Once again Maia has saved me from brain-lock about a blog post. (Thanks, Maia.) As I started to type a comment to her post on being outed, I realized my response was long enough to be a post all its own. Coming out—whether as a lesbian or as a writer of gay erotic romance—is a process that never ends. After all, it's not something tattooed on my forehead. (Though that might save a lot of time. I'd have to grow out my bangs, though. Hmmm.) There are always new people in my life, and while it's easy to slip a mention of my wife in casual conversation, saying "And oh yeah, I write steamy romances about gay guys" is a little more awkward to toss out there. Of the two, my identity as a writer evokes far more astonishment than my orientation. Couple them together and you have anything from confusion to the guffaws of my nurse practioner OB-GYN. I can still picture her bent over with laughter sputtering, "Really? Really? C'mon, no, really?"
When Custom Ride made its first appearance to my awesome critique group, no one was particularly astonished at my ability to squeeze so many sex scenes into a short story. After all, they'd been reading my work for a year, but what I heard was, "For a lesbian, you know an awful lot about dick." Three years later one of those same critique partners told me about her husband pausing in the middle of disposing of some old manuscript pages from her office. He had started reading one of mine, and confessed to enjoying a scene he said he could picture between a guy and a girl—until things went "too far." After his wife confirmed that yep, the writer was "the one who's gay" he asked, "How does she know so much about the cock and the balls?"
There have been many variations of that question in the past few years, and far from being offended, I love the opportunity to answer it. With a wink and a grin I'm proud to say, "I guess I just have one hell of an imagination."