Short film. Based on award winning story by LGBT fiction pioneer Richard Hall.

Straight Pen for Gay Men



“HOW CAN YOU DO THAT?” straight people invariably ask when they learn that I write and publish gay male erotica. I always listen for the inflection, as the question comes in two varieties. If the emphasis is on the “how,” it indicates genuine curiosity about the process and its origins; if it’s on the “do,” I know I’m encountering homophobia of a kind that isn’t exactly what a straight women normally expects. I answer both inquiries truthfully, but when I’m dealing with the latter the response is briefer, because it’s usually coming from a middle-aged man who wants to flee. There is also the occasional arrogant fool who engages in some puffed-up, empty-headed sputtering. This fellow gets a special response. “I do it quite easily,” I tell him, which ends the exchange with the point going to me.

I never set out to stir controversy or to do anything other than try something that intrigued me. After writing straight fiction for many years, I came across a call for gay male erotica in a writers’ magazine, and since I’d always found it easier to write male characters than female ones, I decided to give it a try. An idea quickly came to mind involving a guy who has sex with the pizza delivery man, and so I sat down to write. What happened then was beyond anything I had anticipated. As the story spilled out of me in a single, highly liberating two-hour session, I found myself caught in an incredible rush. A lifelong tomboy, I had apparently tapped into another side of myself, one in which male intimacy was my core mode of self-expression. When the story was completed, I decided on Dale Chase as my pseudonym, because I had known since childhood that, had I been a boy, I would have been named Dale. (I added the “Chase” because it sounded cool.)

Initially, the only reaction I considered was that of the editor, and by the time the first story was accepted I’d sent him three more, which he also accepted. And so it began. When I shared this new endeavor with a few close friends, all were stunned. I held off for a while longer before informing my grown children, as it’s not easy to tell the kids that mom is writing gay porn. On the other hand, when I did reveal it to them a few months later, I was met with wide-eyed wonder and complete support.

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