Sean Kennedy is an author from Dreamspinner Press that I’ve actually never met, sad to say. I’ve hardly talked to him online as he’s pretty shy. Why even his profile picture is one of those that you can identify a shy man right away. No, I only really know Sean from his writing and…wow…. I hardly know what else to say.
Some years ago I was in the hospital for nearly two weeks. It was an awful situation, but despite that, there were many blessings. I got a lot closer to my mom for one thing. She actually read to me in the hospital! Not MM books, but I hadn’t been read to since I was a child and it was a wonderful experience.
Another thing that happened was that Elizabeth North, the head of Dreamspinner Press, did a very sweet thing. She bought me a half dozen MM romances and sent them to me. And one of them was Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy. To say I was captured from that first chapter is an understatement. I’ve read it more than once.
So to say I was thrilled when Sean agreed to do one of my guest posts for my blog’s celebration of Fifty Years of Gay Pride is another understatement. It’s a good one too. One of my favorites. It got me pretty emotional.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And thank you Sean! Thank you so much.
And Happy Pride!
by Sean Kennedy
The thing about Pride is that sometimes it falters. You think you have a pretty strong sense of it but it doesn’t take much for it to be taken away from you again.
For me, it was back when my country’s government subjected queer people to a public vote on what they really thought about us, and whether we should be granted the right to marry.
It didn’t take long for the outright bigots, the quiet bigots, and the bigots who thought they had to hide being bigots until being given a public mandate to say what they really wanted to say, to start exposing themselves loudly – and, dare I say it, proudly.
I am not exaggerating when I say that every single news bulletin had something on the same-sex referendum, and in the supposed spirit of ‘equality’ thought that meant bigotry got an equal slice of the air time.
Suddenly we were being reminded just how many people out there didn’t like us.
It’s not like we had really forgotten. But perhaps we had become a little complacent.
And here’s the thing. When you start being told again, on a daily basis, that you’re a threat to children, a threat to society as a whole, that you’re degenerate, that your very existence should be kept on the down low, it really starts to seep into your skin. It reawakens that niggling little voice within you that says, hey buddy, they’re right. Self-internalized homophobia, that old friend of yore, is back to party.
I know of many people, myself and my friends included, who were crippled by self-doubt and self-hate again. Some who discovered family members emboldened by the referendum suddenly telling them that they just weren’t entitled to the same rights as everybody else. Old wounds were reopened. It really didn’t take much for the scars to bleed.
But something else happened as well. For the first time I put a rainbow flag sticker on my car. There had always been a little part of me who was too scared to do so. Who remembered being a teenager during the worst years of the AIDS crisis when gay people were feared and vilified, and had to watch television ads where AIDS sufferers were graphically bowled over by the Grim Reaper. One of my best friends, of the same age, also did the same in the window of her business. It was the first time she had ever done something so permanent and public as well.
So pride can stumble. But in the face of adversity, pride can come back even stronger.
We won the referendum in the end, despite everything the government tried to do to make it fail.
Keep Proud, everybody.
About Sean Kennedy
Sean Kennedy was born in 1975 in Melbourne, Australia, but currently lives in the second most isolated city in the world and thinks there are thylacines still out in the wild.
He is a disciple of cult leader David Lynch and is glad he lived long enough to see the return of Twin Peaks.
He is the author of one of the best-selling and well known MM novels Tigers and Devils.
Tigers on the Way
Sequel to Tigers on the Run
Documentary producer Simon and ex-footballer Declan are taking some big steps toward a lasting life together. They’ve bought a house, and they’ll need it for the family they plan to start. Their friend, Nyssa, has made the generous offer to be their surrogate, and Declan couldn’t be more excited about the idea of a baby.
Simon knows fatherhood is a huge commitment, and though it’s daunting, he sees how much Dec wants it, and he’s sure that together, they can succeed in anything—despite the worries nagging at him.
But just as their new life is taking shape, a health scare disrupts their plans at the worst possible moment. With time running short, Simon and Dec will have to bare their fears and doubts to each other so they can face them before their world changes forever.
It might mean a literal leap of faith.