It’s another day that ends in Y. So it’s another day to fight the good fight in a small literary world of gay fiction – otherwise known as M/M fiction.
It’s another day and someone is mad. Outraged. Just completely beside themselves because this person has committed a new sin in a long slew of sins in this beleaguered genre.
And I can’t help but think this is what happens when a lot of abused people get together. I think this is what happens when a lot of people who’ve had the crap kicked out of them all their lives get together to try and create something.
It works for awhile.
Until we start kicking the crap out of each other.
This industry is in the midst of a domestic abuse situation.
We are a community of abused – that can’t break the cycle.
We’re so used to having to defend ourselves, defend our lives, defend our ‘selfness’ that we haven’t learned how to sit back and relax. We’re still fighting. And now that things like marriage equality are a reality, we don’t know what do with ourselves.
So, with the fighters mind – we sniff out ANY perceived injustice and do our damnedest to squash it with the same ferocity we applied to our own lives to try and create distance between us and those who would do us harm.
Except now, we’re self-harming. We’re in an abusive relationship.
It’s like a soldier that comes home from war and can’t relax. Can’t calm down. Someone who is PTSD’ed to hell and gone.
This election season hasn’t made it much better. Trumpsters and that King Bigot have made it worse and I think people are feeling claustrophobic and anxious – and that’s making the situation much worse.
Instead of trying to be rational thinking people who can sit down like adults, people are going onto review sites and are – basically -witch hunting for those who dare make a mistake.
And it’s happening for a variety of reasons. Perceived inequality in a genre of books that is, by its very nature, fantastical. Real inequality. Entrenched points of view. And even book blurbs is enough to send people flying off the handle. Because those people are anger addicts.
And the recent logic is that we should burn the genre down to save it. Be damned whoever gets caught in it. Or what the fallout could do to someone who is depending on the money that comes in from a genre of books that is NOT QUEER FICTION. There is a great gulf fixed between M/M Romance written by hetero, bi, trans, and straight people and QUEER fic or fiction written for, by, and to Queer people.
And so these ‘activists’ find a target, gather their forces, and pummel them until they scream for mercy. And even then it isn’t enough. It’s not enough when someone comes in and says, ‘wait a second, find out what’s in the book before you jump.’ No, that doesn’t matter. The fever has already taken over and God help you if these people find you.
The bullied, beleaguered, those who had been in pain the past, have now become the bullies, the beleaguerer, and are intentionally inflicting pain on people who really can’t defend themselves – because they’re caught in the trap of an Aristotelian impossibility. And that’s trying to prove a negative. That they’re NOT something.
I think that practice is disgusting. And I think the people who are participating in it, are equally disgusting and the entire process is extremely self-defeating. Because these people aren’t really interested in solving a problem, opening up a forum for conversation, having both sides come and sit down and talk to each other. What’s happening, is the mob mentality who are so caught up in outrage – who are so addicted to being defensive and angry- that rational thinking and rational thought has gone out of the window. And it’s every man (or woman) for themselves. Watch for swinging fists.
Someone’s self-righteousness is about to take your head off. The abused have become the abuser.
And, those who wait for a moment to shine will attach themselves to the latest outrage with a quickness. Exposer, even negative exposure, sells a name and in desperation to sell books – they make themselves readily available to join the march. They’re like the branches of a tree when the wind blows they’re over here. And should the wind blow the other direction, there they go – just like Madea says.
It’s really not the subject matter that is sticking in my craw. It’s the method by which people are addressing this.
It’s like me seeing an old lady with a Trump T-shirt on. I know who she’s voting for. The rational person would go out and vote for Clinton. The irrational person, would knock that old lady over in hopes that they can’t vote then.
That doesn’t make you a hero. You’re an abusive asshat.
That’s what this is like.
People are just knocking people over in hopes they don’t write anymore. That they get bullied SO BAD, they throw their hands up in the air and give in. Walk away defeated. So the mob can go on and sniff out its next victim and take its rage out on someone else.
Are there issues in M/M? Of course, there are. It’s people writing about other people. Something somewhere is going to get skewed. Especially in ROMANCE.
“They’re bi-erasing me!”
This genre has issues dealing with GAY right and you want them to get Bi down with perfection?
There are books about MEN GETTING PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And then turning into WERE (fill in the blanks)!
But let’s say, hypothetically, you get rid of the ‘bad writers’ and the ‘bad readers’. You’re going to find yourself with very few people writing very few novels and eventually that’s going to dry up. So when you have NOTHING left – you’ll lament that and remember a time when there were SO MANY books to choose from.
Do you want a proper novel about bisexuals and their issues?
But you’re not trying to do all that work are you? Have to sit and actually do the work, have to put all the sweat, tears, and blood into pounding out a novella or a novel.Have to take the risk of falling on your face. Have to send it off and wait, or if self-pubbing – pour hundreds if not a thousand dollars or more into editing, cover art, etc. No, you’d rather just sit and bitch. It’s easier to shoot off a tweet, or leave a nasty message on a forum, or even send a message to the writer telling them what a piece of shit they are. Because now, all you’ve done is transfer all that pain and hate and fear that you’ve felt onto someone else, and the cycle continues.
It’s easier to do that.
Show us how it’s done. Let us read about your reality. Because as a GAY MAN, I can’t know what that’s like for you. That’s not my reality.
But understand that you’ll be subject to the ire of the market as well.
Every day this goes on, a reader leaves. A writer leaves. Eventually, publishing houses are going to close. And while you may be right – you’re eventually going to be right all by yourself. Because that’s usually what happens to abusers. They’re left to sit all by themselves.
Writers and Readers- You have every right to walk away. Every right. No one would blame you. Because after all, what’s love got to do with it?