Happy Pride to the Women Who Read Gay Romance
I sometimes post about cultural appropriation and the women who write gay romance novels. If you believe that gay men have their own culture, and if you believe that gay men deserve the same respect as any other marginalized group, then you can clearly see the cultural appropriation going on with gay romance.
In fact, no other marginalized group of people has had to experience anything quite like the cultural appropriation gay male authors deal with on a daily basis. There was one straight white woman writing gay romances and it was discovered that she was stealing her work from another straight white woman author who writes excellent hetero romances. This thief in m/m romance was not only appropriating, she was stealing another author’s work and getting away with it.
With that said, I sincerely want to clarify that none of this has anything to do with the women who read gay romances. Over the years I’ve met many women who read gay romance and I find them to be bright, empathetic, and strong allies to everyone who falls under the LGBTQ umbrella.
It’s a very different thing when you want to read about another culture. That only makes you curious and smart. I find that reading about different cultures helps me to understand the obstacles they’ve faced and the long roads they’ve taken in order to survive. I especially like reading African American authors like Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison. But I would never dare try to write a novel that’s focused only on African American characters. That would be cultural appropriation and I leave that to the many wonderful African American Authors out there who are struggling hard to be published.
Once again, I just want to give thanks to the many women who are curious about gay culture and who want to read about it. I think they have a great deal in common with gay men, too, on certain levels. But that’s for another post.
50 Years for Philadelphia’s “Gay” Pride March
I put gay in quotes again because it is NOT Gay Pride anymore. It’s LGBTQIA Pride and so many people still don’t even realize that. Trans people and everyone else who falls under the umbrella have been fighting for years for equal rights and respect. So why the media can’t get this right passes me by.
In any event, it’s now 50 years of Pride Marches in Philadelphia and that helps you define LGBTQIA history a little. 50 years ago was about the time we started to become recognized by the mainstream and it’s also around the time the word “gay” was used for gay men. Up until then is was just a long list of pejoratives that included the word “homosexual.” And yes, “homosexual” is a pejorative now.
Some dropped masks and chains into coffins, symbolically shedding the guilt and shame they’d been taught to carry for simply being who they were. “There are an awful lot of gay people,” one marcher said that day, “who feel alone.”
Here’s more. So you see that we still have a long way to go in many respects. So many of us still haven’t even come out.