Friday 28 December 2007

Some Seasonal Work

When I was a child my family went through a short period of going to a pantomime each Christmas, it didn’t that many years, but for that short while it was the only experience I had of live theatre as a child – it was a pale shadow of what live theatre can be. I can’t say the experience has scarred me for life or anything, but pantomime is not my favourite form of live theatre.

I’ve had a very seasonal short story published on the You Read Online Dot Com website, called Prince Charming. It is set around an amateur dramatic society’s production of Cinderella and focuses on Harriet, the woman playing Princess Charming. She finds this role eye-opening in many ways. The story can be found at: .

Please have a read of it, it’s only short, and leave your comments about it on the website.


Wednesday 5 December 2007

Based on a True Story

Many times I’ve met other writers who claim that their fiction is just that, fiction, that they never write from their own experience. I could never make that claim. So much of my life makes its way into my writing, even when I’m writing fantasy fiction, and my short story He Said To Me (corrected link: ) is no exception.

When I was a teenager I was an evangelical Christian, and in this environment I realized I’m gay. Even back then it was a deeply homophobic environment, simply being gay was an automatic sentence straight to hell and I believed in hell – fear of it would keep me awake at night. I received no positive gay images (This was before Queer as Folk) but I doubt my own self-loathing would have seen them as anything positive, so much did I believe what they told me. It was in this environment that I came across the Ex-Gay Movement, in the form of the British organisation The True Freedom Trust. The Ex-Gay Movement believes that someone Lesbian or gay can change their sexuality to heterosexual, be “cured”, by prayer, faith and a whole bag full of “quark” psychological therapies. The True Freedom Trust told me I was ideal material to be “cured” because I was young, a virgin and hated myself for being gay (my words). Two and a half years later I ran away from them and the evangelical church, no more straight then the next gay man but deeply screwed up by the whole experience (when my church found out I’m gay they tried to cast “daemons” out of me and then dropped me like a hot stone. The “counsellor” at the True Freedom Trust, when I told him what had happened to me, actually started to justify those people’s actions).

It took me over ten years to accept what had happened to me and to come to terms with it. I am now no longer that screwed up person but still hundreds of lesbians and gay men are being damaged by evangelical Christians using homophobia to try and “change” them.

There has been quite a lot written about the harm and damage the Ex-Gay Movement does but, with the short story He Said To Me, I wanted to write about how you build a positive self-image after leaving the Ex-Gay Movement. The focuses is on one gay man’s journey after he’s turned away from evangelical Christianity and all their homophobic crap. It’s not a pretty short story but it contains many of the themes very close to my heart.

Only today I read that American evangelical and rightwing Christians are putting pressure on the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to accept faith-based “treatment” programs for lesbians and gay men as legitimate psychiatric therapies. They want their unproven quackery seen as mainstream treatments. Do they have no caring or compassion, I don’t know, but they do have a great ability to ignore the evidence.