Coming out is hard. Coming out in the public eye is even harder. People think they own a piece of you, your work, and your life, they feel they have the right to judge you. You lose not only friends but fans and ultimately, possibly, your career…or your life.
Cassie Summers is a Southern Rock Star; she came out so that she could feel true to herself. Her family including her band and those important to her support her but there are others that feel she betrayed them, they have revenge on their minds…
Karin Myers is a Rock Star in her own right; she is one of those new super promoters: Manager, go-to gal, agent, public relations expert, and hand-holder all in one. Her name is synonymous with getting someone recognized, promoted, and making money. She only handles particular clients though; she’s choosy…for some very specific reasons.
Meeting Cassie at a party there is a definite attraction. She does not however wish to represent her despite her excellent reputation. She fights it tooth and nail until she is contractually required to do so. In nearly costs them more than either of them anticipated….their lives.
Interview of K’Anne Meinel for REPRESENTED:
What inspired you to write this story? I had noticed long ago that there were no gay or lesbians represented in country music. As a fan of Southern Rock I used this as my basis for this story.
Did you profile your character after Chely Wright? No, actually I began writing this before she ever came out, wish I had finished it when she did so I could have taken advantage of the hoopla about it but no her story is totally separate from my fictional one. I’m certain she didn’t have the ominous people behind her own career and while some of this is similar to what I’ve read about her own story it was not based on her at all.
Do you think there are other gay and lesbian singers in country music? Oh absolutely, I think there are a lot of closeted people in the industry. Look at what Chely Wright has gone through, her ostracism, her triumphs. Who would willingly put themselves through that unless they wanted to be true to themselves? She is an admirable woman and not many are as brave as she has been.
Do you think people would be shocked at other artist’s coming out? Country Music and its good ole’ boy network is about down home America. There are a lot of people who listen to it who would consider it shocking to realize how many gays and lesbians are in the industry, from the musicians, to the technicians, the singers themselves, and while not out there as my character was, suffering the abuse and sales loss, they still create, still produce, and still continue on with their lives as they do in every day America. Your next door neighbor may be a Gay or Lesbian person and you would never know it because they are afraid to ‘come out’ and be themselves. Some of the nicest people you ever want to know will never reveal their sexuality or preference because of social pressures. There are more same-sex couples over history than people realize.
Do you think it’s important to be out if you are famous? Yes and no. Yes, it helps millions of people who are taught that it’s shameful to be gay or lesbian. It shows that someone admirable, someone famous, can overcome the stigma and lead healthy, successful, and hopefully happy lives. Especially if it can help someone who is being bullied.
No, I don’t think everyone should have to declare their sexuality just because they are gay or lesbian. It’s no one’s business and you are assumed to be straight unless you have certain mannerisms or stereotypes that make it obvious which really are not absolutes, there are very effeminate men and masculine women who are not gay or lesbian out there and they shouldn’t be judged by their body language or haircut. It’s sad but I’m hopeful that today’s society is changing to an acceptance and a tolerance.
When was the last time you heard someone come out as straight? It’s reprehensible that in this supposedly ‘enlightened’ society that there are still stigma’s attached to being gay or lesbian. Like there is less brilliance, or capability to someone just because of their sexual orientation. Whose business is it really? Not the public’s certainly but then they have their own interpretation of what they own of a person who is famous.
What would you like people to go away with after reading REPRESENTED? I would hope they would see the love between two powerful women, how they managed to make a relationship work despite the pressures, the money, and the time away. The acceptance by those they love and who were lucky enough to be considered friends and family. That gay and lesbian people are like everyone else, normal. I like a happily ever after and while it isn’t always that way in life, I like to think that good people get good things.
There is no ‘secret’ message, it is a work of fiction.