Yep, I am totally going there…
Recently, there was a rant posted about the objectifying of gay men within the genre and among the “Allies”. I am one of those allies. I have been for a few years now. Do I get out and volunteer at LGBTQ Shelters or go to PFLAG meetings? No, I do not. For one thing, I am not entirely sure my city HAS an LGBTQ shelter or PFLAG branch. I am sure there are some in the nearest major city, but I am in the middle of nowhere outside the city. Secondly, I have three small children, so when I am not driving them to their activities, helping with homework, playing with them, cleaning up their messes, etc (stop laughing darling husband), I am reading or blogging.
You know what else I am doing this entire time? I am being an ally. I am teaching my children that different is not only NOT WRONG that “different” is not something that even needs to be pointed out. It is not something that needs to matter. I am teaching them that it is okay for men to love men and women to love women. I am teaching them that what matters is that there is love, not the form that love comes in. I am teaching them that not everyone looks like you, dresses like you, or lives like you.
I am proudly wearing my Gay Romance shirt anywhere and everywhere. When I put it on in the morning, I do not think about where I am going that day. Though I will admit, I get a special thrill when I realize I am wearing it on days that I am going to the kids’ various activities, and will be around soccer moms with superiority complexes. For me, it is just part of life, and I want to make it part of other’s. I have been told “thank you” for wearing it and supporting. I have been glared at. I have been given the “side-eye”. I have been pushed out of my daughter’s Girl Scout troop (of which I was a co-leader) and had my position on the community board threatened for wearing it. It has not stopped me, and I will wear the NoH8 shirt, that should be here Tuesday, just as proudly.
Are there other things I could be doing? I am sure there are. Once my kids are all in school, I might have some time to do more things in the community. One of the things I do, however, is this blog. Yes, it is fun, but I also think it is important. There is a debate in the Gay Romance genre about women in Gay Romance. I am not going to get into that debate, what I will say it that this genre is important to more than just the out and proud gay community. It is a way to raise awareness of LGBTQ causes. It is a way to let teenagers struggling with their self image and sexuality know that they are not alone. It is a way to make people realize that gay men and women are just people. Honestly, I do not read this genre for the sex scenes (I know, gasp!). I read it for the stories, the love, and the friends I have made. I do not care whom they are sleeping with. What I care about is that they are genuinely nice people I want to meet and call friends.
My children are 2, 4, and 6. They nor I know what they will be in 10, 15 or 20 years. What I do know is that when they reach an age when attraction starts to form, if that attraction HAPPENS to be for the same gender, I want them to understand, deep in their bones, that I am going to be okay with it. I want them to understand, without words, that whom they love doesn’t matter. If all three turn out to love someone of the opposite gender, okay. I still want them to understand that their classmate, friend, roommate, or person on the street deserves friendship, respect, and love for whom they are not whom the love. In short, I want it not to MATTER.
Do I say “love”, “sweet”, or “aww” when I see a loving picture of a gay couple? Yes, I do. It is not because I am fetishizing them. It is not because I am turned on by it. It is not because I am trying to objectify them. It is because I see the love and affection in the picture.
Do I post pics of cute and adorable gay couples? Yes, I do. I do it for a couple of reasons. One, my followers and readers like to see them. Okay, that is a little objectifying there. That being said, if I wrote a het romance blog, I would post adorable het couples just as readily. Secondly, there is a desensitization factor involved. The more people see LGBTQ persons and couples in every day, “normal”, loving situations the less alarmed they will be by it.
I will never claim to know what it is like to live as a gay man or woman. I do, however, know what it is like to struggle with that identity and that fear.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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