Well, it’s not there are people don’t like reading straight romance, too.
I agree. Saying religion isn’t a good enough reason assume that religious freedom is a right in all countries and that you cannot come in trouble by crossing religious views. We never know who we meet online and what their situation is irl, what they are thought through religion and how it affect their online behavior for various reasons. I’m not saying it is ethical right - honestly, so much bad as well as good has been done in the name of religion - but one should at least respect someones belief as long as they do no harm with it. Again, this is morally grey because you are potentially already doing harm by not validating a group of people, but you are honest enough to say that this is how I stand. Then people with stories like that know that’s not the best place for them to choose.
Oh, it’s absolutely homo/trans/bi-phobic, but that doesn’t stop people from being that way. I live in a place where I can marry my partner. It’s a relatively ‘safe’ place, but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t reconsidered painting a rainbow on our front deck or been afraid to hold hands in public for fear of being jeered at in the streets. Just because it’s legal for me to marry my partner, doesn’t mean that I don’t live in a phobic world.
Now, would I be offended if people told me they didn’t want to read my works? No. There are probably lots of reasons why they don’t want to read my works. I think that my response would be different if I was being attacked because of my works.
Growing up, I didn’t read any books with LGBTQ2S+ characters in it, which is why I’m working to write books that are just ‘normal’ stories that happens to have LGBTQ2S+ characters in it. Sometimes they’re romantic, but most of the time they just are and it’s normalized. The more society sees LGBTQ2S+ being normalized, the better we’ll be.
Excuse me when something of what I am about to write has already been said, but threads with over 100 replies already throw me off a bit, so I just skimmed some posts;;
To refer to the first post…
I find it very weird when straight people don’t want to read stories with LGBT characters or explicit LGBT romances. There hasn’t been all too much content in that genre nor in other genres with queer romances as subplots in the last decades, and it’s only becoming more relevant now that publishers see the market appeal, so…
What do you think queer people have been reading and watching all that time before our stories were considered more valuable? How is it impossible for you to “fantasize about an LGBT romance” when it’s just normal people having normal relationship problems—and they just so happen to not be straight?
I’ve been sitting through DECADES of straight romances. Mostly, they show an image that is simply not attainable, or they downright push toxic ideals. Women are thought to care for “their” man while he goes off doing his bullshit and they’re somehow still managing to stay together even though he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about her? And you know why? Because straight women are expected to pick up the slack of straight men who don’t want to bother being honest about their emotions.
These are the romances I grew up with. It is getting better in that regard, mind you, but there are still outliers—and very popular ones, at that—like Fifty Shades of Grey, still pushing toxic ideals that are celebrated by many people.
And you sit here saying that you can’t read/watch an LGBT romance, when THAT is the standard of romances in our media? You sit here saying that LGBT romances don’t click with you, that you can’t sympathize with these characters, even though most of these stories build their relationships on mutual trust rather than toxic gender norms?
Please. That IS homophobic. You can sympathize with dragonborns and elves and whatnot, but queer people are off the table? It’s just ridiculous.
Mind you, it doesn’t “offend” me when people talk like that. It infuriates me.
We exist. Around you, all the time. And if you are here conceding to the fact that you can’t even sympathize with LGBT characters, just think how safe any actual queer person in your near vicinity might feel. You are not safe for us when you talk like that. Because, when you’re not even capable of sympathizing with the characters, there’s no way in hell you’ll be able to sympathize with the real deal. Because you other us.
Think about that. That’s all there is to say about it.
I don’t think anyone covered this yet.
All I can say is: yes. I absolutely agree.
I mean… To be fair people can choose what they want to read. For example I choose to avoid all romance and teenfic on WP because I simply don’t enjoy them as much as I enjoy other books. If people just don’t like to read LGBT+ it doesn’t mean that they discriminate against LGBT+ people, it’s just that they don’t like to read LGBT+ books. Not very different from me not wanting to read romance or teenfics, each person has their own preference.
I think it comes down to tastes in a story. Personally I do not mind the character of course, its just them and wont have much to do with the story plot. BUT maybe they just don’t like that category of romance or maybe it is just boring to them. Personally, I don’t like an all out romantic book, but I like when these couples are laced into the story
I think it all a matter of assumption. People are going to assume oh lgbt romance story uhggg. Personally I’m a fantasy action story lover so it’s not unusual to have lgbt characters obviously it’s all about how you present a story. 9 times out of 10 if it’s a good plot to a story lgbt won’t phase me.
If someone is out here immediately going “oh this story has LGBT characters, I don’t want that”, it ceases to be a preference.
It’s motivated by preconceptions about the “Other”. Plain and simple.
It’s different with you, btw, because you don’t read any romance. But having a soft spot for the genre and then admitting that one ignores LGBT romances? There’s… literally only one reason for that. And it comes down to being unable to sympathize with us queer folks. How is that not homophobic, I ask.
Honestly, I know I might come off as rude in here, but… I am just tired of the excuses people make up. Why would I excuse people actively ignoring my existence? What’s not to get mad about here? It’s like watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and then acting surprised that Titus—they gay male lead—ends up in a relationship with a man one day, and then turning away from the series because “it doesn’t click” with you. I just… don’t trust people who talk like that. And with good reason.
Othering us is just the first step in a long line of microaggressions and marginalizations that ultimately kill us all over the world—on a daily basis. It is not “just” fiction. It is a mirror. And that mirror doesn’t reflect you very well when you’re ignoring very real people because they make you uncomfortable for… whatever reason. (Psst, it’s called homophobia.)
I long for the day when we don’t have a dedicated “LGBT” genre anymore, to be honest. I hate that distinction. For now, it might still be necessary so we can find ourselves easier (because, let’s be real, straight people rarely even include us anywhere, not even as side characters -.-), so we have that representation easily accessible.
But the ideal, for me? Just call it “Romance”, and then tell me in the blurb who the characters are. That’s the literary world I want to see.
You have just articulated what I’ve been trying and haven’t quite managed to put into proper words since I opened this thread.
I think it’s just your preference… some people don’t like straight romances (like me), others don’t like stories with female lead characters, and so on.
If it’s just a story request, it makes sense to not read LGBT stories; but if it’s critics, you have to choice.
Glad I could give you some weapon in the form of words, then. It can be so powerful and empowering to use it (/them) in the right circumstances.
This is what I’ve been trying to articulate for forever and somehow couldnt.
Yaknow what else people do without thinking about what it means? “No LGBT, no smut, no drugs”. Lumping it with… terrible shit. Also people be like “I just don’t want to read smut” and yet make… lgbt… its own category in their list of nos… it’s almost like… there’s ulterior motive…
I do not think there is a dedicated lgbtq genre as far as I can see on the WP (as it should be, because it’s ridiculous to split it out of other genres). If someone’s reason to avoid lgbtq is actually maliciously homophobic, rather than being burned out on romances or specific tropes or portrayals related to it (I.e. gay romances written by ladies) - I double down on not wanting that person reading what I write, even if it passes their exacting standards…
Everyone has their own personal interests. I don’t think it’s meant to be taken any differently than that.
It’s like how some publishers only want clean inspiration romance. Its nothing against the other genres, it’s just where their interest lies.
So True. I have had readers in Nigeria, Indonesia, and other countries tell me they are afraid to read my books on their devices because they are male/male erotic and homosexuality is against the law where they live. You can be imprisoned or sentenced to death. They are afraid in these places because of the law, religion, and culture. Even people who WANT to read LGBT are wary.
Oh definitely, many women who write a romance between two men FAIL HARD in that regard because they just fetishize the hell out of them. There’s many stories and tropes I would call problematic at best and harmful at worst, but since that’s on the author and not the “genre” (I hate being called a genre, but what can you do ), it’s still not really an argument to avoid queer fiction entirely, but it speaks of the person’s ignorance of how vast the LGBT experience is when they talk like that.
That said, I have a bias for male characters in general, myself. So naturally, if there’s a romance, the chances of it being between two men are not too slim lol
I just don’t focus on the sex and that’s it. Nothing could be more boring and harmful to gay men than making them out to be that hypersexual image.
And by the way, thanks for everyone pointing out it’s “just a preference” here so I know who isn’t safe for me. :’)
ikr I see that so much