Until now I have kept my blog posts mostly to book news, free reads and the occasional hottie – hmm, really should have more of those on here come to think of it. Anyway, it is rare I get on a soapbox about anything as I know I am quite opinionated and am best taken in small doses.
The last couple of days I have been debating about whether to blog about an issue that has been the hot topic of discussion in various forums, loops and blogs this week. Today I decided to go ahead with it.
The latest gossip, scandal, or whatever you want to call it, is with regard to a well known and popular male author of male/male romances who has recently been outed as a female.
The outing was done on a public blog by someone who declined to name the author in question, at least at first. A second blogger decided to go one better and let the proverbial cat out of the bag entirely by naming AJ.
The author at the centre of the storm blogged personally and came clean about what they had done in the past, admitting they are not proud of some of their actions and apologising to any of the readers who may feel deceived by their actions. This author also explained that he is a transgender, a gay man trapped in a female body, which puts on a rather different slant on things. AJ lives as a man and out of respect for him I will refer to him as such in this post.
AJ gave a personal, painful and public apology on his blog. I, like many others, have already shown my support to him and hopefully he can now move on from this and continue his career.
What has shocked me are the reactions of some of the people I have seen during the last few days.
- People who deliberately stir up the hornets’ nest and gloat about it, and I’m not just referring to the two main bloggers themselves.
- Readers who claim they are hurt by the deception and shouting about their rights.
- Authors who call those who show support to AJ “fucking idiots” – Now there’s a marketing strategy I hadn’t thought of!
- Name-calling and spitefulness I thought I had seen the last of in high school.
AJ at least had the right to come out in their own way and at their own time. He was stripped of that right when the witch hunt started. And yes, I think it is perfectly justified to call it a witch hunt. Whether he was named in the first blog or not, the post was made with the sole intention of stirring up trouble and potentially damaging someone’s career.
In my opinion a person’s gender or sexuality has no bearing at all on whether the author can write or not. I don’t care if the books I read are written by men, women, or trained chimpanzees as long as they are enjoyable.
I will continue to support AJ and will continue to buy his books.
I would hope that any reader with any compassion would appreciate that people make mistakes and AJ is just as human as the rest of us. He has admitted to his mistakes and deserves to be forgiven so he can move on.
So please put those pitchforks away, or at least take a few minutes to think before you join the baying mob.
Put yourself in someone else’s shoes for a few minutes. Think about the fact that behind every online persona is a real person with real feelings. Consider whether you have ever made a mistake in your life or a bad choice. I know I have. Making mistakes is a part of being human.
So are forgiveness, compassion and understanding, so how about showing some to AJ?
Oh and just for the record, in case there is any confusion – I am female.