I think most non-gay writers of gay fiction wonder what it’s like to face the discrimination that gay couples face. We write about it but we can’t, by nature, actually experience it. We can only get a taste of it—not the whole experience. I’ve definitely had my share of the taste—starting in high school. I’ve been spit on, punched, and more for having gay friends—but that’s nothing compared to what my friends who are gay have faced.
Nonetheless, I try to write about what it must be like, completely aware that I can only surmise, and try to take what I experienced as a bit of emotion—much the same way a writer who hasn’t been raped must try to get into that mindset when writing a rape scene, etc. Or any other of a number of scenarios (and no, I am not making comparisons or categorizing any experience as having more or less “value”. Examples for illustrative purposes only) and extrapolate.
So, when writing Cruise Control, in the scene where Blake finally confronts his sister about being gay, it comes out in a very hyperbolic way. It’s over the top. Loud. A bit violent. The rest of the story is sweet, but this one scene is (to me) cringe-worthy. It took me back to one day in my life where confrontation made me wince and wonder if I could stand up to what I believed (I could. I did).
Here’s a bit of the scene:
Fran’s eyes went wide as she stared at Blake and Parker holding hands. Parker cringed. He knew the look.
“Oh my god, Blake! You’re a fucking faggot?” She put her hand over her mouth. “That explains a whole lot! Did Dad know?” She zeroed in on Parker, her face screwed into a look like she’d eaten something sour and pointed. “Are you the reason my brother is quitting? Because of a fucking fuck? And a dick fuck, besides! You’ve got to be kidding me!”
Nausea overtook Parker and he closed his eyes. The situation had gone from the proverbial bad to worse. The only thing good about the moment was the warmth from Blake’s hand. Damn it felt great, but the circumstances were completely screwed up to say the least.
Blake squeezed Parker’s fingers but didn’t let go. He held on tighter. “Yes, Fran, I’m gay. No, I don’t think Dad knew, though if I thought he’d have a reaction like you, I’d have told him for the kicks. Maybe it would have killed himon the spot and we’d have been free of him sooner.”
“You bastard.” Fran slapped Blake across the cheek. “You better—”
Parker cringed as the slap echoed across the room. The security guard looked up from his book.
Blake dropped Parker’s hand and moved on Fran so fast Parker didn’t see it happen. In a flash, Blake had Fran pinned against the wall, his hands on her throat.
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Kerry loves history and spends large amounts of time wondering about people who lived and walked on Earth in the past. She’s a mom to three daughters, six cats, and various small animals, including a panther chameleon. In addition to writing, she’s a college instructor, artist, costumer, and editor. She’s repped by Marisa Corvisiero.
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