Life’s Gatekeepers ~ Outside the Margins with Tami Veldura

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Tami Veldura OtM

Boyfriend came home from work the other day. “I have a funny story for you. Well, it’s not funny haha, it’s funny sad.”

“That doesn’t sound good,” I said.

“My coworker bought a bicycle and told his wife that it belongs to me so he doesn’t get in trouble.”

I looked up from my book. “Why would he get in trouble? Did he use rent money or something?”

“No, it’s his own money.” And Boyfriend stumbled through some vague explanation of who wore the pants in the family and how tightly they were cinched.

I gave him an exasperated look. The one that broadcasted my intent to bring a dissertation to the table that he wasn’t expecting to run into. I asked, “Why is she gatekeeping his personal cash?”

“What’s gatekeeping?”

Gatekeeping. It’s that dudebro you encounter at the bar who sees your Nirvanah t-shirt: Oh you like that band? Then what are the names of their first three albums?

It’s that asshole at ComiCon: You’re just here because you think Hugh Jackman is hot. You don’t actually know anything about the Wolverine character.

It’s boyfriend’s wife, making him justify a purchase with his own money that makes him happy.

Some gates legitimately need to be justified. A driver’s license, for instance, requires a written and practical exam, along with a several month probationary period. If we handed cars to fifteen-year-olds without explaining what a Yield sign is, we’d be in serious trouble within a week. Some things require gatekeepers.

Other things find them useful. A publisher simply can’t publish every book they’re given. Acquisition editors are put in place to find just the right selection of manuscripts that fit the publisher’s goals. They’re the gatekeepers, and while they’re not keeping fifteen-year-olds from killing us all, they’re still filling an important role.

But far too often I see and hear people taking it upon themselves to gatekeep something that doesn’t need a keeper, and in fact, hurts the industry they claim to so fervently love.

No, I haven’t read every Wolverine comic ever written, do you know why? Because he’s a womanizing asshole in most of them and there are over 400 books. I really like Hugh Jackman, so I watch the movies now and then, but I don’t care to read that many comics just to get the subtle details of his being. He’s an alpha-male jerk with a questionable moral compass, there isn’t much subtle to him. Yet for some reason, the dudebro Eternal Fan would prefer that I Don’t watch the films and Don’t tell the world I love Wolverine and oh, Don’t give my money to Marvel and spread the love because I haven’t passed his test of True Fan. I shouldn’t make fanart or fanfiction or any creative things because I haven’t justified my interest to his liking. I could be announcing to seven thousand people on twitter that Wolverine is the best X-man ever and here’s my 12 page dissertation on why. Maybe I could convert some of those followers to check out the latest comic, or pick up the movie—but no, I shouldn’t. I’m a fake geek girl and they wouldn’t be true fans either.

It’s not limited to the nerd crowd. Classic cars (this is a 1970’s original…), classic novels (I read the unabridged version…), motorcycles, RC cars, fine art, organic vegetables!

What is the benefit to cutting off access to these things? It just limits your group of friends. When someone tells me Oh, I haven’t watched the Princess Bride, I’m fucking thrilled!

Don’t move, we’re going to watch it right now. I love this movie and you will too. And then when we’re done we can both geek out over it.

Hey, did you know the latest Wolverine is a girl? Let’s read it together.

Of course, Boyfriend can’t tell his coworker’s wife to knock it off, so now he’s the “owner” of a shiny new triathlon bicycle. Since writing, his coworker has “put a downpayment” on the bike so he can buy it slowly.

Yesterday Boyfriend told me he was interested in buying an Arduino. Does he know the first thing about electronics or coding? No. But I think it’s awesome, I’ve spent many an hour coding the crap out of websites. I even have a little program that will accept an input and spit out pig-latin. I’m not going to keep this gate locked up tight. What would be the point in that? Everyone gets upset, no one learns anything, and I don’t get to noodle in the code with Boyfriend.

Go for it, dude. Let me know if you get stuck. Your robot will be sweet.

~Tami Veldura


Title: Cinder Ella
Author: S.T. Lynn
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 06/24/2016
Cover Artist: Aria Tan
Genre: Fantasy, Lesbian Romance, Trans*


Ella is transgender. She’s known since she was young; being a woman just fit better. She was happier in skirts than trousers, but that was before her stepmother moved in. Eleanor can’t stand her, and after Ella’s father passes she’s forced to revert to Cole, a lump of a son. She cooks, she cleans, and she tolerates being called the wrong name for the sake of a roof over her head. Where else can she go?

An opportunity to attend the royal ball transforms Ella’s life. For the first time, strangers see a woman when she walks down the stairs. While Princess Lizabetta invited Cole to the ball, she doesn’t blink an eye when Cinderella is the one who shows. The princess is elegant, bold, and everything Ella never knew she wanted. For a moment she glimpses a world that can accept her, and she holds on tight.

She should have known it wouldn’t last. Dumped by her wicked stepmother on the farthest edge of the kingdom, Ella must find a way to let go of the princess and the beautiful life they shared for an hour. She’ll never find her way back. But it’s hard to forget the greatest night of her life when every rose she plants is a reminder.


Cinder Ella on Goodreads

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About Tami Veldura

Tami Veldura is a reader, editor, and author of LGBT work. She’s a petite dragon who hordes purple things and prefers the title Mx. Track her down on twitter or find her books on Amazon and AllRomance. Bring your best pokemon and cat videos.

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