Queer Romance Month (2) with Alexis Hall and Beverley Jansen with Giveaway ~ Sunday Spotlight by Beverley

PBA_Sunday_Spotlight

Queer Romance Month (2) with Alexis Hall and Beverley Jansen with Giveaway:

Love is Love

Welcome to the second Sunday Spotlight with Alexis Hall and Beverley Jansen looking at the wonderful goings on during this week of Queer Romance Month (QRM).There have been a plethora of posts to choose from and each post has received a wealth of replies.

AJH: Yes, I’m really happy in general with how QRM is going, and the conversations we’re having around romance and queerness, and queer romance. On the subject of which, I have to mention this post from Kim Dare: she’s a contributor to QRM (posting on the 11th, actually) but this is an additional she post about QRM, and community, and exploring her personal feelings towards the word and the identity of ‘queer’.

BJ: Yes, I read her post on her blog and was hoping we could put a link up to that post.

AJH: The word queer has been a minor discussion point around QRM, which has been pretty interesting to me. It’s certainly a word I’ve come to embrace – it feels very powerful to me – and I personally have always found it more inclusive than gay or LGBTQ or whatever. But I think what I found very striking about Kim’s post was the extent to which queer can be alienating as well. Like it’s this special club that you only get to belong to if you pass certain identity tests or whatever.

BJ: Personally I like the term queer as to me it signifies different, unique, non traditional or even eccentric, which I don’t mind at all. I wonder if it means different things depending on which side of The Pond you hail from?

AJH: I think it’s more, uh, mainstream as a term for QUILTBAG folks in the UK. Most of “eeew nasty” comes from Americans – sorry folks 🙂 But I guess what I was getting what was this idea that … like … well you can be married to a member of the opposite sex, have 2.whatever children, and bake cookies on Sunday afternoon and … still be queer, you know? Identity is inside, not contextual.

BJ: Yes. Exactly.

AJH: And weirdly I think that’s why ‘queer’ is both … right and wrong. Because on the one hand it doesn’t demand certain behaviours (political or sexual) but on the other hand to some people it does seem to suggest a community which they can’t access, or in which they don’t feel like fully fledged members. That makes me sad. And this kind of brings me back to a lot of the discussion in and round QRM. Is it okay if we talk about your post a bit?

BJ: Yes it was quite a learning experience for me! 🙂

AJH: Yeah, poor BJ got some quite mixed reactions. I really liked her post – as I read it an exploration of the limitations of community. One of the problems, I think, of being marginalised in a marginalised community is that its a kind of double whammy of alienation – which is, honestly, something I think it behoves all of us to look at. But I … while I know you were hurt by some of the responses (although the bulk of them were positive and supportive) .. for me … it was kind of typical of the sort of discussion that happens if you get a bunch of LGBTQ folk together in a room: some of them will start loudly disagreeing with each other. And I think one of the problems with queer-centric discussions in Romancelandia (and everywhere) is that … people think there’s an answer. Like a voice of queerness. When there’s many voices, and I think that’s the positive thing I draw from QRM in-squabbling.

BJ: I have learned a lot from the response to my post, which I think was maybe too personal, and inclined me to try to word it as a general view rather than take ownership of the very personal details it included. This meant it came out a little easy to misinterpret. However, it did confirm for me something I had hoped was not so that gender politics can still overwhelm the ordinary members of the LGBT or Queer community and make them scared to speak out. .

AJH: I think complicated issues are always overwhelming to everyone because what we’re dealing with is a lot of hurt and alienation on all sides.

BJ: I agree with that yes. I did like Amy Lane’s post though especially, as she talks about this dichotomy between swamping allies or members of the community with the political facts before we draw them in with the simple truths of human rights and love is love.

AJH: Yes, I liked that post a lot too. I think it’s another one of those perspective things: I like the fact that there are so many voices coming together, queer, and straight, and politically queer, and politically straight and all the variations inbetween. I like how hopeful and gentle Amy is – I think that has real value. But I guess something that troubles me sometimes is the fact that people will often use the existence of moderation to condemn what they see as extremism. Like if something doesn’t directly affect you – if it’s, to an extent abstract – it’s very easy to be pleasant about it you know? To focus your energy on not threatening people who already have social and political power. I’m co-opting this blog post totally – but can I tell a story?

BJ: Yes I’m sitting comfortably…

AJH: So I was with my partner, picking my goddaughter up from school, and Kathryn is … she’s the most amazing human ever, but I guess I’m biased. Anyway, she’s a very … it’s hard to explain, but she’s quite self-possessed. Much more than me. I am often outclassed by her. Anyway, she’s never experienced much bullying or anything like that, thank God, but one of the older girls decided to give her a bit of a grief about the fact she appeared to have two mothers and two fathers (which she sorta does). And I was really upset about this and I approached the girl’s mother, because I wasn’t about to give some twelve-year-old who wasn’t mine an anti-homophobia lecture in the playground. And what her mother said to me was that I should have thought the affect my lifestyle choices would have on a child. Like she was really nice about it, you know? Very polite, very British. But her perspective was absolutely: my goddaughter deserved to get shit in the playground because I happened not to be straight.

BJ: I’m nearly speechless and that doesn’t happen often. What was your response to this mother?

AJH: I went to the school principal, it was all awkward as hell. I wasn’t aggressive or anything, but because I was quite upset about it, I think I came across as angry. And because of that it spiralled into this person feeling threatened by me. I absolutely take responsibility for that – I could have / should have handled it better. But it’s this trap that queer people get into, you know? If something happens that hurts or damages you, and you try to deal with it, it always becomes about how you tried to deal with it, how many straight people you offended with your distress, instead of … whatever it was you originally felt was wrong.

 BJ: I’m really upset that you and your goddaughter had to deal with something like that. I don’t understand how bullying of a child can ever be about anything other than bullying is wrong. However, I do understand where you are coming from and how not being straight can be brought up all the time inappropriately and as an attack.

AJH: It’s kind of … more about how we engage with injustice in the world I think. I mean, I loved Amy’s post, don’t get me wrong, and it fills with me with joy that all across the world there are gentle-hearted people moving softly within their communities, trying to inspire change. That’s really important. But I think there also needs to be … acceptance, I think, that sometimes we’re angry, and sometimes we’re hurt, and that doesn’t make anybody A Bad Person.

BJ: I think we are agreeing but from different perspectives. My post covered some time I spent working for women’s rights in the political arena. Gender politics and using a hammer to crack a nut was the norm. I felt angry that despite all the rhetoric and outrage they really only managed to change the wording of Chairman to Chair. This felt ridiculously small when I knew and was surrounded by LGBTQ people and women who were suffering real problems in the real world. I think that is why I grew cynical about slights over wording. 

AJH: I don’t know, language has a lot of power. And I think a “real” problem is anything that makes anyone feel devalued. It’s like the use of gay of as a pejorative. I know there are plenty of LGBTQ folk who think we should just let it go because it’s just a word. But I feel … no, we shouldn’t because gay-as-insult is a form of microaggression in precisely the same way as having standardised language that erases women. But then, plenty of women don’t care either way. So … yeah … this shit, right? It’s complicated 🙂 

BJ: I think you’ve upset my argument, as I constantly rebuke people for using the word GAY as a pejorative term. 

AJH: Me too – it’s actually a joke in a lot of my schools because I do it with such tedious regularity. “This is gay, sir.” “You know what else is gay, Perkins?” “My use of homophobic language, sir.” What other QRM posts stood out for you last week? 

BJ: I loved the twist on romance from Edmond Manning with his post Make Room for Happily Never After. I like the idea of Queer romance allowing for redefining romance tropes and the need for conventional happy endings. 

AJH: Yes, that’s a really important post. I don’t have much to say about it except YES YES ALL THIS. In my outside voice. I’m really fascinated by Edmond Manning, honestly. I think the man could write a laundry list that would leave you feeling at once perplexed and renewed, and thinking deeply about your life. 

BJ: I totally agree and can you see King Perry with a conventional happy romance ending? Though it felt loving to me, just in a different way. 

AJH: Yes. Absolutely. I also really dug Lilia Ford’s Outside In. There wasn’t much discussion around it, but I think in a way there didn’t have to be, because it was a really well-articulated post. I don’t know much about Lilia Ford but she’s on my read now dammit pile. 

BJ: Was that the tentacle sex one? 🙂 

AJH: Yep, it sounds amazing … subversive? Her post is just really clever and thoughtful, and there’s something really delightful to me in that. 

BJ: I will go back and read it fully, can I be shallow and say that I skimmed, saw tentacle sex and didn’t read further… 

AJH: Tentacle sex is not my, uh, thang. But I think Ford approaches the genre specifically to subvert and deconstruct and play. I mean this is from the blurb:

Contains plenty of hot, non-consensual tentacle action, including but not limited to tentacle spanking, tentacle gagging, and tentacle-sex. Quite separately, it also contains an adorable pink-rainbow-sparkle tentacle monster. Those who dislike adorable pink rainbow sparkles or hot tentacle action should definitely not read this book.

That makes me glee. 

BJ: Haha! I see what you mean.

AJH: I would like an adorable pink-rainbow-sparkle tentacle monster, please.

BJ: Wait till Christmas. :p

AJH: Hehehe. Anything else stand out for you this week?

BJ: I have to say that one which stood out for me simply because of the effect it had on me when reading was Love is Love by G.B.Gordon.

AJH: Jesus, yes. That knocked my socks off. I really like his book, so I always knew the man could write but … that post. I keep remembering bits of it as I just walk around, you know?

BJ: I do know! It made me want to rewrite every love scene I’ve ever even considered writing. It was…pure romance and full of feeling and desire. It stayed with me.

AJH: Can we quote a bit?

BJ: Oh yes.

AJH: This bit is is just everything for me: 

Want to wrestle down your impatience, to hear you moan when the inescapable agony of desire runs through your veins like ginger, sweet and sharp. Nowhere sweeter and sharper than where you grow slick against my hands, spicy on my tongue. When you’re lost in the liminal spaces between your lust and my touch, and your mind has forfeit all awareness of how your body arches willingly into the utter annihilation of your consciousness. Your fingers threading through mine, the strength of your tightening grip. 

AJH: First of all, I just have no resistance against the word liminal. Especially because it’s one of those words – like chiaroscuro – that you have to use so carefully, because it can massively over-weight a sentence. But it’s stunning, that whole paragraph. I can taste … ginger and desire. Amazing. And I love the intimate touches, like the hands, and that subtle undercurrent of strength and surrender. I … I’ll be in my bunk. 

BJ: Lol. Can I post a bit I loved too?

I want to wrap you in my tenderness when you’re exhausted, want to kiss the corners of that smug smile that follows you into your dreams as your limbs relax against mine. Completing me. The shadows of your lashes soft over high cheekbones. The challenge in your chin undiminished, even now. Your sleepy trust turning me so fierce and gentle. 

BJ: For me this was masculine with a small ‘m’, tender and loving without mentioning any of the graphic terms that are often used. It was subtle in its power. It made the reader feel love. 

AJH: Yes, the reality of … masculinity (to use that difficult term) really brings this post home to me. Obviously notions of authenticity are very very difficult with fiction, and m/m, and intersect only orthogonally with the gender-identity/sexuality of the writer … but this felt very real to me. I hug it. Speaking of real, and since we’ve been talking a bit about queerness and children, I loved also loved Is that the Gay Romance, Mom? by AJ Cousins. I loved it for its honesty and its vulnerability. I kind of feel if everyone in the world was Amy Jo, all problems everywhere would be instantly solved. And I think it’s like … The Answer to the question of how to be a good ally (again to use a problematic term): just think, and care. That’s it. All you need. 

BJ: The world would be a much better place if ‘think and care’ were a motto we all could adhere to. My daughter had two friends with gay parents, and the only time I was ever called to visit the school for ‘a talk’ was when she was six and stood on a little box in the playground and gave an anti homophobia speech.  Her friends had been bullied. When the head asked what I was going to say to Rebecca, I replied, after hugging her and congratulating her, we would celebrate with the four Dads and her friends. The head agreed and congratulated Becca too. That’s how it should be. 

AJH: I … can’t think of any better way to end this post. Queer Romance Month is running through October, showcasing amazing posts from amazing people. Please come and joins us.

BJ: As Alexis has left us I have to recommend his post also  www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=14239 It’s entitled C is for Celebration and is quite lovely.

 

Farewell Giveaway
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,

Brandilyn
This post may contain affiliate links.
Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews.  The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.

12 thoughts on “Queer Romance Month (2) with Alexis Hall and Beverley Jansen with Giveaway ~ Sunday Spotlight by Beverley

  1. Another spectacular discussion, you two. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. I’ve been reading the QRM posts and love the discussions that are happening around them.
    I’ve read Lilia’s post (and a number on her own blog) and her most recent story, i.e. TENTACLE SEX lol, and the accurate blurb is accurate. I definitely recommend it.

  2. So many thoughts! Thank you again for another terrific discussion. I have come around to appreciating the word queer (American here), but it definitely wouldn’t have been the thing in my college days. In the late eighties/early nineties, I think we were at a point where the explicit use of lesbian/bisexual/gay was part of the goal. Queer still held a negative connotation, I think, and I remember thinking everyone wanted to be named, not folded into a one word. Whereas now that society is more used to the casual and regular use of lesbian/gay/bisexual, maybe it’s easier to appreciate a word that can encompass everyone?

    Your story, Alexis, fills me with outrage and a need to stomp around and yell at someone. My friends do a brisk trade in talking me off the ledge when I get angry. I call them up for this, actually, because I know that I can be hugely effective when I am smart about how I approach people. And that’s great. But I think you’re absolutely correct that there is too often this idea, as often comes up in conversations about racism also, that “you’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar”, so people (queer people, women, people of color) should be nice in order not to alienate others. And that kind of tone-policing is exhausting, because you’re never allowed to be angry, while the people for whom you are moderating yourself are allowed to be as awful as they like.

    Thank you also for the lovely compliments. But if all the world were like me, everyone would be eating guacamole on bread for lunch be they forgot to go to the grocery store, and washing their kids’ gym uniform in the sink at 5am because ditto laundry. 🙂 We’d be a mess. And I have more thoughts about this post, but I’ve really gone on too long already, so maybe I’ll write another post for QRM this week!

  3. Omg, this post; it’s kinda everything, thought-provoking & angry-making , touching & tender & sexy & funny & adorable, all at different times, sometimes all at once. I love! Somehow manages to out-do the first post of this series, which I already thought was wonderful. More specifically:

    On “queer”, yes much less used/approved in the U.S . Acctually your use of it, Alexis, on one of your blog posts from early this year, I believe, was my first re-introduction to the term as a positive. Though I immediately got why it resonated for you it took me a while to get used to & not feel I dared use it without doing the written equivalent to “whispering” it like a bad word. But I’ve come to really like it, for its inclusiveness & for all the reasons, which I talked about in my really long comment (imagine that) to Kim Dare’s blog post – which I also loved.

    Alexis, the incident with your goddaughter is so disturbing. I really can’t get over the fact people still feel it’s OK to have & to express such outrageously NOT OK attitudes. How could you have not been upset & angry; how could you have not shown something of what you were feeling? It makes *me* upset & angry too, on your behalf & Kathryn’s. And you’re right, there’s an intolerance for people showing emotion in situations of injustice, an expectation everyone should remain cool-headed. All very well, until it’s you or your loved one who is being hurt. I think that’s the point people keep missing: These aren’t just issues & grievances to be “dealt with”, this is about human beings being hurt & harmed.

    Other things: Yes, language has as real a power to inflict pain & damage as a physical weapon. Yes, so much, Edmond Manning, wonderful. Omg: BJ, your daughter, soapbox & anti-homphobia speech, celebration, yay <3! Oh, & G.B. Gordon post: So wonderful, loved both your quotes from that. And “chiaroscuro” – eee, one of my favorite words, ever <3

    Final thoughts @ Alexis:

    1. “This is gay, sir.” “You know what else is gay, Perkins?” “My use of homophobic language, sir.” Awesome! And, may I add: “Squee!”? Kinda shows you in a different light 😉

    2. After this I feel you should be prepared to find multiple gift boxes containing pink-tentacled creatures under your Christmas tree 😉

  4. I’ve been reading the QRM posts. There are some great thought provoking posts there. Thanks for the great discussion here as well.

  5. Wonderful post, you two. There are a million thinks I’d like to respond to but I’ll limit myself to one; the bullying in school point you brought up. I wish I had been there. I wish I’d had that woman in front of me. Because you know what. Even if your orientation were a choice rather than a fact, it still wouldn’t make the bullying right. I mean is it okay to bully a child because their mother decides to colour her hair purple? Of course not. Are we allowed to bully kids because their father happens to work as a – I don’t know, take your pick – garbage man? Absolutely not.

    While I hate this happened to you and your goddaughter your queerness was (in my opinion) irrelevant here (apart from the fact it was extremely hurtful for you, I’m not trying to gloss over that). Bullying kids is never right. What they look like, where they come from, who their parent(s) is/are, and how they choose to live their lives is irrelevant. There is NEVER a good excuse for bullying.

    And that in a nutshell is my opinion on the whole subject of queerness as well. It doesn’t matter who we are, how we define ourselves or who we are attracted to. We are all human, we all want love in our lives and none of us want to be singled out for special (discriminatory) treatment. It’s not a complicated concept, in fact, it couldn’t be simpler. And I will never understand why a huge amount of people appear to have such difficulty grasping this it.

  6. @Lirtle
    Eee, so happy you’re enjoying the series. Honestly, doing this is a lot so fun, and BJ gets drunk, so it’s no hardship 😉

    I am definitely checking out the tentacle story. Can’t resist it.

    @AJ
    Queer is definitely a difficult one. I’ve worn all the labels in my time, trying to find one that in some ways encompasses how I feel about me, and queer has been the best I’ve found. I’m not trying to impose it (or anything) on other people, though, of course – but if you don’t fit the “obvious” boxes, I think there’s something quite liberating about going “oh fuck it, I’m queer” and never ever having to think about it again. There’s a post over on QRM by Jordan L Hawk about how it’s a Kinsey scale nota Kinsey checkbox and I think ‘queer’ is a good place for people who move along the scale rather than occupy a point up on it. I think one of the lesser-explored aspects bisexuality (another label I have worn) is that how you feel about your sexuality even day to day can be completely different.

    I seriously hate the term “you’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” I, err, I get told that a lot … and maybe I have a completely deranged perspective on my own hostility and aggression … but I’m pretty polite. Also I always want to ask the question: why are we trying to catch flies in the first place? Who the fuck wants flies? I’m really super troubled by this idea that … there are people who only will only belief in equality if I’m … nice about it?

    Dude, if that’s how you feel, I don’t want you on my side. Bugger off with the rest of the bigots.

    To me, this kind of rhetoric is focused very much on the privileged not the oppressed. It makes *offending bigots* socially and morally worse than *being a bigot*.

    And thank you for the wonderful QRM post – I loved it. If you do write another, we’ll Tweet it everywhere and link it from the main site 🙂

    @DebraG
    So happy you enjoyed it 🙂

    @Pam
    I think I hadn’t quite realised that ‘queer’ was still so charged in the US. I might have paused a bit, but we’d probably still have gone with it.

    Kathryn’s fine – she’s largely unbulliable because she’s adamntium-love-reinforced. And her life is what it is and the idea she ought to be ashamed for the composition of her family is slightly bewildering to her. But she’s a very level-headed, very clever person, and she has a nice group of friends who think she is just the coolest, so it’s all good.

    The thing is, I’m quite an angry person sometimes internally, but externally I’m pretty calm. But as I was saying to AJ, I might just have a warped perspective about my own calmness and sanity. I don’t feel like I attack people, but often people feel attacked and, to a degree, I think some of it is simply that challenging someone on the way they think or behave can – to some people – constitute an attack. And I don’t want to be a wildly hostile person. I’m not looking for reasons to point a fail-finger. I just think if you shouldn’t bring your children up bigoted. Call me crazy. But, yeah, mindless hate is a taught skill. Surprisingly. It’s not inherent to humanity.

    @Jen CW
    So glad you’re enjoying QRM – I find the scope and dazzling variety of the posts endlessly fascinating. It’s like a queer box of chocolates over there.

    @Helena Stone
    I agree. Bullying is bullying and that’s the end of it.

    To give this woman credit, what little she deserves, I think her broader point (and, to be honest, it is a point I’ve pondered) is that as parents or guardians we have a responsibility to give our children the best life the can possibly have. I can, for example, think of circumstances I might perhaps hesitate to bring a child into this world. But, uh, being queer ain’t one ‘em. And I think she felt that in turning up to the playground to pick up my goddaughter with my same-sex partner I was essentially making her life more difficult. I mean, while being with my partner is not a choice because I wuv him, I could for example have left him at home. And I do, in fact, only pick up Kathryn solo these days. She says she doesn’t care, but *I* care.

    And, in all honesty, when Kathryn was born, which was nine or so years ago (yes, I’m a crap guardian, no sense of time, honestly I swear it was only yesterday I was crying over her toenails and smelling the top of her head) her mothers were genuinely concerned about the reality of life for the child of same-sex parents. As you say, kids will pick on other kids based on bugger all.

    But … she’s fine. Better than fine. She’s the best person I know.

    • I completely get what you’re saying. When we moved from Holland to Ireland my then 3 1/2 year old daughter only spoke Dutch. I actively encouraged her losing that language so she’d be fluent in English by the time she had to go to school. I was bullied through six years of primary school and wanted to do what I could to not have her suffer the same fate. I now kick myself for allowing her to lose that second language but at the time it made perfect sense to me.

      I tend not to look at people for differences and often fail to notice those that are obvious to others. I’ve been given out to in a pub where I worked for serving Travelers (a marginalised Irish group). Nobody could understand I didn’t (and still don’t) recognise them as different from all the other Irish. To me they look and sound the same. It’s a form of blindness I’m rather proud of. I honestly do not understand this need most people seem to have to focus on what makes others different from (and therefore more often than not less than) themselves. And I have no patience for it either. People are people and love is love and for me that is and always will be the end of the story.

  7. Alexis, I don’t know if you come back around after you’ve already commented, but I have to say this. With regard to your response to my comment, I keep coming back to this phrase & turning it over & over in my head: “she’s largely unbulliable because she’s adamantium-love-reinforced” <3. I love this so much, and it makes me think. It emphasizes that there are different ways to love a child, some of which can impart more strength than others, even though a child is equally deeply loved in all.

    This is probably too personal, but when has that stopped me? I was certainly loved deeply & unconditionally as a child. But I was anything but bully-proof. Quite the opposite. And it occurs to me that the kind of love you get from, what amounts to, 4 fiercely loving parents who have too many reasons to know too much about bullying & how to – not quite sure how to put it but I guess survive/fight it & triumph despite it – can perhaps, be exactly the kind of love to make a child strong & armored against the bullies of the world. As opposed the kind of love that, while equally deep & fierce & well-meaning is less proactive &, I guess, over-protective. The kind that amounts to tenderly wrapping someone in your love like a blanket, which conveys wellbeing & safety as long as you are under the blanket, but which essentially leaves you dependent on the “blanket” & completely defenseless when you must, inevitably, emerge. Kind of a babe-in-the-woods when you encounter bullies in the big, bad world.

    Kathryn is so incredibly lucky to be surrounded & inoculated by this protective yet strong-making kind of love. And the way you describe her sounds like you’re “spot on” in your assessment of her strength. It also makes me think it’s probably best I never had kids, because I’m not sure I have it in me to love that way, rather than the same way I was loved. I think there is also value in loving as I *was* loved, as, I think, I *do* love. But maybe a little goes a long way. And maybe it’s more suited to comforting people who’ve already been hurt than making them strong so as to not get so hurt in the first place;)

    Setting all that aside, let me say, I really hate it that you’ve been made to feel it’s better to pick Kathryn up from school alone now. I think, as I’m sure you will agree, you are blessed to have Kathryn in your life, but she is also absolutely blessed to have you, *and* your partner, in hers; in addition to her mothers. It’s double the love 🙂

    Oh also: About coming across as angry when you think you’re externally calm –makes me wonder if you channel emotion into your voice & unconsciously speak louder than you realize? I do this & have had people think I’m shouting when, from my perspective, I’m speaking in a perfectly normal tone of voice :/

    And, about “queer”: I don’t know if the word is exactly emotionally charged in the US, so much as just less familiar/commonly used, so I guess people not used to hearing it default back to older, more problematic connotations when they encounter it. But as I’ve come around to think it’s such a good word I think others will too. Certainly seems to be catching on in popularity among most people over at QRM, at least 😉

  8. I’ve decided that here is the place to say how much I like everything about QRM. It’s all new and fascinating to me! Thanks for sharing your stories and opinions.

    @Alexis, I’m totally fangirling now. I love everything you write, your posts and speculations are thought-provoking for me. Btw, now, I see why you have left us over at GR (QRM is a huge thing) but I hope it’s just temporary 🙂

  9. So wow, I’m almost a week late commenting here. I can’t stop thinking about what happened to your god-daughter and to you, Alexis. Just the amount of energy incidents like that consume really bothers me–that a casual, insensitive remark can infiltrate your life, make you question your responses, worry, literally just take up fucking time in your day that the person never earned, that they have no right to, and yet they’ve somehow staked out space in your brain. I tend to have a strong emotional response to that kind of interaction, especially if for whatever reason I’m not happy with how I handled it. I never seem to be able to just walk off it–it has to cycle through various stages of obsession and anxiety over a day or so before I finally move on. I just felt like that cost should be acknowledged.

    On a happier note, for those with any interest in pink tentacles (sparkly or not) Etsy has (it tells me) 211 items fitting that category: here’s the link.
    https://www.etsy.com/search?q=tentacle&page=1&color=f40b32
    I personally want the plush squid hat for Chanukah. .

    Thank you for the shout out on my QRM post–it’s deeply appreciated, and for the interest in Pet to the Tentacle Monsters. I am well aware that the audience for “tentaclesex” is a select one. I thank (blame) Goodreads, including some people posting on QRM, for making me aware that it even existed. I have in my small way attempted to pay that forward. : )

Leave a Reply