The journalist Brooke Hemphill, who's book 'Lesbian For A Year' was released earlier this month, is in shock. Hemphill wrote it after a one night stand with a woman led to another, leading on to a journey of discovery about herself and her sexuality. She knew that the subject matter would cause criticism. It is an attention grabbing title after all.
Hemphill was straight, but after her experiences with women, wrote about the exploration of her own sexality. She said that her memoir was not an experiment and the book's aim is to open up a dialogue about tolerance and acceptance of different sexualities:
"People have the impression that I conducted a year-long social experiment where I woke up one day and decided I would go out and sleep with women and toy with the hearts and minds of the lesbian community. This is not what happened."
Her shock has been the ferocity of the online attacks. The Australian said, in an interview with ninemsn.com: "Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but does it have to be so hurtful? Can't you just express your opinion intelligently and actually know the facts before you state your case?"
Online forums and Twitter trolls have called her numerous names, including 'bitch' for suggesting that a person's sexuality is a choice. This has included members of the LGBT community: "I understand that people are upset by this and it's not my intention to offend them. I'm just trying to tell my story," she said. Her defence is that people have formed a conclusion from an article and not from the book. "I don't think their argument has any validity because they haven't done their due diligence." The author said.
"I would hope that people would delve a bit deeper into it and read the story, and understand that this is just me sharing a story about my sexuality and how I explored and came to terms with what it was." Hemphill added that no one who's described in the book has taken offence of what has been written about them.
Is this simply a case of people judging a book by it's cover? While the debate continues, the journalist has decided to take a step back off social media because of some "uneccasarily nasty" interactions and thanked those who have shown her great support.
For more information about Lesbian For a Year go to: Affirm Press