Rafe, Ben, and Labels

I get questions. Sometimes they appear on Goodreads, where I am definitely NOT supposed to go, and I try not to go there almost ever, as it almost always hurts my feelings when I go there.

But I get a notification via email and I do try to answer those questions when I have the time.

Here’s one that I thought was a smart and important questions about OPENLY STRAIGHT and HONESTLY BEN. My answer follows.

Hello Bill, I have just finished ‘Honestly Ben’ and there is something that I cannot figure out. In this sequel to ‘Openly Straight’, why was Rafe insisting that much on having Ben assigned a gay (or bi, for that matter) label, although in the first book, it was quite his pride to try living without a label of any sort ? Thanks in advance for your reply ! -Andy (who is looking forward to reading your next book … )

Hi Andy, good question! My take on this is that it’s a flaw on Rafe’s part. Yes, it’s totally ironic that Rafe felt a great deal of agency in his own battle to life without a label, yet he quickly foists many labels upon Ben, and feels totally i the right to do so. For me as an author, there are lots of places where that inconsistency exists in my life, where I feel self-righteous about something I’m dealing with, but can without thinking be careless about something similar a friend is going through, just because what they are going through doesn’t match my experience.

Does that make sense?