Thursday, June 9, 2016

TBT Post: Knocked Down By Homophobia

Hi all!

So, those of you who follow me know that Heavy Hitters was  scheduled to release well over a year ago. Then life happened, and it kept happening, to the point where I had to take a sabbatical to care for myself. While I was away, I decided to replace the story's gorgeous first cover with another gorgeous one, because the original reminded me of a painful period in my life and I wanted a clean slate. 

And here I am, months and months later, feeling better and ready to release this baby to the world. :-)

To celebrate the June 24th upcoming release, I decided to re-post a little piece I wrote a long time ago to promote the story. Hope you enjoy, and please, feel free to share your stories. I'll be giving away two copies to commenters I'll choose randomly. :-)

Knocked Down By Machismo

I was born and raised in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, a paradise in many ways. Tropical plants, rainforest, sunny beaches, transparent water, soft golden sand…. Do I sound like a tourism commercial yet? *g*

Down there people are friendly, family-oriented, and extremely lovable. They’re also mainly Catholic, and, to this date, ruled by machismo and gender roles. Men are expected to be brave and protect the honor of their families. They’re supposed to have excellent work ethic, be good providers, and live up to their responsibilities. Women, even if they have jobs outside the house, are expected to clean, cook, care for the children, and take orders from the husband. As simple as that. There’s little—if any—room for anything else.

Don’t get me wrong, though. Women are highly regarded.They rule the house and keep the family
united, but there’s no denying the patriarchal authority that exists in most every home. Dad says what’s allowed; he says when and how. In some cases he even subjugates his wife and resorts to domestic violence in order to prove his manhood. He wants his daughters to be like mom, and his sons to be little clones of himself. And I can tell you, not many dads are open-minded and accepting if one of their sons happens to have interests that are attributed to girls.

Such is the case with Julio MalavĂ©, one of my main characters’ father. He’s belligerent on a good day, abusive on a regular basis, and he’s drunk most of the time. His mission in life is to make sure Santino becomes a boxing champion and behaves like a “real man,” and he has no qualms in destroying his son’s spirit in the process.

You see, coming out as gay wasn't really an option for many Puerto Rican boys. They faced discrimination, mockery, bullying, and downright abuse. A lot of times they’re killed for their sexual orientation. I wouldn’t say Puerto Rico isn’t a safe place for gay men. Hundreds of them are out and proud, but they are the exception, not the rule, and there’s a price to pay.

Heavy Hitters is a love story...a self-discovery story...self-acceptance story, and a reconciliation story with family, culture, and life. I hope you all join Luca and Santi in their journey through life. :-)

Do *you* have any experience with machismo? Any stories or opinions on the matter you’d like to share? Leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of Heavy Hitters. I’d love to “hear” your thoughts.


  1. This book sounds awesome Taylor & I can't wait to get my hands on them :)

  2. I personally haven't experienced it in such a way but I have brothers so they are all over me whenever I go out at night, but that has more to with the situation women are living in my country than machismo. You see, we suffer from a high rate of femicides, most done by boyfriends/husbands/ex-partners, they appeal to violence to make a point and they don't doubt to kill because they feel they have the "right" to do it. We have laws, ovbiously, but the do little and men don't seem to care anyway. As a result every 30hs a woman is killed here. Althgouh we are far from being a perfect place for gay people, they are safer than women. And whenever I meet a guy that seems nice, I can't help wondering if appearances are deceiving he's not good deep inside.
    Thanks for the chance! I've been waiting to read this book for ages. =) And thanks for the interesting post, it's a deplorable situation that some people have to suffer because others can accept them and respect them.

  3. Been waiting for this one for a while, can't wait! As for your question, Being Mexican I'm surrounded by machismo, Men being all "menly" tough and not at all "womenly" no cooking in the kitchen for my father that's for sure and he loves pushing his ideals on his children, my brothers and me, gets old.

  4. I am born, raised in bahrain in the GCC (MIDDLE EAST) and machismo was a huge part of my community as I grow up and men and women has specific roles to do and even though women started to work and they're in very high positions but still her father or husband demand certin things from her like still doing house work, cooking and raising childen is her sole responsibility and sometimes they middle in what she wears or certain places she can't go to, now adays people likes this are in the minority and my country is really open minded and women has lots of freedom but no matter what you still see hints of machismo but these days women they stood up for themselfs and luckily for us laws and the community stand by them , luckily for me i never had a problem with machismo my self as my house is ruled by mother but my father worked as a cabin crew in an airline company so he traveled a lot and that made him very open minded and me and my sisters had an excellent upbringing.