With the full support of members of his family — on whom he based most of his characters, including Duncan’s grandparents, Edna and Jacob, who resemble his parents — Tomack said he hopes his book will teach young readers about acceptance and tolerance at an early age.
“I did this for the message because it deals with bullying as a whole, not just in the LGBT” — lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender — “community,” said Tomack, who dedicated the book to his 3-year-old niece and 18-month old nephew, Vanessa and Eric Tomack. “It doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight; everybody gets bullied.”
Over the past several years, Tomack said, he has become involved with LGBT groups such as InterPride, a global organization that raises awareness of social inequality through marches and festivals, participating in numerous gay pride parades and attending InterPride’s North East Regional Conference in Rochester last year.
He credited much of his activist work to friend Paul Saunders, founder of the former Pride Alliance of Long Island, who, Tomack said, helped him realize “he wasn’t the only gay guy in the world.”
He said he plans to promote “Duncan’s Journey” at the 21st Annual GLBT Expo in New York City next March, and to schedule reading events at the Long Island and Staten Island Pride parades in June.
While he expects a strong reaction to the book from the Catholic Church, Tomack said he is already working on a sequel, tentatively titled “Patrick and Duncan Save Christmas,” and he intends to stick by his message.
“It doesn’t matter who you love, what color your skin is or who you worship,” Tomack said. “What matters is that everyone is equal.”
“Duncan’s Journey” is currently available in paperback and for all major eReaders at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com and www.xlibris.com.