Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank John Amory for stopping by today. Please give them a warm welcome.
Just Dance: Don’t Be Afraid to Be Proud this Pride Month
Pride Month is a time of celebration. It’s a time to be free and open and untamed and alive. It’s a month when the LGBTQ+ community gathers to revel, to unite, to be more ourselves than we feel like we are typically allowed to be. It’s a time of love and safety.
This Pride Month is different. The shooting in Orlando has brought out so many insecurities and fears in this community–my community–as to almost render the message of Pride moot. In the face of not only a devastating attack on a club meant as a safe space for LGBTQ+ people but the deadliest mass shooting in American history, it can be hard to find something to celebrate. It’s so much easier to retreat into ourselves and go to dark places many of us know too well. I, for one, have been much more affected by this tragedy than I thought I could be. I’ve gone back to times in my life where I’ve felt unloved or unsafe in the past week, and it’s not a fun place to revisit. But it’s hard to be happy, to want to be free and open and untamed and alive, when so many of our brothers and sisters had their lives taken away for being just those things.
But we have to. It’s what our community does. We face tragedy and hate head-on and spit in its face. So I’m preparing myself to go to NYC Pride this coming week. I’m trying to put my fears aside and remember that there is freedom and love in being myself and being unashamed and, especially, unafraid of that. So I think this Pride, more than any other, it’s important to keep that in mind: fear is easy, but openness is brave. Dance this pride. Be wild and have fun. What better way to not only keep the Pulse victims’ memories alive but to honor all we’ve accomplished and all we will accomplish? Celebrate now more than ever. When it’s so simple to hide, make the hard choice to let your hair down instead. When it’s so easy to be alone, gather in groups instead. When it’s so easy to lie down and cry, get up and dance instead.
For the second year in a row, I’ve made a Spotify playlist of 40 LGBT-identifying musicians (this year’s list includes Adam Lambert, Sia, Elton John, Sam Smith, and many more) of many genres, from rap to rock to Latin to pop, and their upbeat, fun, danceable music released in the past twelve months. This feels even more important to acknowledge this year: these are openly LGBT artists making their careers work in the face of industry and popular prejudice. We’ve seen how people, consciously or not, can strip away our identities as LGBT people in the blink of an eye. (How many newscasters, politicians or celebrities have you seen calling the Orlando shooting simply an attack on Americans and disgregarding that it was, firstly, an attack on a building full of LGBT people?) But these men and women stand up and say “screw it,” and they are who they are without apologies. Many of them refuse to change pronouns. Many of them refuse to write marketable hits in the vein of current Top 40. But they do what they do because they love it and because they’re proud. Let’s be proud, too, by cranking up the volume and letting go, even if it’s just for an hour or two.
WARNING: Some of these songs contain explicit language. They are clearly marked.
In addition, I wanted to mention that I will be donating all of my royalties from my Torquere Press and Dreampsinner Press titles through the end of June to the Pulse victims’ fund. I’ve attached links to my stories that are available direct from my publishers to the end of this article (note that it doesn’t contain anthologies; typically authors are paid a flat fee for those and do not see royalties from sales). You can, of course, buy these stories from your favorite electronic retailer, but the highest royalty return comes from direct purchases (and it sometimes takes a while for the larger retailers to pay the publisher). Please consider purchasing or passing this information along.
Torquere Titles: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=523 (code pride2016 takes 35% off your cart!)
Dreampinner Titles: Protection (which is about a survivor of gun violence) https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/protection-by-john-amory-3805-b and Best Laid Plans https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/best-laid-plans-by-john-amory-4106-b
About the Author
John Amory is proud to be (what seems like) one of few males writing male/male romance. He is from New Jersey, which is nothing like what TV makes it out to be. He’s not orange; he doesn’t say “Joizey;” and he’s not in the mob. He is part Italian, though. John has BA and MA degrees in English, and he teaches composition to college freshmen. Other jobs have included personal assistant, telemarketer, and dancing mouse (don’t ask), but “author” is definitely the most exciting. He loves reality TV, drag queens, and Taco Bell, sometimes all at once when RuPaul’s Drag Race is on. He can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and GoodReads.
One random commenter with thoughtful, relevant comments will win a $25 gift certificate each month in 2016.
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