Thursday, October 15, 2015

The GRL: Gay Romance Literature Retreat

Every October many writers & readers of gay romance gather. We have panel discussions, readings, book signing and parties. It's an amazing (& overwhelming) experience.

You see many of us don't fit in our worlds (though many do). Many of us were assigned female at birth and people don't understand why the fuck we write about gay romance. The questions are endless!

1) What could YOU possibly know about GAY sex?
Well, apart from one body part (which we usually have complete and total access to) and a gland... SEX IS SEX.... and since this is romance it's not all about the sex (or so I'm told repeatedly by my critique partners).

WARNING!!! SHOCKING INFORMATION: People with female parts CAN have anal sex & can love it. (BTW some of my Pretties assigned female at birth seem to adore anal sex more than some of my Pretties assigned male... I know it's subjective self sharing but there you have it). Writers of gay romance can round out personal experiences with a huge array of gay porn... not to mention many of us have friends who are happy to overshare their personal experiences.

2) How do you write about men when you're a straight woman?
Excuse me need to correct the basic premise: Assigned female at birth is not that same as gender identity. Many writers and readers of this genre consider themselves somewhere on the rainbow (gender queer/non-binary, bi, trans, asexual, etc.). How many writers will laughingly tell you they feel like gay men in a women's body... BTW that statement might not always be a joke...

Basic Information: One does not write with their genitals... Though one could physically do so with the insertion of a writing implement...but  trust me if that was really a thing I'd have seen a sex show featuring it.

BTW males have been writing female characters for eons and no one ever wondered HOW that was possible. (Smells kind of like sexism at play).

Newsflash:  Most of the murder mystery writers haven't committed the horrific crimes they depict... and I'm going out on a limb but Anne Rice isn't a vampire.

3) You're objectifying men.
Um... romance genre focuses on love, relationships and sex.

4) Why don't you write NORMAL romance?
Who defines NORMAL?  LOVE IS LOVE. This is normal... 

5) Men aren't like that?
Um... okay. The world is a BIG place and while someone who throws this at me at a criticism might not know men like some of our/my characters... they do exist. BTW people on the edges of any spectrum don't feel comfortable sharing with people who have a  narrow attitude. We need to stop trying to paint people with the wide brush of HOW YOU SHOULD BE... I dislike when people refuse to acknowledge everyone DOES NOT fit into labeled boxes because it implies people on the fringes are somehow wrong.

The questions of WHY and HOW go on and on but at the GRL for this glorious span of days the question is WHEN? WHEN is the next book in your series coming out? WHEN will you write about this kind of character/plot? WHEN is such a better question than why or how...

The GRL is a gathering of tribe. Readers, writers, reviewers, publishers all together in one place to celebrate what the rest of the world doesn't quite understand... but we do.

If you are attending the GRL find me and give me a hug (if you're a hugger). I adore my tribe they know me best.

Hugs, Z.

No comments:

Post a Comment