Labels Are For Jars
(Yes, I borrowed that title, but we'll get to that in a minute!)
Hello! Welcome to my little part in the Love is Love Blog Hop. Have you heard this word before: heteronormativity? This is another new word for me, and one I wish I hadn't stumbled over.
The body of lifestyle norms that hold that people fall into distinct and complementary genders (man and woman) with natural roles in life. -Wiki
Are you kidding? Is this even a real word? With all the labels people fling at one another, do we really need to make up more of them?
If you're reading this post, I'm sure you know all about the labels people like to hand out. I'd just like to say, don't be afraid of them! A label doesn't define who you are. Usually the people quick to slap labels on you don't really know you anyway. And most importantly, never let the fear of being labeled as one thing or another keep you from being true to yourself.
That's not to say that labels can't hurt, but you can control how you let them affect you. A few years ago it leaked out at work that I'm bisexual. I'm like, 'Yea, so what?' My private life is no one's business. But I was the week's sensation! I live in a very small town. With all the gossip and whispers behind my back, I felt like I was back in high school. (Thought it probably wasn't the best time to tell them I also write gay erotic romances!)
There were labels flying left and right. But the difference between the younger me, who used to cringe from mean words and judgments, and the me today is that I no longer hold on to the hurt. I made peace with who I am a long time ago. I look inside and I like who I see. That allowed other people to like me as well, and I found my HEA in a loving husband and two awesome children and some dear friends who like me the way I am.
Keep in mind, when I say be true to yourself no matter what, I'm talking about adults here. I'm painfully, sorrowfully aware that there are circumstances, especially for children and young adults, when it's dangerous to be labeled in certain ways. But I also know there's a big movement to change that, through support and education. I've listed just a few of my favorite blogs, but there are lots out there. Yes, I do believe things are getting better.
LABELS ARE FOR JARS http://labelsareforjars.wordpress.com/
I’m in an ongoing conversation with a teacher/friend about gender and identity. She shared how her 5 year old son is very into the notion that “colors are for everyone” lately. No “boy colors” or “girl colors.” Any color for any person.
In talking about Q and how confining sex and assumptions around gender can be, she suggested the notion (which was really suggested by this wise 5 year old, but not in so many words) that gender is for everyone. As in, any gender for any person. Or every gender for every person. Or whatever gender anyone wants. No restrictions based on stereotypes. It came from the suggestion, by said wise 5 year old, that on a particular day when he was hanging out with Q and folks kept thinking Q was a girl, that maybe, in fact, he WAS a girl that day. None of us really know, he suggested. So wise. And so doable inside of the notion that gender is for everyone. So, I’m going with this conceptualization. I like it and am using it.
RAISING MY RAINBOW http://raisingmyrainbow.com/
It was the most sincere display of appreciation that my five-year-old son has ever shown. He looked me straight in the eyes and said a very mature and worldly “thank you.” The words were full of honesty, relief, happiness and a little bit of anguish.
“You’re welcome, baby,” I said looking at him with a smile and masking the pain I was feeling.
My gender creative son was thanking me for buying him a dress to wear to Christmas Eve dinner.
My favorite place to visit is Gender Spectrum that offers support, advice, and education.
GENDER SPECTRUM http://www.genderspectrum.org/
Gender Spectrum provides education, training and support to help create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for all children and teens.
So don't be afraid to be yourself! As my 8 year old son once said to his 10 year old sister when she made a comment about his pink shirt: he turned to her, looked her up and down, and said, "Don't label me." There are plenty of people who'll love you for who you are, and support and friendship are as close as a mouse-click away.
Okay! Today I'd like to leave you with a flash I wrote for the Halloween Heat Anthology from Etopia Press. Also, comment for a chance to win a copy of any book on my backlist. Don't forget to leave your contact info. Thanks so much for coming by!
Bennie started pulling out wigs and hats and scarves, a pirate shirt and a werewolf mask. “Remember this one?” he asked and giggled as he held up a pink tutu.
“Oh god, yes. I thought your father was going to have a seizure. What were we, ten?” Paul rubbed the frilly skirt between his fingers. He’d grown up in the house next to the Ramseys, and he and Bennie were as close as brothers. Closer, when at fourteen they discovered it was more fun to sleep in the same bed than separately.
Bennie flashed him a look, light blue eyes dancing with mischief. Paul’s heartbeat quickened. Bennie’s hair fell in reddish-blond ringlets around his pale face. A few freckles brushed his checks, and Paul bent his head and licked them. He’d teased Bennie as a child that he’d wash them away one day with his tongue. One night, in Paul’s room, Bennie had shown him where his other freckles were. Now he could never taste these without wanting the others.
Bennie quirked a brow. “Think it will still fit me?”
Paul’s hungry gaze traveled the slender body of his lover. “You’ve filled out some,” he murmured, purposefully lingering on the provocative bulge in Bennie’s snug jeans.
Pretty color tinged Bennie’s cheeks. “Let’s find out.” He pulled his T-shirt over his head, wiggled out of his pants, and tied the tutu around his hips.
Paul chuckled and tilted his head. “Your underwear’s showing.”
Bennie looked at the blue cotton peeking from under the edge of the pink fluff. “Easily fixed,” he said slipped off the boxers. Paul sucked in a breath. Bennie had grown in the past nine years, and the tutu stopped shy of covering his balls.
“Fuck,” Paul whispered, his dick instantly hard. He reached to cup Bennie’s luscious sac, but his darling skipped out of reach, laughing over his shoulder as he fled across the room. He did several surprisingly good pirouettes along the way, and Paul growled and started after him at the flash of his delicious ass. Bennie struck a casual pose against an old dresser, but nibbled his lip, a sure sign he was just as aroused.
Paul gripped the back of Bennie’s head to hold him in place when he reached him and plundered his mouth, sucking the sweetness off his tongue. Bennie thrust his hips, and Paul dropped his hands to grip his firm ass and lift him onto the dresser. He laughed, seeing Bennie’s swollen cock tangled in the layers of tulle.
“This is a problem,” he murmured and kneaded Bennie’s balls. He leaned down and gently bit Bennie’s dick, savoring his gasp.Dianne Hartsock