The last seven days have been incredible in Shorn-Land.
I got my first hate-mail in regards to my book. Someone tried to post comments on this blog that were homophobic, racist and juvenile. I didn’t approve the comments so they were not posted on the blog. However, I took a picture of the comments on the computer screen with my phone before I deleted them. I felt like I had arrived! The book was getting noticed.
I was ready for this. I have been bullied and harassed my whole life for my sexual orientation and being effeminate. It is a theme in my book. I showed the comments on my phone to folks at work who were appropriately horrified. I decided to post them on Facebook. It certainly was an attention getter. People who rarely comment rallied for me. Hate spun into support which made me feel fabulous. Hate could have even generated a few book sales. I am ready for more haters anytime.
A few days later, I made a video book trailer and posted it on youtube.com for marketing purposes. It was a very difficult thing for me to do. I wrestled with what the trailer should be. It is one thing to write about the emotional and personal themes in the book; it is another thing to produce a video of it. I had to use a few stock photos (the Barbies, the aerial and interior views of the station wagon), but other than that, it is the real people, places, and real footage of my life. Including the shot of me shaving a man’s head was very personal. Only fellow fetishist have ever been invited to see me “in action”. That haircutting shot that ends the trailer is equivalent (in my head) to pornography.
Hours after posting the trailer, I got my first email from a sexual abuse survivor thanking me for being a spokesman. It was surprising and wonderful to hear from a few long lost classmates congratulating me on the book. I also got responses from other men who wrestle with haircutting compulsions. It really took the sting out of the hate mail. It gave me strength and reinforced why I wrote the book.
On January 1, my hater should buy a copy of my book and read it for the new year. He will see that his ignorant attitude towards others may sting at first. The comments can also inspire. I would like to meet my hater. I would look him square in the eyes and firmly shake his hand. I would thank him for making me stronger.
I would ask my hater what kind of book would he write. Does he think his book of hate would outsell my book of personal triumph and self acceptance? I would ask him of his book, “What’s your point?”
All of this is moot, because my hater didn’t have the courage to leave his name or a way for me to contact him. It may have taken me a while, but my book has my name and I am proud of who I am and what I have to say.