I was going to write today's Truth or Dare Lustful Thursday post when I received word on the passing of William Neale, an amazing writer of M/M Romance and one of the organizers of GRL.
I wish that William and I had known each other a lot better than I do, but his death still rocks me deeply and he will greatly be missed.
I had just spoken to William on Friday after he sent me and a group of other male authors emails regarding the Gentlemen's Juke Joint event for GRL in Albuquerque, NM. I'd told him that I felt very honored by him including me in the list of the "guys" and he replied back, Vic, you are one of the guys.
That touched me deeply.
Even in the M/M Romance genre, even within the GLBTQ community, transgenders like myself are ridiculed, scorned, disparaged, belittled, abused, and cast aside. Being transgender, homosexual, black and a Messianic Jew leaves me an open target to a lot of discrimination, prejudice and bigotry, not just from conservatives, religious fanatics and homophobes, but even to some within the rainbow community. Finding people who support you regardless, who encourage you, is a godsend, especially when those people aren't just supporting your life but your talent as well.
That's what William did for me in the few emails that we exchanged. He supported me. He was so nice and sweet. I've seen quite a few tweets and comments describing him as a "sweetheart," which is exactly what he was.
William, you will be greatly missed, by your partner, your family through blood, your family through choice, and your family through support, encouragement and common interest.
Rest in peace my friend, William.
(Vicktor Aleksandr B)