writers life

Convention harassment and unwelcome God-talk

nope

I attended a convention this past weekend as a featured author and had a great time—mostly. Saturday night, after doing a Bite Somebody reading, a man approached me to tell me he already thought I was hot, but wasn’t it so cool that I was funny, too? I laughed it off. He followed me to my signing and continued to flirt, which is fine. I’m an expert at flirtation (as my husband knows). It’s part of my romance author shtick.

Later, after I’d been basically working all day as an author—panels, book signings, readings, et cetera—I had the chance to attend an after-party with a bunch of geeks like me. The guy from earlier was there, and he was annoying me, being overly flirtatious, so (tired as I was), I told him to “Fuck off.”

The next morning, he approached me asking for an apology, saying I’d really upset him by telling him to “fuck off.” So shocked by his asking, I relented and said I was sorry. We made up or something, but the onus was on me to apologize, and in a moment of confusion, I did.

Later, the guy asked for a selfies with me, and I obliged, his hand wrapped too tightly around my ribcage.

Even later, he requested my friendship on Facebook. It’s my fault that I accepted, but I didn’t know what else to do. I usually accept these things. Networking and all.

Then, later-later, this dude commented on my mental health blog, telling me Jesus was the answer to our problems. And this is  why “Christians” get a bad rap.

I’m a Christian who writes erotica and who attends church on Sunday. I’m kinda slutty and drink too much and cuss so abundantly a nun might go deaf, but I’m still a Christian.

In hindsight, how dare this guy ask me to apologize to him? How dare he say Jesus will save me? I admit, I could have responded differently when he asked for my apologies. I didn’t have to give in. I didn’t need to accept his Facebook friend request (which I have since deleted). Now, I don’t need to approve his comment on my blog.

In other words …

I know Jesus. I know the Bible, too, and even if I’m on the liberal side, I like to think I respect people. I was offended Saturday night when I was harassed on the basis of being both pretty and funny. I was offended when I had to apologize for being pissed at said harassment. I’m even more pissed right now as I’m told Jesus is the answer to my mental illness issues when I damn well know there’s a bit more to it, and nothing—not even religion—is easy.

Let us not forget: that Jesus guy had a pretty hard time. He was a rebel, living on the outskirts of society, offending people and flipping literal and metaphorical tables. If there had been leather jackets in Jerusalem, he would have worn one. Probably would have had tattoos and piercings, too, all right?

I don’t want to apologize for who I am and how I act, especially if you piss me off first. I’m polite, but maybe I was too polite this weekend.

Indeed, I am a radical, too-polite, dirty-minded Christian girl who can love both God and sex. I’m exhausted today … but I learned my lesson. As an author and woman, I don’t have to be nice to everyone at events just because I’m generally a nice person. I can be angry and rude when it’s called for, and so can you. Stand up for who you are. Let’s be radical together.