Tag Archives: mistreating LGBT stories

LGBT genre is a mess

Camp-2017-Participant-Profile-Photo.jpg… and I seriously love this year’s banners with jackalopes :), must be my inner joke going on, because a hare with antlers is seriously down my alley.

Actually, I just wanted to vent, or do a warm up for the writing today, or tomorrow, because I ran out of steam some time by lunch and after doing the day work, I didn’t get it back, so here I go.

What is it with LGBT being a completely separate genre? Aside the social relationship type there is nothing that actually tells about the story – most of the stuff I find from there is urban fantasy, another part fantasy, science fiction, modern romances (and not at all always erotica). Like, take the relationship type out and suddenly it’s another romance, science fiction, fantasy or modern! Romance is often scolded for not being “the actual” genre as it is big part of other genres while not being the main one.

Most readers, who have ever had to search through that mess this genre is, can vouch when I say – it is one of the most pointless genre separation ever created! And what are the sub genres? Gay, lesbian, trans or bi! So if you want to find one that, for a bad example, is a mystery of gay pair running a steampunk airship, it is seriously time consuming. Especially when Amazon only allows limited tag words for the novels for cleaner search. Which, by the way, I do support for it keeps all the 100 tags lists away that mean nothing regarding the stories.

What I often see is that if the author marks their work as LGBT, then the book is solely shut into that specific genre and does not appear on any other genre lists while historical romances for example show up in both romances and historical. But if you mark your work for LGBT, it is immediately classified as erotica and thus treated as grown up literature.

So I have seen great number of young adult books shoved among erotica only because they wrote about two boys falling in love in school scene.  Or clearly science fiction story listed there only because it had lesbian main character when the story is about how they retrieve some kind of chemical from long lost colony on Jupiter’s moon.  Shifter stories with main characters being gay couple – not more sex in the story than in average urban fantasy – seriously rises the question – what the heck is it doing in erotica? Because then you read the comments under those stories and they clearly were expecting an erotica, when the story didn’t support that belief.

And my only question is, why? Isn’t it time to start using LGBT as a tag rather than genre in literature? It is clear that LGBT as genre in ebook business is defined as erotica and thus no matter what you write, if you do not provide shoppers the erotica specific characters and settings, the non-erotica, which try to crack out of it and have for example mystery or historical or harlequin or whatever other genre as their main genre, are treated as if they do not fit the bill. As if lesbies or gays or bis or trans read nothing but erotica or school books. Seriously – where does that notion come from?

I don’t even know if that makes any sense. Lately it just bothers me for I believe they would have better chances if measured by the genres the stories are in, not by what LGBT pushes them in as long as the genre is seen as purely erotic in nature. I think the LGBT genre would win in great deal if the subgenres weren’t just gay, lesbian, bi or trans, but also mystery, history, contemporary, etc. Then writers, who do not write hardcore erotica can actually set their books in those genres and not be beaten up constantly for not fulfilling someone’s wet dream.

Oh, which brings me to my other pet peeves in Amazon romance section –  Multicultural & Interracial, African American and Clean & Wholesome.  In a world, where we try to erase setting people apart by where they are from or who they are born as, racial, religious or any other aspects of their life, it is very disturbing thing to observe that this is still “a thing” in American Amazon literature section. This isn’t about the story being of main character’s courageous journeys in action, mystery or any other story – it declares me I can choose porn based on fantasies like choosing my whore of the day – by hair color, skin type and how she looks like looking up.

Harsh, sorry, but that’s how it feels like lately when searching something new from romance section. I may love that genre to bits, but this shows nothing has changed since I starting browsing online for books. The saddest part, I know half of those books wouldn’t be treated like this if they were marketed through other genres. And they always do have the other genre. It is just written in the description – tiny note on the side, this is a mystery story of a woman facing down a ghost of a pirate ship captain. Whoah! Suddenly the MC’s not wearing short hot red mini, but has trousers on and is half way in muck jumping through a swamp!

Choosing the correct genre changes perspective we hold over a book. If we present it as erotica, then that’s what it is. If we present it as story of a character and say it’s a mystery, then we treat it based on mystery genre checklist, so to say. So why force LGBT couples into solely erotic environment when they are not erotica?

OK, done. The rant is a result of searching a long lost story which has zero erotica in it, a simple kiss, and I found it in LGBT erotica section when it was a holiday romance through and through and innocent like a lamb. It’s only reason ending up between alphas going after omegas in heat and aliens buying a sex slave was the fact that the story told about gay couple, not a hetero one.


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