Birthday Blog Month Jan21 – Paul Alan Fahey

Welcome to January’s Birthday Blog, with a post – or maybe more – a day for your entertainment and fun :).

cheerToday’s guest is PAUL ALAN FAHEY. Please show your appreciation for the post if you enjoy it, and all the author’s links are below for you to take forward. Watch every day for any Rafflecopter giveaways, and don’t forget there’s ALSO a Grand Prize Draw at the end of the month for ONE lucky commenter.

Many thanks for dropping in, and have a great January!

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A Writer’s Search for a Safe Harbor

Learning about myself—mainly my sexuality—while growing up in the 1950s and ‘60s wasn’t a picnic, but neither does it call for a pity party. Someone recently asked me if I thought I’d live long enough to see these recent changes in LGBT equality. Thinking back to the socio-political climate of my youth, I answered without giving much thought, “Never.”

Staying safe and out of the public eye has pretty much been the theme of my life as well as my writing. Even when I met my life partner, Bob, in 1976, we still flew pretty much under the radar. Bob worked in construction and couldn’t be out, and I taught both children and adults so popping out of the closet to all and sundry wasn’t an option. Not then.

On the plus side, a wonderful single mom raised me. For my elementary school years, my mom and I drifted up and down the San Francisco Peninsula like gypsies, never staying in one spot long enough to make close friends or any attachments. Our “safe havens” were a series of furnished studio and one-bedroom apartments. I spent most of my free time reading or at the movies on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. When I think of those formative years, it’s the movies I remember most, for good or bad, and how they shaped the person I eventually became.

Suddenly,_Last_Summer

 

Exhibit #1: 1959

Suddenly Last Summer

Logline: The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth

 

 

SebastianLEFT: Sebastian, Elizabeth Taylor’s gay cousin, is attacked and then cannibalized by hungry street urchins.

Gay Take away: Never go on vacation to an exotic locale. See what happened to Sebastian?

220px-ChildrensHourPoster

 

Exhibit #2: 1961

The Children’s Hour (1961)

 

Logline: A troublemaking student at a girls’ school accuses two teachers of being lesbians.

 

 

Audrey pulling away from Shirley

LEFT: Audrey pulling away from Shirley after she confesses her “inappropriate” feelings for her colleague.

Gay Take Away: Keep your mouth shut. Look what happened to Shirley MacLaine after she confronted Audrey Hepburn about the love that dare not speak its name: She stepped on a chair and hung herself.

 

220px-Advise-&-Consent-(1)

 

Exhibit #3: 1962

Advise and Consent (1962)

 

Logline: A Senate investigation into the President’s newly nominated Secretary of State gives light to a secret from the past, a gay relationship, which may not only ruin the candidate, but the President’s character as well.

 

Don running

LEFT: Don Murray fleeing from a gay bar pursued by his past “indiscretion.”

Gay Take away: Stay out of politics. Suicide’s the only way out when you run for office and people discover your deepest, darkest secret. (If I’m remembering correctly this was the first time I heard the word, homosexual uttered in a film.)

At last I had a name for who and what I was. And it wasn’t a good thing. Not in 1962.

After years of therapy and living through the worst of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, I’ve discovered it’s not easy to divest yourself from the historical aspect of those times. It took a strong and stable relationship and a seismic change in societal attitudes to finally make me feel safe again.

So here are. We’ve come full circle to the theme of my writing: the search for a safe harbor and I’ve found it in my husband and in a large circle of loving and close friends.  Happy endings do happen. And not just in the movies. 🙂

~~Paul Alan Fahey~~

GifStarPaul is offering a free download of A Deadly Game of Malice and Kindred Spirit, 2 books from his acclaimed Lovers and Liars series to one lucky commenter.
Click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter. All Rafflecopters will be drawn on Jan 31.
Paul Alan Fahey Rafflecopter giveaway

the other manNOTE: Paul is also donating a copy of the Rainbow award-winning The Other Man to the Grand Prize Hamper.
The Other Man is an artistic collaboration by and about gay men and their relationships. If you’ve ever been the other man, had him invade your life, or are just plain curious about this beguiling, unpredictable and dangerous creature, then this anthology of personal essays is for you. Twenty-one of our most acclaimed authors, many Lambda Award winners and finalists, write candidly about either being the other man, suffering the other man or having their relationships tested by infidelity. What they tell us is we must take heart, it does get better and one day our luck is bound to change. We’ll survive the bumps and detours in our relationships and weather the storms, or resolve to move on. Along the way, we’ll hope to meet someone new and simpatico, maybe even our long-awaited soul mate. Life will be good again. Or will it?
Contributors include: Perry Brass, Austin Bunn, Rob Byrnes, Mark Canavera, R.W. Clinger, Lewis DeSimone, Paul Alan Fahey, Wes Hartley, William Henderson, Allen Mack, Jeff Mann, Tom Mendicino, Erik Orrantia, Felice Picano, David Pratt, Glen Retief, Jeffrey Ricker, Rodney Ross, Jason Schneiderman, Philip Dean Walker, and Chuck Willman. Edited by: Paul Alan Fahey.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this anthology will go to the It Gets Better Project.
It is now also a three-act play. The Other Man–the Play enjoyed a first reading and talkback at Chicago Dramatists, “The Playwright’s Theatre,” whose ongoing mission is to help build the future of American theatre, in its First Draft Series-a program presenting plays in a first draft condition before a group of playwrights and members of the Chicago Dramatist’s Network Playwright group. Chicago dramatists’ resident playwright Ron Hirsen moderated the event. The play is now being shopped around in several locations in the U.S. for possible venues. 

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Paul Alan Fahey is a writer—of mostly gay fiction—and an editor who resides with his husband, Robert Franks, on the California Central Coast. His projects for 2016 include writing a script based on a famous1955 murder and kidnapping case in the San Francisco Bay Area and editing a nonfiction anthology of personal essays: Equality: What Do You Think About When You Think of Equality.

Website: http://paulalanfahey.com
JMS Books Author Page |  Facebook | Twitter 

 

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Follow the month’s posts at your leisure:

Jan 01: RJ Scott on her inspiration for a new series in 2016.
Jan 01: Temple Dragon on giving for free during December.
Jan 02: Chrissy Munder on an author’s passion for paper planners.
Jan 03: Meredith Russell on inspirational cop series.
Jan 04: Becky Black on her five-year anniversary as an author.
Jan 05: Alexa Milne on characters stepping outside their comfort zone.
Jan 06: Sandra Lindsey on her dancing shoes challenge.
Jan 07: Anne Barwell on her WWII trilogy at Dreamspinner Press.
Jan 08: Elin Gregory on reviews – past, present and future.
Jan 09: Eli Easton on mature heroes and our life choices.
Jan 10: Julie Moffett on the geek in us all.
Jan 11: Jaime Samms and the rewards of an online life.
Jan 12: LC Chase on paying kindness forward.
Jan 12: EM Lynley on the recipes that add taste to her books.
Jan 13: Nicki J Markus on falling in love with her characters.
Jan 14: Vicktor Alexander on giving thanks to friends and fans.
Jan 16: Joanna Chambers on the spark of joy from reading and writing romance.
Jan 17: Jordan Castillo Price on esteem-building new year do-overs.
Jan 18: Lillian Francis on deciding on when to come to an end.
Jan 18: Hunter Frost on a Top Ten new anthology.
Jan 19: Lily Harlem on hot fiction and cool drinks.
Jan 19: Liam Livings on how writing is like ski-ing.
Jan 20: JL Merrow on being a boot-aholic.

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About clarelondon

Clare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant. She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic, and sexy characters. Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter three stage and plenty of other projects in mind... she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home. Clare loves to hear from readers, and you can contact her here: Website: http://www.clarelondon.com E-mail: clarelondon11@yahoo.co.uk Blog: www.clarelondon.com/blog Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clarelondon Twitter: https://twitter.com/clare_london Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/clarelondon Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/clarelondon/ Google+ : https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ClareLondon/posts

19 thoughts on “Birthday Blog Month Jan21 – Paul Alan Fahey

  1. Hi, from across the pond, in Nipomo, California. Thank you so much, Clare, for asking me here today. I sure hope folks chime in as I’d like to hear from you. All the best to your writers and readers.

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  2. Hi Paul

    I’m so glad to have met you, online anyway, lol!

    The cruel attitude towards gay people in the past (and still today in some places) makes me so angry.

    Thanks for the giveaway of your book 🙂 I’m happy to say that I won The Other Man in another of your competitions and that is how we ‘met’.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Paul, thanks for reminding us that we have come along way. So glad you and your life partner can be open about your relationship. But we still see discrimination in so many ways, some subtle and some horrifyingly overt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Judythe, I agree. We “have” come a long way in terms of legalities, but we’re still a long way from being accepted as equal human beings in a lot of circles. Think: Kim Davis for one in KY, and all the hoopla over refusing to plan, cater for, or make LGBT wedding cakes. But it is better. Us older folks carry a lot of baggage. I was just speaking to an 80+ year old lesbian at our Sisters in Crime meeting today and we talked about that. BTW, we also talked about the film, Carol, that she just saw and loved, said it was a great depiction of the period when she was terrified of coming out. United we stand, right? Hugs, Paul.

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  4. What a great post! I grew up in the 60s and 70s and I don’t think things were a whole lot better then. It turns out I have a LOT of gay guys friends from Jr. High/HS that I am still in touch with thanks to FB etc. Last year I was lucky enough to visit two of them, while a third came and stayed with me while visiting his family. All have told me various things about how difficult it was when we were kids for them keeping that secret. One did not come out until he was probably 30. One came out as soon as he left for college in 1980 and one had a closeted relationship until he was well into his 30s. One is happily married, one is unhappily single and one is happily single – just like the rest of my friends 🙂 I’m so glad that we have come to the point where they are able to live their authentic selves – not that I think the battle is over by a long shot. We had HS friends we lost during the AIDS crisis and that makes me really sad. I don’t remember those specific movies you cited, but I do remember in books and movies for years, it seemed like the gay characters always met a bad ending. UGH! Hopefully those days are behind us. Thanks for the opportunity for the giveaway and best wishes on your writing goals for 2016 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I remember all the gay characters had to come to a bad end for some reason. It was seen as acceptable!?! I’m also glad those days are behind us and the stories are happier. I’m watching the Spartacus series now and there is a brilliant happy gay love story in that, hooray!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi, Catherine, Absolutely. According the the “moral” code in Hollywood at the time, all LGBT characters had to shown in a negative light and if a main or important character, as in The CHildren’s Hour or Advise and Consent, they had to be punished severely by the movie’s end. Oh, remember Sandy Dennis in The Fox? She had to have a tree fall on her at the end because she was in love with the other woman in the story. Think this was based on a D.H. Lawrence book of the same name, or maybe a novella. I think I really didn’t start to identify with gay characters until I came home from overseas in the early 1970s and saw many of my friends depicted in Mart Crowley’s amazing film from his play, The Boys in the Band. If you haven’t seen that one, you need to. Some of the best dialogue ever and it’s considered the gay Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and rightly so. I’ve got to see the Spartacus series. I think it’s on STARZ. Thanks for the reminder. Hugs cross the pond, Paul.

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    • Hi, Sadonna, thank you for those nice things you said about my post. If you read writers born after 1950, you’ll see a difference in terms of their perspectives and sensibilities about being gay. Also a big difference with younger LGBT writers from those born in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. The AIDS crisis in the 1980s was devastating to so many gay communities. Much worse in the big cities like Chicago, San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. Bob and I lived in a small seaside town, Santa Cruz in California, and it took a while for AIDS to take hold. We had so many close gay friends and lost about 50K% of them to the ravages of the disease. If you’d like to read a short essay about our lives back then, I have a post on Medium.com that tells it as it was. Or how I remember it. For years I blocked so much of what we experienced. We even moved 3K miles away to a New England state to get away from all the reminders. Here’s the link for the essay: https://medium.com/@paulfahey12/what-i-remember-c1192c72fc50#.piu463197. What a wonderful response to my post. Thank you again. Oh, I’ve also got a free book on the JMS Books site that is very much autobiographical and touches on the fears we all had about AIDS during that decade. I’d love to know what you think of both. http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=4&products_id=1235. Thank you so much for such a great response. Hugs your way and to your gay pals, coupled or single.
      Paul

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    • Hi, Juliana, thank you. Glad you enjoyed my post. All three are interesting films with excellent acting. Elizabeth Taylor and Katherine Hepburn were nominated for Oscars in 1959 for Suddenly Last Summer and it was a huge success despite the subject matter-cannabilism–and the aforementioned gay take away. Hepburn and Taylor’s scenes together are dynamite. Audrey and Shirley are very good in The Children’s Hour and Advise and Consent has a huge cast of stars from the early days. Think you’d get something out of each of them. Unfortunately they are a product of their times and LGBT themes were usually negatively presented. My best and thank you for your comment. Paul

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  5. Hello from this side of the pond 🙂 With regards books I have read many authors works over the years and have seen quite a change, from the sad but intriguing secret love triangle of EM Forster who only allowed his gay themed stories to be released after his death, to the more open stories and lifestyle of Christopher Isherwood, Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City linked to the changes caused by AIDS and a more recent author Patrick Gale, plus many more. I think that one main change is that the books are now more mainstream and readily available and that is okay for a LGBT character to have a happy ending, especially in a film (although there is still not many of those yet).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Sula, how ya be? So good of you to stop by and comment. Thank you. Absolutely. I agree. Times have definitely changed in terms of books, movies, and TV, and that allows for more positive acting roles and role models of LGBT folks. I love E. M. Forster and I’ve read just about everything I can get my hands on. I know what you mean, especially with Maurice, which wasn’t released until after forster’s death. I remember reading it in the mid-1970s when I think it came out. I’ve heard of Patrick Gale and may have read him. I need to look him up. I love Michael Thomas Ford’s books and I just finished a great book, Lawnboy written by Paul Lisicky; I didn’t want it to end it was that good. I have to admit that I loved Kevin Kline and Tom Sellack in the film, In and Out. I remember thinking, it’s about time. Talk about positive role models and a comedy as well. Thanks again for your comment. Love HEA endings. My best, Paul.

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