I'll try to keep the "not-so-simple" reason from becoming a rant and just sum it up by saying that was SO Not Okay with me. I immediately withdrew my story and my support from the anthology.
There's a lot of misinformation and half-truths in the publishing world (like the fact that everyone thinks when you publish a book you're automatically BFF's with J.K. Rowling and you get to use her estate on the weekends because, hey, you're totally rich now, right?) and there's a lot that's outside of my control (my cover design, the text copy that goes on the book to describe it, how the book is advertised, where it gets promoted in bookstores...), but there's one thing that I can and always will be able to control and that's the message I send to my fans by the stories I write.
And the message I want to send is this: You don't choose who you fall in love with and you don't choose to be gay.
We're constantly bombarded with messages from sick people who try to tell us that it's a choice or a lifestyle or an agenda. But Wesley and Cameron's story isn't an agenda or an issue. It isn't an "I have to prove something to the world" story. Wesley and Cameron's story is a love story. About one boy who loves another boy so much that when something bad happens to him, he'll do whatever it takes to get him the help he needs.
Just bittersweet, hopeful, first love. And I think the world needs more of that.
While I may not have intentionally written an "issues" story, in the real world this issue is very personal to me. I have gay friends, gay fans, and gay family members, and by allowing my story to be changed in that way I would be contributing to a great disservice to them, the entire LGBTQ community, and to readers in general. You are not wrong or a dirty little secret for being who you are. Love is beautiful and rare. When you find it, you should hold onto it and not let go. You should not be made to feel inferior.
UPDATE - 3/22 - The editor of the anthology, Trish Telep, has replied to this post. Her comment in it's entirety:
Trisha Telep said...
Oh dear. Might as well give you my two cents. Not that it really matters but... Don't take it out on the publishers, the decision was mine totally. These teen anthologies I do are light on the sex and light on the language. I assumed they'd be light on alternative sexuality, as well. Turns out I was wrong! Just after I had the kerfuffle with jessica, I was told that the publishers would have loved the story to appear in the book! Oh dear. My rashness will be the death of me. It's a great story. Hope jessica publishes it online. (By the way: if you want to see a you tube video of me wrestling a gay man in Glasgow, and losing, please let me know).