(Photo by: Vadim Kaipov)
The whole concept absolutely makes me insane. Especially being a queer man. If I follow writer’s advice and write what I know – or if I follow the advice of the late, great Nina Simone and reflect my world in my work – then I what I write is going to be triggering in its entirety. Which – in a genre of queer books – written for, by, and about so said queer people – adding trigger warnings to content because it may bother straight people is insulting to me. I want you bothered by it. I want you hurt with me. Add in all of the pseudo-religiousness of genre fiction where the ‘rules’ become dogma and you dare not break them lest ye risk the ire of a certain group of readers – I find all of this the height of privilege. How dare you insist that not only do I write a book inside the box of m/m romance which has overtaken anything in the queer lit category, perfectly fashioned toward your sensabilites but then I must slap a warning label for you on it so that you’re senses aren’t offended should I deviate outside of these rules established long before queer lit came around? They would be selling ice cream in hell first before that ever happened. Hubris. Add on top the tacky people who would use these things to insert awful content the way people use *banned by Amazon* as a way to sell trash under the guise of censorship.
At the end of the day my darlings, there isn’t enough money in the world that would make up for trading myself in for your comfort. You don’t want to be triggered – I didn’t want to have to go through the things in my life that would perhaps trigger you in a book that I feel compelled to write about because it’s my truth! Knowing that there is some poor fucked up soul out there just like mine that needs to hear that the shit they went through hasn’t thrown them into the void of loneliness like real mental health issues often do.
I understand is the most powerful phrase in the English language.
This entire genre is so rife with these dogooders that lock you in and hold you at ransom, or filled with straight privileged people who want to know all the FUN stuff surrounding gay people and will accept certain bad things in a book if it furthers a plot point that I honestly have to say I regret ever walking into it.
I don’t understand why gay people put up with this. Why do we allow ourselves to be reduced for the comfort of others? Don’t we do that enough with our families? Haven’t we had to do this at our jobs? Where your other family members are married but you’re ‘married?’
It’s intellectual cowardice. It’s intellectual veganism where your empathy has replaced your biological need for sustenance at the cost of life sustaining nutrients.
It’s Pseudo- intellectualism.
At the end of the day – its fucking homophobia from people who are allying us to death.
My brothers are being rounded up and murdered in Chechnya. I’m triggered. Are you?