Friday, July 3, 2015

Welcome guest blogger Michael Mandrake: Reconnection and a giveaway





Should More Athletes Come Out the Closet?
Author Sharita Lira 
A year ago, Michael Sam made history by becoming the first gay NFL player to be drafted. Before that, NBA player Jason Collins made history by coming out as the first athlete in one of the 4 major sports to announce he’s gay. The list continues with Alan Gendreau, a place kicker from Middle Tennessee State, entering the NFL draft and Kevin Grayson, a football player with the Italian Football league also announced he was gay. With so much talk about athletes coming out, one has to wonder will it be a benefit to anyone who is still uncomfortable with their sexuality? 
Many experts or people watching the stories say yes; their courage will give other gay men and women the strength to be happy with who they are. Perhaps it will assist gay youth who believe there is no way out. Maybe move others to do the same thing. On the other side of the coin, some say no. 
Why? 
Because these athletes all have something in common; Michael Sam was cut by 2 NFL teams and is currently about to play in Canada with the Montreal Alouettes. Gendreau wasn’t drafted, Grayson plays overseas, and Collins was only signed by NBA team because they needed a body. One could argue the fact they aren’t actually playing in one of the four majors, shows the leagues still have a bias. No fault of their own of course but, other athletes like them could say something like, “Well I’m not coming out because it might cause me to lose my opportunity.” 
Much like in the military when DADT was still in the effect, many service men and women worried about their jobs and their safety. They feared being found out by their superiors or their peers, which ultimately resulted in a dishonorable discharge. After DADT’s repeal, they won’t get thrown out, but they still face challenges. DOMA is dead and marriage equality is here, but the homophobia still reigns. The majority might not care, but there’s always a few that take issue. 
Don’t believe it? Just Google tweets and posts by certain athletes disgusted when Sam kissed his then boyfriend, Vito on television when drafted. Clearly, players are still “worried” about being around gay men.
 The NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB have had players come out after they’ve stopped playing, but we have yet to have an active athlete in one of these sports to play in a major league game after coming out. Just last week, Sean Conroy was the first active gay player to throw in the majors. Still, he was playing in a minor league game. Will Conroy get to play for a major baseball team? Only time will tell, but judging by our other examples, this may not happen anytime soon. 
Getting back to the question, do you believe athletes should come out? In my opinion, it’s a personal choice. It takes a great deal of courage to stand up and say the words, especially with the world watching. Hopefully someday the leagues will drop their bias and allow gay athletes to play along with their straight teammates without creating an issue.


Blurb:
Every once in a while, the average looking guy scores!

Robert McIntyre is a closeted, average looking sports columnist for the Daily Read. Unfortunately, his desire to stay in has cost him the chance at love more than once. However, now it seems his luck will change since his editor has asked him to interview, Jake Valenta. Jake and Robert knew one another in college and when he heard from a mutual friend that Jake might be bisexual, Robert didn’t believe him.

Before Robert’s trip, they discover a mutual affection for one another. Jake shares his desire to stay behind closed doors because he can’t stand being called a fag, but desperately wants Robert to be his man.

Robert and Jake want a chance to reconnect on a more personal level, but will this budding relationship ruin their careers?


Buy links:



Excerpt:
Later on that evening, Jake and I finished our meal and we returned to the couch with wine and beers in hand. Jake is a masterful griller, cooking steaks with side salads and corn on the cob. It had been a while since I had such a filling and well cooked dinner. Most of the time in Chicago, my nights were Chinese takeout or fast food burgers.
“Ah, now this is nice. You and me, on the sofa, drinking liquor with sports on the TV. Can’t get any better than this.” Jake popped the cap on his beer open.
“Yeah, well, the NBA isn’t one of my favorite sports, but I guess it will have to do. It’s either that or hockey.” I cracked open the Merlot and poured myself a glass.
“You’re not into either one?
“Nope. Baseball’s my first love. Football is second for me. I love college and pro.”
“See I hate college football. I think it stems from our alma mater’s pigskin team getting more recognition than we did.”
“Yeah, and they got all the funding too,” I added with a laugh. “The NCAA knows college football can command more money than baseball, so they give them more attention.”
“And they didn’t even deserve it. They went 7-4 last year, for fucking last in the conference. We went to the playoffs and beat the number one seeded team.”
“But no one likes college baseball.”
Jake waved his hand and took another swig of beer. “Ah, whatever. I’m gone anyways, but it still sticks in my craw how they considered as unimportant.”
“You weren’t irrelevant, just the team. What happened when you got to single A, by the way? You weren’t seeing the ball, or…”
“I thought we were forgetting about the interview, Rob. Let’s save that for when we talk on the record.”
“I am. I’m just curious, that’s all.”
“I haven’t got a clue, Rob. I just wasn’t picking up the pitches like I should’ve.”
“Hm, well I’m glad everything’s going well now. The general manager was wondering if he’d made the right choice with the pick. I knew you’d get it together sooner or later.”
“You had faith in me?” Jake caressed my leg through my jeans and flashed me a wry grin.
Feeling his hands on me again caused the adrenaline to rush through my veins. I desired nothing more than to attack him on this couch and forget all about the game on television. “I’ve always had faith in you.”




About the Muse and Author

Michael Mandrake pens complex characters already comfortable with their sexuality. Thorough these, he builds worlds not centered on erotica but rather the mainstream plots we might encounter in everyday life through personal experiences or the media.

To find out more please visit Michael Mandrake at Wordpress

Author Sharita Lira: 

In one word, crazy. Just crazy enough to have 3 4 different muses running around in her head, driving her to sheer exhaustion with new plot bunnies and complex characters.


In addition to being a computer geek and a metalhead, Sharita loves live music, reading, and perusing the net for sexy men to be her muses. She’s also a founding member and contributor to the heavy metal ezine Fourteeng.net.


For more information, please visit http://www.thelitriad.com as well as her Facebook fanpage, The Literary Triad.


Rafflecopter Code:


Prize:
3 Ebook copies of Reconnection

1 $5 Amazon GC

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