So as I predicted yesterday, A J Llewellyn has indeed made a teary admission of deception, and right on cue, his fans are falling over themselves to forgive him and say that of course it doesn’t matter.
A few comments.
Llewellyn states he is transgendered, a statement we must take on face value, however convenient it sounds (and he’s not the first to state this at times of, shall we say, great external pressure.) Coming out as trans is a difficult and painful process, and it would be a truly filthy thing for someone to use it to get themselves out of a hole of their own devising. A J Llewellyn wishes to be known as ‘he’ and so I will use that pronoun out of respect for those I know to be transgendered.
However, Llewellyn accuses those of exposing him of ‘bashing’. A couple of weeks ago, I was accused of bullying a certain author because I told him his constant spamming of his book had annoyed me to the point where I had ceased to have any interest in buying it.
Obviously, I either need a new dictionary, or these people need to understand that there are consequences of bad behaviour, and being called on it isn’t abusive – it’s life. Llewellyn deserves no respect for his claim, and those who will eagerly push that line, are idiots to fall for it. Llewellyn didn’t just deceive readers, he dragged his editor into the mess:
On the subject of bullying, however, Llewellyn fails to address the most serious accusations in Kris’s post – ones which Kris is not alone in making or believing:
What if an author even goes to the extent of writing articles for well-known GLBTQ and review sites about ‘their’ life as a gay man, ‘their’ coming out story, etc?
What if one of the people an author works with finds out the truth and calls ‘them’ on it?
What if an author justifies ‘their’ actions by saying it was marketing strategy in order for ‘them’ to appear more ‘legitimate’ to readers?
What if the person who works with an author cuts ties completely because of their outrage at this betrayal to and blatant exploitation of the GLBTQ communities?
What if the person never discusses what happened and despite the struggle it causes within because of their own family situation?
What if the person goes on to be successful in their own right?
What if an author appears to react to some of the suspicions now surrounding ‘them’ by entering into a working and life partnership with another author?
What if rumour mill begins to churn madly about the possibility that an author’s new partner is actually ‘them’ writing under another pseud?
What if an author gets jealous of the popularity of the person who used work with ‘them’?
What if an author accuses the person of using ‘them’ as a launch pad and tells the person they should be more grateful?
What if an author goes so far as to say the person is only interested in GLBTQ issues in order to look like an ally and thus make more money?
Being trans doesn’t explain deceiving gay magazines, or making disgusting allegations about someone with gay family members. Llewellyn doesn’t explain that – we’re supposed to go “oh, poor chap, living a lie and forced into the light by those meanies” and ignore the substance of Kris’s complaint. No, we won’t do that, Llewellyn. Your name is mud because you dragged it through the muck, not from anything thrown by anyone else.
There are many – too many – authors pretending to be gay men in this genre, and these are not actually transgendered. It’s a practice that needs to stop but it’s on the rise again. But this affair goes deeper than mere appropriation. This goes to the very heart of the exploitation of the lives of GLBT people of which we writers are often accused and too often guilty. Llewellyn has perpetrated a con and his apology is gutless and dishonest. Like him, really.
I should also point out that I found out about this situation from other people, and did none of the digging. I deserve no credit for the exposure, though you can blame me for naming the names. I have been told by people who believe it that Llewellyn is also D J Manly – an author with a very thin online presence and bio. Given Llewellyn’s other behaviour, I’m inclined to side with the doubters. However, if this isn’t true, then I apologise to Manly.