(Author’s Note: The opinions stated in this article are mine and mine alone)
I have a confession to make.
I haven’t read any M/M or F/F romances. Something about seeing two incredibly hot and amazing men, and BELIEVE ME, they all are, get it on with each other instead of a female (a female like me!!) invariably depresses the single woman in me. The same is not true for F/F romances and I really don’t know why I haven’t picked up one yet. Maybe, the same reason I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey (another CONFESSION!) or straight up erotica from Ellora’s Cave. Or even Blay and Quinn’s story in JR Ward’s awesome Black Dagger Brotherhood series. (I so HEART Zsadist!)
Do y’all think I am a bigot now? Just because I haven’t read something that doesn’t appeal to me on an emotional or intellectual or even passing interest level? We’ll get back to this question in a minute.
About a year ago, my lovely, supportive (she encourages me to write even when I am driving her batty with writer’s block) awesome mom sat me down and asked me very seriously, and very miserably, “Aarti, are you a lesbian? Is that why you don’t want to look at suitable boys for marriage?”
I burst out laughing. Not because the idea is ludicrous or because I have anything against men, women or marriage (arranged marriage, yeah) but because of the look of Apocalypse Now on her face. The truth is, my lovely, supportive, awesome mom would be fine with almost anything I did, except turn out gay.
I’m not. I like men. I like cock. I LOVE writing about said men and their cocks. And their hearts and brains and the one thousand ways they can drive a woman crazy. But this conversation illuminated something for me. My freewheeling, free-thinking, secret rebel of a mom still had a few concerns about what my life choices were going to be, because of what society had taught us all was WRONG.
So, now, I ask you guys again. Just because I am a straight, single woman who loves writing straight romances, and doesn’t read same-sex erotica and love stories because they don’t appeal to me, does that make me a bigot on any level? Yes? No? Maybe?
I’ll start with the undecided first.
Maybe: Maybe I have a problem with gay writing and gays in general because I don’t like to read them. And maybe I do. Like I said, I don’t really know. But, how is it affecting the awesome, amazing gay couple who were smooching in the auto the other day or were holding hands yesterday at the mall, or my writer friends who write AMAZING same-sex romances? It’s not. Right? Right? Sure, they don’t have me as a reader yet, but since I am a maybe, I am still on the fence, I can always swing that way. There is hope yet for me.
Yes: Yes, I have a problem with gay writing, which possibly extends to gays in general because I don’t like to read them. And maybe yes, I do. But does this mean that I am going to go spit on the face of the cute gay couple next door’s relationship by telling their parents or go write mean, snarky comments on my friend’s Facebook page or even other popular author’s pages just because they support marriage equality? Doesn’t that make me ignorant as well as a bigot? And you can possibly be a closet bigot (all of us are about something or the other) but it is inexcusable to be ignorant in today’s Smartphone 3G age and we all know it.
So maybe if I have a problem with gay writing or gays I could just keep these opinions to myself, not in the name of anti-free speech but tolerance. Democracy advocates free speech as well as tolerance. If I have a problem with you, your way of living and who you choose to write about, I could just mind my own business anyway.
No: No, I don’t have a problem with gay writing, which extends to gays in general because I don’t like to read them. And yeah, I don’t. To y’all, a salute and a virtual doughnut! Because, see, you are a discerning individual. You understand that one choice doesn’t negate any other. You understand that just because I don’t choose to read horror or FSOG, doesn’t mean I have a problem with some other couple somewhere in the world enacting the Benwa Balls scene or a sexy version of The Shining because they’re into it.
And you definitely, MOST definitely understand that just because I don’t READ something doesn’t mean I don’t agree with it in principle or action, or that I won’t fight for it if and when the time comes. You are the antithesis of the Supreme Court of India because you get what democracy is all about.
Free Speech. Tolerance. Freedom to make your own choice.
I have given three different answers and now it’s time to disclose my opinion. And my answer is NO. I don’t have a problem with gay writing, which extends to gays in general because I don’t like to read them. I don’t read Horror too, or Erotica for that matter, or Epic Fantasy, or badly-written books. But I uphold everyone’s right to love, live and write about whatever they want to. Whether it is bestiality or mythical beasts or a heart-warming story about Nikhil and Rahul.
I might not read you, but I LOVE that you exist and can express yourself freely (at least in America.)