Join us as Diana Copland goes Outside the Margins.
I was driving across town today when ‘Last Dance’ by Donna Summer came on the radio. It’s a great song, and I remember where I was the first time I heard it. I was newly legal during the golden age of disco, and I don’t care what anyone days, it was FUN. I had a dance partner, who was one of my closest friends, and we competed in Disco a la Saturday Night Fever, and I loved it. I loved the clubs, and I loved the music. But mostly I loved the gay clubs where we would compete; they were hands down the most fun. The first time I ever saw two men dance together was to ‘Last Dance’, and just watching them I remember thinking, “that looks so right. So what’s wrong with that exactly?” I think that was the night I began what would become a life-long love affair with gay men, and whether Donna would have liked it or not, ‘Last Dance’ was the anthem.
My agent said to me once, ‘you’re a gay man in a woman’s body’, and I considered that a compliment. I hate the term ‘fag hag’, but I have loved a series of gay men during the course of my life and have been honored that they’ve called me their friend. I never would have met my husband, who was bi-sexual, if it hadn’t been for my friend Scott, and my friends Jim and Jim, who have been together for more than forty years and who are both florists, did the most incredible flowers for our wedding anyone had ever seen. And it was my gay friends, Jim and Jim included, who held my little family in their arms when my two kids and I lost their dad to AIDS in 1995. I can say with absolute honesty that I don’t know what I would have done without them. They were our guardian angels, and my children love them unequivocally. They aren’t ‘gay Jim and Jim’; they’re just ‘the Jim’s’. Although they have referred to themselves as ‘the fairy godfather’s’!
I had someone ask me once, ‘so why gay romance instead of just romance?’ I have a couple of answers. Number one, it’s sexier. Sorry my straight friends, it is. It’s WAY sexier. And number two, there are a bazillion people writing het romance. I’ve written it, and I may write it again at some point. For now, this interests me more. I love the dynamic of two men together, and how that dynamic changes the face of typical romantic tropes and stands them on their ear. But the primary reason is something the talented writer and photographer Dan Skinner has said, and I couldn’t agree with him more: I want to help normalize gay romance.
I want it to get to the point where the people I love are free to love whoever they want without anyone making a face or pounding a bible or using their prejudices against it to make some sort of political point. I want young people, like the young man whose family turned on him not long ago and the recording made the rounds to horrified response, to know that there is nothing whatsoever wrong with him. It isn’t him, it really is them. They’re choosing their hatred, he didn’t choose who he loves. And I want little kids to look at two men or two women holding hands, and think nothing of it. Because we’re the ones who teach those kids there’s something wrong with it; they don’t think that until someone tells them to.
My daughter is getting married next month. She’s marrying an awesome young man, and they already plan to have children when they can afford it. (Their dad and I never would have had any if we’d waited for that!) I imagine my grandkids will think I’m a bit eccentric. I paint and I write and I watch gay porn. (Research, you know.) I will drive a fast car when I can afford one, and hang out with people way younger than I am and go to Harry Potter conventions. I have no intention of changing. I’ll be that grandma who feeds them sugar and buys them noisy toys, then sends them home to mom and dad. And I’ll be that grandma who writes gay romance. My hope is, by the time they’re old enough to understand what that means, it won’t be any different to them than if I wrote straight romance. Equally icky! Lol.
And if you’re going to be at GRL in two weeks, please find me. I’m a hugger.
~ Diana Copland
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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