GayRomLit- A Recap of Special Events

PD Singer and Your Artist by the wonderful sign welcoming the attendees to GRL!

Anyone that has known yours truly for any length of time knows how much I yearn for change and adventure and excitement, yet am far too timid to seek it out. Well, this year, I took a chance and registered for GayRomLit.

-Now, I want to say this would not have been made possible without PD SINGER and EDEN WINTERS! These are two of the most darling, loving and kind women that I have ever had the unique pleasure to know. They took an annoying seventeen year old that liked to write fan fiction and turned him into a confident young designer and aspiring author. They have cheered me on and championed my work from day one and I can never express to them how grateful I am without breaking into tears. Even now, as I think about what their love and support has done to and for me over the years, the screen turns blurry with tears shimmering around the edges of my vision. Thank you, Pam and Eden. From the bottom of my heart and soul. Thank you, darling girls. –

Back to the squeeing!

So, I’m a nervous wreck the days leading up to my flight. Your Artist is not a good flier, ladies and gents. I hate waiting to board. I hate waiting to take off. I hate taking off and I hate landing. Once the plane is level, I’m good. Just don’t ask me to look out the window for more than a few seconds at a time.

I reach Albuquerque with relatively minor wear and tear only to be met at the airport by PD Singer. I’ve never met this woman before and I’ve known her for almost SIX years! I almost burst into tears right there, but restrain myself. I get my luggage and after worrying about missing our shuttle to the hotel, it arrives and we load up. We get to the hotel only to find we can’t check in because Eden put the room in only her name! So we leave our luggage with the valet and go have a drink/lunch with a group of wonderful women including the wonderful Sarah York- who gave me a signed copy of her book, btw! – and we proceeded to laugh our respective asses off.

The week pretty much continued like that. From the newbie meet and greet to the tour of Oldtown, not to mention numerous lunches and Q&A’s and readings, I laughed and blushed and danced my way through GRL. Somewhere along the way I met the unmatched wit and charm of Amy DiMartino. Let me tell you, I hitched my wagon to this little spitfire and I met EVERONE, and very soon she became more than a nice lady pitying the little gay boy that doesn’t know anyone to a dear friend with the same sens of humor as me. She’s a gem.

The Gentlemen’s Jukejoint was a particular highlight. I love to dance and everyone that knows me knows this. You had better believe that, after I had a nice drink, I was out on that danced floor boot-scooting and hip swaying. I can’t vogue for how nice it was to watch. There seems to be video. Watch and decide for yourself 😉 Though, there were more than one voice in the room encouraging me to get on the platform and show them what I “got”.  Eventually, I gave in and danced next to the wonderful Damon Suede who seemed to be the life of the party. Was Your Artist trying to take the attention from Mister Suede? You betcha!  Though, how well I succeeded or failed is a matter unknown and unimportant to me.

There is so much that happened both professionally and personally that scarcely know what to tell and what to keep for myself. Suffice it to say that I had the time to end all times. It was wonderful, special and amazing. And yes, it was magical. There was vibe, an aura, about the entire convention and the attendees. I could feel the goodwill and the excitement pouring off them and into me. Never have I stepped into a place unknown by all only to be accepted and understood, in a way I thought wasn’t possible.  These people read what I read. They asked the same questions I asked. They made the same types of jokes I made. They understood the things I understood and were passionate about the things I’m passionate about.

Pretty soon it felt like one great homecoming and every face I put to every name became a member of that family. Never have I had such a magnificent time in my life and I am forever grateful to the men and women that made it such. I met some of the most witty, smart, talented, hilarious, beautiful, caring and enthusiastic  people around and I am still in awe of the fact that they welcomed me into their fold.

I could prattle on for hours and hours extoling the virtues of GRL, of which there are many- thank God, for the Word synonym function- but I’ll wrap it up with this.

GRL was a life defining moment for me. I wasn’t the Jared Rackler I had been. I was more uniquely myself than I have ever been before.  I shared parts of myself with these men and women that no one cares to see or gets to see. And I couldn’t be more thrilled with their response in kind.

Eden Winters put it best when she said, “Going to GRL is like returning to your tribe.” And that’s what it was. It was me returning to my tribe, a homecoming to a home that I didn’t know I had and now I wouldn’t know what to do without.

To all those that attended and made it the time of my life, thank you and I love you.

And I will see you in Atlanta for GRL 2013!!!!

Until next time,

Your Author


21 thoughts on “GayRomLit- A Recap of Special Events

  1. Honey, you have it SO right. GRL is our “tribe”, our place to be ourselves without reservation, with no judgement or censure from the rest of the world. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have met you and all the other wonderful, brilliant, special human beings at GRL. You’re a gem, sweetheart, never forget that! ❤

    • Thank you, Ally! You and the other women, though some men featured as well, as wonderful, wonderful people. I am lucky to have met all of you! I can only hope to be half as kind and gracious to the newbies next year as you were to me 🙂

  2. I loved the joy in your post! Nope, we didn’t formally meet there (maybe a zoom-by) but that really didn’t matter, did it? I have never had so much fun at a con in my life, felt so… belonging. 🙂

    See you next year!

  3. I know my friends and my family are tired of hearing about it, but honestly it was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. I didn’t have to censor myself, I got to just be. I didn’t get to officially meet you Jared, but I have to admit to enjoying the adorable scenery you contributed. Here is to new friends and family, and to GRL 2013! – CarrieAnn

  4. Beautiful post!! I loved meeting you and getting to spend some time with you and your words align so closely to what I feel that it’s heartwarming. GRL was an awesome experience, and it really is like a homecoming to be able to just be yourself in a crowd of like-minded people. Plus, I want to pet your hair again LOL! Hugs 🙂

  5. I just now saw this and am very touched by your words. I’m really glad you enjoyed GRL so much. Four hundred like minded souls are pretty overwhelming, but in the best way.

    For all that we’ve known each other a long time on line, it doesn’t match the vividness of you in person. You shine.

  6. Hugs, Jared. I’m so very glad you enjoyed GRL. All my wishes for you came true. When you get time, check out the dedication in the book I gave you. Or any book I’ve written. I may have forgotten to tell you about that…

  7. GRL truly is an amazing experience. The positive vibe I brought home is something I just don’t get anywhere else, and that’s all because of other GRL’ers like you. 🙂 From the night Sara brought us over saying we HAD to meet you, to laying around on the bed with you just before I had to catch my plane, I loved and treasure every minute we spent together! And that’s a lot of minutes! I had to buy an extra vault to keep em all in! Hugs, kisses and lots of love, Devon

  8. Awesome post, Jared. We never met formally either but I watched your fabulousness from afar. I hear you grabbed the attention of my editor, too, Kris Jacen. I hope to see you around and next year for sure. 🙂


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