When I first read about this, I was sad for all parties although I did find the initial response from Telep to be a bit cavalier (you can see her response at Verdey’s blog post in the link above) because the implied message of this decision is stating that a gay love story CAN’T be mainstream and therefore has to be a niche appeal. I VERY much strongly disagree with this notion. Love is love and crosses all boundaries be it, race, religion, sex, disability and gender.
However I do think this reflects on the idea that there is a mainstream view of romance, which usually features white protagonists who are heterosexual, and that is sad because featuring different characters who are gay or have a disability or different backgrounds can add so much to a story as well provide a good conflict.
It also allows credence to the idea that being different from the mainstream or ‘normal’ is being ‘Other’ and this is dangerous and disheartening. The whole aim of this YA anthology was to focus on fae themed stories with a hint of romance, and I dont see why it should be an issue if one of them has a gay romance. The FACT it was highlighted and targeted is a sad state of affairs especially because in this day and age of gay people struggling for equal rights – especially for marriage in most parts of the world. This decision just smacks of implied discrimination because instead of focusing on the story and the romance between two people falling in love, the powers that be have focused on the fact that it’s between two boys and have made that an issue and I find that disheartening.
Love is love and romance as a genre tells this in a variety of formats and mediums as well as genres. It really shouldn’t matter if two boys or two girls or a boy and a girl fall in love. I know some people who have issues with this subject but I don’t like the idea of segregating or changing stories because it may have a gay romance. It is passing on the message that that being gay is still being an outsider. Can you imagine the uproar if it was a couple who was from different races? Or how about if one of them has a major disability (there is definitely a taboo about people who have disabilities and I don’t mean minor ones, having sex and enjoying it).
This story would have probably been a great way to say ‘Hey this has gay couple in it, and you know what it’s not an issue’. Instead this whole incident has become a controversial mess with a tarnished anthology which I expect won’t be published due to this. I think Leslie Livingston summed it up perfectly when she said – ‘love is love’, in her blog post. I really hope other publishers and editors learn from this because love encompassing and it doesn’t discriminate, or allows choice on who we fall in love or choose to love and people from all walks of life DO fall in love. Isn’t that what romance is about?
In other news, I would like to give a headsup for Operation Auction which is to raise funds for a blogger who has been very important in the world of romance. Her husband was tragically killed a few weeks ago and the blogging/author community are rallying around to support her. So this weekend will have a slew of auctions at ebay – here is the list of all the goodies!
I am copying and posting the full deets below about these auctions from the Operation Auction site.
Operation Auction will be going live on Sunday, March 27th at 12:01 am PDT. We will have all items in the Operation Auction ebay store.
None of the items will show up until the auction is live and not all items are going up at the same time. We have divided the items as equally as possible into three batches.
Batch One will be up March 27th at 12:01 am PDT, ending March 30th at 12:01am
Batch Two will be up March 28th at 12:01 am PDT, ending March 31st at 12:01am
Batch Three will be up March 29th at 12:01 am PDT, ending April 1st at 12:01am
All listings will run for three days. The only exception is the breakfast at RT with Angela James, Jane Litte, and Sarah Wendell. Because that event is approaching very soon, it will be in batch one and be a one-day auction only.
We are going to try our best to get lists up of what items are in which batch, but with new donations still coming in I’m not sure everything will be included. There will be categories in the store to help you find the items you want.
Shipping details will be in the description of each item. Please read those carefully before you bid to see if it is US only or international.