Welcome everyone this year’s Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia. On May 17, we commemorate International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. This is a day, that someday, and I hope in my lifetime, we should never have to address every year. There will come a day where we will celebrate our differences and our loves. I keep hoping.
My story this year is about something that I’m just now getting around to addressing. Or I should say, I’ve always talked about it, just not publicly like I have been in bits and pieces.
Last year, I discussed my first girlfriend, and how I came out amid Matthew Shepard’s death. I had mentioned in a vague line, it didn’t work out for us. This is how it didn’t work out for us.
Domestic violence between straight couples are fairly easy to grasp. There are never any questions asked. The victim and perpetrator are never put under put under a microscope about their living arrangements, or marriage, or if they were “just friends.”
Only, it’s when things get tricky for straight couples when it’s a woman that’s the perpetrator of violence. Because how could a woman beat a man? It’s after all just a woman! Good to know modern-day sexism is alive and well.
This was my case. I always say the first five years of my relationship with my girlfriend was Camelot, the last five years was a hell on earth like no other.
The first time she hit me, it was an accident. Or so I’m making myself think to this day. She was telling a joke she had gotten animated about, and smacked me across the face. My glasses had fallen to the floor from the blow. I was stunned but I laughed, she freaked out and apologized profusely.
But over time, she stopped saying she was sorry, and she hit again. And again. And again.
She and I worked together, and I would go in numbed and timid from a night of her taking a round on me. Covered in bruises and scratches on my face. My glasses had been so broken and bent up I spent time and again repairing them into looking like something functional. Our friends that happened to be store regulars would ask me what happened to me. We’d laugh. Because it was funny. We had a fight and it was silly and it was funny and it was nothing.
To say I was in an awkward spot is nothing, to say I was trapped was closer to the truth. We were “just roommates” at work, and I was convinced I couldn’t ask anyone for help. I ran it over and over in my head. What would they say?
“What do you mean she’s beating you?”
“Wait. You’re lesbians?”
“What do you mean a woman is beating you?”
“Women don’t hit!”
Yes. Women don’t hit. Let that roll over in your mind.
I escaped that relationship and had lost all of my friends and believed it was my fault. Isn’t that the grand bitch of it all. Thinking you, the victim, had done something to set her off. I didn’t need victim blaming. I did it to myself!
But this happens every day and this happens still. Men and women in same-sex relationships involving domestic violence rarely go to the ER for a broken bone. Because they’re afraid of having their orientation discovered. And the unending probing questions. And lesbians getting a rape kit done when they don’t need a rape kit. And then if you’re not out to your family? How do you explain that black eye? Or those fingerprints around your neck?
Welcome to my world, welcome to today’s world.
In my upcoming release, Chasing Sunrise, the first book of the Darkmore Saga, tells the story of vampire king Sevon Maraté. He himself is trapped in an abusive relationship. As a king, a ruler of a country, he is conflicted with who he can trust in his own palace as his lover has allies not only in the kingdom, but the kingdoms beyond. Sevon is terrified with the thoughts if he leaves the relationship, how will he survive? On top of that, how will his people with their allies severing all ties?
Despite Chasing Sunrise having a “pretty, pretty vampire and shifter wrapping” as I like to call it, at its core, it is a very serious story about domestic violence that I hope all others can identify with. My hope for the Darkmore Saga series is to help others. For those that are in a domestically abusive relationship, or those that know someone who is. To help victims and loved ones that they too can “chase the sunrise” and see the light again.
In fact, I’m doing my part. Through Dreamspinner Press, 100% of the pre-sale royalties for Chasing Sunrise is going to the LA Gay and Lesbian Center Domestic Violence Service.
While Chasing Sunrise is not available for pre-sale just yet, for my HAHAT giveaway, I am offering a print edition of Chasing Sunrise when it becomes available. The novel will be personally singed by me, and you will likewise get a rad box o’ swag!
To enter all you need to do is leave a comment with a message of hope to those out there suffering from domestic violence. Let’s populate this post with messages of encouragement and hope! Leave an email where I can reach you! The giveaway is only open to US Residents.
The Winner will be announced on May 26th!
Thank you. And never stop reaching for the light.