When I first started writing and publishing M/M or gay erotic romance, I was hesitant to tell people I met in real life what it was I wrote. The reason was when you tell someone you’re a writer, without fail, they want to know what it is you write. Seems everyone either writes, too, or wants to write. And here in the South, one just doesn’t talk about erotica (gay or otherwise) in polite company.
So at first I’d hem and haw. I’d say, “Oh, you know, I write fiction.” Or, “I write stories.” Sometimes, when pressed, I’d call them fantasy, which you can say they are, in a way. Eventually I would say romance, but that’s where I drew the line. I found out the hard way saying gay romance, even in this day and age, wasn’t the done thing.
That is to say I lost a nice job at a national soda company you’ve probably heard of because the women I worked with bought my first book and read it. I won’t name names, but if you don’t like Coke, then you probably drink the brand I used to work for instead. My advice? Make the switch.
I’ve grown a lot since my early days of writing part-time. I now publish other authors under my own LGBT small press, JMS Books LLC, and I’m more confident in myself and my writing to tell people who ask straight up what it is I write. Though, granted, there’s nothing straight about it! And nowadays, if it makes someone uncomfortable, then they shouldn’t have asked.
Who am I to be ashamed or apologetic for writing LGBT romance? Everyone deserves love.
Yesterday was the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, and this post should’ve run then. I apologize for the delay!
But I appreciate the gentle reminder from the kind folks at the Hop for Visibility, Awareness, and Equality who pointed out my blog post didn’t … well, post.
To celebrate, I’m giving away 2 of my e-books (reader’s choice). Just enter below! Contest ends Saturday, so hurry!