Please take a moment to consider our LGBTQ brothers and sisters in Chechnya

If you have somehow missed the horrorshow that is the current climate in Chechnya, gay and bisexual men (in particular, but I fear this is just the start) are being rounded up, tortured and killed for the simple fact that they are not straight.

This is terrifying. This is also unacceptable. Several writers and publishers of LGBT literature have decided to do something to raise money and awareness for this dreadful situation.

BOOKS SAVE LIVES

There’s no question that access to information is life-changing. But also as important (and something many don’t consider) is the fact that just seeing yourself represented can be life-changing. In some cases, it can save a person’s life.

We’re taking that idea and raising money to help our queer friends in Chechnya as best as we can. David Lowery is hosting a fundraiser and charity auction from May 5 – 12th, whose proceeds will benefit vetted LGBT charities for Russians under attack. I’ll be donating 3 signed copies of my books.

Please follow the link to see all of the amazing authors donating books and services and see how you can help our community.

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Oh My Heck! Episode 8 – SEX

It’s time to talk about sex. Awww, yeah, we’re talking the talk now! Except you shouldn’t be thinking of sex! Oh my gosh, are you thinking about it right now? Oh, no… Stop it! I don’t know, sing a hymn at your crotch!* GO EAT A MAPLE-GLAZED DONUT. Did you stop thinking of sex? Well why on earth not? GREAT. There goes God’s plan. Thanks for nothing, buddy.

This week I’ll discuss the positively baffling and obsessive mindset Mormons have about sex. (I mean, you don’t get those big Mormon families from a handshake… Or do you?)

*Actual instruction from the Church for ridding oneself of an erection. Listen and find out more ways to control yourself, even while asleep!

 

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Oh My Heck! Episode 7 – LGBT LDS wth?

Gay Mormons? (And Lesbian Mormons, Trans Mormons, Bi-Mormons, which does anyone even think they acknowledge bisexuality? Pfft!) Are there LGBTQ Mormons? How does that even work? Surprise! It doesn’t! Well, they’re trying, both the church and the members. Sometimes. Well, kind of? Listen to this week’s episode and let’s see if we can figure out what the heck and how the heck. (And you’ll get a little sneak peek at my upcoming novel, AND IT CAME TO PASS, about a missionary who realizes he’s gay while serving in Barcelona, Spain. Oh my heck!)

Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a thing! (And thanks for listening!)

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Oh My Heck! Episode 6 – Polygamy Pt. 2: the one with the top secret raid

We’re back with the final polygamy episode where I’ll go into some more detail about how groups like Warren Jeff’s YFZ Ranch came to be, how accurate the show Big Love was, and the (small) part I played with the Texas Rangers taking out a bunch of real low-lifes out in ElDorado, TX. Some of what I share has never been spoken of publicly… You won’t want to miss this one!

Be sure to subscribe and download–the episodes disappear! (That is, until I upgrade my podcasting host.)

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Oh My Heck! Episode 5 – The Polygamy podcast part 1 (the early Utah remix)

It’s finally here: the Polygamy Papers! Well, not paper, because it’s an audiofile. Podcast. WHATEVER. Look, it’s all the dirty details of how polygamy got started, and it’s so big a topic that we’re breaking it into multiple episodes. This particular episode is voiced by the one and only Kathleen Turner! By which I mean a congested me.

*No Kathleen Turners were harmed in the making of this podcast.

Be sure to share the podcast with friends–or your enemies! I’m not the judge of you!–and leave me comments or questions right here.

(The final episode of the polygamy series will have a list of resources and a reading list, should that be a thing you’re into!)

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Oh My Heck! Episode 4 – Missions

What do teenagers, flesh-eating bacterias and $244 million dollars a year all have in common? Mormon Missions!

This week’s episode is twice as long with triple the content (that math could work if you’d just let it be) with loads of stories about what really happens on missions, and a whole lot of information the LDS Church would prefer you didn’t pay attention to…

And if you want to read my novel about life on an LDS mission and coming out “while Mormon”, you can pre-order AND IT CAME TO PASS here.

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Oh, how I love a taciturn man… in books (A Bitter Springs excerpt)

Most of my paternal family are a mix of ranchers, farmers and a coal miner or two, and they’re not known for running off at the mouth. I think there’s a type of man who delights in using as few words as possible. And as much as I love loud, take-no-prisoner type women, I also love a still-waters-run-deep sort of fella.

Horses cowboys vintage LGBT

Sweet Abuelita, an illustration in the book.

black cowboys gay vintage

Henry “Hank” Burnett, from the book cover


 

In my second novel, Bitter Springs, an historical Western set in Del Rio, Texas in the 1870s, I had a lot of fun with Henry “Hank” Burnett, the freed slave turned mesteñeros, stepping in as the quintessential cowboy. (And for more on how he absolutely was the quintessential cowboy–most likely not straight nor white–click here.) In the following excerpts, Renaldo is a young, coming of age horse-trainer (21) the baby of a boisterous, loving Texican family. He’s made a faux pas and… well, maybe it’s best you read it. (And get a glass of water, ’cause brother, Hank is dry.)
Continue reading

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Oh My Heck! Episode 3 – Baptisms for the Dead

…did you say Mormons baptize dead people?? Well, yes. But not like you think. They aren’t grave robbing and plopping corpses into tubs of water in the temple. They’re just stealing the names of dead people!

That doesn’t make it sound better, huh?

Listen to this week’s episode and learn some of the famous people who are now Mormon! Like Golda Meir! *cough*

Be sure to subscribe on Soundcloud or through iTunes/Stitcher so you don’t miss an episode!

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Oh My Heck! Episode 2-Mormon Origin Stories: Mine, Theirs… and the Truth.

This week is all about “What the heck?” When did your family become Mormon? What’s with the no swearing? Are you saying Mormons are the originators of Fake News? Are you just disgruntled? Whoa, you great-great-grandfather had how many dead wives? Do you honestly have a recipe for pancakes with 7-Up as an ingredient?

…I hate that I do, you guys. I hate that I do. Listen and find out “What the heck?”

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Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an ep! (And I love hearing your questions and shared experiences!)

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Mormon Mondays: Unrealistic standards set by the elaborate dating rituals of Mormon youth

One of the drawbacks of Mormon Culture—a term by which I mean the culture that Mormons and Mormon-adjacent folks who live in Utah and surrounding Mormon-concentrated areas like Idaho and Arizona engage in—drawbacks of this is the expectation for a life that isn’t really based on reality. It’s an idea that if you live life like a character in a ’50’s television show, that “Aww shucks, I’m meeting Penny and Skip at the Frosty’s for a malted!” lifestyle, everything is going to turn out perfectly.

Your fellow citizens provide your laugh track, which means you need to up the hijinks every week. At first you think this Leave it to Beaver episode is going to be fun, but when you look at it through the lens of reality, you start to wonder where Mrs. Cleaver hides the hard liquor to cope. It’s only through thinking back on those formative years where I developed my tastes and preferences in dating that I can see how it really set me up to fail in finding my Perfect Mormon Husband. (Spoiler alert: I never did.)

This week’s podcast is all about the dumb, unnecessarily huge gestures that I made to woo boys, how this sets up expectations for romance that’s almost impossible to achieve, and the ultimate way for a Mormon girl to ask a boy named Joseph Smith to a dance, based off a true and amazing story. This week is brought to you by a flood of shameful and hilarious memories that I had from listening to This American Life‘s podcast about grand gestures (and if you haven’t read Elna Baker’s book, The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance, you should! AND SEE? I wasn’t lying about all the dances!!)

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