Join Prism Book Alliance® as CJane Elliott goes Outside the Margins today.
I have a confession to make: many moons ago, I used to believe that anyone who had het relationships and then got into a same-sex relationship was “really” gay, and their “true” nature was being revealed. In other words, there was no such thing as bisexuality… not really. And then I was befuddled when a guy I used to date got into a same-sex relationship – which clearly meant he was gay – and then some time later married a woman and proceeded to have a bunch of kids with her.
As my consciousness around bisexuality was raised, I started to notice how much it doesn’t seem to exist. Bisexuals face erasure all the time. If they’re in straight relationships, they’re assumed to be straight, and if in same-sex relationships, then of course they’re “really” gay or lesbian. This gets reflected in TV shows and literature, where characters have relationships with both genders but are never identified as bisexual. A common trope in m/m romance is “Gay For You” – a “formerly straight” guy falls for a man and is now “gay” – for the other guy. The word “bisexual” is often never used.
Should we even care about labels? What does it matter? It matters when people who have a particular sexuality are never given a seat at the table. I’m being more conscious of labeling my characters bisexual when they have engaged in relationships with both sexes. Because I write m/m romance, my characters always end up in a HEA with a same-sex partner. But that doesn’t mean all my characters are gay. Many of them are bisexual.
A month from now I’ll be on an Amtrak train traveling to the Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up in Seattle. Three years ago, with my first novel published and as a way to dip my toe into what writer/reader conventions were all about, I went to the GRNW Meet-Up as a reader. What a wonderful experience it was to hang out in a great city with a bunch of great people who love LGBTQ romance!
This year, I’ll be part of a panel on bisexuality in LGBTQ romance. Here’s the write-up for the panel:
Erased No More: Bisexual Characters in LGBTQ Romance
The bisexual aspect of the LGBTQ rainbow adds depth and juiciness to romance literature. This panel will explore the nuances specific to bisexual characters and will touch on what bisexual readers want from LGBTQ romance books. It will look at the common myths surrounding bisexuality as they apply to LGBTQ fiction. Panelists include authors of bisexual characters and authors who are themselves bisexual.
Although I’m cis het, the other four panelists are bisexual. I’m excited to participate in this conversation, hear about their experiences, and discuss ways to better represent bisexuals and bisexuality in LGBTQ romance literature.
In other news, I’m finishing edits on my next novella for Dreamspinner. Titled All The Way To Shore, it’s a contemporary romance set mostly on a cruise ship and involving delicious tropes such as fake identity, poor little rich boys, and more. Oh, and one of the MCs – Marco – is bisexual. Next month I hope to have a cover to show you.
For now, here’s the blurb:
Jonathan Vallen has never felt good enough. A gentle musician who loves to garden, he’s woefully unsuited to running the family business. When his father hires a hotshot executive, Marco Pellegrini, to save the company, Jonathan leaves Boston behind to find a happier life. A year later and forty pounds lighter, Jonathan runs into Marco on an LGBT cruise. Marco doesn’t recognize him, the sparks fly, and Jonathan pretends to be someone else for the week—Jonah Rutledge—someone good enough to be loved.
Marco Pellegrini has always been driven. He rose from poverty, and he’ll do anything to protect his reputation—including hiding his bisexuality. Having saved Vallen Industries, he’s weary of the rat race and ready for a more meaningful life. When Marco meets his soul mate for that new life—Jonah Rutledge—on an LGBT cruise, he prepares to stop hiding and start living.
Back on land, the romance crashes when Marco discovers his perfect man is not only a lie but the son of his boss, Frederick Vallen. Jonathan resolves to win Marco back, but Frederick takes vengeful action. Jonathan and Marco must battle their own fears as well as Frederick’s challenge to get to the future that awaits them on the horizon.
About CJane Elliott
After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.
CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories.
In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.
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