Coming Out to My Parents as a M/M/M and BDSM Author

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I’m extremely lucky. My parents have always been very supportive of everything I do, no matter how wild, crazy, or non-traditional.

I should back up a little and tell you that my parents are Romanian. Eastern Europeans are known for pushing their children down a certain path to success, and my parents were no different. They wanted me to work hard in school, get good grades, and become a doctor or a lawyer. But when I turned 18 and announced I was engaged to a man I’d only known for 3 months and planned to marry 2 months later, it became clear that maybe, just maybe, their plans for me wouldn’t work out quite the way they’d hoped.

They were remarkably accepting and supportive of my marriage. (It helped that I married the most amazing man, and they adored him from the moment he first walked into their house.) A few years later when I announced I was dropping out of University (I later went back and finished my degree), they were fine with that, too. And when I told them we’d chosen not to have children, they were once again completely supportive of our decision, despite the fact that I’m an only child and had just effectively ended their hopes of ever holding grandbabies in their arms.

Despite all that, when I took them out for dinner a couple of months ago to tell them I’d quit my well-paying job to write full time, I was a little apprehensive. Surely, this would be the one decision they wouldn’t support. It wasn’t. They were delighted I’d chosen to follow my passion. They’d always encouraged my writing under my other pen name, even going as far as to buy all my books and display them in a special bookshelf in their living room.

When dessert arrived, I had one last thing to confess: the title and theme of my upcoming Carina Press debut. Even my husband shifted nervously beside me as I swung the topic of conversation back around to my newest contract.

“Mom, Dad… I write gay erotic romance threesomes with themes of bondage, dominance, and submission.”

I blurted that out as soon as the waiter had walked away, and mostly muttered it under my breath.

My mom spoke up first. “I hear there’s a market for that.”

And my jaw dropped. You see, my mother had been following the publishing industry enough to understand that M/M erotic romance was a new and exciting niche, written by women, for women. She was intrigued, and wanted to know more. My dad didn’t ask too many questions, but he made it clear they were both very proud of me.

I went home floating on cloud nine. Knowing I have the support of my husband and my parents as I chase an artist’s dream means the world to me.

Have you ever had to admit something to your parents that was potentially embarrassing or may have been hard for them to accept? How did it go?

To celebrate the release of Paradise Found, I’m giving away a $10 gift certificate to Amazon.com. Just leave me a comment below, and I’ll draw the winner’s name at random.

* * * * *

Paradise is just an illusion…

Or so Philip thinks as he vacations on exotic Anguilla. He should be celebrating the end of law school and the start of his successful career, but he’s tired of living a lie for his family’s sake. For just one night, he lets down his guard with two men he thinks he’ll never see again.

He isn’t the only one with secrets. For years, Cameron Drake has suppressed his need for dominance, afraid of hurting his lover, Mark Wilder. But when Cameron’s hand meets Philip’s ass, there’s no more pretending. Mark can’t face his conflicting feelings about the ménage; does Cameron want more than Mark can give?

The three of them may have been perfect together but consequences follow them back to their real lives. Will their desire for another encounter shatter the illusions they’ve built to protect themselves or clear the obstacles to paradise?

Now Available at Carina Press.

“In addition to great sex, Raines depicts likable characters and intriguing personal relationships… I would definitely recommend Paradise Found to anyone who enjoys the gay romance, ménage, or dom/sub genres.” – Lisa Watts, Fresh Fiction

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About the Author
Hunter Raines is the author of numerous short stories and novellas, and holds an Honors B.A. in English Literature. When she’s not working or writing, she can be found curled up in her library of more than four thousand books, or playing video games with her husband. Find her on her websiteTwitter, and Facebook, or join her Yahoo Group.

Comments

  1. Your parents sound fantastic! I can certainly understand your apprehension, but I want to hug your mother for her response. :)

    I’ve been lucky. I’ve never had anything I was nervous about telling my mother. But that might say more about my lack of rebelliousness than anything else. :)

  2. What fabulous parents and an absolute gem for a husband! Congrats on your new release and on your brave new venture of writing full-time. Here’s wishing you oodles of sales and the best of luck!! :)

  3. What fantastic parents you have. You must be as proud of them as they are of you. I love your mom’s comment about there being a market for it. :)

    Congrats on your new release!

  4. Great story, Hunter. What wonderful parents you have! I laughed out loud at your line of “I write gay erotic romance threesomes with themes of bondage, dominance, and submission.”

    I cannot even imagine having to say that to my father. Too funny!

  5. What a lesson for those of us who are parents. I hope to be as supportive of my three sons as your parents are of you. I haven’t yet told my parents that I’m writing erotic fiction (I’m working on my first manuscript). I wrote non-fiction for years, hubby is my biggest fan. I know my dad will handle it well….have to wait and see about my mom. Maybe I’ll send her a copy of your blog before I tell her!! Yep, that’s my new plan…..

  6. Thank you for sharing that! And bless your mom for her response. lol

    I just had to come out to my grandma this week. I am buying her a Kindle so she can read Stellarnet Rebel, my debut novel from Carina Press coming out next year. And I had to explain that it was … well … full of sci-fi technology (she doesn’t have a computer or video game system), violent (“That’s ok honey, I read murder mysteries”), and … um… has SEX.

    Sadly, the grandma who told dirty jokes and taught me to swear like a sailor is no longer with us. She would have approved. :)

  7. That’s amazing, Hunter! What an awesome response from your mom. I love that she’s following publishing trends because of you and your career.

    Also, congrats on the excellent review from Fresh Fiction!

  8. Those of us who have supportive parents are some of the luckiest people in the world.My parents were all for my choice of theatre and I wish they were here niw to read my books. I miss them.

  9. For my own peace of mind and self-satisfaction, I had to tell my parents, strong southern Baptists, that I wrote graphic urban fantasy.

    “Define graphic,” my dad said.

    I stuttered, stumbled, and my mom popped in and said, “There’s language and sex, right?”

    I too had a shocking moment when my mom went on to discuss the fact that mainstream books were different now than ever before and sex was much more acceptable. She and Dad were very supportive, though they don’t discuss it much. But you know what? I told them, they may not read the books, and that’s alright. What matters is tat they know I’m not writing inspirational romance.

    Congrats on your new book!

  10. Your parents sound awesome, Hunter!

    I lost both my parents to cancer in the last few years. One of my greatest regrets is that they didn’t live to see me published. My mother passed away just a few months before I got the call, and I remember saying to people that this was how Joannie Rochette must’ve felt at the Olympics, winning her medal but not being able to share it with her mom.

    That being said…my mother wasn’t comfortable with sexually explicit books, at all. She was a big fan of Debbie Macomber, but one day expressed her shock at having found an older Macomber title in the library that “left nothing to the imagination.” So I tracked down the title, and discovered that Mom’s “left nothing to the imagination” was my “not quite fade-to-black, but close.” So the next time we talked, I told her that she should know, since I was confident I’d be published someday, that my books had sex scenes in them. She said, “Well, I hope you leave something to the imagination!” I said, “I think I do,” because I’ve certainly read books far more explicit than mine. However, mine are more explicit than Macomber’s, and I have no idea how she would’ve coped with realizing her baby, her youngest child and only daughter, had written such things.

  11. Hunter –

    Your story is wonderful and uplifting. You’re so fortunate to have the support and love of your family.

    I hesitated telling my kids (all grown) that I had written a romance novel. They were excited and supportive. They were blown out of the water when I told them Carina Press wanted to publish it. They, and my husband, are my biggest fans. My biggest surprise is when my husband introduced me as a published author instead of a marketing manager for a major bank. I felt really great.

    Thank you again for sharing your story. It is wonderful.

    … Ruth

  12. Wow! Your parents are awesome! I think the most difficult thing I had to tell my mom was that I was moving to another state to live with my boyfriend of 3 weeks lol. She wasn’t exactly thrilled but she supported me (but always let me know that if I wanted to I could always move back home).

    Congrats on your book!

  13. I love your Mom’s comment, “I hear there’s a market for that.” I could hear my mother saying the same thing. :)

    You have a wonderful family and husband..and you have a really cool cover!! :)

  14. You go girl!!! A understanding and supportive family and a wonderful career. You are truly blessed!

  15. My family– mom and kids– have been great about my life choices. I’ve never hidden anything and I never came out because I was always all over the place with boys and girls growing up.

    What absolutely surprised me was my mother’s reaction to my oldest daughter coming out as a lesbian. She is convinced it’s a phase. I suppose in hindsight because I am bi-sexual my mom thinks I am really straight with some eccentricity.

    I am always so glad to hear about happy coming out stories. I adore my kids and I’ve made it clear to them from day one that whoever they are is who they are meant to be.

  16. Whoa Hunter! I am in awe of your mom :) she’s one fab lady, I’m sure! One who’s aware of the publishing trends and uber-supportive in everything you do!

    I say that I’m writing ;) My mom’s more interested in knowing if I got pubbed than drilling on the details of what I write ;) which is fine by me.. But I do hint to her saying, my books are really explicit.. :p She brushes it off as if she hasn’t heard it.. ;)

    Thanks so much for sharing this fantastic story with us..and thanks for the giveaway too!

  17. The re-telling of your experience made my heart all aflutter! What an awesome support system you have. I’m so extremely happy for your success both in your career and in your family life! I’m so intrigued buy this genre and I really can’t wait to read your book. I intend to read it on vacation in Vegas!

  18. I understand exactly what you felt when you were telling your parents, Hunter. My mother knows that there’s sex and potty-mouth language in my book, but I’m not sure we’re quite on the same page as to what that means. Because I hear she’s been talking it up to her church craft group. OI! Um, Mom? They might be in for a surprise. LOL

  19. Great story! I was lucky too – my parents are hugely supportive although it took me a little while to tell them. Back then I was still writing fanfic, but they encouraged me when I made the break into original fic and my mother got to hold my first novel and show it off before she died. My dad listens to me ramble on about plot and blocks and god knows!

  20. Echoing everyone else, what a great family. It’s interesting how there are modules in our relationships that don’t change. We may have different topics to bring up, and different, more adult problems to deal with, but that emotional link–a parent is always a parent.

  21. Hello Hunter!
    I only started reading m/m in December but I fell in love with the genre. I think Paradise Found sounds lovely. I’m so glad you had a positive response from your family! I had to tell my family a few weeks ago that I’m getting a divorce. They were shocked but very supportive. I was pleasantly surprised by their reaction.

  22. What a wonderful family, Hunter. I would like to think that I could handle that type of news as gracefully as your Mom did.

    Way,way back, I told my Mom that my then boyfriend (and current hubby) wanted to move out into an apartment together. That so did not go over well, lots of tears as I recall. We got engaged the next month and have been together 36 years this month. But when it came time for our boy’s to share the same news, this time around, we helped them back!!

  23. Congratulations on the release of Paradise Found! I think that it’s absolutely wonderful that your parents have always been so supportive of you. Hubby, too, but he should be a given! I hope you are wildly successful with your writing career. :o)

  24. Thanks so much, everyone, for dropping by today and sharing your own experiences of ‘coming out’. I’ll keep the contest open for another 24 hours, then announce the winner here in the comment thread Friday evening.

    Natalie – I bet your mother’s very proud! Every parent wants a child who refuses to rebel, right? :-)

    Julie – Thanks! I really appreciate the kind words.

    Shirley – I am *so* proud of my parents. They’ve been through some tough times, but always stayed positive came out stronger on the other side. We’re a small family, too. My mom’s an only child, my dad’s an only child, and I’m an only child. So I guess we have no choice but to stick together!

    Adrienne – And I uttered that line in a crowded restaurant! Mostly I mumbled it under my breath so the people at the table beside us wouldn’t overhear. Ha!

    Tari – If I can help you come out to your mom, I’m all for it! Good luck with your revelation. :-) I’m betting your parents will both be very proud.

    J.L. – I love that your grandma’s willing to read books on the Kindle! It’s a brave new world out there, and everyone’s embracing technology like never before. I bet she’ll love your book!

    Alissa – I think more than anything, my mom wants to understand me. She wants to connect with me over the things I love, and if following the publishing industry means she can hold a conversation about M/M over the dinner table, she’s happy to do that. I really lucked out with my parents. Just like I lucked out with a fabulous editor. :-) That Fresh Fiction review is all your doing, as far as I’m concerned.

    Elise – I love hearing stories of parents who supported their children’s non-traditional career choices. How wonderful that you could go into theatre with their blessing. I know they’re very proud of you now, wherever they are.

    Denise – I love that story! I think deep down, all parents want to accept their children for who they are. Some might have trouble showing it, but the love and support is always there.

    Susanna – I have a friend whose mother skips all her sex scenes, but reads the rest of the book cover-to-cover and then raves about how good it was. I think she just likes to pretend the sex scenes aren’t there. Your mother probably would have done the same. :-)

    Ruth – Having the support of your family means the world, doesn’t it? I love that both your hubby and your kids are cheering you on, all the way.

    Raelena – Wow, that would have been tough for your mom to accept, absolutely! Especially since you were moving out of state. But how great of her to be supportive, regardless!

    Maureen – My mother likes to shock me with gems like those every now and again. I’ve learned never to underestimate her. :-)

    Diana – Thank you! I really lucked into my family, that’s for sure!

    Toni – I appreciate that. Thanks! And thanks as well for hosting me at your blog, today. :-)

    Andi – Sometimes parents have to make sense of revelations that surprise them. It sounds to me like that’s your mother’s way of dealing with her granddaughter coming out. Hopefully she’ll soon realize that this isn’t a choice your daughter’s made (like choosing white socks over blue ones), but rather, it’s who she is. How wonderful that your daughter has your complete support.

    Ju – I love that your mom’s supportive of your writing and road to publication, even if she’s more comfortable brushing off your explanation of what you write. The real test will come when you hand her your book to read. :-)

    Abigail – Thanks so much for the kind words! I’d love to hear what you think of Paradise Found. And I’m jealous of your trip to Vegas! Hubby and I keep saying we’re going to head over there every year… Hasn’t happened yet, but hopefully some day soon!

    Betsy – Oy! LOL! Then again, you might be surprised by her church craft group’s reaction to your work. Every woman needs a rich fantasy life, right? :-)

    Erastes – Man, I love stories of supportive parents like yours. And how awesome that your dad’s willing to listen to you ramble about writing stuff. We all need an outlet for that, and being able to share with those closest to us is very, very cool.

    Rae – Yes, I think you nailed it. A parent is always a parent. They want to be supportive, and loving, and proud. And as children, we want to make them happy and proud in return, no matter how old we get.

    Stacie – M/M is such a wonderful genre, isn’t it? I’ve found some of the best M/M reads right here at Carina. I’m sorry to hear about your divorce, but thrilled that your family’s going to be there for you. They must have recognized that you need their support now more than ever. Good luck to you!

    Cathy – Happy anniversary! 36 years is an amazing accomplishment. How wonderful that you were able to support your sons when they announced their decision. I know your support must have meant the world to them.

  25. “I hear there’s a market for that.”

    OMG your mom is sooo cool! And your dad too.

    I expected my mom to freak out when I told that hubby had proposed 3 weeks after we met. She was so thrilled that the strong but gentle person I had dreamed of actually existed.

  26. Hunter, what a huge blessing to have such supportive parents! I’m thankful mine were too, when I changed majors a year before graduating, and took an extra semester after that to finish up… They’ve been wonderful since, too. :) That’s what parents are for, right? :)

  27. First, I have to say Paradise Found simply rocks and I LOVED it!

    Second, will your parents adopt me? Totally kidding! You are very lucky to have such fabulous parents. That is the unconditional support my husband and I offer our children.

    Let’s just see it wasn’t pretty when I told my parents I was a… democrat! It didn’t go nearly as well as your dinner with your parents, but I am glad that I am able to stand up for what I believe in.

  28. I wish all parents were as supportive as yours. My parents weren’t so thrilled when I told them I was dropping out of college to figure who I wanted to be. I’ve since gone back and they couldn’t be more proud of who I’ve become.

  29. I was in the position of being the parent in this kind of situation and I hope I responded with as much dignity and understanding as your Mum :D

  30. as the child of Ilona, being the person who put her in that situation, my mum did as awesomely as yours. It’s so nice to hear of another author with supportive parents. it’s a shame to hear so often that people have to hide what they write from their loved ones for fear of not getting accepted.

  31. Thanks again to all of you who chimed in with your stories. I’ve loved reading your comments. :-)

    And the winner of the $10 Amazon Gift Certificate is…

    *drum roll*

    StacieDM!

    Stacie, please email me at hrainesauthor@gmail.com so I can send you your prize!

    Have a great weekend, everyone!

  32. Hunter, what amazing parents you have. Being able to go after one’s passion in life is something not everyone can do. Kudos to you!

  33. I cringe at knowing that some day, my mom might read my romances. At least she already knows there are sex scenes in them!

  34. That took guts! Both my parents are long gone, but my children and siblings won’t read my books because of the graphic sex, and me being…family! Geesh. It’s not like I’m acting those scenes out, or anything.

  35. You are so blessed to have such wonderful parents! My mom totally rocks also and supports me in whatever I do, even if she doesn’t agree or understand! Not sure I could tell her that I was writing erotica but she would love if I became a published author, a dream since I was 12!

    PS Congrats Stacie!

  36. WOW!!! Hunter, your parents are awesome. I always hear how old fashioned parents can be – I come from a family of 6 kids – 4 brothers and 1 sister – my brothers kid me all the time about reading porn and I just laugh and offer one of my treasured erotic romance books as a gift – which shuts them right up.

    Thank you to authors such as yourself for opening my mind and my heart to far more tolerance of all kinds of people. I have enjoyed many, many hours of happiness reading your stories. I am off to your website right now.

    TY!

  37. Wow Hunters, your parents are truly amazing! And your story made me sputter put laughing, which made my mom look up from her book and ask me what was up. So I will tell her your story and see how she reacts ;-p

    And lol I just imagined announcing at a Sunday lunch to my grandpa and grandma what you did, and had a blast picturing their shock and clear confusin not really understanding any of M/M, ménage, bondage, BDSM :-D LOL

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