Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hurt or Pissed?

     So… today I sit and I cry. This Easter Sunday, the time of rebirth, the time of rising, I sit and I cry. I remember… I remember my Jim who lost his battle with AIDS. I remember the time… I remember…
     Today I was so upset, so angry, so… just so persecuted. I feel so hurt and betrayed. I feel marginalized by a lesbian, a person that I fought for, a person who I was arrested for. This person told me to sit down and to shut up; a person who told me that my opinion didn’t matter and who hurt me to my very core. Me. I let this happen. It is my fault that I let this person into my inner sanctum.
     I am better than this! I am stronger than this… or so I thought. It is harder to fight the fight when it comes from within I guess. I fought for all our rights, gay, lesbian and bi. I stood, I protested, I yelled and I screamed. I passed out pamphlets; I gave out condoms, I… I was there. I… thought… I felt… my voice mattered.
     And now, I’m told that within the M/M genre to sit down and shut up? I’m told that my history, my feelings, my… existence does not matter. My contribution, the love that I had for another man, my Jim, our romance, our love that lasted for seventeen years is… is immaterial… is what? Not worthy of your acceptance? That you write about gay men and make money off our lives and you have the unmitigated gall to tell me to sit down and shut up?
     My start…
     I began writing gay fiction to supplement my income that was forced upon me because of a disability. I needed this money. I wrote because I needed to do something. Anything. I did not start writing gay romance as romance. I wrote what I know. I wrote stories that I wanted told. I wrote from my heart and the things that I’d experienced. I wrote… I wrote to keep me alive. I wrote because I needed a new purpose. I wrote because it was fun and exciting. I wrote because it gave me life. I wrote for me. I wrote my life.
     And now…
     I write for what? To be spit on from some cis heterosexual who has no clue what I’ve been through as a gay man? I write for some lesbian who I was arrested for so that she and her wife could have equal rights under the law? What cause did I give so much time to, to be treated as a lower class person, in a genre that I know so much about?
     Note: Gordon Merrick – The Lord Won’t Mind – sixteen weeks on the New York Times bestseller list in 1970. A gay romance, the first of a three part series. The M/M genre started by who? You have a degree? In what… fantasy?
     I turned my computer off. I turned my phone off. I turned… off…
     I watched ‘Milk’ with Sean Penn. I cried. I remembered all that suffering. I felt again everything that I experienced over thirty years ago. I knew what I was fighting for and this was all pre-AIDS. And then AIDS destroyed my life and ended so many lives.
     I am sorry that you, Ms. Megan Derr had such a bad experience. I’m sorry that a gay men made you feel… less than… whatever. However, how dare you tell ME to sit down and shut up? How dare you tell me and countless others to be silent when it was we, those of us who gave our time, our lives, so that you could marry a person of the same sex? How dare you put men down in your obvious hatred of anyone with a penis? How dare you lump every gay man or is it men in general, into your realm of hatred?
     In the end…
     I feel pity. I feel sorry for this poor unfortunate soul who knows so little of gay history. I feel sorry for anyone who buys into this shame, this abomination, because that is what is it. This self-gratification of sexual titillation of gay men’s lives is nothing more than voyeurism if the reader has no respect for others personal lives, the struggles, the battle that was and is still being fought just to be able to love who we love.
     Execution is still the penalty for homosexuality in numerous countries. Today, in Chechnya, they are rounding up gay men and torturing them to give up the names of other gay men, meanwhile stating that there are NO gays in that country.
     Meanwhile, the Kindle Alexander’s are quite okay with gays being rounded up and dumped into the Outback of Australia and let them kill each other off while THEY make money off very intimate details of their/our lives, not very realistically if I may add.
     I will say this…
     Tragically, it only goes to show how much we have lagged behind. We, the gay male community and those who support us have to go to truly gain equal rights. Not gay rights, but equal and human rights to be who we are. To be able to love those who want to be able to love and not be ashamed by the simple gesture of holding hands, to sneak the quick kiss, to exchange those special glances without being bashed in the head, or in this case, the gut-wrenching forums of social media by those WE have supported, by those who we thought were standing with us. NOT standing behind us, ready to push us in front of the proverbial bus.
     In closing…
     I weep because I see how far we as a human race have come and how far we have regressed. Lives matter, no matter the race, the gender or the… ____ YOU fill in the blank. Correct me if I’m wrong: ‘Love Thy Neighbor’. We are everywhere, no matter the gender, no matter the race.

NOTE: I wanted to really rant and give y’all a good what-for’ but… 
That’s all I’ve got… for now. I am going to be taking some time off since I have house guests coming this week and quite frankly, I just need to step back. 


  1. Max, thanks for all you have done for LGBT rights. I Love your writing. pay no attention to the negative. please never sit down or shut up xoxo-Lucas

  2. Derr makes it a habit of lashing out to people and butting in on articles with negative attacks. She is one unhappy, angry person and loves to spread that around. Please don't let her upset you so.

  3. You give so much max don't let anyone put you down your writing helps many to realise that being gay is nothing to be ashamed of you give hope to many others your books shows me that you are a man with much compassion
    Be proud of who you are and what you have archived and remember that you have many friends who support you
    Big hugs always

  4. I am sorry. Betrayal is more damaging from within. I love your work and I loved The Lord Won't Mind and Father of the Year. I read those in the early 70's when still in high school. I read mostly Harlequin Romances back then and Gordon Merrick's work more real and stayed with me to this day. I read MM almost exclusively now because it speaks to me more deeply than MF. I have all your books and would really miss your work if you stopped but you need to do you. Thank you for work and all you've shared. I truly appreciate it.

  5. Max when I see you in July you are going to be hugged to pieces. Just saying . Wonderful,heartfelt post and remember there are many of us out here who truly care about you and your community.xxoo

  6. Max, my kids and their generation honour you and yours. I lived and lost during the bad late 80's. I have taught and chamopioned my own kids to love and stand up. Just this week I had to shut my mouth and love a young man as he dealt with a mother who ignored his boyfriend. No, I did not smack his mum (although that was my first response). I championed a young man unable to be his true self to his own mum and told her I loved the wonderful giving and talented son she had raised. I walked away and cried. Hugs to you my friend Max

  7. Max, sto piangendo mentre leggo le tue parole, sto piangendo per il tuo compagno perduto, ma sorattutto sto piangendo per tutto quello che la comunità LGBT sta soffrendo in tutto il mondo , non posso fare niente,materialmente, ma posso solo esprimerti la mia solidarietà e ammirazione per come hai risposto a questa persona. Devi essere orgoglioso di quello che sei , ma come persona e come uomo sopratutto, perchè siamo tutti uguali e tutti devono avere gli stessi diritti. Sii orgoglioso e cammina a testa alta, sei una persona bella e uno scrittore brillante, non ti fare mettere i piedi in testa da nessuno!

  8. My heart and support goes out to you. I'd include my sympathy but you don't need that, you've already shown how strong and committed you are. I see the tears, as frustration over the crass bigotry of someone who should know better. I see the tears as grief for pain and hurt that you have coped with, survived and have become a stronger person as a result... I can't do much to show my support or my disgust except I will never purchase or read the books of people who's thoughtless or nasty comments have caused heartrending pain and such a rift in the m/m community.

  9. Max, your words brought me to tears. I'm so sorry for the actions of others and them feeling they have the right to silence you and marginalize you. Don't give up your voice! Thank you for giving us, your readers, your stories. They are wonderful. I would say try to shrug off the crap that seems to swirl in the m/m community, but that would be trivializing a deeper issue that needs to be brought to light. So all I can say is hang in there, keep being you, and know there lots of people out here that support you. Xoxo

  10. Matthew D. KennedyApril 19, 2017 at 12:09 PM

    What can I say that hasn't already been written. Your voice, your presence, your commitment to our people will always be relevant and appreciated. You can't change what others think, but you shouldn't change the person you are. You are loved, respected, and valued as you should be. Whenever I approach anything difficult I always broach the issue with a whispered "Shields Up" to myself and let the shit bounce off of me. I wish you could have done that for you this past Sunday. Wish I could have shielded you!!! Enjoy being surrounded by those that cherish you!!! Looking forward to having you back!!!

  11. Max, please don't let other people shut your voice down. You have earned the right to speak and love and live. I am so sorry your partner died, but he also still speaks through you. You have been honoured in this life to fight for your right to love whomever you want to and I thank you for that. You are a hero. Be proud of that, I am.

  12. Ooh, Max.I cried reading this. Hating the thought that someone could upset you so badly. Society in many ways can be an utter arse.i have been told my voice/vote doesn't matter when the subject of gay rights rises because I am straight. Highlighting that I have close family and friends who are gay and that I have suffered alongside them when people have bullied and ridiculed them will always make my voice very loud.
    I have always told my child that, love is love. We should all embrace that fact. There's too much hate in this world.

    And for all the haters out there. Go jump!

  13. I will never say bad word about people who fighted for gay rights bc now I can live happy life, I can have boyfriend, husband even kids if I want to, like a normal human and not to feel like a sick animal, person who is ashamed for being gay. I'm 33 years old and proud gay man! I'm thankful for a brave and amazing people like you Mr. Vos. You deserve for the best... Don't EVER let other people shut your voice down. EVER! Write, fight and inspire next generations. Like always big kisses and love from Poland :)

  14. I am so sorry you had to see that awful hate. I hope that the love and kindness of the rest of the lgbt book community helps you to forget you ever read those words. Thank you for everything you have ever done and thank you for sharing this heartfelt post.

  15. Max, I adore you, respect you, and count you as a beloved friend. Thank you for living. Thank you for fighting, for yourself and for those whom you love. Thank you for writing your heart. I hope you will continue to stay around and live, no matter the naysayers *Hugs* (unhappy, hateful people only know fear and want to perpetuate it and see it alive in are NOT that person, Max!!)