Today I am so pleased to welcome Grace R. Duncan to Joyfully Jay. Grace has come to talk to us about her latest release, No Sacrifice. She has also brought along two great giveaways! Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Thanks again to Jay for hosting me!
I’d like to talk today about bisexuality. It is an oft-misunderstood part of the rainbow, from both anyone not bisexual. There are many misconceptions about what it means to be bisexual, many arguments over what bisexuals really are and everything in between.
I’ve probably heard them all. Many, many times.
Because I am bisexual. So when I sat down to write my story, I wanted to make sure that the character of Patrick – who is also bisexual – was characterized properly. I wanted his bisexuality clear, not muddled with “Gay for You” or anything of that sort.
Back in April, I was on a panel at RainbowCon called Bisexual Mythbusters. I’ve forgotten how many of us there were, but two of them stuck out because they were male. (They were also next to me. That might have had something to do with it. 😉 ) We busted a lot of the myths about us and it was very interesting to hear other bisexual folks say the same things I’ve been saying for years.
See, we tend to be erased. A lot. We are often times labeled based on our current partner and those labeling us refuse to believe that we’re anything but that. Because I am currently with an opposite sex partner, I am called “Straight.” In fact, I often get people asking me why I don’t post “straight ally” things on facebook/tumblr/twitter/whatever. When I tell them I’m not an ally, but part of the LGBTQ spectrum, well, the arguments begin.
Patrick Tearney is bisexual. Chance, the other main character in No Sacrifice is gay. But at the beginning of the story, Patrick doesn’t understand this. He’s married to a woman. He’s convinced himself he’s happy, even though he’s not. But to be clear, he’s not unhappy because she’s a woman. He’s unhappy because they’ve drifted apart. When he spills this to Chance, it’s Chance that understands Patrick’s bisexuality better than he does and, in fact, is the one to suggest that might be what’s going on.
Patrick shook his head. “So… I don’t get it. I can’t be gay… not that there’s anything wrong with that,” he assured Chance quickly, realizing just how that must sound.
But Chance just held up a hand. “Don’t worry. I don’t think you thought that. Have you considered that you might be bi?”
Patrick blinked at him slowly for a long moment. “Bi?” he asked finally.
“Yeah, bi. Bisexual. Maybe you just like both?” Chance offered.
Patrick bit at his lip for a moment and stared into his cup. He’d never considered that possibility.
“Have you ever found a man attractive before? Have you thought anyone besides Rhys was attractive?” Chance asked.
Patrick knew the answer to the second one, though he wasn’t about to voice that. Not when the object of said attraction was still sitting across from him. He thought back to high school and college. And if he was truly honest with himself, he could only say one thing. “Yeah. Back… back in high school, I had a couple of friends I was attracted to, and there was one in college that I remember thinking about.” He shook his head. “At the time, I thought I was just crazy.”
“Cause you liked girls, you figured it was something-”
“Passing, yeah. I had a girlfriend or whatever.” He shook his head.
Chance shrugged. “Nothing wrong with being bi.”
Patrick simply hadn’t considered it as a possibility. Understanding this didn’t help a lot, though. It wasn’t long before he found himself having to defend it, as many of us do. I wanted to show this, to give even a small hint of the myths, the arguments and everything else we get.
First from his family:
“No, but… that’s them. That’s not you. You were married, and… happily! To a woman! How can you suddenly be gay?” she asked, shaking her head.
“I. Am. Not. Gay,” he said through gritted teeth. “I am bi. Bisexual. I like both. What the fuck is wrong with you two?”
“We’re not the ones that have something wrong with them,” Devin said, sounding pissed himself. “We’re not out cheating on wives, pretending to be straight.”
Patrick was on his feet without even realizing it and had Devin out of the chair and held in front of him by his shirt. “You asshole, who said anything about cheating?”
“Isn’t that what it is, then? Why Em’s not here? Why you suddenly think you’re gay?”
“I. Am. Not. Gay!” Patrick roared. He kept his head enough to say, “We’re taking a break, alright? We’re separated!” But then, at Devin’s disbelieving look, he lost it the rest of the way. “No, I can’t fuck her a dozen times to get it out of my head! No, I am not suddenly gay! Get that through your thick fucking skull, asshole!”
And then, even from his co-star, who Patrick suspects is going through something very much like he is.
“Huh.” Rhys tilted his head as he considered Patrick for a moment, but he didn’t say anything more to that. “So….” He picked at the label on his beer bottle. “So, are you… uh… gay now? Did you discover that? Maybe that’s what caused it?”
Patrick fought the urge to scowl. He could hear under Rhys’s too-casual words that there was more to the questions. He took a deep breath and let it out to be able to keep his voice calm. “No, I’m not gay.”
Rhys looked up at him and raised an eyebrow. “You’re not? But….”
Patrick shook his head. “No. I’m bi. Bisexual,” he added at Rhys’s confused look.
“Like, I like both men and women,” Patrick explained.
“Both? Are you sure you’re just not… like, curious or something?”
Another head shake. “No. I like men as much as women. I probably always have, just suppressed it.” He took a sip of his beer before continuing. “There were a couple guys in high school and one in college I remember being attracted to. But back then, I didn’t recognize it for what it was.”
“Then maybe you’ve just been in the closet,” Rhys said.
Patrick blinked at him. “No, I’m quite sure I’m still attracted to women.”
“Really?” Rhys asked, one eyebrow raised. “But if-”
“Tits and dick, okay? I like both.” Patrick frowned, deciding to put it out there. “I watch gay porn and like it. Em’s tits still turned me on when I was up there. So… yeah. Bi.”
Bisexuality is difficult to write realistically. It’s tricky to get across a character’s state of mind, to show the full spectrum of their attraction. But I was determined to try.
And as much as I did do in the book, there is so much more out there. I have been told point blank by more than one person that they don’t believe bisexuality exists. That people are either gay or straight-and this came from both gay and straight people.
Perhaps that is why many authors simply don’t write bisexuality. Maybe they don’t believe it or maybe they don’t understand it enough to write it realistically. We’re all familiar with the Gay for You trope. An otherwise straight guy who decides he’s gay for this one person. I can honestly accept that much more than I can others.
Like the books where a man is, truly, happy with a woman for years. They have sex-that he enjoys-a lot. Something happens, they get divorced (or she dies) and suddenly, he’s gay. Like there’s no in between. I’ve started a couple of those and nearly thrown my nook at the wall over them. Mind you, there are exceptions to this-and I am not referring to gay men who marry women as a cover (beards, I believe is the term). I’m talking about men who love and lust after their wives. Men who get aroused by looking at them naked, not by imagining a naked man to get the deed done. There’s a difference. And I have seen these more than once in stories.
Bi erasure is a real and all-too-common thing in fiction. I didn’t set out to make a statement in No Sacrifice, I just wanted to be true to the character that Patrick is. He is bisexual. And I just wanted to make sure that came through.
* * *
You can read Patrick and Chance’s story in No Sacrifice. It’s available now for pre-order and will be out on June 23rd!
Patrick has taken his acting talents from high school all the way to a role in a major television show. But as the show progresses, his life of absolute certainties crumbles when he finds himself reacting to the kisses of his male costar. He refuses to accept it, reminding himself he’s married and a father—and thus, straight.
One night he goes to drink his worries away, meets Chance Dillon, and can’t take his eyes off the man. After having a little too much alcohol, he spills his problem to Chance, who helps him realize there’s something other than gay and straight. Patrick’s new understanding of his bisexual identity helps him sleep better—until the next day, when he discovers Chance is a sound technician on the same set.
As their friendship grows and Patrick’s marriage ends, he recognizes a possibility for much more with Chance. But Patrick isn’t ready to be out the way Chance has been for so long, and when the matter is taken out of Patrick’s hands, he pushes Chance away to spare him the mess Patrick’s life has become. By the time he realizes his mistake, it may be too late.
Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.
A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.
As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.
Grace is offering up two great giveaways. First, she has a Rafflecopter contest going on for the tour with some fabulous prizes (some are for U.S. only but she does have international alternatives). You can check those out by following the link before for the Rafflectopter giveaway.
Grace has brought an ebook copy of any backlist title to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Tuesday, June 24th at 11:59 pm EST.
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