Now that I live in the area they call New England for over twenty years, I have learned more about homosexuals, gays or lesbians alike, than during my entire life in Germany. Take this statement as expressing an observation, not a judgment. After all, I lived in Northampton, Massachusetts for about eight years and thoroughly enjoyed it. For those who don't know, the saying is that Northampton has the highest concentration of lesbians in the nation. I also made several visits to Provincetown where a gay presence is all too obvious. And no, this does not make me a heterosexual expert in all things gay and lesbian, but I can say that my contact with gays and lesbians has extended my horizon, and, in my opinion, that is always a good thing.
It is somewhat funny, though, talking to homophobics about the "gay issue." I have heard questions like "Why are they doing this?", and, honestly, my answer is "Just to anger us." It gets them thinking all the time, because explaining to them that homosexuality is not a choice, but a different lifestyle, doesn't come with the same impact.
Then there is the attempt of displaying tolerance by saying "I don't care what these people do in their bedroom, but..." Here we have it. Gays and lesbians always have sex. Sex, sex, and nothing else but sex! Do I detect some jealousy here?
I strongly believe that homophobics are missing out on many things. I remember buying a shirt in Provincetown, and the sales guy, the shoulder-long hair tucked up and wearing two inch long, painted fingernails, looked at me for just a split-second and knew my exact size. Trying the shirt on was actually a waste of time. I also remember getting a haircut in La Jolla, just north of San Diego, and I had a delightful conversation with the male hairdresser, while his boyfriend watched us with obvious jealousy.
But homophobia also comes, very obviously, with a dark side. Some time ago, I dared raising the theory that British Captain Robert Nairac might have been gay. Nairac was a British Army officer who was abducted during an undercover operation and killed by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) in 1977. Nairac's entire life, as far as it is recorded in books and articles, was full of, at first sight, inexplicable behavioral patterns, specifically suicidal tendencies, most prominently displayed by a death wish.
However, when a tendency to a homosexual lifestyle was applied, these patterns made sense. Not only was Nairac an army officer, but he was also a devout Catholic. Catholicism condemns a homosexual lifestyle, specifically sexual intercourse, as a sin. Needless to say, that gays were, at least not officially, not allowed to serve in the army in the 1970s. Also, needless to say that Nairac did not enjoy the support of his family, and even to this day they refuse to discuss his private life. John Parker, who wrote Secret Hero - The Life and mysterious death of Captain Robert Nairac, writes in his book "In deference to his family, Robert Nairac's personal and private life will not form part of this book, other than in passing references."
I have received some heat from readers in the United Kingdom, calling my theory outrageous, but, after all, I will stay with it. And, if in doubt that homosexuality in combination with a lack of support system may cause suicidal tendencies, I strongly recommend reading It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living by Dan Savage and Terry Miller.
Besides the criticism, I also received support of my theory, namely by Max Markham. Max Markham is a gay writer living in London. Markham has had a picaresque life, often with a military flavour; a lot of his friends are soldiers. His father and both grandfathers were in the Army. He has found himself doing temporary duty with the French forces and, on one occasion, facing the Territorial SAS as an enemy. He has managed to be in the firing line more than once: to date he has been in two coups d’etat, barely avoiding a third (in Yemen); one civil war; and narrowly avoided a firing squad (in the Democratic Republic of Congo).
Through numerous email communications with Max Markham, I learned to appreciate his sharp mind and his passion for details on all aspects that involved the life and death of Captain Robert Nairac. And this is, after a long detour, my story how I came to publish a gay erotic novel. I am officially a micro-publisher, and I started my publishing business originally to sell the technical literature I wrote. These days I represent a small number of authors, and Max is my third author from the United Kingdom. The thought comes to mind of what may be wrong with British publishers, because all my British writers sell very well.
Max wrote The Indigo Bird - An Erotic Novel. The Indigo Bird is about James Graveney, a young Major in a respectable regiment, who is outwardly conventional. Son of an English country gentleman, well educated, good-looking and sporty, James cheerfully sleeps around but does not ‘do love’. In private James is bisexual, with a strong urge for his own sex. For more information, please see Max's section on this website.
I admit it, it is still a strange feeling that I now publish gay erotic literature, but I don't have problems with the "gay" part of it. As I mentioned before, I learned to appreciate Max's sharp mind and passion, and it shows in his writing. Everybody, who has interest in the genre, will find it to be an excellent reading.
THE BLEEDING HILLS
A Novel by Wilfried F. Voss
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith.
- 2 Timothy iv. 7
The Irish War is officially a part of history, but not for Finnean Whelan, an IRA veteran of almost 40 years. British Intelligence has produced evidence that he is the mastermind behind a conspiracy to assassinate the First Minister of Northern Ireland. For Whelan this is not only a mission of revenge, but marks the beginning of a journey into the past and the return to the one true love: Ireland. [More...]
The Bleeding Hills is available at Amazon.Com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble, and any other good bookstore.