Good Article. Yet, I think there is a generation gap here. I didn’t have access to anything ‘gay’ growing up. Nothing. It was a pejorative term – frequently used against me and made my life hell.
Even if I could find something that was gay affiliated, I wouldn’t have touched it with a ten-foot pole lest I get caught with it.
I like romance just fine. I just don’t like romance as the plot. People are human and human beings have human interactions but romance throws everything out of the window to focus solely on the H.E.A.
If I could go back before The Haunting of Timber Manor and choose to be affiliated with m/m romance or gay fiction I would have chosen the latter due mostly because I don’t write in nor do my books belong in this genre. My fans might criss-cross between m/m and gay fiction but the worlds are decidedly different.
However, they are often viewed through the same lens.
When I published When Heaven Strikes I made it clear that this book was not romance.
Almost every review, save for a few that ‘got’ what I was doing, said otherwise.
I do have romantic scenes because I think it’s important for people to read that and understand that gay people do make love (I once had someone tell me she couldn’t’ see what gay men do as lovemaking) and it’s as affirming as heterosexual sex.
This happens because regardless of what you put out it’s viewed through that lens. Those optics, those romance rules, are superimposed on anything with the word ‘gay’ in it and the comments are oftentimes unpleasant to read as Jamie pointed out “Not enough sex”.
Think about it this way. I love my husband. We’ve been together seven years and will be married five this August. in our home, it’s just me and him. We’re a couple. We cook. We talk. We binge watch shows. We take the dog to the vet. We argue we fight, and we make up (which, yes, often includes sex).
However, we’re part of a greater whole of society. We do not exist in a vacuum and when you get into a same-sex relationship, it’s both liberating and somewhat difficult to navigate the real world.
Saying, “I do,” is like typing “The End” on your manuscript because now, the work starts. Maintaining a relationship, regardless if it’s heterosexual or homosexual, is hard work. Shit gets real especially as time marches on.
I’ve tossed shade on m/m romance over people who’ve either made a joke of gay relationships, who’ve been ignorant of gay issues, exploitive, or downright shit individuals looking to make a few bucks off a hot genre.
Yet the thing is, m/m romance has given some people happy endings that gay fiction didn’t necessarily give it’s own due mostly to the amount of negativity in their world at the time. Romance is still a noble thing.
Yet it often times is a victim of its own myopic worldview. While gay fiction should in no way go back to the way things were in the past it would be nice to see m/m evolve into something more than what it is now – a catch-all for all things ‘gay.’
It just shouldn’t.

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