Sunday, June 26, 2016

A More Perfect Union Anthology - Blog Tour with Author Guest Post and Review

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
B.G. Thomas
J. Scott Coatsworth
Jamie Fessenden
Michael Murphy
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Length: 104K / 350 Pages
Format: eBook, Paperback
Release Date: 6/26/16
Pairing: MM


On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States made a monumental decision, and at long last, marriage equality became the law of the land. That ruling made history, and now gay and lesbian Americans will grow up in a country where they will never be denied the right to marry the person they love.

But what about the gay men who waited and wondered all of their lives if the day would ever come when they could stand beside the person they love and say “I do”?

Here, four accomplished authors—married gay men—offer their take on that question as they explore same-sex relationships, love, and matrimony. Men who thought legal marriage was aright they would never have. Men who, unbelievably, now stand legally joined with the men they love. With this book, they share the magic and excitement of dreams that came true—in tales of fantasy and romance with a dose of their personal experiences in the mix.

To commemorate the anniversary of full marriage equality in the US, this anthology celebrates the idea of marriage itself—and the universal truth of it that applies to us all, gay or straight.

Someday, by B.G. Thomas

Lucas Arrowood is walking to school on his first day of kindergarten when he meets Dalton Churchill—a boy who stops and helps him tie his shoe. He knows from that moment he is going to marry that boy one day.  “Boys can’t marry other boys,” his mother explains, but that doesn’t stop Lucas. He knows what he wants.

He and Dalton become best friends—and then, no matter how much he resists, Dalton falls in love with Lucas. Dalton's very conservative family can't accept that their boy loves another boy, but finally Dalton stands up for love and for Lucas. Still, he declares he won't marry Lucas until it is legal everywhere. He hates the “Commitment Ceremonies” gay men have. They aren’t the real thing. Why bother?

So Lucas waits for his day. The day same-sex marriage finally becomes legal and he can be joined forever with the love of his life.

Flames, by J. Scott Coatsworth

Alex and Gio had a big fight, and Alex ran away. Then a fire at home destroyed the life they had built together, and threatened to take Gio away from him.

Alex had always thought love was enough to keep them together. Why did they need wedding rings or legal certificates? But now, with Gio lost in a coma, his mother has banished Alex from his side.

What if Alex’s voice is the only thing that can bring Gio back from the brink? Their memories are all Gio has left, and the urge to just let go is getting stronger.

Still, nothing can keep Alex from Gio's side. If it’s against the rules, he’ll break them. In stolen moments alone together, Alex fights to bring him back, one memory at a time.

Destined, by Jamie Fessenden

When Jay and Wallace first meet at an LGBTQ group, they have no idea they’ll be dating six years later. In fact, they quickly forget each other’s names. But although fate continues to throw them together, the timing is never quite right. Finally they’re both single and  realize they want to be together… but now they can’t find each other! With determination and the help of mutual friends, Jay and Wallace can finally pursue the relationship they’ve both wanted for so long.

It’s only the beginning of the battles they’ll face to build a life together.

From disapproving family members all the way to the state legislature, Jay and Wallace’s road to happily ever after is littered with obstacles. But they’ve come too far to give up the fight.

Jeordi and Tom, by Michael Murphy

Living as an open, loving gay couple in the rural South isn’t easy—even today.

When Jeordi and Tom move in together and come out to their families, Jeordi's family does not take the news especially well. When yelling doesn’t work, they send in one sibling after another to try to separate the couple. When that fails, they call out their pastor to help Jeordi see the error of his ways. But Jeordi’s love for Tom is greater than anything they throw at them.

When an accident sends Jeordi to the hospital, his family goes too far when they try to keep Tom from visiting his partner. Jeordi and Tom are determined to do everything in their power to gain legal protection so this can never happen again. But when a bigoted county clerk refuses to issue them a marriage license, Jeordi decides a big, bold effort is called for, which is precisely what he sets in moVon so no one can ever separate him from Tom again.


Someday, by B.G. Thomas

“The first time Lucas Arrowood saw Dalton was on his way to his first day of kindergarten. His mother was walking him to school, he was very excited, and his right shoelace was flopping, untied.

“Baby,” said his mom. “Let’s sit down and try to tie your shoe.”

He looked up at her, excitement temporarily quashed. He couldn’t do it. Couldn’t tie his shoe. And he was supposed to be able to. His mother had tried to show him how—over and over again—but he couldn’t get the laces to go where they were supposed to go, and it just fell apart. He couldn’t do it. If his teacher found out, would they make him go home? Would he have to wait until next year? That would be horrible!

“Hey, you can do it. It’s easy!”

Lucas gave a little jump, turned around, and sighed as he looked into the narrow dark eyes of the most beautiful human being he had ever seen.

“Want me to help?” the boy asked, flipping his mop of dark brown hair out of his eyes with a toss of his head. “I taught a bunch of kids last year when I was in kindergarten.”

A bunch of kids hadn’t known how to tie their shoes? That perked up his ears. Lucas looked up at his mother.

She smiled. “Do you want him to help?”

Then he realized something. He did want the boy to help him. He thought he would do anything the boy wanted him to do, even ask his mom to take the training wheels off his bike (which was a big scary because he was afraid of falling and getting hurt!).

“Sit down,” said the boy, pointing to the landscaping wall along the sidewalk.”

Lucas sat.

“What’s your name?” asked Lucas’s mother.

“Dalton Churchill. Like Winston Churchill. Only it’s Dalton.”

He smiled, and Lucas knew Dalton was the most beautiful boy on the planet.

“Who’s Winston Churchill?” Lucas asked.

Dalton shrugged and got down on one knee before Lucas. “I don’t know. I think he’s a minister. Okay, now, first you pull your laces up and then cross them over, like this.” Dalton demonstrated.

“I can tie a knot,” Lucas said, wanting very much not to look like a complete dope in front of Dalton. Then he frowned. “It’s the other part I get mixed up on.”

“That’s cool,” Dalton said, tying the knot. “Okay…. So here’s the tricky part. First you make a loop and stick it up so it looks like a tree—see?”

Lucas nodded. He wasn’t sure the upward turned loop looked much like a tree, but he wasn’t going to tell Dalton that.

“Then you take the other lace and wrap it around the bottom like this—like a dog running around the tree.”

Lucas smiled. “My neighbor has a dog. His name is Super Mario.”

“That’s a great name,” Dalton said, laughing.

Then he finished showing Lucas how to tie his shoe.

“Wow,” Lucas said.

But then Dalton untied the shoe.

“Hey!” cried Lucas.

“Now you do it,” Dalton said. He nodded. “You can. I know you can. Easy.”

Lucas wanted to yell, “No, I can’t!” but he quite suddenly knew he could not disappoint the pretty boy with the beautiful eyes. He sighed. What had Dalton said about a tree? He made a loop with one of the laces.

“Just like that, but the other one. Unless you’re a southpaw.”

Lucas looked up through his own dark bangs. “Huh?”

“Southpaw means left-handed.”

“Oh!” Lucas giggled. “I’m not.”

“Tree!” Dalton ordered, brows knitted together.

So Lucas made a loop with his shoelace.

“Yes!” Dalton said with such enthusiasm Lucas would have thought he’d ridden down to the corner and back on his bike without training wheels. He laughed and then thought about dogs running around the base of trees. A moment later, Lucas had tied his shoe. His mother clapped.

“Yes,” shouted Dalton. “I knew you could do it, Lucas.”

Dalton walked the rest of the way to school with them. But even better, he also promised to walk Lucas to school the next day.

Flames, by J. Scott Coatsworth

Monday, September 27

There was only this moment. This place. Alex holding Gio's hand, gently because of the burns on the back of Gio's arm and hand. The sounds of the breathing machine came in regular soft sighs.

The little green box held in Alex's other hand--and all it symbolized between them.

All their life together had shrunk down to this moment, this place, this plea. "Please wake up, Gio. Amore mio, svegliati."

Sunday, September 12. Two weeks earlier

Alex was late getting home, and he was in a foul mood from the long, difficult day at work. One of the properties he'd made a bid on had fallen through, and another client had all but called him a bald-faced liar.

He was looking forward to getting home, taking a long hot shower, then crawling into bed.

Alex was startled to find a whole meal, complete with wine and candles, laid out on their dining room table. Gio must have spent the whole day cooking.

Alex was late. He'd been delayed with his angry client, and to make matters worse, his phone had up and died halfway through the afternoon and he'd been without his car charger."

"He was already annoyed when he walked in the door.

"Welcome home, amore," Gio called from the kitchen.

"I had a hell of a day...." He caught a whiff of whatever Gio was cooking.

"Come sit down. I've got everything ready."

The dining room looked like a Martha Stewart production of a telenovella Thanksgiving. "I'm sorry. I'm not really hungry. Things were the shits at work today."

"Sorry to hear that. Have a seat." Gio grabbed his elbow and urged him toward his chair. "Food makes everything better."

Alex was starting to get annoyed. "Look, I'm sorry, but I'm not hungry. I just want to wash up--"

"That's just the job talking." Gio took his arm again.

"Knock it off! I'm not in the mood tonight."

Gio looked hurt, but Alex plowed on, too incensed to stop.

"This isn't some kind of June and Ward Cleaver relationship."

"I just--"

"You have to let go of your stupid, unrealistic expectations of me and this relationship."

Gio frowned. "That's bullshit, and you know it. Just because you had a bad day at work, there's no reason to take it out on me."

He was right. But Alex couldn't admit it. "Just leave me the fuck alone," he said, grabbing his phone charger and storming out. He'd find somewhere else to sleep tonight."

Destined, by Jamie Fessenden


Doug had seemed terrific when Jay first met him. He was funny, attentive, good in bed, and Jay’s family thought he was great. At family gatherings, that is—not in bed. They were living together in short order.

But after two years, things weren’t going so well. They’d moved to Dover, which allowed Jay to get back in touch with some of his college friends, but their relationship seemed to grow rockier by the day. They fought constantly, though Jay was never really sure what they were fighting about. They just didn’t… fit anymore.

But still he tried. Jay was nothing if not stubborn.

His ties to the pagan/Wiccan world had long ago faded away, since Doug thought that stuff was weird and creepy. In fact, his ties to anything outside the tech industry had pretty much withered to nothing. He worked long hours, during which he thought about nothing but computers and switches and routers. It paid well, and raises were frequent, so he was caught up in the game his coworkers played—pushing for promotions or transfers every six months to a year in order to get salary increases. Like his coworkers, he had an E*TRADE account and spent time between support calls attempting to build a stock portfolio. He had the sense not to gamble the small amount of savings he had, but it was a fun game to play.

But he was unsatisfied. He couldn’t quite put a finger on why until one Saturday, when he was sitting at CafĂ© on the Corner and his friend, Steve, happened by. Steve had been part of the medieval reenactment group Jay hung out with in college, and apparently he was still involved with them.

“Michaelmas is coming up,” Steve pointed out, referring to one of the large feasts the group “put on every year. “It’s going to be at the Unitarian Church. You should come.”

Jay couldn’t see that happening. He no longer had any of his medieval “garb,” and Doug was likely to turn his nose up at the idea of hanging out with a bunch of reenactors all day.

Jay said diplomatically, “I’ll think about it.”

“Well, at least stop by the monthly Wiccan group. Julie’s usually there, and Mark. A whole bunch of the old crowd. That’s tomorrow. Same place.”

It would be nice to see some of them. And Doug was working on Sunday. “That might be fun.”

“Are you still writing?”

He wasn’t. Jay had written a lot of science fiction stories in college, and he’d talked about getting published one day. But that, like everything else he’d enjoyed in those days, seemed like nothing more than a dream he’d once had, barely remembered.

This conversation was getting depressing.

“So,” he asked, trying to change the subject, “do you still sing?”

Steve grinned with excitement. “Yeah, man! My band is putting together our second CD. It’s gonna be awesome!”

The more he talked about his life, the more it became clear Steve was barely scraping by financially. But he was doing what he loved, and he seemed just as happy with his life as he’d been in college. Jay, on the other hand, had plenty of money. He had a career now, a boyfriend, a new car, and a nice apartment. He’d thought he was doing okay, but now he realized exactly why he’d been feeling so uneasy. His life had veered off course. In just five years, he’d lost touch with everything that had been fun and creative in himself. He was no longer Jay.

And he missed himself.

Jeordi and Tom, by Michael Murphy

“When the front door of the trailer slammed shut with a loud bang, followed immediately by an animalistic howl of rage and frustration, Tom knew Jeordi was home. He snickered and shook his head.

“Hey, babe,” Tom called out. “I forgot this was the day you were going to visit your parents. It went that well, huh?”

One glance at his boyfriend told Tom all he needed to know. Despite the scowl and look of anger and frustration on Jeordi’s face, it only took one glance at the man to ignite the most sensitive parts of his nervous system (and everything connected to it).

He couldn’t help but smile at the sight of Jeordi. He wasn’t handsome in the New York runway model sense, but was handsome in the real man sense. Jeordi turned heads every time he walked down the street, although he consistently missed the many glances people cast his way.

All Jeordi saw when he looked at himself was that he wasn’t tall, and he felt his ears were too big. Tom daily told Jeordi that he was the most studly man he’d ever known—and he quietly gave thanks that the man was all his.

Tom felt two strong hands wrap around his waist as he stood at the sink in their kitchen. Carefully setting down the dish he’d been washing, he leaned his head back against his boyfriend’s solid shoulder, brushing his smooth cheek against Jeordi’s fuzzy cheek—fuzzy not from a beard but from a strong five o’clock shadow the man dependably had every day by late afternoon. Jeordi hated it, but Tom loved it and loved rubbing one part or another of his body over the stubble.

“Love you, babe,” Tom whispered. “I’m glad you’re home.”

“Why?” Jeordi whispered into Tom’s ear.”

“Why? Why? Why do I keep subjecting myself to the same crap?”

“So, they didn’t throw their arms open and tell you they’ve joined PFLAG and ask for your advice on what to wear in the next Pride Day parade?”

Jeordi snorted. “Um, that would be a great big no.”

“What did they do this time?” Tom asked.

“Prayed—and then some. They tried to have some kind of healing service to rid me of the evil that had ‘grabbed hold’ of me, to quote my mother. They said they needed to cast the devil out of my body.”

“Oh, isn’t that special,” Tom joked.

“Not so much,” Jeordi disagreed.

“Was it just your parents?”

“Oh, no. That’s what made this one more frustrating. They had their minister there. He brought a backup minister—poor kid looked freaked out just being in the same room with a known homosexual. Don’t know what he thought was going to happen.”

“They upped the ante, I see,” Tom said.

“Oh, there’s more,” Jeordi said.


“Hell, yes. They had some of my more uptight brothers there with them this time.”

“They succeeded in getting any of your brothers to be in the same room at the same time? How the hell did they swing that one?”

“Don’t know. Must have been one hell of a bribe. They, of course, brought their wives, I guess to show me how a good strong Christian heterosexual marriage works. They pissed me off so much I slipped and asked Beau how he could take part in something like that when he’d been off screwing half the women in the county. He didn’t appreciate it. I guess his wife didn’t know he was a hound dog she needed to keep on a tighter leash.”

Tom stopped what he was doing and dropped his head back, deep in thought. “Hmm, your brother Beau would look damned good in a collar—and naked,” he said. “Now, if you maybe added a blindfold, put him on his knees with his hands cuffed behind his back—now that’s just freaking hot. Maybe I should call his wife and give her a few suggestions. How do you think she’d take that? I’d be doing it strictly to help her out since I doubt she’d ever come up with an idea like that on her own. And of course I’d need to be there to help her, you know, to consult.”

“Don’t go there,” Jeordi warned with a chuckle. Beau was beautiful, but unfortunately he knew it and wasn’t at all opposed to spreading his beauty around to any and all women who’d have him. “At least that got the two of them out of the whole ritualistic crap my mother had planned for the weekly visit.”

“Two down, ten to go,” Tom said.

Tom turned around and wrapped his arms around Jeordi, kissing his neck. “I love you, babe,” he whispered into Jeordi’s ear as he held tightly to his man.

“I’m so glad you do. My family certainly doesn’t.”

“Oh, they love you. They just don’t understand it because the playing field has changed since you came out,” Tom said.

Buy Links, Etc

4.5 out of 5 stars
A More Perfect Union is an anthology celebrating love between two men and their right to finally marry  the ones that complete their lives. This anthology releases on the anniversary of marriage equality awarded by the Supreme Court on 06/26/2015 during Obergefell vs Hodges. 

The first story in the anthology is Flames by J. Scott Coatsworth. This is the story of long term couple Alex and Gio. Alex fiercely loves Gio but they have very different ideas when it comes to marriage. Gio very much wants to marry Alex, and has asked him once before. Alex on the other hand doesn't think that they need a piece of paper to prove their love to each other. A devastating fire at their home injures Gio and makes Alex rethink his perspective. The story after the fire continues in flashbacks of Alex and Gio's love story finally leading up to Gio coming out of his coma and leading to their very happy ending. 

Alex is not the most likeable character, at first, but his love for Gio is so strong that you can't help but change your mind. Gio is his world and he is Gio's world. I loved seeing their relationship in the flashbacks and loved their fairytale ending. 

The next is Jeordi and Tom by Michael Murphy. They are the complete opposite of the first story. Tom and Jeordi are just starting out, two young men living in conservative Kentucky, just moved in together, both working minimum wage jobs but they have each other. Jeordi's  family keeps trying to split them up, every single time they see Jeordi. One day on the way to work Jeordi's bike is hit by a car causing him to end up in the hospital. His family is called and things go to hell after that. They attempt to stop Tom from seeing Jeordi even though Jeordi is conscious and asking for him. Hearing the ruckus outside his ER room, Jeordi stops the doctor and goes to get Tom, and basically telling his family to go to hell in the end. This sparks their quest to get married, both for protection from what happened at the hospital, but mostly because they realize they are each other's one and only. 

This is one of those sweet stories that you could read over and over again. I loved the older couple that steps in on their journey to getting married, and their sharing their wisdom, time, and help to make it a reality for Tom and Jeordi. They may be a young couple starting out but they realize their journey may never be easy living where they live and that earned them a special spot. I'd love to see a catch up story for these two 5-10 years in the future just for where they end up in life. 

The third story is Destined by Jamie Fessenden and follows Jay and Wallace as they meet back in the early 90s on three separate occasions with the final time as their right time. They date exclusively off and on for many years, blending their lives together but not taking the next step, until finally they move in together. They eventually marry in this awesome Victorian-esque ceremony that's a mix of pagan and secular with their friends and most of their family in attendance. 

I totally loved this story because both Jay and Wallace were characters I could easily relate to. Wallace doubted he'd ever find someone just for him, and then he and Jay connected their final time and it was all that they could both ask for, even if it took a while to get to their HEA. I enjoyed the way they interacted with each other, their search for their house, and their dog, and the preparations for their wedding. It all led up to a really fun, and sweet story.  

The final story is Someday by B.G. Thomas. This starts out with a very precocious Lucas telling his mother after the first day of kindergarten that one day he is going to marry his new friend Dalton. His mom laughs it off and tells him that boys can't marry boys but Lucas is insistent that someday it will be possible and he will do it. The story goes on following the boys through adolescence, and their teenage years with Lucas and Dalton having moments that Dalton pushes aside saying he's not gay. Eventually Lucas faces that he may never have Dalton because he's straight and trying to move forward with his life. Not until the night of prom when Dalton finally admits to Lucas that he wants to be with him. They face so many other things including Dalton's family, and then the rest of their lives kind of fall into place after college. 

I really liked watching these two grow from innocent little boys, into the strong men that they finally become. Their friendship being the backbone of their relationship until it was the right time gave the story that extra bit of depth. I will admit that there were  a few times that I wanted to smack Dalton but he redeemed himself well with the night of Lucas's prom and their journey afterward. 

This was a delightful anthology with just the right stories to showcase marriage equality and the reason so many fought to have the option to marry and be with the ones they loved legally. I highly recommend this book for so many reasons but the most important one is simply Love is Love and these stories get that perfectly.  

Thanks for allowing us to stop by Wicked Faerie for our tour for “A More Perfect Union”, a new anthology of stories about same sex marriage and marriage equality by four gay, married men. Together, we have a combined 21 years of marriage, and 88 years together as couples.

The four of us answered the following questions for you:

Why is marriage important to you?

BG Thomas:

I grew up most romantic with great ideas of how I would get married.

Then I figured out I was gay.

And boys can’t marry boys.

When I was in my early twenties I went to a few “gay weddings.” Some were quite spectacular affairs. Decades later I remember one where one of the guys, who was quite fem, wore a lavender tuxedo and women’s lavender boots. I was enthralled.

And cried because it wasn’t legal. It was just pretend.

So when it became legal? YES! I wanted to get married! Because as real as the ceremony Raymond and I had back in ’05 was, it wasn’t “legal.” I tried to convince myself that it was only “a piece of paper.” But I knew it was more.

It was magick. It was power.

There is power in our words. And power in ink upon paper. It is legal. And it is more. Much much much more.

It is NOT sitting in the back of the bus. It is not drinking out of a different drinking fountain. It is not being second class. It is not having to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to get the same rights as a straight couple got out of a $20 marriage license.

It is acceptance. It is validation. Even if there are a lot of KKKers that don’t like it.

And yes! In the end, only I can accept myself or validate myself.

But that piece of paper meant Raymond and I were LEGAL!

It meant that a company had to give me medical insurance through my husband. It meant I had a right to his social security. It meant my family couldn’t sweep in and take everything that was in my name and kick Raymond out. It meant a hospital couldn’t keep either of us out of ICU in case something seriously medical happened.

And it meant that “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

And I am a citizen of the United States of America! And I am human! And I deserve the same rights as any human.

And now, at least on paper, I do.

Which is why I named our anthology, “A More Perfect Union.” What could be more perfect than that?

What could be more perfect than love?

Michael Murphy:

The quest for equality took such a major hit when AIDS appeared on the scene, but tremendous strides forward occurred over the last ten to fifteen years, making marriage equality a reality.

Since marriage had never been an option open to me or other men or women of my age, it had just been something that had been another in a long list of things that were off the table for me. When marriage became a legal reality where we live in Washington, DC, we immediately went to the courthouse and got a license so we could get married as quickly as possible. We both feared some political maneuvering to derail the decision in the District of Columbia, since all local governance has to be reviewed by Congress.  Nothing took place, but we wanted the legal protections that accompanied marriage. 

For years we had had to provide inferior protections for our partners by spending vast sums of money on lawyers to craft durable powers of attorney, orders allowing for hospital visitations, and wills to be sure that our partners were protected. It is such a tremendous relief to know that those work-arounds are no longer necessary and now marriage is marriage is marriage.

J. Scott Coatsworth:

As an adult, I took a more prosaic stance - marriage was about the rights and responsibilities. And we shouldn't be barred form those because of who we chose to love.

Then I stood up in front of friends and family on November 1st, 2008, and said my vows, and the words I do. And everything changed.

Marriage is about making a commitment to one another that's bigger than the two of you. But it's also about recognition. The recognition of your parents and family and friends. And the recognition of the government that you are a couple, and that you have pledged yourselves to one another.

Marriage has made us into stronger, better versions of our single selves. And although our opponents accused us of trying to destroy marriage, I think we as gay men honor the institution of marriage by becoming a part of it.

Jamie Fessenden

Marriage is important because it is one of the rights society grants human beings. Traditionally, one of the first rights taken away from people when they are enslaved or imprisoned, is control over when they can and cannot have sex, marry, and have children. If you want to know if you're truly a citizen in your country, check to see if you can legally marry, adopt children, and have sex without being arrested. LGBT men and women have not had these rights, and we're still fighting for them. We are not citizens until we have them in full.

Did you always want to get married?

BG Thomas:

Of course I always wanted to get married! I was a little gay boy long long long before I knew I was a gay boy. And who knows why so many gay boys (at least in my generation) loved Judy Garland and Cher and Lily Tomlin without even being told that “fags” are supposed to like them? I just did. No secret messages fed to me through fortune cookies or the decoder ring on cereal boxes. I loved them.

When Judy Garland died I was nine years old and I bawled! And Mom didn’t know why. I remember her being shocked. Sure Judy Garland was in “The Wizard of Oz,” but so what? At nine the only other thing I had seen her in was “The Pirate” where she sang “Be a Clown” with Gene Kelly. But there was another…. It was some concert on TV where she sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with such passion and tears that even at that age my heart broke. I somehow knew she was telling ME something.

Guess what? Judy Garland died June 22, 1969. The Stonewall Riot happened on June 28, 1969.

There are those who believe that it was her death that legions of gay men were in mourning about that was the final straw that helped bring about that riot. I am totally serious here. No kidding.

How did I know that I was “supposed” to like her? But I did! God, did I ever!

Did I want to get married when I was a kid? Hell yes! I bet as much, if not more every girl I knew, wanted a big wedding. I never wanted to be in a white gown like so many gay boys of my generation, but I would be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t in awe by Maria’s wedding dress in “The Sound of Music.” Who knows why? I just did.

Michael Murphy:

As an older man, I grew up with the idea that two men or two women would never be allowed to marry.  I knew that at some point society would evolve to get past that, but I didn’t know if that would happen in my lifetime or not. 

J. Scott Coatsworth:

As a gay man, I grew up with the idea that I was different. less than. A second class citizen. When I came out in the early nineties, it was still a bit dicey to live as an out gay man. I had a gay friend who got married before I came out, and I still remember it vividly - the happy couple and three friends snuck into the bamboo garden and stood in a protective circle, so that no one else could see what was happening.

That was marriage equality in 1989 - no officiant, no license, and make sure no one ever saw what was happening.

Coming from that background, it was hard to imagine that I would ever be allowed to marry another man in public, much less legally or even in a church.

And yet...

Growing up, gay men are surorunded by images of heterosexual love, sweet and true and pure. We swim in it, like the rest of the culture, and we learn early on that true live leads to marriage.

And then, not too much later, we learn (or we used to) that the marriage door is bared to us.

So yes, I always wanted to get married.

Jamie Fessenden

Did I always want to marry? I suppose so. I've always been a romantic, so I've always pictured myself in a romance novel, meeting the perfect man and perhaps having children. The desire to have children faded a long time ago, and I really don't want that now. But I have always wanted to meet the man meant for me and settle down with him for the rest of my life.

Author Bios

B.G. Thomas

B.G. Thomas lives in Kansas City with his husband of more than a decade. They’ve been married twice. First in 2005—although it wasn’t legal. They jumped the broom (as well as the sword) and were married in heart in front of their friends and loved ones. Then in 2014, they flew to Baltimore and made it legal (and couldn’t have without the help of B.G.’s fans who practically funded the entire weekend!).  He can’t get enough of seeing that gold wedding band on his hand, even two years later. /react-text

B.G. loves romance, comedies, fantasy, science fiction, and even horror—as far as he is concerned, as long as the stories are character driven and entertaining, it doesn’t matter the genre. He has gone to conventions his entire adult life where he’s been lucky enough to meet many of his favorite writers. He has made up stories since he was a child; it is where he finds his joy. /react-text

Excited about the growing male/male romance market, he submitted a story and was thrilled when it was accepted in four days. Since then the stories have poured out of him. “It’s like I’m somehow making up for a lifetime’s worth of stories!” /react-text

Leap, and the net will appear” is his personal philosophy and his message to all. “It is never too late,” he states. “Pursue your dreams. They will come true!”

Scott has been writing since elementary school. After leaving writing for twenty years, Mark, his husband, told him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.

Mark and Scott have been together for twenty four years. They met at the Pacific Center, an LGBT center in Berkeley, California, in 1992. They dated for two weeks, and then Scott moved in with Mark, and the rest is history. They run their own business together, study Italian, and are almost never found apart.

Jamie Fessenden

Jamie Fessenden set out to be a writer in junior high school. He published a couple of short pieces in his high school's literary magazine, but it wasn't until he met his partner, Erich, almost twenty years later, that he began writing again in earnest. With Erich alternately inspiring and goading him, Jamie published his first novella in 2010, and has since published over twenty other novels and novellas.

After legally marrying in 2010, buying a house together, and getting a dog, Jamie and Erich have settled down to life in the country, surrounded by wild turkeys, deer, and the occasional coyote. A few years ago, Jamie was able to quit the tech support job that gave him insanely high blood pressure. He now writes full-time... and feels much better.

Michael Murphy

Michael Murphy met his husband Dan thirty-four years ago during a Sunday service at MCC in Washington, DC when a hot, smart man sat down beside him. Due to a shortage of hymnals they had to share.  The touch of one hand on the other in that moment was electric. Sparks flew that day. Though neither had planned it, they spent the day together followed by the night.  From that day, for more than three decades they’ve rarely been separated, each finding in the other their soul mate.

In the District of Columbia, where they lived, marriage became possible in early March 2010.  The minute it happened they were in line to get a marriage license, only to be stumped because the license required the name of the person who was going to marry them. There was such a sudden rush of same sex couples wanting to get married that the office already had a two-month backlog before an appointment could be secured.  Since they weren’t at all convinced that the Congress wasn’t going to step in and do something stupid to take away this right, they started calling everywhere to find someone who would marry them. It might be legal, but finding someone to marry them was proving to be a challenge.

When an article appeared in the newspaper telling of a small, local United Methodist Church that had decided to go against general church policy because marriage equality mattered deeply to them, a conversation started.  After a series of emails and phone calls, suddenly they were seated with two retired UMC ministers who were willing to risk it all to do the right thing.  A few days later, license in hand, surrounded by a handful of friends and their best dog, Shadow, they were finally legally married.

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