Saturday, April 9, 2011

Are you in the Closet Abut Reading Gay Fiction?

Greetings all at Sweet and Sexy!
Once again, this is Rawiya aka Michael Mandrake, BLMorticia, otherwise known as the multi-personality author or the confused one. If you like, we can just call me crazy. I don’t mind.
Today, I’m blogging about being in the closet or on the down low about reading gay fiction. I’d like to thank, fellow gay fiction author, Christopher Koehler for this idea since it came up in the recent interview I did with him just last weekend.
Are you, as readers, ashamed to admit you enjoy gay fiction or erotica? Does it bother you that you have it in your library? I’m wondering because there are a lot of people out there with opinions or valid reasons and since I’m one of the authors contributing to the Its Raining Men blog, I decided to bring it up.
Recently on one of our blog posts, we had a commenter say she wouldn’t be able to join the Facebook IRM page because her friends or friends of friends not liking the fact she reads gay fiction. In other words, she was concerned that she’d receive even more flack if the page profile showed up on her personal page.
Now, let me preface this by saying I will not get into anyone’s personal business by getting involved in discussions between friends or relatives. However, I’m miffed as to why what you read would bother someone that claims to care about you.
Here’s another example. Does it bother those same people that you read Steven King, who often writes stories about murders, horror, and such or are they concerned about the vampire stories by Anne Rice who have homosexual overtones?
Again, it’s only an opinion but I really would love to understand why someone would be offended by what you read. DO they think you’ll become gay by reading it? *laughs* OH SHUDDER. Will you become a psychopath by reading Carrie? Hope not!
Why is it when we talk of something unacceptable by friends or family, it involves the gay community? The bottom line is, the hetero women, married ones especially, love gay fiction! In the few days that we’ve ran the IRM blog, the majority of visitors to our Facebook are women. UNREAL right? It shows up on our insights. Yep, Facebook is following you! Gay writings are very “hip” these days. And the number of female gay fiction romance authors and readers increases by leaps and bounds everyday which means lots of ladies love it. Why be ashamed? Why let your friends dictate what you are and what you enjoy? In my opinion, they aren’t people who care about you but again, that’s only my opinion.
Even if this were true in my case, I wouldn’t allow my friends or family tell me what to read or write. My mom is a Jehovah’s Witness and is very aware that I read and write gay fiction. So is my husband, my 12 year old son, and my little brother. My friends are my fans, even those who don’t read gay romance. Do they understand that I read and write it? Probably not. Do I care? NO!
I’m sure this blog will piss a lot of people off but the bottom line is, everyone has their own thoughts and these are mine. I’m sure a lot of people who write and read SNSD aren’t into gay fiction or m/m but as a writer, the internet, specifically blogs, is a perfect place to express our thoughts. In no way is my intention to change anyone’s mind, only to invoke conversation.
So, in closing, how do you feel about it? Are you hiding your enjoyment of gay fiction? Are you concerned about what your family and friends think about our choice? If so, why? Your enjoyment is your pleasure. It shouldn’t have to be hidden. You are your own person and should be able to like what you like.
Now go out there and support your gay fiction authors. *laughs* I’m joking. Do what you feel you need to but, in my opinion, you should “come out” from under the cover’s ladies and gentlemen because no one should be able to steer you away from the simple pleasures you enjoy.
Live your life for you!
Thank you SNSD for having me once again. All comments are welcome!
*book pictured is Rock and Roll Over in print.
Available at http://starbookspress.com, Amazon, and B & N


Tina Donahue said...

Live your life for you!

Very well said, Rawiya - and it's what I've been doing for as long as I can remember.

Living in California and being truly laid-back, I'm always surprised at people who try so hard (and futilely) to try to legislate what they consider the 'correct' morality.

As long as people are of age and consenting, I say go for it.

Love is hard enough to find...if you find it with the opposite sex or the same sex, then good for you. You're several steps ahead of the game.

Great post. :)

Rawiya said...

Thank you Tina.

I really enjoyed writing this because so many pepe worry about what others think.

I've never been concerned with that and I certainly don't care what people think about my choice of reading material.

Missy Martine said...

Hey Rawiya - I enjoyed your post. I've never been ashamed to let people know I enjoyed reading gay romantic fiction, but I have to admit that I was suprised to find I liked reading it. I'd never encountered anything like it before - and I'm well past my 50th birthday :) Then I received a gift by Carol Lynne as a birthday present. I've never read anything so HOT! Now I have all her and Stormy Glenns books (I'm a sucker for shapeshifters too so what better than gay shapeshifters!)

Life's too short so if you find something to fuel your fantasies then run with it!

Missy Martine

An Open Book said...

Rawiya- everyone has their own viewpoints, we can't help or change the ones that are narrow-minded and closed to reality. I enjoy all sub-genres of erotica and say KMA to those that are judgmental.
Dawne P

Sandy Sullivan said...

Great blog! I don't usually buy gay romance, but I'm not afraid of people knowing what I read. I like what I like. It's their problem, not mine.

~ Sandy

Paris said...

Very interesting topic. I don't feel a necessity to hide my reading preferences and these days am just as likely to recommend a gay romance as any other because a good romance is a good romance, period.

As for apologizing for what I read or trying to hide the fact that I enjoy gay romance--I find the older I get, the less I apologize for who I am and what I like:)

Rawiya said...

@ Missy!

Exactly. i've been into gay erotica for a number of years but just started writing it. A lot of people, mostly women love reading gay erotica.

We shouldn't be ashamed no matter what it is!

TY for your comments

Rawiya said...

@Dawne. I love your attitude. Thats how I feel as well. Ty for the comment!

Rawiya said...

@Sandy, Underdtood. We all like what we like. Its the same about just reg. M/F erotica. Some take issue with that.

I just wish people wouldn't be so narrow minded.

Rawiya said...

@Paris I love your viewpoint as well. We shouldnt be concerned about what others think. Period. TY for visiting and your comments!

Delaney Diamond said...

Hi Rawiya,

This was a very thought-provoking post.

I don't read gay romance, but I don't have a problem with anyone who does. As you pointed out, it's a choice, much the same as picking up a m/f romance or a horror by Stephen King.

It's easy to say "to hell" with what others think, but it's not that easy for everyone. It sounds like that's the case with some of your fans.

They haven't given up reading what they enjoy, but they've weighed the pros and cons and decided it's not worth the headache that will arise if they share it with certain people.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

A very provacative post, Rawiya. It always amazes me that some people think they have the right to condemn others for their taste in food, entertainment or what they wear--let alone what they read. Like who made them Queen of the Know anyway?
I've read just about every genre there is and have my favorites like most people. Although gay fiction as a genre may not be my favorite, I have read some great stories that happen to have gay characters. Never gave a thought to what others may think. It's really none of their beeswax.
Great post, Rawiya.

Michael said...


I agree that some have more important reasons as to why they won't disclose but in most cases its just that they are afraid of what someone says.

I know there a 2 sides to every story so to each his or her own.

Ty for the comment

Michael said...


Thank you. That is what gets me too. It all goes back to be judgemental and as you say that is with everything.

We like what we like. If its not your cup of tea, please step off my bus.

Blak Rayne Books said...

Read what you read and like what you like. No one has the right to tell you otherwise! Great post Rawiya!

She said...

I read what I want. Most people I know don't read romance. I get more flack from reading straight romance than I get from reading anything else. I don't care. I like romance, either m/m, f/f, m/f, menage and I'm not going to change my reading habits for anyone. Now that I think about it I get alot of flack about alot of things I do, mostly because my family doesn't enjoy the same things--internet, facebook, twitter, blogs, contests, baseball, hockey, readng, eating out, movies. I enjoy those things and I don't care what my family thinks about it. Say your piece and move on. Thankfully I live alone and can indulge my passions.

Fiona McGier said...

IMHO that is one of the real reasons for the success of eBooks: no one can see the cover, so no one knows what you are reading! And piracy? I think it's straight men who are too homophobic to let anyone know they are curious, so they steal m/m romances so there's no record anywhere that they have it! Does that make them gay? NO! It makes them curious, which means human. (Well, okay, maybe some of them are bi, or gay, but in denial.)

As for worrying about what others think, there is a famous saying: The ones who care don't matter, and the ones who matter don't care.

Great topic, Rawiya. Fun to weigh in on.

Artemis said...

I'm at the point in my life where I could care less what other people think. I'm leaving the judgment to a higher being.

Yes, I read m/m romance. My husband of 31 years knows, my daughters know, and most of my friends know. When the topic of books comes up in conversation, you should see the looks I get!

BTW, some of the most romantic reads I have found are m/m. It's not all about the sex.

Rawiya said...

@Blak I totally agree with what you said, thanks for stopping in.

Rawiya said...

@She. Another comment that's spot on.

I really appreciate your support. ;)

Rawiya said...

@ Fiona, very true. Ebooks makes it possible to you to hide what you read. *lol* You could be on a crowded train and look at a romance that makes you hot and no one will know.

Great saying too. Thank you for the compliments

Rawiya said...

@Artemis. Hello! *waves*

I thank you for visiting and yes agree. Some of the best romance is m/m.