Horror Writer/Publisher is HOMOPHOBIC?

Horror Writer/Publisher is HOMOPHOBIC?

Nicholas Grabowsky

     I wrote the novelization of Halloween IV in 1988, with one book before and many after. Between then and now my work has never been the subject of controversy. And I know by rule of thumb that you take criticism as it goes….ignore the haters and pay attention in varying degrees to the honest ones that simply just don’t like your stuff. I recently received an email from a Kindle/CreateSpace rep who noticed the Ultimate Edition of my Halloween IV novel has been selling and that they urge me to put it on Kindle, want to know why I haven’t yet, and offer free services to format it and place it on Kindle themselves. I’ve got more important things going on, but I thought I’d hop on over to Amazon and see how it’s doing myself, and I realized while doing so there were new reviews on this specific edition (before that there was the “Special Limited,” then the 1988 paperback edition). Normally, I’m indifferent to Amazon reviews in general. Just like most people. I wish every book I’d writt en or published had a constant five stars attached to it, and for that matter were NY Times bestsellers. Of course.
I cast my gaze down on the usual: some people like it and some don’t, a couple people said it was hard to read because there were typos, and I took the text from the last edition where I eliminated the few I knew about and before then nobody said anything about typos, and for any author that can raise an eyebrow to look into the matter deeper, but then I was totally distracted by a review that I never encountered before and made me feel like it was from Fox News. Here’s a hefty excerpt:
    “….super excited because I loved Halloween IV. Then while reading it I found a homophobic passage in the scene where Dr. Loomis is trying to hitchhike after the explosion after the gas station. In this written scene, Loomis is actually, in his mind, afraid that he might be raped by some random men. According to “Halloween IV,” “He [Loomis] could cast aside his fear of being picked up by a gay rapist or a drug dealer ex-con” (Grabowsky 70). What? I have researched a little about Grabowsky and he514TKAab0dL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ seems a little maniacal and fanatical in his politics. It was in poor taste and really disappointing for such a huge fan of the series. …. it clearly demonstrates what a small minded person would think of in terms of the gay and lesbian community; that they are all just sexual predators. Even though it has been determined time and again that sexual predators are not gay or lesbian individuals, but people that were abused themselves and always identify as straight. It is about power not sex. Hate is learned and taught. It is irresponsible for this kind of literature that is aimed at teenaged young men to demonstrate instances of prejudice from a heroic character that will only ultimately continue the cycle of hate…………”
If I was stranded in the middle of nowhere and had to stick out my thumb for a ride down a desolate highway, among my many fears just like anyone else, as a male or as anyone, would be if I got picked up by the wrong person who would do me harm. Among the many possibilities: a gay rapist. If I was a female, I’d just say “rapist” and you’d get what I mean….. I bet you’d picture in your mind a male rapist, because I was a female. Dr. Loomis was a male, so, while the possibility for being picked up by a vile lesbian with intentions to hack him up after exploiting his body for sexual pleasure existed if you thought about the possibilities over and over until you were blue, the general feeling for a guy in that circumstance, I imagine, would be to get picked up by someone of the same sex who happened to like men and wanted to rape him. Hence, gay rapist. He would have to be gay, and he would be a rapist.
So why did this offend? I myself, whilst finding myself, had a couple of encounters way years back that were blatantly gay, for mine has been a crazy life of finding myself, at least early on, like everyone should, without the media or peer pressure telling you how to act or what to be. I was even thrown out of a bar by a bunch of rednecks who had a problem with the dress I was wearing (I came from a cross-dressing party with a bunch of guys dressed as me and suddenly our lives were threatened because the bikers there couldn’t deal with it). And heck, how many of you big successful writers out there have to now and again find yourself defending what you wrote with words in retaliation like: “that’s not what I meant!”
So now, here’s the thing the reviewer seems to cry out: Grabowsky is homophobic because he wrote that Dr. Loomis was a man who was afraid he’d get picked up by a rapist that likes men.

Homophobe in drag?

Grabowsky at ’90’s drag party.

     My feeling: In this day & age, and it seems to be getting worse, people take more and more offense because we’re all saturated with the principles the media dictates to us. Gay rights and racism and political agendas and popular culture and the trends of what the media tells how our culture should think and feel, permeate our lives into developing opinions we would never otherwise have if a big deal was never made about them in the first place. Yes, in cases, some of these issues are a matter of history, issues we must deal with to evolve and become better than what we used to be with each generation which passes, and although I yearn to see a day where man first sets foot on Mars and discovers great things, things substantial which can define our human race, I likewise yearn for the day where if a white man who happens to be a cop shoots down a black man, he gets punished for it to the full extent without it being a reason for anybody to riot and vandalize and destroy their own city. I wish for a world where people attracted to the opposite sex are okay and no longer a big homophobe batboydeal, and that they’re not plagued by people interfering with their rights as human beings. I also wish that all of this was no big deal. I wish that people weren’t so easily offended, and that the mention of gay or race was taken and meant by all no more than stereotypical Pollock jokes are to Pollocks like me who’ve had to deal with them all my life. In my perfect world, we should all be who we are and be able to live with each other, and make fun, without insult, and take care of more serious matters than how we feel each other should act….especially when who we are is nobody’s business.

     Now that I have that out of the way, what say you, dear reader, about the “maniacal” and “fanatical” part? Because that’s what I’m really concerned with.  Because I think that being called both or either, especially at the same time, is a most profound compliment.  I mean, I write horror for a living!

     Follow this link to read the entire Amazon review: http://www.amazon.com/gp/review/R2SSMJAFRZB45O/ref=cm_cr_pr_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1494721724

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About downwarden

Nicholas Grabowsky’s novels of horror/fantasy and mainstream pulp fiction, both as himself, as Nicholas Randers, and as Marsena Shane, have generated worldwide acclaim for over two decades and praised by many of today’s most popular horror gurus in the literary world. He began his career in traditional publishing houses with brisk sellers in mass market paperback horror and romance, and the last ten years have seen him hailed by many as a mentor and advocate to the smaller presses, which has become to him a passion. His body of work includes the award-winning macabre aliens-among-us epic The Everborn, The Rag Man, Pray Serpent’s Prey, Halloween IV (and its special edition), Diverse Tales, Reads & Reviews, The Wicked Haze, Sweet Dreams Lady Moon, June Park, and Red Wet Dirt, numerous anthologies, magazine articles, and self help books, with projects extending to screenplays, poetry, songs, film, comics and graphic novels, and a wide variety of short fiction and nonfiction since the 1980’s. He’s a veteran special guest at numerous genre conventions and makes appearances and signings across North America. He has been in the limelight a radical gospel preacher right out of high school and in the following years a rock vocalist, teacher, lecturer and activist, editor, publisher and founder of the Sacramento-based Diverse Media small press, which has recently blossomed into the subdivisions of Black Bed Sheet Books, which publishes “exemplary literature, fiction & non” but specializes in horror/fantasy, and Black Bed Sheet Productions, which produces independent film, and sponsors both the hit Blog Talk Radio show Francy & Friends and the popular web stream Black Hamster TV. Currently, Nicholas is at work with numerous anthologies, graphic novels and comic books, an Everborn sequel and the novels The Downwardens and The Sirens of Knowland. His independent film projects include the upcoming slasher creature feature Cutting Edges, as well as co-writing the independent film Into the Basement, for Triad Pictures. View all posts by downwarden

One response to “Horror Writer/Publisher is HOMOPHOBIC?

  • Justin Garrett

    Mr. Grabowksy, I am the one that left the review on Amazon. If you decide to take the time to read the second comment I left, I have revised some of my thoughts. At least in terms of saying you were a lot more open-minded that I gave you credit. When I re-read your book about a year ago, I was in a frustrated place. I know it might sound sentimental or even silly, but at those times of frustration I try to go back to a place I consider a touchstone. The Halloween series is my favorite and thought it would be a nice (despite the fact it is horror) break to re-read your novelization. When I read that part which somehow I glossed over before, I had a sharp reaction. So, I decided to google see if there was any information or interviews on any of your particular politics to see if there was a deliberate negativity in the passage. I cannot find the article that I read online originally; I just recall that I had to read it in a pdf file and in my defensive state of mind I had a negative impression on it. Regardless, I did write in my post now that you seem a lot more open-minded that I suggested. (Although, I am confused by your wording in your blog saying that you wish we lived in a world where people can be attracted to the opposite sex and be okay. I am not sure if that is a misprint but I do think that is the world we already live in). In my added post on Amazon, I do stand by my point in what I find problematic with the line in the passage. It is in more detail on Amazon, but, first, one point I make is that to suggest that someone is just over reacting by making a big deal out of something that is seemingly small is just as dangerous, if not more so, than the rednecks from the bar you mention above. It is what we let creep into our subconscious that is potentially toxic. To make a joke or make light out of these situations, especially by people that honestly think everybody deserves equal rights, is what allows the topic to be water downed and ultimately not be taken seriously. Second, the problematic line with “gay rapist” is that gay is equated as a sexual predator. In this society, to be a “man” one must identify as being “masculine” and traits of masculinity are sexual, aggressive, and assertive. Sexual aggression can equal rape. Rape is generally about power and not about sexuality. In the situation that Dr. Loomis is in, I think if that has to be the “natural” fear then worded as a male rapist suggests something very different than gay rapist. A man raping another man should not automatically come under the assumption that the rapist is gay. The example I use on Amazon is a stereotypical situation of two prisoners in jail. The rapist is assuming power over another being. That is what I found problematic. By using the term “gay” to identify the rapist is then leading to a different connotation being suggested. The connotation being a stereotyping of gay men as predatory and rapists when, in fact, just the opposite is the case. Again, though, after reading what you shared of some of your experiences on your blog, I just wanted to make sure that you know that I put out there here and on Amazon that I do think you are more open-minded than what I interpreted from an article that I cannot even recall now. In my opinion, that was not very fair of me. Especially since I can not find the article. I do hope that you understand what I am saying as well, whether we agree or not. If nothing else, I think we both share a passion for the horror genre and at least that is something to bind us on common ground.

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