What Women Want: Male/Male Romance Documentary and Should White Authors Write Black Stories?
Let me just start out by saying that I have been writing gay fiction since I was in college in the 90s…mostly gay romance stories and books with or without erotica, and I’m an openly gay man. When I started out writing these gay romance stories I was submitting them to gay and lesbian publishers like Alyson Books, Cleis Press, and Starbooks Press. I have always written and published openly as a gay man. I’m not a trans man, or an asexual man. I’m not going to surprise you next week or next year and come out as something different. I am what I am. I am a gay man and that’s how I have always identified and that’s what I write about. The book above that I was lucky to be part of actually won a Lambda award.
With that said, I’ve been around for a while and I know gay publishing and gay romance. So when I stumbled across a documentary about male/male romance on Amazon I had to watch it.
Here’s the Amazon link for more. It’s really an interesting documentary to watch. It’s all about gay male romance books and gay content, but not classic gay content like I was always used to seeing with gay presses. In this documentary, you’ll see mostly straight women authors who clearly dominate the entire genre. And I really do mean dominate. If you watch it you’ll see what I mean.
Here’s another interesting link to an article about white authors writing black content. It’s titled, “Who Gave You the Right to Tell That Story.” Whenever I see non-marginalized people writing about any marginalized group I find it fascinating. I’ve never done it. I stick to gay romance because that’s what I am. But a straight man wrote, “Call Me By Your Name,” they called it a gay romance, and made a movie about it with two straight actors playing gay face.
And here’s another link about white authors writing black stories. This one compares it to doing blackface. It’s really an excellent piece.
This argument is in many ways irrefutable. Yet the uncomfortable suspicion remains that for a white South African writer to create a black, first-person protagonist is somehow inauthentic — a form of literary blackface.
the overwhelming majority of writers, publishers, readers and fans of gay male romance novels. Dive into the Gay Rom Lit convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico to discover why.
Here’s more. That link will take you to IMDb and you can find out more there. It is amazing to watch in the sense that even though the entire book genre is about gay men, it’s filled with mostly women. Once again, I’m not making any comments about this because I do know it’s been up for discussion for a long time now. I think eventually it will all even out and we’ll find out who’s going down on the right and wrong side of history.