Do I need a disclaimer? Should I add one just to cover my butt? Or does everyone know anything written here is my opinion and feelings on a sensitive subject? Also can I ask that everyone please be considerate when they comment? We're all adults (or pretending to be) let's act that way.
I keep hearing these stories about authors who have written a story with gay characters and when they show the story to others people suggest they change the story from M/M or F/F to M/F. I stumbled upon author Jessica Verday's blog about how she was asked just that thing. To have her story be part of an anthology the editor said she needed to change the relationship from gay to hetero. My writing friend, Chris said he someone suggested he change the gender of one of his characters to make his story hetero.
Let's think about this, discuss it, TALK!
Let me say first of that yes, I get publishers and agents are trying to sell a product. But does that make it okay to change a gay story into a hetero one? Maybe it'd be better if the agent found a publisher that had no qualms printing a book with gay characters. They are out there, they may not be part of the big 6 but I'd rather go with a smaller publisher that wasn't concerned with my character's sexuality.
I get the feeling that the assumption is if the characters are the same gender then the story is automatically full of sex and explicative acts. It's too risque for us straight people to deal with. The only way to tone it down is to make one character the opposite gender. Every other detail can remain the same though. That's fine.
It all makes me wonder, are gay stories really that horrifying? We see a book with an interesting cover, find out Jamie and Chris are both guys and drop the book like the plague. Just because we are straight. Come on, I thought we were past that. I believe we are born with our sexuality determined, we don't brush up against someone and who we're attracted to is magically changed.
I have read stories were the main characters are gay. They were amazing. I loved them, fell in love with the characters, rooted and cheered for them. The plot was strong, the writing was good, they were good books. I did not get disgusted when the two male characters kissed. I didn't even get grossed out when they got intimate. Did you know gay stories can be just as cliche as hetero in terms of sex?
So let's ask ourselves: Is a gay story that big of a deal for us straight people? I seriously doubt it. So why are we still acting like it? Demanding an author change their characters so the relationship will be hetero? Assuming that's the only type of book anyone will want to buy? Why can't we admit that these stories are needed, there are people out there who are straight and enjoy them? There are people who need them. These stories can be just as good and as bad as hetero stories.