#HAHABT: Some thoughts on activism past and present, and writing diverse portrayals

Hop Against Homophobia, Bi- and Transphobia

The Hop Against Homophobia and Bi- and Transphobia is on!

I’m taking part by writing a short blog post and sharing the list of participating writers/bloggers who you should visit. Each of us hosts a giveaway. Drop a comment below, and you’ll be entered to win my recent release Werecat: The Trilogy.

#HAHABT is a weeklong event (May 17th – May 24th) created by writers to join forces for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. I’ve been participating since I found out about it in 2013.

A writer-led campaign to advance social justice for LGBTs? Yes, please!

I caught the social justice bug at student protests against Cornell University’s investments in Apartheid-era South Africa. I remember the rush of my first demonstration. As individuals, we had no influence on the university’s financial practices, let alone the situation in South Africa. Together, we were strong and filled with belief.

I joined Take Back the Night marches to eliminate violence against women. In the early 90s, I demonstrated to protest the first Gulf War. When I came out as gay, I marched to protest gay-bashings, religious condemnation, and government inaction on the AIDS crisis.

Activism has changed in the digital age. We take to Twitter, Facebook and online petitions instead of taking it to the steps of City Hall or stopping traffic on Main Street. An important, recent exception is the “Black Spring” to protest police brutality, which has called for traditional strategies of civil disobedience. But generally we communicate and organize in different ways.

I miss the real-life camaraderie and the homespun feel of old school social action. One of my fondest memories is when a group of friends was so energized to counter-protest a “pro-life” group targeting Planned Parenthood that we had an all-night party painting signs, talking politics, and of course tossing back a sizeable quantity of beer.

But a good case can made that technology has made activism more effective. Taking for instance the reaction to the state of Indiana’s regressive legislation to sanction religious bigotry, social media can be a powerful platform for change. The flood of memes (#boycottindiana) with personal testimonials on Facebook and Twitter created a tidal wave of social pressure. That nationwide phenomenon had impact on corporations and elected officials that I don’t believe would have happened through local demonstrations alone.

As a fantasy author, I don’t very often write explicitly about homophobia or transphobia in a modern context. I do think a lot about how fairly I portray sexuality, gender and “race.” One of my current manuscripts features a lesbian character for example who happens to look physically male and to express herself in a “masculine” way, and I puzzled for some time about what that would say to readers since she is the only lesbian in the story.

We need more diverse portrayals of LGBTs in books. I don’t claim to be the authority on how to do that well in every instance though my gut feeling is that it’s a good thing when writers question what we write and ask people who are representative of the characters we’re writing about for feedback.

I’ll stop there and look forward to your comments. Feel free to fill your red, plastic Dixie cup from my virtual keg while you’re here. Leave your e-mail address if you would like to enter a drawing for an e-copy of my latest book Werecat: The Trilogy. I will pick a winner through random.com on May 25th 12:00 AM EST.

And don’t forget to click below to check out some of the 100+ writers/bloggers who are participating in #HAHABT this year:

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Werecat: The Trilogy Giveaway at LibraryThing!

WerecatTrilogyFinalRETAILCover700x1066pRGB96dpiFrom March 24th through April 7th, members of LibraryThing can enter to win an autographed copy of Werecat: The Trilogy.

Do you know about LibraryThing? It’s an online reader community similar to Goodreads where you can organize your virtual bookshelf, chat about your favorite authors and titles, and join groups with reading challenges and group reads. LibraryThing also has a Member Giveaway program that allows you to participate in raffles for new and recent releases provided by publishers and authors.

I have suggested that the winner kindly post an honest rating/review of Werecat: The Trilogy on the site and places like Amazon and Goodreads. Of course, that’s not necessary to enter or to win, but it helps tremendously to spread the word about the book.

LibraryThing members can enter my giveaway here.

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Werecat Promo Tour

Since Werecat: The Trilogy came out in November, I’ve organized a blog hop of sorts. I wanted to share that there are lots of opportunities to win yourself a freebie as I celebrate this milestone in the series.

First, closing out December 21st, you can enter to win a giveaway of the first installment of the saga The Rearing at Paranormal Cravings #WeresEvent2014.

Just yesterday, the awesome folks at Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews ran a feature on the series and they have a rafflecopter drawing December 18th – 20th for The Rearing as well.

I put together a Goodreads giveaway of an autographed copy of The Trilogy that will run December 22nd – 24th. It’s open to readers in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia and many other places around the globe.

You can enter it here:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Werecat by Andrew J. Peters

Werecat

by Andrew J. Peters

Giveaway ends December 24, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Finally, you can snag a copy at The Novel Approach on December 27th when they are doing a feature on the series.

Best of luck. And if you have already bought a copy, you could make this author one happy boy by posting your honest review/rating of the book at Amazon, Goodreads or anywhere you talk about books. :)

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Head over to the Rainbow Awards website for the pre-party Treasure Hunt

2014 Rainbow Awards

Romance author Elisa Rolle is hosting a really fun promotion for readers of LGBT romance.

It’s a contest to match short excerpts with the finalists from the 2014 Rainbow Awards. Each day in November, Elisa is posting anonymous passages from four of the titles. Post your guess at the title as a comment on the blog, and you will be entered for a chance to win that title at the end of the month.

There’s no limit on how many titles you can guess, so you could score a number of books. One of the titles is my own The Seventh Pleiade.

Here’s the link to the contest.

Winners will be drawn at the end of November. The Rainbow Awards themselves will be announced in early December. Cross your fingers for TSP!

 

 

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Help Support Bent-con and Come out for the Festivities

I made a pledge to Bent-con’s Kickstarter campaign. Can you?

Bent-con is a really important organization that supports the creative community and its fans. From the organizers:

BENT-CON is the premiere convention that celebrates and recognizes LGBTQ (and Allies) contributions to pop-culture and geekdom. BENT-CON is committed creating a space where EVERYONE is safe to share and express their particular brand of creativity and fandom proud and out loud!

Here’s their Kickstarter video:


This year’s convention, November 7th – 9th in Burbank, California, will be its fifth annual. As a non-profit venture, the event relies on contributions from the community to promote and advertise, which in return benefits the artists, writers and fans who participate.

I went to my first convention last year. Beyond the wonder of discovering a vibrant segment of the LGBT community (I had tweeted: I have died and gone to gay geek heaven), I was really impressed by the range of programs and the plentiful interaction between convention guests and fans.

This year, in addition to being part of Bold Strokes Books exhibition booth, I will be leading one panel “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Atlantis” and speaking in another “Gay Wizards and Lesbian Sorceresses”. Be sure to say hello if you have a chance to stop by.

And if you haven’t done so, please consider making a contribution to Bent-con’s Kickstarter.

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“Why I Write” series at The Good Men Project

Author Dixie Gillaspie (Just Blow it Up: Firepower for Living an Unlimited Life) is asking writers the simple question: Why do you write? over at The Good Men Project.

The responses have been varied as you might expect coming from a diverse array of writers. They have also been very personal and candid. Christine Benvenuto chose to write about her divorce in order to reclaim her life. Christian Clifton writes for connection and self-improvement. Michael Kasdan writes to better understand the world around him.

My contribution to the project came out just this past weekend: To Create Fiction That Tells it Like it Really Is. (Well, at least according to me!).

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