Comicality: Welcome to the newest interview for the month of November! This time around, I’m talking to Jules Porter! Be sure to read his submission to Imagine Magazine, and send him some feedback when you get the chance!
I’m always curious as to what inspired people to start writing in the first place. What was that inspiration for you? Not just this particular story, but to begin writing stories in general?
Jules Porter: I always liked creative writing when I was younger. The degrees I’m going for doesn’t leave a lot of time for that. What caused me to write this down was telling my story to a bunch of Teens and young men at a shelter where I volunteer. They kept encouraging me to write it down and one boy specifically suggested Imagine. So here we are.
Comicality: So, reading what you wrote here, and the passion with which you wrote it…I have to ask…how ‘true’ is this story for you? Is this told from personal experience or from the experience of someone (or multiple people) that have lived through something like this first hand?
Jules Porter: So, this is actually autobiographical. There may be a little embellishment but as far as my reason’s for hitting the road, that part is very real. I did cut out a few interactions with strangers that had no effect on the situation. My biggest concern was being sent back and Albert getting his hands on me.
Comicality: Did you experience any struggles or difficulties when dealing with the subject matter…seeing as it was such a personal part of your past?
Jules Porter: Absolutely, although I harbor a bit of resentment towards my birth mother, knowing what I do now I can understand what I represented to her. I do still hold some affection for her because she opted not to abort me. I often wonder and have had bad dreams about what might have happened if I hadn’t been intercepted by Bob. As far as keeping it under wraps, that won’t help anybody. I’ve always felt like I won the lottery and readers will understand why a few chapters in.
Comicality: I noticed a certain homophobic theme in this story when it came to religion. Can you tell us some of your thoughts on religious doctrine when it comes to a gay lifestyle in today’s society?
Jules Porter: I have no problem with people believing in God, I do have a problem with people who think their belief makes it okay to abuse people they see as impure sinners. I read the Bible, old and new testaments, and I would point out that they were written by men three hundred plus years after the alleged fact.. Let’s be honest, most guys can’t remember a six item grocery list without calling home, and these guys wrote an entire religion’s business plan from memory?! Most of the Homophobia seems to come from the fundamentalist Christian people. That’s not to say they’re all like that but some tend to interpret the Bible to suit their personal agenda, whether it be racism or homophobia or sexism.
Comicality: I have to admit that, despite the information you gave in the beginning, you did an excellent job of making me feel a bit uneasy about the ‘Bob’ character in the first chapter. Does he have good intentions? Bad intentions? It’s almost hard to tell at first. Without giving any spoilers, what are your plans for this character in future chapters?
Jules Porter: It’s hard to say without tipping off the whole story but I think you can tell that by the end of chapter 2 you will know what sort of guy he is.
Comicality: Talking to you through emails, you mentioned that you wanted to possibly use this story as a warning to teens who were going out to big cities, hoping to make it big some day. If you had a chance to speak to these teens directly, what would you want them to take from this series as a whole?
Jules Porter: Absolutely, that is primarily why I wrote it out and sent it in. I volunteer at a shelter where I meet street kids looking for a little non-judgmental help. I tell them my story and why I am where I am. I’m out on campus and in general and anyone that doesn’t like it can go blow a goat. What I want kids to take away from this is that you have options. If you come out to your parents or get outed and the reaction is bad, you can contact social services. If they harm you physically, call 911. If you pay attention to the people around you, you might find you know a sympathetic adult who doesn’t just want to molest you. In general, I think more people are like that than hateful and homophobic.
Comicality: And how would you suggest people find a way to balance looking for an adult to trust while still being cautious enough to not be taken advantage of? For teens who might be reading, what advice would you give them?
Jules Porter: In most cities there are Gay support groups, and you can meet a mentor so to speak that might be able to help you assess your plan to approach your family. One boy I know approached a police officer and asked if there were any openly gay officers on the department. He explained that he had a project that involved an interview a gay officer. A little subterfuge got him where he needed to be. I would never suggest putting yourself in a position where you’re alone with a man you don’t know. Whatever you do, make sure you meet in a public place and keep your guard up. If you’re a young person and you fear being abused or are actually being abused call your local Child Protective Service and explain your situation. They might try to dismiss you but in most states if a complaint is made it has to be followed up by a visit from a caseworker.Most communities have a Legal Aid group that may be able to help.
Comicality: What can new readers look forward to in future chapters of this series? Again, no spoilers needed. Just tell us what you can?
Jules Porter: As far as what can readers expect? A few frank discussions between me and Bob and Maddy. A fair amount of tears and laughter, and quite a bit of humor. Or at least that’s what I was shooting for.
Comicality: Would you like to leave our readers with any contact info or social media links in case they want to give you some feedback?
Jules Porter: Readers can throw rocks at me at email@example.com I will answer any reasonable question but keep in mind my response may not be immediate. I’m a student and my time is finite.
Comicality: Alrighty, then! I want to thank you for the insight on your story! And I would love to see how things work out in the additions to come! And you just let me know who casts the first stone your way so I can toss a boulder back at ’em! Hehehe!
If you guys like what you’re reading, be sure to drop Jules Porter a note to share your comments! with him whenever you get the chance!
Best of luck! And here’s to your continued adventures in writing! 🙂