We’re Not Trends—We’re Right Here by Santino Hassell & Ashley Hayes

Several months ago I wrote a slew of blog posts about Grindr and how alienating and divisive the M/M hookup app can be. In one of those posts, I discussed users who have a habit of broadcasting what they DON’T like instead of simply stating what they’re seeking. Unsurprisingly, this leads to rampant racism, transphobia, and an overall unwelcoming vibe to just about anyone who doesn’t fit society’s standard of what an “ideal” body looks like.

It’s unfortunate that some of these behaviors can be seen in the book world as well.

When I decided to write about diversity for Queer Romance Month, I wasn’t sure how to go about it. It’s been discussed a lot and I wasn’t sure what I could bring to the table that hasn’t already been said. That’s when I proposed the idea of a mini webcomic to Ashley Hayes. Instead of writing about diversity, why not show people how the lack of it, and the dismissive nature of some conversations regarding it, can affect the people we’ve all been talking about? It’s not about “trends” or being “politcally correct”. It’s about real people.




Santino’s Queer Romance Recommendations

Meatworks by Jordan Castillo Price

The Shattered Gates by Ginn Hale

How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by J.C. Lillis

Ashley’s Queer Webcomic Recommendations

Minor Acts of Heroism

Knights Errants


About Santino Hassell

santinoSantino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of queer fiction that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

About Stygian

stygianJeremy has been isolated and adrift since the death of his brother. Most people just see him as the skinny emo kid who wears eyeliner and plays drums. No one gets him. Nobody tries. He thought the indie rock band Stygian would become his anchor, but—lost in their own problems—they’re far from the family he sought.

Still, hoping to get close to Kennedy, the band’s enigmatic guitarist, he follows Stygian to northern Louisiana for a summer retreat. They had planned to spend six weeks focusing on new music but things go awry as soon as they arrive at the long-deserted Caroway mansion. Tempers flare, sexual tension boils over into frustration, and Jeremy turns away from the band to find a friend in his eerily beautiful landlord Hunter Caroway.

Kennedy suspects there’s something off about the creepy mansion and its mysterious owners, but Jeremy thinks he’s finally found somewhere he fits. It isn’t until Kennedy forces the Caroway’s secrets into the light that Jeremy realizes belonging sometimes comes with a price.

Grab a copy on Amazon US

Or Amazon UK

About Ashley Hayes

ashleyAshley is a painter, writer, and interactive artist at an advertising agency in Dallas. When she’s not napping or whining at Sonny, she spends time trying to locate the source of the mystery smell that lingers in her haunted 70+ year old apartment. 

About Cosmic Horror Ghost Machine

comicCHGM is a comic featuring a half-Martian boy named Sonny and his android best-friend, Gogo. Things are pretty great on Mars — with the exception of the weather.

You can check it out here.




8 CommentsLeave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: