a Rainbow Award as one of the best new gay authors of 2017 and has published more than thirty stories.

Ithani

Time is running out.

After saving the world twice, Xander, Jameson and friends plunge headlong into a new crisis. The ithani—the aliens who broke the world—have reawakened from their hundred millennia-long slumber. When Xander and Jameson disappear in a flash, an already fractured world is thrown into chaos.

The ithani plans, laid a hundred thousand years before, are finally coming to pass, and they threaten all life on Erro. Venin and Alix go on a desperate search for their missing and find more than they bargained for. And Quince, Robin and Jessa discover a secret as old as the skythane themselves.

Will alien technology, unexpected help from the distant past, destiny and some good old-fashioned firepower be enough to defeat an enemy with the ability to split a world? The final battle of the epic science fiction adventure that began in Skythane will decide the fate of lander and skythane alike. And in the north, the ithani rise….

Find Ithani and many more of his books at Dreamspinner Press and Amazon and all your favorite book sites! Miss him not!

One thought on “GAY PRIDE MONTH; Day Five, Special Guest J. Scott Coatsworth

  1. Pingback: GAY PRIDE MONTH; Day Twenty-Seven, Special Guest Jamie Fessenden – B G Thomas – writer

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