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Enjoy an excerpt:
The news show began airing the same video interview that had been playing on every news station all weekend long. Jonathon Jenkins was an aged, shorter-than-average former child star with beady eyes and a sleazy goatee. “Homosexual activity is what is wrong with this society, period. Homosexuals, drunkards, sinners—they are tearing us away from the Lord. I am not scared to say that this liberal doctrine toward gays is what is tearing at our society’s moral fiber, and I for one won’t stand for it. It starts with the gays and homos, and then it just goes on from there—beastiality, child predators. It’s all the same. It is absolutely sick that these individuals act like it’s natural for these homosexual relationships to even exist, let alone that they should be allowed to marry or form any union under our government. Just the thought of these despicable sinners—well, it just makes me physically ill. When they all burn in hell, I won’t cry over it.”
“Did you hear about this?” Sherry asked her son. “You know he’s from here.”
“Yeah, it’s been on the news all weekend. You couldn’t really miss it. And he lived here when he was like seven, Mom.”
Aaron noticed the story a couple nights ago when his Facebook feed exploded with comments regarding Jenkins’s statement. While a few responses trickled in to rebut the words of the former Kids in Charge actor, the majority were posts supporting his moral stand.
Fag by Krissy Bells
What’s with the title?
The word Fag is terrible, but it is out there. It is said, heard, and felt. It leaves an imprint and has repercussions. It is like many words that can and do cause pain. To ignore that it exists does nothing to erase it. It is a part of our reality and while this novel is fictional, it is the depiction of an individual that is forced to deal with the words existence and is burdened with the label. I guess I’ll back up and start with why I wrote this story.
I had recently finished writing my first YA Novel, A Special Love, and it hadn’t even crossed my mind what, or if something would come next. One night flipping through the channels I landed on TMZ (yes, I have to admit, sometimes I watch TMZ). The discussion centered on the comments made by one of the stars of Duck Dynasty, in an interview within which he described his negative feelings on homosexuality. It was without question NOT the first time a “celebrity” said something I thought was ridiculous, but I recognized that sadly, there were likely those that may agree with his opinion. I was surprised over the next few days as I started to see many memes circulating on Facebook and social media outlets that were supportive of the statements made and of the family.
I started to think about the feelings of others who were seeing all of the support being rallied around the homophobic comments that were the current media fodder. I thought about the teen that is already terrified to come out as gay to their family and friends, maybe seeing the very people they love passing around the pictures and quotes. As much as I hate to admit it, I am affected by the things I see on social media myself. I often struggle with my own body image. When I see pictures of nearly naked women being passed around, accumulating likes, I have to admit sometimes I feel inadequate. Those images must be what society finds attractive, right? I’m certain there are many who are affected by such things. Maybe racist or prejudicial humor being passed off as lighthearted fun or as I often see more recently, negativity directed at the gay and lesbian community.
With the advent of social media as it is, we are now able to say anything, to almost anyone without having to look into their eyes. We don’t have to see their reaction or acknowledge their pain. I hope this book is a glimpse into that impact. I hope that as readers delve into this story, they find that the character of Aaron Garrett could very well be someone they know, someone that they love, someone that is scared to the core to expose the very person they were made to be. I hope that it makes readers question what they put out into the world via outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Finally, I hope that it encourages acceptance; Love over ideals and a person over a belief.
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