Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Love is Love...Dianne Hartsock

Gender Fluid

Be who you are. Because you never know who would love the person you hide. - Unknown.                       

Welcome to my little corner of the Love is Love Blog Hop! I saw a sign on Facebook the other day, 'I long for the day when it's no longer brave to be gay'. But you know, that's not enough. It should say, 'I long for the day when it's no longer brave to be me'.

I learned a brand new word the other day: gender fluid. I'd never heard that term before but it was as if a 'veil had been lifted from my eyes' and a whole world of possibility opened up for me.

Gender Fluid is a gender identity best described as a dynamic mix of boy and girl. A person who is Gender Fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders, but may feel more boy some days, and more girl other days. Being Gender Fluid has nothing to do with which set of genitalia one has, nor their sexual orientation. At its core, it’s just a word that people use to help figure themselves out.                                                    -urban dictionary

I discussed the term with a few friends and it was new to them as well. Except for one very dear person. When I brought it up to him, I saw something beautiful. There was a bright flash in his eyes, a slow smile, and I swear it was as if a blanket of peace settled over him.

"So that's what I am," he whispered. He sounded awestruck. I can't even write this without tears coming to my eyes again. I think he finally found his place in the world. Not that any of us like labels. But I think for the first time in his life he knew he wasn't alone.

This lovely term also reminds me of a young person I met a few years ago. For the most part he dressed as a sinfully pretty boy, but occasionally, he'd wear a flowery dress or tight skirt and be a breathtaking girl. It actually took me several months to realize that no, I wasn’t seeing twins, but the same person each time. I hadn't heard the term 'gender fluid' yet and thought it was sweet when I asked him about his clothing choices and he replied, 'I feel like a girl today'.  Now I know he was being earnest.

So, by now you're probably wondering where I'm heading with this. I just want to say that it's okay to be yourself! Straight, gay, bi, gender fluid… We all have the same chance at our HEA.

I met an amazing young person this last year through the CHICKS & DICKS Blog He calls himself Thorny but he'll always be Sunshine to me. He writes a blog of his own, THORNY, NOT PRICKLY where he writes about life and love and…well, this is how he describes himself: I'm a happily married, gender fluid, gay man learning to be an author, going to college, and doing my best to stay true to myself no matter what. I'm not prickly, but am usually sparkly. How could you not love him?!

But anyway, his husband Jazz wrote a note once that really tugged at my heart. My husband sometimes dresses and behaves in a more feminine way, then it’s the opposite and he’s definitely more masculine, then it’s a combination of both. Just watching him walk from the bed to the bathroom in the morning tells me which kind of day it is. I don’t label it a girl day or boy day and I don’t label the man as femme or butch.

It’s just Monday and Thorny.

Doesn't that last line show the total acceptance and love we're all looking for! And this brings me back to my point. Be yourself, because you don't know who might love the person you hide.

So, I'd like to leave you with a little flash I wrote for the Hot Flashes Anthology coming from Breathless Press on March 8th. Also, comment for a chance to win a copy of any book on my backlist. Don't forget to leave your contact info. Thanks so much for coming by!

Robin's Confession

He twirled, feeling pretty, desirable, feminine. He adored the way the cool nylon caressed his skin and clung to the slight bulge of his dick. Robin's smile slipped. What would Jesse think of him, dressed like this? Doubt slithered into his dream of a happily ever after and his stomach churned with worry. It had taken months to capture Jesse's attention. He'd just had the best month of his life with his insatiable boyfriend, full of laughter and crazy sex.

But what if Jesse wasn't ready to see this part of him? Robin shuddered as ice touched his heart. What if Jesse was never ready?

The slam of the front door made his heart race a thousand miles an hour. Oh, Shit! His gaze darted frantically around the overturned bathroom. No place to hide.

"Darling, where are you?"

Fuck! Why did he have to put this fucking dress on? Everything was ruined. Robin backed against the sink, miserable as the door swung open.

Jesse's gaze burned over him and something flickered in his blue eyes. "What's this shit?"

Robin's heart broke. He couldn't speak as anguish knotted in his throat. Making a strangled little sound, he pushed by Jesse and fled across the bedroom. He had to get away! He ignored Jesse's shout and darted through the sliding glass door, escaping outside.

Sprinting across the lawn into the trees, he hid behind a tall maple when the tears made it difficult to see. Oh Jesus. Oh, Fuck. Jesse would throw him out and he'd be alone again.

"Fucking little queer," he muttered, just then hating who he was.

"Hope you're not talking to me."

Robin jumped at the voice then stared at the ground, breathing hard, waiting for the cruel words and laughter he deserved. Fingers brushed his cheek and he flinched, but didn't resist when Jesse tilted his chin upward. His lips parted in a gasp on seeing the warmth in Jesse's eyes. Jesse stepped closer to him, trapping Robin between the tree and his strong body.

"Two things," his boyfriend murmured, brushing Robin's lips with his own. "Never run from me again. And…" he punctuated each word with a nip on Robin's bottom lip. "Baby, you look fucking adorable."

Robin collapsed back against the tree, weak with hope. "What?"

Jesse pulled him into his arms and ran his hands down Robin's back. He cupped Robin's ass, nudging their cocks together. "I said you're damned sexy, honey. I've been waiting weeks to see you like this, but you're even prettier than I imagined." He thrust his hips. "I want to fuck you right here against this tree."

Jesse suddenly ducked his head and put his mouth on one of the small buds poking against the nylon on Robin's chest, biting gently. Robin's head swam with pleasure and bewilderment. "I don't understand. How did you know…about me?"

"You forgot to log off of Xdress after you ordered. In fact, I want to see…"

Jesse dropped to his knees in the soft moss, the spark of desire in his eyes, and Robin held his breath as Jesse slowly raised the hem of the short dress. 

Dianne Hartsock


  1. I just read my first book with a transgender character and I loved it. I also love Thorny and so admire his unwillingness to hide his light under a bushel. He is great and loved and should never change. Please include me in the drawing. tmadamski(at)msn(dot)com

  2. *hugs* Hi Tina! Thanks for stopping in. :)

    Havan! Thanks so much for having me as your guest today. You're the best. :)

  3. I love the term 'gender fluid' and wish more people understood it. I used to have a friend that would have been ecstatic with such a 'label' but sadly we lost contact when his family shunned him for being who he truly is.
    I love your excerpt, Dianne! Please enter me, too...


  4. Big hugs, Tempeste! So nice of you to stop by. :) I know, 'gender fluid' is a beautiful term for some very beautiful people.

  5. I like the term "gender fluid"and the book sounds like a good read.

  6. ♥ ♥ Thank you for what you said about me and for characters like Robin :) ♥ ♥

    1. *Big hugs, Sunshine!* Thank you so much for stopping to read my little post. You truly are an amazing man. :)

  7. Don't enter me, I just wanted to say what a wonderful post you've written! That post by Jazz is one of my faves. I hope the term gender fluid becomes part of our every day language and understanding. Off to check out your books.

    1. Hi Mary! Aren't Thorny and Jazz the most beautiful couple? There's so much love there it does me good to read their posts. Thanks for coming by!

  8. Thanks for this, Dianne. :)

    Please enter me in your giveaway.

    1. Oh, I'm glad you made it by, Charley. You're entered!!

  9. I loved the interview and excerpts. If only the whole world could be accepting. It breaks my heart that people cant accept someone for how they are.

    1. *hugs* I think things are slowlly getting better. :)

  10. I read a book that had characters named Thorny and Jazz and now I can't remember the title. Arrrgh, now it's going to drive me crazy. Count me in, love the genre.

    1. Thanks, Nancy. Let us know if you remember the book. Sounds great!

  11. I love Thorny and Jazz. I mean.... how can you not? I wish there were more people like them in this world. Thanks for the wonderful post. :)

    1. Aren't they the sweetest couple!? Always leave me smiling and happy. :)Thanks Amanda for stopping in.

  12. Thank you for commenting on this topic and bringing it out into the open. I had never heard the term gender fluid until now and I love it. I usually hate labels and try to shy away from them in any way but this label I can get behind. I know a young boy, 13, who now, after reading this post I would say is gender fluid. Just the name has me imagining a sea of water shifting sometimes smoothly, sometimes stormy between two shores. To me it just sounds beautiful.

    I also love the comment. Be who you are because you never know who would love the person you hide. As soon as I read that every awkward and shy moment of my youth flashed before my eyes and ironically it really hits home with some recent events in my life. Just be yourself is something I am always telling my 8 year old son, I just wished every child was told this.

    1. I'm so glad you liked my post, Pam! I agree, 'gender fluid' is an absolutely beautiful label. And it's so important yet so hard sometimes to be true to one's self. But it makes life so much richer in the end. Hugs!

  13. Clicked without adding my email info- would like to be entered into your contest also.

  14. Yep... definitely liking the term "gender fluid". I've read very few gender fluid books but I have really, really liked what I read and I really look forward to reading more.
    Thanks for the snippet.

    If it's not too late please count me in~


    1. You're in, Judi! The hop runs all month so I'll pick my winner then. :)Thanks for coming by!

  15. I don't understand why gender is still so binary in society--I figured fluidity would be more commonly acknowledged in the 21st century. Please count me in!


    1. *big hugs!* Thanks for stopping in, vitajex. :) I know, really, sometimes it's like we're still in the dark ages. Wake up, people!