Monday, July 25, 2011

Slash Brigade: Homophobe by YouarenotMe


This Slash Brigade Pick is...

Title: Homophobe
Author: YouarenotMe
Chapters: 17
Words: 48,717
Reviews: 258
Summary: SLASH. Mike is a driven young man, hard working, and eager to please his father. But Mike Newton has a secret...perhaps he has a few. In small town like Forks, Mike feels alone and desperately wants a break in his routine.

Jeanne - People read slash fan fic for a lot of different reasons. Some readers find it sexy, others readers might be intrigued by seeing inside a culture they have never experienced in person and some LGBT readers like to see realistic portrayals of their lives in the fiction they read. The world of slash fan fiction provides for everyone, no matter their reason for reading, but it's rare that a single story is so well rounded that it provides something for everyone.

Homophobe is a rarity in many aspects. It’s an AU story, featuring a secondary human character (Mike Newton) from the Twilight series as the protagonist, in a painfully realistic story of a teenage boy realizing he is gay. This isn’t a pretty process, especially when Mike has everything working against him. He is the All American athlete in a small town, his father is abusive and his mother is barely there. Mike lives in a world absence of support for kids like him, his only means of outlet for his true feels are with Eric Yorkie, the geeky boy who is also gay. The relationship between these two is realistically unhealthy, at times Mike's behavior leaves you upset and conflicted about both boys. YouarenotMe shows us the person behind the mask of homophobia, demonstrating how a combination of ignorance, fear and lack of loving support can create this extreme level of self hatred.

Despite the harsh realities in this story there are so many passionate and even tender moments that keep you hopeful for some kind happiness in Mike’s future. With the surprising, but very welcome addition of the mysterious Edward and Jasper Cullen, Homophobe does for young gay men, what Twilight did for you straight women. Remember this is AU and Mike has begun to notice that the Cullens are different. What that will mean for him, I don’t know, but I know that I cannot stop reading until I find out.

Jess - I know what you’re thinking... Mike Newton and Eric Yorkie? Yeah, that’s what I thought too when Jen mentioned this and I got the C2 notification for it, but from the minute I started reading this through all the posted chapters, I was sucked in (pun intended).

Homophobe is the kind of story that really makes you stop and think about the life of a character. It’s a story that’s really hard to read, because Mike, a high school football player with a lot of potential, is basically working himself into the ground with the help of the pressure the town is placing on him, his team and coach’s intensity, and worse of all his father’s abusive - verbal and physical - behavior. This level of pressure is exhausting, and as it continues to build, you see how Mike is slowly beginning to lose it.

As if that wasn’t enough, Mike is lost in the sea of sexual identity. He’s straight, but the one place he is really able to blow off steam is with Eric - a gay, band geek who’s helping him study. He climbs through Eric’s window almost daily for what started out as just a BJ, that led to kissing (WHAT? Since he’s not actually gay... or so he keeps trying to tell himself), and now, a romp or two. Add to that the very confusing swirl of lust that he feels whenever he’s around Jasper Hale and Edward Cullen and you have one very, very confused boy.

I did everything I normally did in the morning, except I spent extra time in the shower after working out. I forced myself to get hard again and then punched my thigh every time my thoughts turned to something gay. I pushed my mind to think of pussies and tits. I thought about the ones I'd touched and tasted. I thought about the ones I'd seen in porn and every time my dick softened. I was still hard, just not as hard as when I thought about guys. Why could thoughts of dicks and muscles and hairy legs get me so fucking hot and so fucking hard? What was it about Jasper's broad shoulders that made me wish he was in the shower with me, warm and sudsy and holding my junk in his hands. His mouth sucking on my neck while…

His struggle, like many guys who find themselves under the weight of parental and social expectations, is painful to watch. You can viscerally feel the confusion he feels, the anger, the frustration, and deep down the fear of someone (especially his father, who is a vile human being) really finding out... or worse, him admitting to himself that he might in fact be gay. I can’t imagine the heaviness of that weight, and YouarenotMe does a great job of walking us through that tangled web of emotions.

The lemons are hot as hell but not in an easy to read, lover boy slashy kind of way. They are hard, intense, and swift, because... Mike is not gay....

As soon as she was gone, I pulled Eric up and over to the bed, where I dropped our pants again and spread him wide. I fucked him like Jasper fucked Edward and Eric loved it. I loved it. I pulled out and shot my shit all over his stomach, the way he'd done to me that night. But instead of getting grossed out by it, Eric looked happy.

You get the idea.

Edward and Jasper slowly work their way into this story, and in the early chapters are merely a presence Mike has to process through emotionally. The question I had through most of the posted chapters (and which has since been answered - I won’t spoil it here for you) is whether or not they are vamps. Regardless, the level of UST between Mike and these two is, in a word, intense. I’m anxious to see where we go from here with these two and what role they will play.

The question I have asked myself all along is “When is it too much?” When does the pressure, the what looks like diet-turned-bulimia, the excessive exercising and training, the physical & emotional abuse from his father, and the very confusing emotions and thoughts about whether or not he’s gay, not to mention the self imposed need to be perfect and bear everyone else’s expectations become too much? And when it does, how will he handle it? How will everyone else handle it? We have just finally begun to get some answers to these questions, and I am so excited to see where we go from here.

YouarenotMe has created a story that is well told, articulate, and captures the very essence of who Mike Newton is like no other fic I’ve read. PPSS Readers, put aside those preconceived notions and give this one a go. You might wince a little at how harsh Mike’s self loathing is, how his confusion and mental agony make you hurt for him, or how rough and tumble the sex is with Eric, but you seriously won’t be disappointed. This is a fic that will own you... literally.

Jen - I initially wasn’t quite sure what to make of a story entitled Homophobe, but I’m really glad I didn’t judge this fic by its name alone. This is not a story in which a teenage boy realizes he has sexual feelings for his best friend only to find out that his best friend reciprocates these feelings. Mind you, I have read and enjoyed many such fics. It’s just that Homophobe is quite a different story. It’s an incredibly complex, well-written and well-told story of a young man caught between his father’s abuse and prejudices and his own slowly awakening realization of his sexuality.

Homophobe transcends fanfiction. YouarenotMe includes some of the supernatural aspects of the Twilight canon, however the story is truly based in reality. It’s not always easy to read, knowing that there are real kids in the US, and no doubt elsewhere, who are going through what this fictional Mike experiences.

Mike Newton should be the happiest kid in Forks. He’s popular, a star athlete in several sports, gets solid grades, is being scouted by top schools, and could get a date with any girl he chose. Except... Mike’s father verbally abuses him (particularly through shaming him with homophobic slurs), controls how much he eats, how much he exercises, and physically abuses him by boxing with him under the guise of conditioning.

On top of that, Mike has a one-sided sexual relationship with Eric Yorkie. After allowing Eric to pleasure him, Mike can only think of what his father would do if he found out that his son was engaging in homosexual acts. Mike knows he enjoys getting blowjobs from Eric. He realizes that he’s no longer able to get hard solely by thinking of girls. He recognizes that he’s attracted to boys besides Eric—his fantasies are increasingly focused on Edward and Jasper. It’s both heartbreaking and heartwarming to see Mike gradually come to acknowledge that he is gay.
Mike is so confused and full of self-loathing, his home life so horrible that it kind of doesn’t feel right to enjoy him getting sucked off by Eric or masturbating to thoughts of Edward. I think the hottest scene in the fic so far was Mike watching Jasper fucking Edward.

In the meadow, where night-blooming flowers still littered the ground, were Jasper and Edward.

And they were... They were fucking.

I grew hard in an instant. They were both so beautiful and the sight of Edward draped over a large boulder while Jasper moved in and out of him from behind was quite possibly the hottest thing I'd ever seen.

A moment after I started watching, small satisfied smiles appeared on both of their faces, but Edward's shifted as Jasper gripped his hips and slammed into him. I'd never heard such a sound in my life. My dick had never been harder.

As Mike and Edward go closer, there are some extremely hot make out scenes, and I’m full of anticipation for Edward to do more than give Mike the occasional handjob.
I’m so curious how things will turn out for Mike. Will he manage to keep his secrets until he’s free of Forks and his father, safely away at college? Will keeping the secrets eventually be his undoing, or will he somehow be outed? Homophobe is a captivating and thought provoking story, and I’m sure that if you give it, and Mike, a try you will be as eager for
every new chapter as I am.

Liz - I am not normally a “Mike fic” kind of gal, but this summary really intrigued me. We’ve all read ‘oh golly gee, I’m gay?’ fics, but I’ve never run across one quite like this. Mike is under intense pressure from his abusive, homophobic father to catch the attention of college football scouts, and secretly uses the talented (and willing) mouth of Eric Yorkie to take the edge off. The homophobic language in this fic can be offensive, and at times is hard to read. It is used not for shock value, however, but to convey Mike’s deep frustration and confusion about who he is and what he wants. I cheered when Eric finally stood up for himself, and I think you will too.

The sex in this fic is fast, one-sided and angsty, including a recent chapter when we were treated to a blazing hot scene of voyeurism that takes this story to a whole new citrus level. As their friendships develop, you’ll be anxious for more info on the mysterious Cullens.

Teal - From the very start of this fic, we’re thrown into the ugly, perplexing lifestyle Mike keeps. His days are a rigid, rigorous combination of extreme diet, over exercising, and academic study. Even when Mike mentions weekend parties and drinking, his alcohol consumption is measured down to the calorie, and as the story goes on, he reveals that he knows exactly what and how much to drink in order to get drunk without going over his caloric intake and being forced to do even more physical conditioning to make up for it the next day. Routine and discipline can be very important, especially for a determined high school athlete who’s trying to earn himself an offer to play Division I football, but it’s obvious that Mike (by the disgusting control of his father) is going farther than what’s really healthy. He measures himself against everyone around him, from their athletic prowess to how their body compares to his and from who they fuck to penis size. It’s clear that not only his body has been conditioned over the years but also his mind, thanks to one of the most realistic and disturbing representations of a physically and mentally abuse parent I’ve ever seen in writing.

The sad part is, for as determined and hard working as Mike is, he has no idea how fucked up he really has become. He knows his father is a dick and he knows he’s conflicted about both guys and girls, but he doesn’t realize he’s sick. Vomiting from over exertion or because he feels guilty is a part of the routine. Hiding the bruises his father gives him isn’t new. Pushing away thoughts of his dead brother (though we still haven’t learned how or why this mysterious event occurred) is something he’s coped with for a long time. All Mike wants to do is survive his senior year, get a scholarship to a school on the other side of the country, and get the fuck away from Forks and his father FOREVER.

Jess’s interpretation of the sex in this story is 100% accurate. It’s impossible not to get sucked into them, but at the same time that your stomach is jumping, you may also be cringing. Eric is sweet and vulnerable, and although he is willing to admit that he’s gay, he lets Mike walk all over him. You’ll see for certain that Eric has his own struggles, learning how to be an 18 year old gay man, but he’s genuine and likable, and I find myself hoping there will be someone better to come along for him because Mike isn’t going to be “The One.”

Mike’s mental anguish over his own sexuality is painful to experience with him, and it’s heartbreaking to see all the reasons he convinces himself he shouldn’t be gay. He’s right in thinking that his father probably would literally murder him if he found out, and Mike would have a difficult time surviving college football at the level he’s pursuing (and possibly later the NFL) as an openly gay one has to wonder which is going to give first. Even as he fights himself every single day, it’s impossible not to celebrate each time another barrier breaks down. First the kissing, then more sexual endeavors, moving forward to consistent sexual (and emotionally invested) relationships.

Nothing is neat or tidy in this story. Mike moves back and forth between Eric and a number of girls, then eventually between Eric and Edward (with potential of throwing Jasper into the mix eventually too). He’s carrying on so many relationships, each filling a different need for himself, but none of it is right or fair. He has so much to figure out, but the double edged sword is that he couldn’t have done so and will not continue to without each of these figures.

I’m astounded by the intensity of the writing and voice of this story, and though I fear things will become much uglier, I can’t wait to see how this can all possibly turn out.