Thursday, January 17, 2013

You Don't Have To Be Gay To Hide In The Closet

Question: What do the former New Jersey governor (Jim McGreevey), the former president of the National Association of Evangelicals (Ted Haggard) and former Alabama Attorney General, Troy King have in common?

Answer: They all lived a lie, and that lie eventually destroyed them. All three of these men were very successful in their careers and they all preached, in their own way, "traditional family values." They were all married, extolled the values of a heterosexual family life and tried to live their life the way those around them expected and wanted them to. But they were all gay. One by one their secrets came out. They all cheated on their wives and got themselves involved in risky, salacious situations that they really should have had the sense to sidestep. You can't exactly excuse their behavior. They lied to everyone. The people they represented, their friends, their families and most importantly themselves.

That last part is really the important piece. There is no bigger lie than to lie about who you are as a person. But usually people who do that are also trying very hard to delude themselves. These guys had all been told from a very early age that being gay was a horrible thing. So they tried to be someone different, with different desires and different needs. And it worked for them for a while. But when you deny who you are (to yourself and to the world) sooner or later something breaks. Suppress your true nature for too long and it usually comes out in a rather destructive and chaotic way.  And when those who go down this path finally give in to an irresistible temptation they don't come clean right away because doing so would involve acknowledging who they are, not just to their loved ones but to themselves. For these guys that was unthinkable. For many of them, acknowledging their desires was as good as acknowledging that they were literally going to hell. So they convinced themselves that their infidelity was just a one-off...then a two-off...and eventually they just saw it as a hidden drug addiction that at some point they'd find a way to kick. Apparently these dudes didn't see Brokeback Mountain. It just doesn't work that way. To quote Jim McGreevey:
"It destroyed my career, ruined my marriage and helped me discover who I really am."
This particular story has been retold so many times with different actors the public barely registers shock anymore. But a while ago I started wondering...why do we assume this story only holds true for closeted gays? Aren't there other ways of being closeted? Aren't there many completely heterosexual individuals suppressing their true nature only to have it break through at the most inconvenient moment? There are so many ways children are frequently indoctrinated by philosophies that requires them to learn and embrace the art of self-deciet.

And it was while thinking about all that that I invented Kasie Fitzgerald, the protagonist who stars in Just One Night: The Stranger, the first book of a novella trilogy that will be released on Monday. Kasie was raised to believe that she needs to be a certain way: reserved, cautious, conservative in every area of life and most importantly, controlled. Due to some experiences from her childhood this has become more than a life philosophy, it's practically a religion for her and yes, she does believe that if she rejects these dictates she will in many ways be put on a direct path to hell.

In fairness, following the rules that have been set for her has served her very well in many ways. She's a graduate of Harvard Business School, she's doing very well at a global business consulting firm, she's engaged to a man who may not excite her but fits into the picture she's been told she's supposed to live in.

And then she meets Robert Dade. A fiercely, almost pathologically independent man who embraces risk and lives by his own rules without apology or excuse. He has salt-and-pepper hair and the muscular form of a much younger man, his clothes speak of wealth and his calloused hands speak of harder labor. He intrigues her... and he wants her. Temptation knocks on the door and suddenly her true nature, the woman who wants adventure, who craves spontaneity, who doesn't want to live by rules aimed to stifle rather than inspire...that woman comes roaring out...for a night.

The problem is that Robert wants a hell of a lot more than one night and now Kasie has to wage a battle within herself. She wants to be the woman her family, her fiancĂ© and almost everyone else around her wants her to be.  But Robert wants her to be the woman she actually is, a woman she's been taught not to acknowledge at any cost.

This is an erotic romance, there's lots of sex and sexual tension...but in the end it's a story of self-discovery. Kasie's story. It's her battle, her conflict and she makes a lot of bad, even destructive decisions as she tries to work it all out. People will be hurt. Her current fiancé has ties to her work so her career is at risk, her relationship, her family's approval and most importantly her may be a false identity but it's a forgery that she has carefully crafted and cherished throughout her life. She has to decide if it's worth risking all of that in order to pursue a path that she thought was forbidden.

I'm guessing that a lot of you here simply don't read erotic fiction and to be honest, I rarely do either. Typically it's just not a genre that speaks to me...which is why I added an atypical entry into it. For $1.99 I hope you'll give it a shot. It might surprise certainly surprised me how much I enjoyed writing it

Kyra "Fashionista Fatale" Davis

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I can't wait for it to download to my e-reader