Sometimes when I write, I have early episodes of a long-running series on in the background because they’re on endless repeat and I don’t have to concentrate on them.
The episodes were first aired in the mid-noughties. I’m not going to name and shame, but I’m shocked at the overt homophobia and transphobia that permeates the episodes.
When I’m not watching the screen somehow the words become sharper and more in context. They whooshed over my head when I first watched the series. Now I hear it, and I’m ashamed I didn’t understand it before.
Two years before this came out, a British cop show, The Bill, had an openly gay policeman and a storyline with a young policeman struggling with his sexual identity. I only appreciate now that it covered some powerful storylines and didn’t hold back on cultural attitudes of the era.
I still watch the American series and I’ve seen the attitude and the scripts change. They’re much more respectful of LGBT people now. Sadly no major gay characters. Heaven forbid they would have evolved that far. But at least gay people are generally not treated as if they are diseased or have two heads. It will be good when gay characters just ‘are’, rather than something unusual.
As I typed this I started to watch an episode of the series. A later one, I checked. Oh yuk, they’re making a comment about sweaty woman on woman action. Maybe it hasn’t changed that much at all.
Hissed as a Newt
Book 2 in the With A Kick series
A drunk clown rolling around in the gutter is not what David Wright expects to find as he walks to With A Kick, his favourite ice-cream shop. David has had a lousy day. A literary agent has crushed his dreams and all he wants is the consolation of alcoholic ice-cream. He’s about to walk away when he realises the clown has been dumped by his boyfriend. On a whim, David takes the clown into With A Kick before he gets arrested. Underneath the smeared make-up, he meets Stan, who has just discovered his boyfriend and best friend getting more than friendly. Over ice-cream, David and Stan discuss their problems and discover maybe they can help each other.
As he turned the corner into Covent Garden he noticed a small crowd had gathered, obstructing his path to alcoholic heaven. He huffed as he negotiated kids, parents and tourists with their cameras snapping incessantly. A large crowd was assembled in one corner and he expected to see a street performer in their midst, juggling or miming—or whatever other crap they called art. David was curious enough to walk over and take a look. It was indeed a street performer, a clown in fact, but the bloke wasn’t juggling or miming, he rolled around in the road, arms flailing as he mumbled to himself. David’s lip curled as he realised the clown was drunk; absolutely paralytic in fact. Lucky bugger!
“It’s a strange show, Vera,” an old man standing next to David commented to his wife.
She sniffed in agreement. “Nothing like our day, Bert. They were true artistes.”
The couple moved away, the woman still complaining.
The man in the road rolled over onto his side and vomited. A groan of disgust rippled through the crowd and they moved away en masse.
David was about to do the same when he caught the man’s words.
“I loved you, you fucking bastard. I loved you and you cheated on me.”
Bastard, not bitch. Huh.
Cursing his impulsive nature, David knelt by the man, careful to avoid the puke. “Are you all right?”
The man mumbled incoherently. His makeup was smeared, and David realised he’d been crying. At the moment he looked more like an Allison Schulnik painting than a clown.
“You really need to get out of the road, man.”
“Leave me in the gutter.”
Oh Jesus, a drama queen. “Listen mate, you can stay here if you want but you’re liable to be nicked. Why don’t you get up and come with me? I want to drown my sorrows. We can cry on each other’s shoulders.”
The clown opened one eye. It would have been a pretty, blue eye if it hadn’t been so bloodshot. “A drink?”
“Don’t you think you’ve had enough?”
“Probably.” With David’s help the clown sat up then clutched his stomach. “Definitely. I’m going to puke again.”
Make sure you catch up with the first book in the series: A Twist and Two Balls by Clare London.
About Sue Brown
Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn't following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot, and has become at ignoring the orders.
Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she's made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.
Come over and talk to Sue at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Her website can be found at http://www.suebrownstories.com/