Guest Post: Cody Kennedy on the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia

                                   A Beautiful Life

PICTURE 1 hahat-2014The Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia is a blog hop created by a growing group of authors who write GLBTQIAP works and who wish to bring awareness about GLBTQIAP literary works and those who identify with non-binary genders to others. It begins on May 17th with the International Day Against Homophobia and lasts through May 27th.

PICTURE 2 HAHAT IDAHO_Logo

We hope to bring attention to crucial issues surrounding homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, and censorship of GLBTQIAP works, and to current socio-economic, political, and personal issues surrounding those who don’t identify with the strict binary categorization of sexual identity.

It’s important to note that The Hop Against Homophobia doesn’t only represent plights of discrimination. It represents a time of change; not only one of change in perspective but also one of behavior and the law. Now, more than ever before.

Yet, times of change can be polarizing and because it is human nature to define, categorize, label, and package, discrimination can sometimes be even more prevalent.

“Define, refine, constrict, package, and sell… No thank you. I would like to live in a world where your gender, nationality, sexual orientation, and, above all, financial status didn’t affect the opportunities you are given in life, the way you’re treated by others, and your overall freedom. In a world like that, I wouldn’t be given such a complex definition.”

                                                          ~Andrej Pejic

In today’s society, sexuality and gender are a part of a spectrum rather than a precise, black or white concept. There are many more labels for sexualities now than there were twenty years ago (straight, bisexual, homosexual, pansexual, asexual, intersex, etc) and we shouldn’t feel the need to label ourselves to satisfy society’s way of portraying us as part of a social status. Labels are not something that define who we are.

PICTURE 3 Labels are for soup cans

I am a person who does not identify with a strict binary gender categorization and, a week or so ago, someone wrote to me that “people felt betrayed” by my appearance at a recent authors’ conference because my appearance didn’t match the label many had formed for me in their minds. The comment bothered me in one aspect more than any other: entitlement.

PICTURE 4 BeingOffendedDoesn'tMakeYouRight

 

You see, irrespective of gender and gender identity, everyone is not entitled to our life stories. That is something earned over time and by us deciding that someone is a person who we wish to get to know and vice verse. The fact that we might look different doesn’t change our privacy one iota. We decide who gets to know about us and who doesn’t. Our rights are not lessened or conditioned by the fact that we don’t identify with a strict binary gender. We not only have the same right to privacy that everyone else does, but also the same right to a beautiful life that everyone else does.

PICTURE 5 You have every right to a beautiful life.jpg

 

I write GLBTQIA literature because I believe that everybody has the right to create their own beautiful life based on the identity they have chosen for themselves, and not the labels society chooses for them. I am proud to be an author of GLBTQIA literature and hope to bring you works that inspire you, give you strength and, above all, give you hope.

Over the course of the next ten days, join me in bringing awareness to the world, in teaching the world that those of us who don’t identify in binary ways aren’t to be feared, reviled, or persecuted, but simply accepted for who we are.

In honor of this terrific blog hop, we’re giving away one SIGNED ecopy of my novella, SAFE.

All you need to do is comment below. At the end of the blog hop, we will randomly select a winner and post your name here! Be sure to check back on May 29th to see if you won!

Here’s to changing the world for the better! Be calm and rock on! It does get better!

~Cody

Check out Cody’s Blog here. Like Cody on Facebook, find Cody on Goodreads, on Twitter @CodyKAuthor, and read Cody’s free serial story, Fairy.

Safe

 

 

 

 

Available from: Harmony Ink Press

Caleb had one mission in life.

To keep his boyfriend safe.

They met at ten, kissed at twelve, and were madly in love by eighteen. Caleb Deering is the captain of the swim team and the hottest senior in school. He comes from a loving home with a kind father and a caring, but strict, mother who is battling breast cancer. Nico Caro is small and beautiful, and has a father who rules with an iron fist—literally. One morning Caleb forgets himself, and he pecks Nico on the lips at school. A teacher sees them and tattles to the Headmaster. The accidental outing at school might be the least of their problems, because the ball set in motion by the school’s calls to their parents could get Nico killed. In the face of that very real danger, Caleb knows he has only one mission in life: to keep Nico safe. Read an excerpt of Safe.

Also available from Harmony Ink Press:

Omorphi-200x300

 

 

 

 

Available from: Harmony Ink Press

Όμορφη. Ómorphi. Greek. Meaning pretty

Pretty. adj. /pritē/ Pleasing by delicacy or grace

~*~

High school senior Michael Sattler leads a charmed life. He’s a star athlete, has great friends, and parents who love him just the way he is. What’s missing from his life is a boyfriend. That’s a problem because he’s out only to his parents and best friend. When Michael accidentally bumps into Christy Castle at school, his life changes in ways he never imagined. Christy is Michael’s dream guy: smart, pretty, and sexy. But nothing could have prepared Michael for what being Christy’s boyfriend would entail.

Christy needs to heal after years of abuse and knows he needs help to do it. After the death of his notorious father, he leaves his native Greece and settles in upstate New York. Alone, afraid, and left without a voice, Christy hides the myriad scars of his abuse. He desperately wants to be loved and when he meets Michael, he dares to hope that day has arrived. When one of Michael’s team-mates becomes an enemy and an abuser from Christy’s past seeks to return him to a life of slavery, only Michael and Christy’s combined strength and unwavering determination can save them from the violence that threatens to destroy their future together. Read an excerpt of Omorphi

You can check out the other Blog Hop Stops here

 

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Posted on May 18, 2014, in Guest Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 40 Comments.

  1. This message is long overdue, Cody. People need to be loved and accept for who they are regardless of any specific human characteristic(s). Those are merely packaging… it’s what’s in a person’s heart and mind that counts. Thanks for saying what needed to be said. We should be fighting for human rights, period.

  2. Hey Cody,

    Even with all the knowledge available now a days, some human beings still amaze me with their small minds, retrograde thinking and pure and simple ignorance.
    I can’t believe someone had the nerve to tell you that piece of garbage about your appearance. As if their expectations should matter in anyone’s appearance?
    What surprised me the most, was were it happened,..
    BUT, I want to believe this kind of people are getting fewer in the world (at least I hope so) – I want to believe people are getting more open minded, suportive and caring.
    You are an amazing person, your great books and the wonderful work you do are testimony of that. For me, that’s what defines a person.

    ❤ Cody ❤

    • Fortunately, though a slow and tedious process, I believe education is improving and the ignorance is lessening and that people are becoming more supportiving and caring. Thank you for the wonderful compliments and comments.

  3. “I am a person who does not identify with a strict binary gender categorization and, a week or so ago, someone wrote to me that “people felt betrayed” by my appearance at a recent authors’ conference because my appearance didn’t match the label many had formed for me in their minds. The comment bothered me in one aspect more than any other: entitlement.”

    Unfortunately this is something I have experienced. How I define myself, view myself and present myself isn’t what people expect to see in person. What I portray to people is who I am, the entire package, no deception, no smoke and mirrors. Still some people have a hard time marrying the vision they have of me in my head and what they see when they meet me. I can’t fit into everyone else’s boxes and fit their labels. Then I wouldn’t be me (and its not easy being me!)

    Your words have resonated with me and will so with others as well. Its time to challenge personal perceptions and accept others for who they are. Thanks Cody. As always you have stated beautifully what needs to be said. And yes, I am not a soup can so don’t label me. 🙂

    • I agree, JC. How we define, view, and present ourselves is entirely up to us. Everyone is firstly human with all the attendant rights of being human. It’s imperative that we seek to protect and defend those rights in our society. Thank you for the kind remarks and comments.

  4. First of all, I’m offended that someone felt betrayed by your appearance. Shame on them that shouts equality and individuality on one side of the mouth and then gets upset when someone doesn’t fit their idea of what you should look like. We probably all have a mental image of what you may look like, but the only thing that matters to me is your words, your actions.

    The need to label, categorize must be ingrained. That’s how we are taught to make sense of the world around us. We teach our toddlers how to sort and categorize, but what we don’t have to do is to dictate what the categories are. I fight all the time the urge to make judgements about people by the way they look and try to get to know someone for who they are. I think the labeling is not so bad, but those labels come with unspoken value and stereotypes. I think that’s what needs to change.

    Thank you Cody, for being you. ❤️

    • Kari, you raise an excellent point. It isn’t always so much the label as it is the value and stereotypes attached to it. I agree, they need to change. Thank you for the wonderful comments.

  5. I’m always stunned that gender is still so binary for so many people–I thought this was the 21st century! Thank you for your honest post, and for participating!

  6. I am stunned that anyone would claim to be “betrayed” because you did not look like the image they built up in their heads. Sadly so many see the outer package first before looking more closely at the inside. But thanks to people like you, who stand up and speak out,people are slowly starting to change the worlds perceptions.

    I feel honoured to know you. Rock On Cody ❤

  7. Sadly enough, messages like these will still be very necessary for the foreseeable future.
    Thanks, Cody.

  8. This just makes me so angry! You are such a beautiful person! What does it matter what you look like? It’s who you are, not what you are, that is important. I would have felt betrayed, that people that talk to you, play on your wall, interact with you, many times pm you constantly, and call you friend, would care so much about your appearance, and not YOU! As for the post, you did a great job writing it. I will reread it after I don’t feel so upset about stupid people. Love you Cody, for who you are and all you do for every person you come in contact with.

    Your Timmy

    • Awww, thank you for the wonderful compliments and remarks, my Timmy. Sadly, ignorance takes its toll on society and it’s always important to rise above continue on with good purpose and intentions. Thank you for stopping by and for the great comments.
      Your Cody

  9. This is why internet is so good. We can dispense with all the exterior looks and get down to what you actually say and do. We can connect, without the physical appearance, which means we interact on a mental level, without all the preconceptions.
    That the image I make of you in my mind doesn’t coincide with your ACTUAL image is almost a given! People can be so stupid sometimes, it’s a miracle they even survive to adulthood.
    Shrug it off. That silly behavior says everything about them, and explains nothing about you.
    Because you, my friend, are beautiful. Who cares what you look like, you look beautiful to me in your words and actions.

    • You make an excellent point, my friend Anna. The internet does allow us to connect on a mental level without interference and preconceptions on the periphery of our thinking. Thank you for the wonderful comments and compliments.

  10. I’m a newbie on your blog, but I will be back. And you are absolutely right, who you are is for you to know. If you decide to share yourself with someone else, that’s up to you.
    And thanks for the giveaway, Safe sounds amazing. Can’t wait to get to read it.
    Kathy C

  11. As a person studying evolutionary psychology, it is often striking to me how often people put themselves and others in an “Us” and “Them” category. We, as humans, have long developed psychological mechanisms that we are born with which do this for us. It is a huge struggle to break away from this type of thinking, as our brains have evolved over many thousands of years and we have only just begun (relatively) the struggle to redefine gender in non-binary terms. It will take time. Also…if you surround yourself with people who more fit within the “Us” category than the “Them” category, it’s easy to think “This is the 21st century and everyone should be as enlightened.” “Us” probably is. “Them”, not so much. It takes time, and I know that it feels like this is a struggle that’s been going on since forever…and it is.

    I think what’s most upsetting about your post is that the person who made that comment to you was likely someone that was thought of as an “Us”. You had every right to feel safe among like-minded people at that convention. It’s really too bad that you had that experience. I hope you don’t let it get to you too much. You know you have a wide circle of people who love and support you and you don’t have to explain yourself to any of them.

    My only criticism of your post (and it’s not a criticism of you at all) is that sometimes those “labels” are attributed to “Them”. But heterosexual, binary gender thinking people are not the only ones attributing labels to people. I have noticed that even within “Us” people label each other or themselves. For some, it seems the label is important to them. I believe this is part of why you received the comment you did…because even within “Us”, we label ourselves and each other.

    I really wish we’d all cut each other a little slack and just accept people for who they are and who they want to be. If everyone could curb their reaction to “Them” and realize that one person expressing themselves in whatever way they choose doesn’t threaten another person’s ability to express how they choose, this world would be a lot more harmonious.

    Good job on the post!

  12. Such a good thoughtful post! The best thing about this blog hop is getting to ‘meet’ new people and learn more about those you already know!

  13. My heart literally hurt when I read this. If you don’t meet someone’s expectations that’s on them, not on you. You portray yourself as you are….a sweet, loving, caring soul. Committed to those who need and depend on you. That makes you beautiful inside and out. So, I ask you? Who in the world can feel “feel betrayed” by that? I can tell you. Someone who lives with preconceived notions that are not reality based or those who know absolutely nothing about you.
    Cody, sweetheart, it doesn’t matter to me what you look like, how you speak, or how you dress. I don’t care if you’re gay, straight, bi, trans or curious. You shine from within and those us around you are blessed to call you friend.

  14. “Labels are for soup cans” – LOVE it!!

  15. Great post, Cody. I’ve gone through this with my daughter for the past decade and am looking forward to the day when it stops, when outward appearance and the expectations of others are given the value they truly deserve.
    Wish I’d had the chance to meet you at the conference. *hugs*

  16. I had some heart pangs while reading this. Especially with the part where someone wrote to you about how they felt betrayed because you hadn’t fit their image of you. I thought it was a bit cruel to pass judgement on you since I would assume that you had not lead anyone on about your looks. Second, why would the way you look be significant to your abilities as a writer and why should this bother your fans?

  17. Hi Cody! Great post. Most definitely awareness of gender diversity lags behind awareness of other types of diversity (gay, lesbian). Thanks for sharing your experience.

  18. The book SAFE sounds really awesome. Also, I am simply wowed by this paragraph of yours. “You see, irrespective of gender and gender identity, everyone is not entitled to our life stories. That is something earned over time and by us deciding that someone is a person who we wish to get to know and vice verse. The fact that we might look different doesn’t change our privacy one iota. We decide who gets to know about us and who doesn’t. Our rights are not lessened or conditioned by the fact that we don’t identify with a strict binary gender. We not only have the same right to privacy that everyone else does, but also the same right to a beautiful life that everyone else does.” Your declaration is really bold, and trust me its convincing enough to make the haters change their minds too.

  19. thank you for your words, Cody.

  20. I loved your post. Thank you.

  21. Wonderful!
    saide @ sadieforsythe dot com

  22. Thanks for your personal sharing in the post.

  23. Thanks for being a part of the hop!
    raynman1979(at)yahoo(dot)com

  24. Hi Cody! *waves* When are people going t understand that ‘different’ doesn’t automatically mean ‘wrong’? Thanks for participating. lena.grey.iam@gmail.com

  25. Nice covers

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  26. Hi Cody, Thanks for posting! I just have to say I love the Labels are for soup cans pic! wendynjason04@gmail.com

  27. Thanks for the post and hop. No one has the right to decide what another person should be

  28. Wonderful post. Your books sounds great.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  1. Pingback: Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia | ScuttlebuttReviews

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