As I'm sure many of you know, May 17th is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Along with several other authors, as well as reviewers, cover artists, and publishers, I'm taking part in the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and offering up a free ebook from my backlist, winner's choice of title. To be entered in the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post and please include an email addy where I can contact you. If you don't feel comfortable posting your email publicly, or you have trouble leaving a comment, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org The hop runs until May 27th, and I'll be posting my winner on May 28th.
Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia has been organized by three lovely ladies, Erica Pike, K-lee Klein, and NJ Nielsen, to help raise awareness for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and I'm very proud to be taking part.
When I participated last year, I talked about discrimination. This year, I want to talk about love and hope. I remember when I first started writing gay romance back in 2005, how distant things like acceptance and marriage equality seemed. So many people I'd talk to had attitudes so vehement against homosexuality. Though, maybe I was talking to the wrong people. Thinking back on it now, I'm certain I was. Still, those narrow opinions I saw in those few were the same opinions of many across the country, and even for me as a heterosexual woman, I thought they were confusing, and even frightening because I'd think of all the people who faced these kinds of attitudes daily and knew how much that bigotry could hurt.
I didn't understand how so much hate could be directed toward any person or group of people. I didn't understand how others could want to control the lives of people, tell them who they should love, how they should act, who they should be. I didn't understand their laughter at hateful jokes and derogatory words. Though, I'm sure they were just as confused by me not understanding their bigotry, which of course led to tension, anger, and ultimately everyone eventually deciding to go separate ways in life.
The essence of hate is to destroy, but for love, it's to nurture. Whether it's your partner, spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend, your child, a friend, a family member, a pet, love makes you want to protect and cherish, to care for and defend, to be kind and offer support, and all of those give strength.
By it's very essence of nurturing, love is overcoming hate and winning more and more in our world. In recent years, we've seen the strength of love, as those attitudes I spoke of have begun to change. More nations in the world and States in the U.S., are taking steps to recognize marriage equality, equality in general, and to offer stronger legal protections for LGBT individuals. Yes, there's still a lot of work to do, a long distance yet to be traveled, but hope is strong and continues to grow, as it's nurtured by the love of those who believe all individuals deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, to make their own decisions on their life, their bodies, and who they love.
That's where love is stronger than hate. How it truly can conquer all. To destroy something is to bring it to an end. But love never ends. There will always be a man who loves a man, a woman who loves a woman, a man who loves a woman, and a woman who loves a man. It's a fruitless battle for those on the side of hate to fight, because people will never stop loving.
My thanks to all of you who've stopped by today to show support against Homophobia and Transphobia. It's greatly appreciated! And do be sure to visit the other folks taking part in the hop and working to raise awareness as we stand together against discrimination.