The problem with Borderlines ~ Sunday Spotlight by Beverley


The problem with Borderlines:


Borderlines – A case for more flexibility

1) A few weeks ago, I was informed that I am ‘borderline’ for a blood transfusion to treat my iron deficiency anaemia –

blood transfusion

2) Likewise, a few weeks ago, a friend’s daughter was told she had a ‘borderline acceptance’ to the school she wanted to go to.

3) Recently, other friends were told that they were on the ‘borderline’, where locality is concerned, for getting their son into his first choice school.

science class

4) I could say a few weeks ago, but that is getting boring – a while ago – an author sent their completed MS to a press, which is part of one of the BIG 5 publishers. The rejection, they were informed, constituted a ‘borderline acceptance’ – if the author could ‘reduce the gay presence’, and make the LGBTQ characters secondary to the straight ones. This is the gist of the communication; these are not the exact words except for ‘reduce the gay presence’.


5) Refugees. People are escaping the insane cruelty and violence of associated extremist groups in Afghanistan, Syria and countries on the African continent. Until the picture of a tiny boy lifeless in the arms of a policeman went viral, these people were being held back by ‘borderlines’.

What these so called borderlines have in common, is that they are drawn by humans fairly arbitrarily, all with underlying cynical agendas, and all cause harm in varying degrees. And the results…

1) The guideline for whether or not to give an anaemic patient a blood transfusion is based on studies and intelligence gathered in the 1960s. The truth is that it is cheaper to treat patients with tablets, and the cheapest variant Ferrous Sulphate is the first tablet a patient is offered. This is offered, knowing that a high percentage of patients have bad side effects, but it is the cheapest. This decision meant one person (me) feels pretty unwell until their requirements are met.

2) My friend’s daughter was informed, a week later, that others had come forward with better scores on the 11+ exam, and so they could not confirm her place at the school and she should look elsewhere. This resulted in a seriously upset 12 year old, worried parents and grumpy younger siblings.

Teenage girl

3) The borderlines for catchment areas for schools are very cynically based on local authority economics, and are often redrawn to cope with demand, with each new school year. In my friends’ case, it meant they had to move house over the ‘borderline’, so their son would have the best chance for a good education. This meant financial worries and sadness for a whole family.

4) Who decides how much is too much ‘gay presence’?

The ‘Big 5’ in publishing are the authoritative voices, even now. If they say you must reduce the ‘gay presence’ in a book – you know all mainstream publishers will all say this, and unless you go to a publisher specialising in LGBTQ books – you won’t get your work published.

Now this may seem to affect only one person, but it doesn’t. It perpetuates a mind set. It limits readership. Smaller readership means less exposure, and less return for publishers of LGBTQ books.

Less exposure ensures LGBTQ books remain in a small, less profitable corner of the romance genre; the same Romance genre that has the largest overall market share in fiction. I know it seems a leap, but if you and the love you hope for in your life, is not represented in the fictional world, or is relegated to a corner as if in disgrace, it hurts – badly. It says your life is so different, you are so marginalised, you can only be written about ‘on the quiet’, or as a minority interest. This is wrong on so many levels. It hurts thousands.

5) Concerning refugees, borders are examples of yet more arbitrarily drawn lines indicating the start of one nation and the end of another. These lines have been fought over, given, stolen and mandated for centuries. They continue to shift in this century.

Although steps are being taken to help with this situation – it is again too late. Innocent humans have died trying to find one place of safety, one country that would let them over their border, and not reject them.

That a person grows up in a safe affluent country, is an accident of birth.

We still allow circumstances at birth to dictate whether a human being has a good life or not – Whether a human has access to medicine or not – Whether they receive respect or not – A good education or not – The dignity of representation, love and marriage, or not.

A life, or not.


Farewell Giveaway
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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