Terrence: A Short Story
(Under Ground, #0.8)
Publication date: May 15th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult, Romance
Bullying is nothing new to Terrence Young. The teasing and harassment are constant. His family is less than understanding as well. To them, Terrence chose to be gay and complicate their lives. Their little rejections sting and cut him deeply.
But when the Deviance Act is passed, Terrence’s life takes a turn for the worse overnight. Under the new law, a mere look, a simple touch, or a small kiss in public could mean death. Terrence attempts to hide his orientation to survive. That is until a gang attacks him in a bar and Chase Martinez interferes.
Chase is gorgeous, kind-hearted, and he’s a rebel in the Underground—all qualities that attract Terrence so much there is no stopping the fall. Loving Chase might be dangerous, but Terrence is done living in fear and letting others dictate what is right for him.
*The author pledges to donate 100% of sales revenue from “Terrence: A Short Story” to The Ally Coalition
Terrence’s Story is part of my YA Dystopian Romance series UNDER GROUND—a series in which New York State has seceded from the rest of the United States. In the series, women have no rights: They can’t vote, they can’t walk the streets on their own, they are forced into marriages settled by their parents to benefit their families. It’s a Victorian sort of world, though it’s set in the future. That world also revolves around a number of laws that were passed to oppress the lower class and the LGBT community. Because Terrence is both lower class and gay, those laws affect his life tremendously.
In Terrence’s story, one of the new laws is called the Deviance Act. That law allows New York State to have all LGBT people executed on sight without trial. Sadly, this event was inspired by events that have happened in our past or are still happening in our world today.
It was also essential for me to focus more on my LGBT characters because when Terrence’s book cover was revealed, I was sad to realize that, though many people claim to want diversity in novels, some of them don’t want sexual diversity. And it is my job, as a writer, to show them that diversity does in fact include diversity of ethnicity, culture, and orientation.
LGBT people do not choose their orientation or gender. They are who they are, and refusing for them to have a voice in literature implies denying them the right to be represented. It implies only wanting diversity if that “diversity” fits certain standards or beliefs.
I find it highly offensive that anyone would read a series as long as the characters are straight and that they would start shunning those very same characters as soon as it is revealed that those characters are, in fact, not straight.
And I will always strive to make my series as diverse as possible in every possible way—be it ethnically, culturally, or sexually.
I do not write to please people, I write to challenge them and make them think outside the box that society has been confining them in, and that is the inspiration behind my entire series.
My goal is always to raise awareness to certain issues that matter to me. I wanted to write books that would make my readers think, books that would open their minds and make them want to do their own research. The first books focused more on women’s rights, abuse, rape culture, virgin shaming, slut shaming, and many other things that prevent women from thriving in society.
But recently, the series has shifted a bit more toward LGBT rights. Many characters in the series are gay or bi, and they are all affected by this new law in the books.
The interesting thing is that you never know if your books will do what you had originally intended. And in Terrence’s case, it did.
I did a read-along of the story recently, and it meant so much to me to realize that Terrence could teach my readers something new, something they had never heard of before or weren’t even aware of.
You see, Terrence’s lover, Chase, is bisexual, and Terrence’s story discusses biphobia and bierasure, in the sense that Terrence has trouble accepting his boyfriend’s orientation.
During the read-along, it was clear that many people had never heard of biphobia or bierasure. And it meant the world to me that I was able to discuss those two issues with my readers as well as expose a problem that is not only a concern in the straight community, but also in the LGBT community. Many readers were shocked to learn that bisexuals are often rejected by members of both communities (yes, including by members of the LGBT community), and that bisexuals are constantly told that their orientation simply does not exist, or they are forced to claim to be fully straight or fully gay when, in all reality, they do not fit in either of those categories.
Terrence’s story also fights many other stereotypes, from the belief that gay men are promiscuous and only interested in sexual affairs, to the thought that being gay equals a lack of masculinity, to the false belief that gay men choose their orientation.
So I guess I would say that the inspiration behind the story was a desire to open my readers’ minds to new thoughts and to expose the false beliefs that have been ingrained in us by society.
Thank you for having me on your blog and for being part of Terrence’s blog tour. 🙂
Alice Rachel is the author of the YA Forbidden Romance/ Dystopian Romance Series “Under Ground.”
Her time is divided between teaching French, writing, reading, drawing, and spending time with her hubby and guinea pigs.
Alice loves talking to readers, so send her a message…