November 19, 2014

Moving Forward

Several times during my career I have lost friends because of what I write.

Once upon a time, I was close with a woman who became a Born Again. We were best friends, the tightest you can imagine. Like sisters. We owned Los Angeles. I can shut my eyes now and be in a deep burgundy leather booth at the Rainbow at her side.

When she joined her church, she couldn't be my friend anymore because I pen porn. I was crushed.

Six years ago, give or take, I excitedly told a new friend that I had landed a book deal with Harlequin. Up until that point, the woman knew I was a writer, but she hadn't ever asked me what I wrote. (People are funny that way.) Her response was shocking.

After that, I made a mental promise that I wouldn't allow myself to get into a similar situation. Which means I don't have a lot of friends. Sure, I have many friendly acquaintances, but not a lot of friends.

I would never have thought that I would lose friends within the erotic writing community for what I do. However,  I recently learned that a gaggle of fellow erotica writers I know have strong negative feelings towards the magazine I work for. 

I've been trying to figure out my response for days. And I think I've finally come to an understanding. I swear that I would fight for your right to think what you think, believe what you believe, and say what you want to say.

Freedom of speech is a beautiful thing.

But you can't insult what I do and expect me to nod and smile and agree with the assessment. As much as you're allowed to have your opinion—I'm allowed to respectfully disagree.

And to move forward with fewer "friends" once more. 



Miz Angell said...

I'm sorry that members of our own community can't find it within themselves to be understanding and supportive. It's heartbreaking when you find that people you thought were your friends turn around and simply aren't.

You are a brilliant writer, and an amazing editor. And above all else, a true friend. I don't even have to know you IRL to know that. Knowing you online for seven years has given me the gift of a virtual friendship with you. And it's a gift I cherish.

To the rest - fuck 'em. Because those who mind, don't matter. And those who matter, don't mind. said...

Fuck them.

That makes me furious. Know that those people are a minority and that so many of us (including me) look at you as a role model.

Alison Tyler said...

Thank you. The insults this time were vicious.

I support everyone's right to an opinion, to a distinct point of view.

But don't ask me for help if you think what I do is sleazy or vulgar. Or if you sharpen your canines on one of my best friends.

I don't have any more cheeks to turn.


Sacchi Green said...

Whoa. Sounds like there's a tempest in some teapot that I'd just as soon not pour from.

Alison Tyler said...

I've got the teacups.


Sand said...

I've been going through something similar this year with the ending of two friendships, one that lasted for longer than half of my life!

I was having a tough time with it and then came across this quote: "As we grow older we don’t lose friends, we just learn who are real ones are."

Keep being yourself, the right people will come into your life and the wrong people will leave!

Sheri Savill said...

Friends ... right. I know this is an old post, but I just wanted to say "I hear ya."