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Intolerance is Absolutely Intolerable!

Today, May 17th, is International Day Against Homophobia. A day when people around the world come together to fight prejudice, to stand against bullies, to say no to hate, to say yes to equal human rights for everyone. No exceptions!

In honor of this day and this cause, which is hugely important to me, I have joined the Hop Against Homophobia. Make the jump to find a list of links to hundreds of authors, publishers, and readers participating. Many of them will be blogging over the next three days to speak out against homophobia. Many will discuss LGBTQIA issues, their own personal stories, and what has inspired them. Many will be offering resources, places for you to reach out. If you are in need of help, please be sure to look at the list of resources at the end of this article!

All of the blogs participating in the hop will be offering give aways. Here, at Creative Antics, if you leave a comment on any day of the hop, and provide your email address, you will be automatically entered to win a copy of Mnevermind: Persistence of Memory, the first book in a new series by Jordan Castillo Price. Jordan is one of my favorite authors, whose stories are partially responsible for inspiring me to write LGBT fiction. I will blog more about Jordan and Mnevermind later in the week, as well as tell you more about a few of my own creative projects, so be sure to stop back by. The winner will be announced here on Sunday, May 21st.

Why am I involved in the fight against homophobia? Well it isn't simply because I write M/M Romance, or LGBT fiction. I mean, sure I write M/M, and F/F, and M/F, not to mention YA stories, pretty much every letter combo there is. Whatever the muse inspires. I am, in fact, an independent interdisciplinary artist. But, I have a very personal interest in fighting homophobia, in fighting for human rights and equality, and it is this personal stake which drives me to look for any way to help stop the atrocities caused by intolerance. I think it's important to share my story, to shoot straight about what motivates me. Fair warning. This is not a happy tale, though it is, without a doubt, what has brought me here today.

I lost one of my best friends, someone I considered family, to suicide just over five years ago. My friend, who was also my roommate for a time, was just one of many thousands of victims of homophobia. Even worse, she was bullied by the people who should have loved her the most. Her own parents. Their behavior, their homophobia, is shameful, and a community and country that continues to condone this kind of intolerance in any way is equally shameful.

There were few warnings, and though many of us knew how my friend had been treated by her family, none of us knew the extent of the damage this had caused her. None of us saw her suicide coming. In hindsight, there were things we all missed, things I would give just about anything to go back and change. But none of them were glaring. Even her long-term partner never expected to come home and find her gone at the age of twenty-six. In the end, her parents, who probably have a special reservation in hell, refused to even claim her body. It was up to her partner and all of us, her circle of friends, to take care of her. For this, I am actually thankful, that we were able to offer her a loving send off and a fitting tribute filled with all the love she deserved.

What haunts me the most is the memory of her apology note. It said she truly believed we would all live better lives without her. She was so, so wrong! I miss her every day, and my life will never be lived without her. She is with me all the time. I spent several years extremely angry with her, my way of dealing with my own guilt and pain. But, now I have turned that anger towards a drive to create change. I am determined to be heard. Homophobia has to stop. People are dying out there, children are dying, my friends and family are dying! This is unacceptable! Intolerance is absolutely intolerable!

Every day, I look at the picture on my desk of my lost friend, her lovely face smiles out at me, and I remember why it's important to write stories that promote diversity, that portray gay protagonists, that celebrate equality for everyone. I get involved in political activism, in creating community change, in educating and providing resources for our LGBTQIA youth, so they hopefully will never have to feel like outcasts. I often blog about LGBTQ issues, as well. Because, I want a world where my friends are no longer made to feel like this might be a better place without them. I want a world where everyone is free to be who they were born to be, a world where love is the most important thing, and who you love isn't. This is my way of honoring my lost friend, myself, and all of my fellow LGBTQIA community members.

If you are struggling with who you are, if you are being bullied or have been cast out by your loved ones, if you are dealing with what feels like unbearable pain, please know that there are so many people waiting and ready to help, who accept you exactly the way you are. Don't hesitate! Reach out to someone! Here are just a few of the places you can go to find  help and a loving community near you: The GLBT National Help Center, PFLAG, The Trevor Project,The Make it Safe Project .

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    Very good page, Maintain the good job. Regards!

Reader Comments (17)

What a sad story. I think it's important to tell it too, so people realize the consequences of bigotry!

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Elsborg

We will keep telling stories of diversity, we'll keep fighting for what is right, and we will help change the world one person at a time. I am so glad we are working together to help make change. I <3 U!

And you don't need to enter me in the contest. I just wanted to be here for a moment.


May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndi

Love should always triumph over hate and I believe it always will.


May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKimberlyFDR

Thanks for stopping by, all of you.

Barbara, I felt like this was an important time to tell my story, even though it was hard to do!

Andi, I <3 U too! And I am so glad we are working together. It feels like I've finally found my way to what's important and a good deal of that is thanks to you and West and our time as college alums! We are creating change by living it! Yay!

Kimberly, I think love will triumph, too! It's why I keep marching forward! :D

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Corlies

thanks you for sharing your story

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

You're very welcome Andrea!

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Corlies

I showed a bunch of these post to the teens in my family to show them how hurt some "innocent" remarks are to many others. I get so annoyed when my nephew says "you're so gay". ERRRR drove me crazy. I know he didn't mean anything by it but it is so wrong to use that as a saying. I think that these post have helped. Thank you all for sharing with us!

May 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterforetta

Thank you so much for working to educate your family. I can't tell you how much that means to me. Have a lovely weekend.

May 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Corlies

Thanks for participating for this wonderful cause of awareness…I teach high schoolers and this is a topic that we discuss at length. I just want them to be aware and know that they have the power to change the world!

May 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteryvette

Thank you for sharing your story here during the blog hop. I'm sorry you lost your friend in such circumstances. It shouldn't have to happen in this day and age, but sadly is far too common.

May 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterL.M. Brown

Thanks for dropping by. I'm so glad you are discussing this with your students, Yvette. Yay! Because it's true. Suicide is still far too common, L.M. and it's not just teenagers who opt out. Thanks for your kind words. Hope you both have a great weekend.

May 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Corlies

I still have over 150 blogs to read before tonight, and I'll never make it at this rate - especially since my ex decided to drop the kids off super early - so I'm leaving a quick thank you for taking part and please enter me into your contest (call me greedy, but I am a lover of books!). Then I'm reading the blogs at my lazure - without the time limit. I love reading these blogs. Each and every entry is amazing.

I read snippets from this post (I've been trying to make myself NOT read, because I have very limited time to comment, but sometimes my eyes just linger a little too long on the posts). I'm definitely reading your story, Amanda.

eripike at gmail dot com

May 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErica Pike

Thanks for dropping by Erica. Good look getting to them all. I didn't try to get that crazy, but I did read a whole bunch of them. Thanks again for organizing this!

May 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Corlies

One of my colleague lost her girlfriend to suicide at uni. We weren't really close, so I didn't ask for details. I always assumed the girl killed herself because she suffered some mental disorder. I never thought it might be homophobia related. Your post just opened my eyes to this possibility and made me very sad.


May 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoan

Joan, I'm so sorry to hear about your colleague's friend. I'm no expert mind you, But, there are always lots of reasons for suicide, and of course my friend had to have been ill to truly believe that the world was better off without her. But, I know the homophobia she endured was one of the things that caused her illness. And it is one of the things we as a society can change by saying that it's unacceptable to behave this way. So this is why I work so hard for this cause. So that others might now have to suffer the same fate as my friend.

May 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Corlies

I'm so sorry about your friend. It's amazing that people won't admit the pain and damage they cause to others, they are so stuck in being 'right'.

Thanks for participating in this hop.


May 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPenumbra

Homophobic Cyberstalking story of the Century can be read herehttp://homophobicdorsetpolice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/the-pre-meditated-and-manipulated-16th.html

September 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjames

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