I’ve recently been asking people who they, based on their reading experience, believe write the most ‘romancey’ tales in the m/m romance genre? Females, males, GQ/T* people, who?
One of the reasons I posited the question was/is a situation in which Sean Kennedy and I find ourselves.
In a nutshell, there are some in the m/m community who believe Sean and I are one in the same person. In other words, Sean Kennedy is apparently the pseudonym I use for publishing my work and, yes, I’m well aware of the irony.
When asked why people perceive this, the response was/is ‘his work is too romantic’.
‘Too romantic’? The fuck. Are these people suggesting a gay author can’t write ‘real’ romance? Or is it because Sean is male?
The majority of commenters to my posts have said gender and/or sexuality had no bearing on the level of romance and sex in a story, rather it was associated with an author’s personality and interests.
So, while gender and/or sexuality may have played a role in the development of personality etc, it doesn’t mean an author actually writes with their genitalia or genitals.
Yet the generalisations continue.
As I become increasingly aware of gender, sexuality and the rainbow of identifications, I try to question my own understanding of ‘male’, ‘female’ and the expressions thereof.
Reflecting on the idea one particular gender or sex creates the most romancey tale made me realise how embedded certain beliefs are. Not only the assumption ‘women write romance’, but that there is a ’masculine’ or a ‘feminine’ way of writing.
Is this another example of how limiting the binary mindset is? Is this something which needs challenging?
Yes, I think it is. More significantly, I think it should be. The spectrum is so full of possibilities. Why not embrace it?