So, you get a book contract, and things seem very cool. Although the publisher IS a Mormon-owned publishing company, they know you are gay. You send your bio in early, which mentions your boyfriend, and your co-author sends his in. Something is said about your bio saying boyfriend, so you change it to partner. It seems all is well. You work for months on copy edits. The cover is done. EVERYTHING is ready to go.
And then, when you get the final proof, days away from the press run, you notice that your bio says nothing about your partner. And you email someone to FIX this situation, because it certainly says something about your co-author and his wife and kids. When you try to fix it, you find out that they will NOT use your bio with that line in it, because you are gay and trying to thank your gay partner is like trying to smoke pot and drop acid with the Devil, then sneak back into heaven.
Never mind they bought your book BELIEVING it would make THEM a lot of money (knowing you were gay). That’s okay. The money part for them is great, because, well, it’s their money. And they are Mormon and better than you, so they can edit your bio at any point they want. They could say you were married to Carole Mikita if they wanted to, because THEY ARE THE BIG PUBLISHER. (Just to let you know, Cedar Fort, you are an ant in the land of elephants. Better watch what is about to come down on you.)
Your publisher knows you are gay, has known you are gay from the start, and has NO PROBLEM TAKING THE BOOK, with the intent of making MONEY off the book, but when you insist your bio reads like your straight co-writer’s bio reads, suddenly all hell breaks loose, lawsuits are threatened and in the end, all the hard work is DUMPED.
The publisher even tells you, in a phone conversation, that God gave you a penis for a reason. I’m glad to know there’s a reason, because I have often wondered. Haven’t you? WTF right does a PUBLISHER HAVE to mention your genitalia? Are you fucking kidding me?
So, all this is done in a week’s time, and I’m sure Michael Jensen is feeling absolutely shitty right now, but I applaud his decision to stand up for his rights. Michael, you are a hero, and you DID NOT BACK DOWN.
The book has been dumped because Michael wanted to thank his partner Nicholas Rupp for all his support. It was READY to go to press. Hours have been spent on this book, not just from the authors’ point of view, but from the publishers. And rather than say Michael lives with his partner and four dogs, they are dumping the book. I would have to ask, should Cedar Fort NOT have seen this coming?
I have attached a press release regarding this event, but the owners of Cedar Fort should be ashamed of theirselves. Straight white people always have to have someone to pick on. Why is that? Why can’t we just worry about what we are doing and not what everyone else is doing?
Even the Mormon Church has somewhat changed their ways, but not completely. They acknowledge people are BORN gay but too bad. God is fickle and sometimes bitchy and TODAY, you get to be treated differently because you are GAY, even if he created you that way. Living your entire life without love or touch is your punishment for God’s choice to make you gay. I can’t even make sense of that one.
I would like to say that this comes down to bullying. Bullying, you say? YES. Bullying. Michael Jensen is being bullied because, like so many who are bullied, he is different, and we do not understand him. Because Michael Jensen is gay, and he has a male partner, it is okay to bully him. His co-author is not gay. He has a female partner. Apparently he went to penis class and learned what it was for (just for shits and giggles, Google “little factory by Boyd K. Packer). So the co-author’s bio was just fine and dandy. The publishers, however, are going to BULLY Michael, and try to force him to give in and change his bio to something like “Michael lives alone with four dogs and forty-two cats and when he dies they are going to EAT him.” While that is a pretty cool bio, it is not the truth. Why does the publisher think they can do this? Because they are Mormon, white, straight, and God likes them better. (Just a note. They only think God likes them better. There is no proof. Personally, I think God likes gay people better. They partner up with someone who understands them completely, knows the parts, and they have excellent taste so you never have to fight over the ugly green vinyl tablecloth. Don’t ask. I won.)
To SCRAP this book right as it was ready to go is incomprehensible. But Michael would not be bullied. He would not back down. He asked for the same rights as his co-writer. Cedar Fort would not give him that.
Oh, Michael, if you had just backed down and let them write the Michael and the four dogs bio, people would just think you were lonely. NOT GAY. We would rather you be lonely. We would rather you spend the rest of your life apart from people, keeping yourself from love and touch and intimacy because your CHOICE makes us squirm, and better yet, we have this BIG BAD RELIGION (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) behind us and it says you didn’t choose to be gay but nonethless, you are, and so you should just become the ward missionary and volunteer for the nursery and fill the gap in your life that way, rather than HAVE A PARTNER.
Please note. I made above quote up. Please do not attribute it to anyone. It could have been what happened, but then again it probably wasn’t. I will also note here that this decision was NOT made by the LDS Church, but by an LDS publisher. They are not affiliated with the Church, except for the fact they believe every stupid little edict passed down for the past 180 some-odd years is TRUE.
Michael, you go on out there and get yourself a wommin. Or six. Because that is much more acceptable than loving one person. Especially one that has the same parts as you do.
I’m going to emphasize again, this is NOT an edict from the LDS Church, but rather a publisher who publishes LDS-material and who appear to be staffed entirely by Mormons. Doesn’t that like violate some hiring laws? Surely they need a Hispanic and some Native Americans in there. Do they celebrate Kwanzaa?
At any rate, Michael and his co-author have an awesome book, ready to go, and it will forever be known as “the bio that killed the book.” It’s real title is Woven.
People are stupid. Cedar Fort’s management is stupid. Have they not been paying attention? Americans are no longer ACCEPTING the bullying and prejudice against gay people. Things are changing.
And if you are sitting at home and feeling all safe and cozy, I might point out that I could immediately find someone who wants to take away YOUR rights. Consider that for a minute. Then stick your finger up your nose and go about your business.
Idiocy. (Press Release attached.) It might be wise to have a drink in your hand when you read it, as the emails from Cedar Fort are absolutely stupid and show their ignorance, un-Christlike behavior and bad business policy. Besides, who could ever look at Lyle Mortimer again without wondering if he is thinking about your penis?