We’re glad to see publishers, agents, and other professionals stepping away and refusing to enable this behavior, which has significantly harmed SH’s specific victims as well as, more generally, gay, bi, and queer men and all writers and readers in the M/M and broader romance genre.
Having never read, promoted, or, to our knowledge, interacted with Santino Hassell, we have not wished to make a statement and distract from those who have been harmed and/or made choices that reasonably need to be addressed in public.
However, we have increasingly seen statements suggesting silence equals approval of Hassell’s actions and did not wish to create that impression. We believe the victims.
Cons con because they can and are successful at it often because of the human decency of their victims. You’re not bad or foolish for being hurt or manipulated. We hope we all move on from this better and stronger and with increased herd immunity from this type of exploitation.
We believe Xen x Cole McCade.
Earlier this year Erin and I placed our one contracted project with Riptide Publishing on hold for personal reasons on our side.
The racism and harassment detailed today by Xen x Cole McCade will influence any future choice we make about that project and its home. Obviously, multiple issues would have to be addressed for us to even consider going forward.
At this time the rest of our romance projects are self-published.
Pixabay is a popular stock photography site often used for cover and promotional images. Today we discovered that searches on Pixabay for “gay” also link to terminology that represents a violent slur against queer men due to the large number of cigarette images that come up when searching (the slur is also a slang term for cigarette in the UK). We have written to Pixabay to explain why this is problematic and offensive and will not use the site to source images unless/until the problem is resolved.