How I Embraced My Identity – Guest Blog From JR Strayve, Jr.
My “day job” as they say, is as a Financial Planner, but my heart is creative and has been for a very long time.
While recuperating from an accident and forced to take time from work, a story grew within me and I listened. I am now on the path of publishing the first of many books about a British royal born in 1860 named Braxton who happens to be gay, as am I.
When I initially set about writing Braxton’s Century, there was no real thought given to anything but telling a vibrant, romanticized and compelling story. The saga was to focus on an “ideal” man who is compassionate, gifted, intelligent, and ambitious. Indeed, Braxton is all those things, but as in life, the unexpected happened and human nature took hold.
As I composed the story, the characters I brought to life embodied and experienced much of what I had experienced.
Looking back at my journey crafting the manuscript, I must sheepishly admit that there is a woeful presence of evidentiary therapeutic prose. Within this prose lay intimate details of my own conflict, ecstasy, pain, joy, confusion, and resolution.
It never occurred to me that I would complete a manuscript that emboldened and ennobled diverse sexuality. This was supposed to be a story about a man that I hoped would appeal to a variety of readers.
As I continued telling the tale, I was inwardly alarmed at the offense that this story might cause, should my “target” audience take umbridge and flee from a novel that threatened their comfort.
This concern slowly gave rise to the idea that perhaps the book may now have a worthier purpose than just spinning a good yarn. I was perplexed. Where was this coming from?
Energized, I began to embrace my characters and their sexuality. Soon it was revealed that my theme was emanating from my own deepest angst. Authenticity, self-confidence, and acceptance of one’s sexuality was the foundation. What would happen if some of the characters embraced who they were? What would happen if this realization was harnessed?
I was determined to show people not defined by their sexuality but empowered by it.
Don’t get your hopes up, this epic tale places our characters “up front and center” on the world stage between 1860 & 1960. There is no “Broadway Musical” or “Gay hallelujah” event breaking out across Europe, India, China, Japan, and the America’s in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.
What the characters experience in this story is real. Some of it is surprising. Some of it is beautiful. Some of it is devastating and tragic. There are consequences. Choices are made. The characters come alive and the reader is viscerally enveloped by their choices.
Fear, hate, hiding, rejection, ridicule, and preoccupation with diverse sexual orientation often limits the manifestation of the very special parts of who we are as individuals. I lived that life for 53 years.
Many of my readers will have experienced similar situations and my message to them is to live as authentic a life as possible. This means an authenticity that strengthens.
Muster your courage and be true to who you are.
We are all writing our own life’s story with every breath we take. It does not matter who else might read that story.
You, the author of your life’s story, are the only one that matters.
Make the choices and decisions that serve your purposes especially when your purposes can and will serve the greater “good”. That will happen when you manifest all that is good within you. Your success is predicated on you fearlessly and purposefully seizing your talents and gifts.
No one person has the answer for anyone but themselves.
Be prepared to deal with the consequences. The answers, choices, and consequences are not “black & white.”
How you deal with choices that life puts before you, and the consequences, will in many ways define you. You decide how you would like to define yourself, Prince Braxton sure did.
About The Author
J.R. Strayve, Jr. served in the United States Marine Corps for ten years, earning the rank of Captain. He still resides in San Diego where he remains friends with the mother of his three biological children. He and his wife also helped raise a niece due to unexpected family difficulties.
Strayve has been active in the Hillcrest Business Association, is a former member of the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, was an active volunteer for the LGBT Center Senior Housing Initiative and was on the Membership Committee for the San Diego University Club. He was an arts and entertainment reviewer for The San Diego Theatre Review, writing reviews for music and theatre.
His full-time job is as a Financial Planner, but his passion is writing.
To receive updates on J.R. Strayve’s “Braxton’s Century” and his other exciting projects visit http://www.braxtonscentury.com/
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For more information about how Gina works with individuals on bringing ALL of who you are to work and your life visit https://www.ginabattye.com/individuals.
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