Something Disturbing

Read this first: Then come back here.

AJ Llewellyn was viciously outed by someone she considered a friend. Accusations were leveled. Attacks were made. And why? Because she had the audacity to masquerade as a gay male. Well, boo the fuck hoo.

Here’s a fact: Men still make more money than women in almost every field. I see nothing wrong with a female writer using a male persona/pseudonym. Likewise, I see nothing wrong with a male using a female pseudonym if he happens to enjoy writing traditional romance novels. In other words, if you want or need to use another name, that is your right. If it helps you make more sales, more power to you. A writer owes nothing to the reader but the work they create. That’s it. How the writer lives his/her life is no business of the reader.

“Oh, but she LIED! She told stories about her experiences as a gay man AND she had a friend stand in for her at a signing!”

Yeah? So the fuck what?  I’ll let AJ Rose respond to this one, because he did it so eloquently when we discussed it on Skype:

“That comment about approaching the GLBT community: does the fact that she may be female change her orientation? No. She’s still a member of the glbt comm. And what makes what she did any worse than a transgendered person putting on a dress and tucking away the penis to go bar hopping? She was comfortable in her AJ’s skin. It’s other people who have a problem with how she portrayed herself. Just as other people have had a problem with gay people all along. And whose business is it if she gave sexual exploits? Find me a straight frat boy who hasn’t lied about who he’s banged.”

Every person, whatever their gender or orientation, has ever right to live the way they want to. Present themselves to others the way they choose to. I wish to hell everyone would get off her back. As far as I’m concerned, she did nothing wrong. It’s the people who are yelling and screaming about how she betrayed them that need to get a new, more tolerant and understanding perspective. Unless you are a close friend of hers, you cannot question her motivations or disparage her choices. She’s entitled to her privacy; respect it.

Live and let live. It’s not just a saying.


About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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10 Responses to Something Disturbing

  1. Silver Pixie says:

    Thank you… i havent looked over the comments but i hope AJ saw this and it makes her/him feel better

    • I hope he sees it, too. I can’t believe this was an issue, or that people became so irate over something that was none of their business. I was glad to see that most of the comments posted in response to his admission were positive and supportive. Maybe the world really is changing for the better.

  2. AJ says:

    Thank you so much Theo. I really really appreciate this blog and your comments and my lovely friend Silver for letting me know.
    What you are saying is true. I am so against bashing ANYBODY and this has been disturbing because I know others are afraid now that it will happen to them.
    Mostly what I have experienced since Sunday is messages of LOVE.
    And that is honestly what I am about. I have never tried to hurt anybody. I love what I do. I love our genre, our spectrum. Every letter – every single letter in GLBTQ.
    What I miss most is my friend Michael’s shiny, happy face as AJ. I feel like part of me has died but I wrote 1,000 words today and my freak flag will fly again. Thank you for such a wonderful post. You seem like such an awesome person and I am glad to have this opportunity to know you.

    • *hug* I’m glad you’re writing again. It would have sucked if you’d let this bullshit derail you for more than five minutes.

      This whole thing just pissed me off. Where’s the tolerance? Where’s the acceptance? So glad your friends and fans stood by you. There’s hope for us yet.

  3. OMG! When people are going to stop looking at labels as the most important thing in life????
    Gay, straight, male, female, black, white, blue, who the fuck cares?! We are all human beings. This kind of shit makes my blood boil.

    The most important is a person’s heart and in this particular case their talent. It doesn’t matter their biological gender but who they are inside. For centuries people have wrote using pen names, it’s not the first time and it’s not going to be the last. As far as I am concern, he never lied, he is a man, he doesn’t have male genitals, but he is a man, I see no difference. Why people are so obsessed with looking for things to hate instead for things to love? Why is so easy to attack another? When is going to stop being important who we love or how we look? When I see these things is clear to me that we don’t need a biblical Apocalypse to destroy the world. Humans are doing a pretty good job destroying each other. It’s just like they are looking for excuses to spread hatred.

    I hope AJ keeps writing. The haters can go to hell. No matter what people say, he should stay true to himself and always be proud of who he is.

    Don’t listen to them, AJ. People love to spread misery and hatred, probably because their own lives are crap, they enjoy making others unhappy. Wise words said that misery loves company, to them is easier to ruin others lives instead of trying to improve theirs. So hold your head up high. At least now you can go to book signings as yourself. People who really love you and admire you will be there for you. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Be proud of who you are and you’ll be an example to follow too. This world needs role models to help to open and enhance the next generation minds.

    We don’t need tolerance. We need love, acceptance and respect. Live and let live indeed.

    And sorry for the foul language, but this is one of those moments where I can’t be politically correct!

    Big hugs!

  4. E E Montgomery says:

    It just goes to show that authors, like others in society, are still being judged by whether they’re male or female or what race or religion they are, or a whole slew of irrelevent rubbish, when the real issue should be the job they’re doing. It’s the work that should be judged, not what other people think their ‘ideal’ person should be. Perhaps someone out there needs to learn what a pseudonym is all about.

    If the writing pleases, read it. Nothing else matters.

    • Our culture is really into labels. Although it’s very human to want to categorize everyone and everything we see/meet/run across, I try really hard to hold off doing that with people. Because even when you think it’s obvious who/what they are, you can be wrong. And slapping a label on them automatically creates certain assumptions which often prove erroneous over time.

  5. Concerned says:

    If this was just a case of lying about gender, I would not feel the need to comment.

    Authors have pseudonyms, and I have no problems with that. I really don’t even have problems with authors who create a persona to go along with their pseud. What I do have a problem with is that he ( “he” because he now claims to be transgendered) went BEYOND even that. SEEKING out chances to write as a gay male (which he is not), giving advice and telling stories about his own coming out story (as a gay male, which he is not). And what made the whole situation just terrible and soured me altogether is the victimized attitude and the refusal to take ANY responsibility for the idea that his deceptions just might have hurt someone else.

    I think he did a disservice to his fans, the public and specifically the GLBTQ community. He is a writer of M/M, with bestsellers ( i add bestsellers to show he has supporters and a fan base). Reader and fans of that genre are very accepting and supportive of the GLBTQ community and their causes. There was no need to take the pseudonym into the real world to the extent of writing articles for well-known GLBTQ and review sites about ‘their’ life as a gay man, ‘their’ coming out story, etc.

    I feel every person has a life and a life experience that someone can learn from. If he is in fact transgendered, who will be willing to believe that now? If he is transgendered, think of how that could have helped his community. Now who will be willing to hear him now? How will how this all went down affect others in the GLBTQ community? Transgendered have a hard time finding understanding and acceptance and I sincerely hope that his admitting to that now, is not a lie. The fact that I question that is no fault of mine, but the fault of all previous lies told by him.

    That is why this is such a big mess and not just a case of using a pseudonym or lying about gender. He used a marginalized segment of society to sell books.

    • You make some good points. I can’t speak to them, as I don’t know the full story of what happened to this author. That he suffered is clear, and I empathize with that. I hope, going forward, that things are better for everyone involved in this episode.

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