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Everyone! I'm now gay!

Reading all those screes and advocacy that come out during Pride Week has helped me seen the light.

Straight romances are evil, disgusting advocates of oppressing and antiquated concepts like religion and patriarchy. Plus, they don't have hot men having sex with each other.

To become a better person, I must read only MM romances - and nothing else - and write online non-stop about how the world will be a better beautiful balloon if hot gay men are allowed to have sex with each other while we all get to watch and bask in our enlightened appreciation of unrelenting sodomy.

There is only one kind of gay men: hot ones who live to let women fawn, sigh and drool over their glittering copulating bodies. The only gay sex that matters is BDSM - every gay guy does it on Friday nights - and every urban gay guy under 21 is a university jock who moonlights as a stripper in a hot night club. Non-urban gay guys are all cowboys.

Everything that is wrong in this world will be solved if everyone is gay and beautiful.

Despite the fact that the world still have problems giving equal rights to people of different religion, color, politicial ideology, and other things, it is only realistic and fair that we charge into organizations like RWA and LAMBA and insist that they give out awards to our favorite authors. Only then will we be making huge advances in ensuring that every hot BDSM gay cowboy callboy will be able to have sex with his Dom.

Sexually explicit gay sex scenes in a novel are educational tools to expose the ignorant mind to the beauty of male same sex coitus.

Lesbians? Trannies? What are these things you are talking about? Everyone knows that being gay means looking like the latest hot Hollywood male celebrity du jour and having hot sex with each other. Don't pollute the beautiful BDSM sphere of hot gay men buggering each other with your weird ideas.

It is okay to call myself a gay man trapped in a straight woman's body in order to claim some credibility in my online arguments with fellow homophobes.

I have boyfriends and/or husbands but I like reading about guys having sex... OMG, I'm a bisexual! Radical!

Everyone who disagrees with me is a homophobe. And a racist. And a... let me go check my college textbook of "ism" words. I bet there are sixteen big words to describe these wretched rejects of humanity who can't appreciate the righteousness of the penis-in-anus dogma. Gay men who disagree with me are secret self-loathing Republican lesbians. Or maybe they are straight men trapped in a gay man's body. What's the big word to describe such a sad psychological condition? Homoterophogynotubbopornophobia? 

Life is too precious to waste time leaving the house and actually taking part in LGBT activism on grassroot levels. There are always blog battles to win, after all, and we all know THAT is the only way the battle can be won.

Despite the fact that I only read MM novels and slash fiction, without truly knowing anything about the history of LGBT activism (Stonewall - isn't that the name of the hot BDSM Dom cowboy from Carol Lynne's latest masterpiece?), I am very well qualified to call myself a LGBT activist who understands what a gay man must feel like living under a repressive regime of oppression.

I have watched Rent 2,654 times, I watch Glee every week, and I read every MM book I can get my hands on when I am not working on my epic slash fanfiction. That proves that I am heavily immersed and active in gay culture. PS: everyone who gives my work a negative rating is a homophobic hater.

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal are my two most favorite gay activists ever because they have done a lot of good things for the LGBT community, like having sex scenes on film so that me and my girlfriends can watch and wish that we too are hot gay men.

Really, guys, the world will be so much better if we are all gay and beautiful and speaking in a polished upper-class Gosford Park accent.

It Gets Better... or Does It?

I think the core intention of this campaign is noble, but the message is a bit tad simplistic and even naïve. But perhaps, in the wake of the recent suicide of that poor kid, this is what we need to hear. Here are some links that present a counterpoint to the It Gets Better campaign. Just for some interesting reading if you are inclined. (more links at the bottom of the page)

M/M Land! As expected, the mainstream-ing of MM romance is not making some gays and lesbians happy. The above is just one example of the drama taking place between both sides.

I have no dog in this whole thing. I can see where both sides are coming from. I freely admit to having fetish for hot man-on-man love but at the same time, I don't hold the view that enjoying such fetish in private hurts gay people. After all, I know that M/M is not representative of real life LGBT relationships.

But I have to LOL at some of the truly ridiculous line of defense from straight female readers. From the above link, a statement by "Jackie":

I also don’t understand your equating the fetishizing of gay relationship with making them “other”. I tend to think that exposing straights to positive portrayals of gay relationships – even those that are inaccurate – make gays less other.

Oh my goodness. Exchange "gay" with, say, "African Americans" if you can't see the awful insensitivity of the above statement. It's NOT okay to misrepresent anyone, gay or straight, if you want to make a socio-political statement about that person.

It gets better. She tells the writer, a lesbian:

Finally, I understand your frustration with the quality and accuracy of m/m fiction, but I really don’t get why its very existence is offensive to you.

Dear Jackie, please be quiet. Are you 16? You are not helping your side, dear. You are making all M/M authors and readers look like ignorant pigs.

And she genuinely believes that by reading MM she is helping the world become a better place:

Again, even with its flaws, I would think the popularity and growth of this genre is a good thing for GLBT visibility and therefore the fight for equal rights.

See what happens when all those MM authors and readers continue to delude themselves into thinking that they can use their books alone to justify themselves as as Enlightened Crusaders for LGBT rights? 

To fight for equal rights, you put yourself out there. You gather signatures for petitions to be sent to the appropriate Senators or even the President. You write, print, or help spread informative pamphlets. You volunteer at helplines. You work for free at Shelters, Homes, and such. You write or deliver a speech that you believe in in a public place, even if it means the audience will pelt you with stones. You refuse to sit at the back of the bus. You go to prison for your beliefs and never waver in your conviction. You die for the cause.

You do not get to call yourselves activists just by writing or reading MM stories, just as romance authors cannot claim to be feminists, relationship experts, or anything they fancy just by waving their author/reader credentials. 

So MM people, just stop with this line of defense. It's not fooling anyone who is outside the circle, it is making yourselves (and me, since I read MM) look like horrifically bigoted and even homophobic arrogant twats, and... please just stop.

Just stop responding to these things! You have all been trolled by Victoria Brownworth. I didn't feel guilty previously for reading MM and dirty yaoi comics from Japan (where rape is a staple feature) but you all - yes, you, not Ms Brownworth - are making me start to feel that way now. Remember how that charming blogger India once said that authors should hush and just write books? I'm adopting that one here: stop embarrassing all of us and focus instead on writing those stories, thanks. 

I read MM. And yet I cringed in embarrassment when I read this Out article Am I the only one to feel this way? (I'm betting yes, heh.) Female authors trying so hard to ooze "cred", calling themselves "gay men at heart", those unflattering photos, and the writer's open disdain of the subject he is writing about - encapsulated in the closing line:

If the courage of the gay man inside Alex Beecroft inspires her to live openly and proudly as a heterosexual Christian wife -- who are we to judge?


This is why I've always said female MM readers and authors should not try too hard to justify what we do. Calling ourselves inner gay men and stuff - at the end of the day, we are still women, who still hold more rights in society compared to many LGBT folks (or is it LGBTQ now?), and therefore, any attempt these women do to identify with gay men will come off as patronizing. And some gay folks will react accordingly - with disdain and even contempt. It's better we just go with the flow and do our own thing without being baited into helping out with the creation of articles such as this one.

And before someone start, identifying yourself as bisexual when you still live an outward existence of a heterosexual married women with kids may not go down well with some gay folks either, since you are still married while LGT folks have been trying so hard to have their marriages recognized by law. I'm not saying that identifying yourself as bisexual is wrong, I'm just saying that, if you are not careful, you still come off as patronizing. After all, you still go home to a family and a marriage. Those folks you claim to identify with wish they are as fortunate. So any attempt to put yourself at the same level as them will come off horribly wrong if you are not careful.

My point is this: if some folks in the LGBT circles want to bait MM readers or authors into embarrassing themselves for the amusement of those LGBT folks, don't play along. Don't try so hard to appease anyone who comes off as "really" gay or lesbian just because you've always wanted a real gay BFF or because you think it will lend your author persona some cred because not all LGBT folks automatically assume that you're an ally just because you write love stories with guys buggering each other. Don't also assume that just because you write slash and/or MM fiction, LGBT folks will automatically welcome you with open arms. Fag hag isn't a complimentary term of endearment.

In other words, MM is not always the same as LGBT. MM is by its very nature exploitative, since it is mostly written by and enjoyed by women who, whether they call themselves straight or not, could very well hold more rights than LGBT people and, therefore, these women's attempts to put themselves at the same level as LGBT people will come off as, at best, misguided and patronizing or, at worst, insulting to LGBT people. A great degree of diplomacy and political savvy is needed if these women still want to go down that route, or the end result will be articles like that one featured in Out.

Me, I'd prefer to march to my own drums. Yes, I read MM, but that's because I just do, not because I want to make the world better for LGBT folks. Oh, I do, but I save my activism for real life. I won't try to justify my reading fetish by assuming that it is shrouded in lofty humanitarian goals, just as I won't pretend to read MF romances to become a better feminist. I read for my own entertainment, and anyone who doesn't like it can go fly kites on a short pier, end of story.

More fun looking at romance novel tropes

Have you noticed how romance heroes are actually safer going off to war? The number of times they experience miraculous escapes, or the number of occurrences when they rescue Wellington from certain death at Waterloo - compare that to the number of times some fat and drunk buffoon dies while riding a horse in the countryside, enabling these brave heroes to ascend to their rightful places as Earls and Dukes.

Have you noticed how it is acceptable for heroine to be slavishly devoted to everyone around her to the point of having no discernible needs of her own, but the hero is not allowed to be this way? Heroes are ideally lone wolves, surrounded only by similar men just so that those men with get their own romance novels. Like heroines, heroes often have good relationships with their mothers only if he's part of a family series, and even then, the mother will show love to the heroine irrevocably - often knowing before everyone else that the heroine is the right person for the hero. Under any other circumstances in other books, the hero will barely tolerate the rest of the family, viewing them as dramatic odd ducks or, worse, parasites. I suspect this is to ensure that the heroine has no competition from anyone else when it comes to the hero's attention.

Why is it that good guys in romances tend to be oversexed, screwing anything that moves... unless the guys in question are the heroine's only living relatives? Under such circumstances, the heroine's brother or cousin tend to be sexless, devoted to the heroine, or, usually, a bit touched in the head, if you know what I mean. I suspect this is because, once again, the heroine must be the only woman allowed to shine in a romance novel. It's hard to remind the reader that the heroine is all that matters when said brother is making eyes at some pretty girl. That or heroines make the worst kind of mother figures, but I don't think this is what the authors are trying to say.

Just as there are contemporary romance authors who still insist that birth control pills are all you need in order to have safe sex and it's okay to have unprotected sex with the playboy you fell in love with over a course of one week because the two of you love each other, there are also historical romance authors who insist on writing about opera singer and actress heroines who never consider taking precautions to avoid pregnancy when they are doing their "taking a protector, although of course we'll fall in love and get married!" thing. These heroines are either ignorant of such matters (I guess they are too pure to talk and socialize with their colleagues) or they don't even THINK about such things.

And why are there historical romance heroines who are so shocked to learn that their rake boyfriends have children out of wedlock? And even when they know this, they never once stop to think, "Gee, I don't intend to marry him since I KNOW he doesn't love me, so maybe I should take steps to avoid a pregnancy that will really screw up my life as a single woman in the 19th century?"

Why is it that sleeping with a guy for free and refusing to marry him because he doesn't say the L word considered a more "moral" thing for a heroine to do? Doesn't that make the heroine... cheap?

Why are there so many contemporary romance authors who think it is so quaint to have every hero and heroine of theirs display a "cute" love for oldies? Once or twice, it's fine, but when every other book has supposedly modern and hip youngsters expressing adoration for things popular only in the 1950s, the reader will suspect that the author is trying not to do research on actual contemporary elements to include in her contemporary romances. And let's not even start with the fashion sense of these modern characters...

Where are there so many authors who write smutty and moral-free slash fanfiction with glee, only to turn into strident LGBT activists incorporating strident and melodramatic moral messages about loving the homos once they become published authors? I always suspect that some of these authors must be feeling some kind of guilt, perhaps they believe deep inside that they are exploiting the beautiful rainbow folks or something  - there's no reason to be on the soapbox so often otherwise, no? 

I'm A Homo by Sherry Vine

I like it better than Lady Gaga's Alejandro video, which tried way too hard to imitate Madonna.

MF and LGBT romances

Interesting read, and I'm not saying this just because the author is handling a less than glowing review of her book very well, heh.

I don't want to post my response there because, frankly, I can be just yakking out of my rear end, and I prefer to embarrass myself here than on someone else's turf.

Here's what I think: it is pretty naïve to assume that LGBT and MF romances can go together and co-exist in harmony.

I mean, look at RWA's reaction to MM romances. Look at the LGBT literary circles' reaction to MM romances written by women.

As long as there is a perception among LGBT folks that straight women - who hold more rights than LGBT people - are meddling or even acquiring an important facet of their lives by writing, selling, and expecting MM romances of theirs to be winning awards, these folks will reject LGBT romances written by straight women, especially those that they do not accept as the few token heterosexual members of the queer literati club. Given how most non-romance readers view romance, MM romances written by straight women (or bisexual women - some gay people don't believe that bisexuality exists and those who claim to be bisexuals are cop-outs or cowards unable to embrace their homosexuality fully) therefore have an uphill climb when it comes to being accepted by LGBT literary circles.

And as long as prejudices exist among straight people when it comes to gay people, MM romances will always have a hard time gaining mainstream acceptance. People may secretly read them in private, but I doubt MM romances will be openly sold in Wal-Mart anytime soon the way they sell those Harlequin series books.

But why do we want MM romances to be accepted anyway? Look at MF romances - the genre is the pariah of popular literature for 20+ years now, but we are all doing great, thank you very much. I know for authors that acceptance and respect can be important, but perhaps we should all just accept that we are all beautiful, popular, amazing, and we don't need those silly fusspots to worship us. We're doing fine on our own, after all. So perhaps LGBT romance authors should adopt the same attitude, exist without being concerned so much about what other people think, and have fun, build a career, and enjoy life while it lasts.

Ricky Martin comes out of the closet

Shocker, I know. Still, his blog entry about why he comes out makes a pretty good read.

Complaining for the sake of complaining

Dear annoying fans of Mary Balogh at a certain place,

Stop complaining that romance novels today are boring and so unlike the books by your precious author. Mary Balogh currently puts out 200 books a year, or so it seems like. I don't understand why you need to moan about the lack of books similar to those by the Queen of Stories Featuring Lifeless Martyrs. Go read those new books of hers! Shoo!

Dear boring whiny people at a certain place,

Real life is real life. Romance novels are romance novels. If all authors write stories that conform to your rigid school of thought about what constitutes proper male and female behavior, the romance genre will resemble one long turgid Emily Post column from 1947. Mary Balogh has 500 books out a year - go read them. Shoo!

Dear crazy and annoying MM romance readers from a certain place,

MM romances are romances too. This means, YES, nobody respects MM romance. In fact, I suspect that MM romance gets even less respect than MF romance in mainstream press. So, I have no idea why you would ever imagine that MM romances will in any way become more credible than MF romance. In fact, I don't know why the need to denigrate MF romances just to make MM romances look good. Because they are both never going to get respected by anyone outside the fandom. Deal with it.

PS: I hate to break this to you, but slash fanfiction ranks even lower than MF romance novels when it comes to respectability. Stop deluding yourself that you are somehow better than romance authors just because you write slash fanfiction, or maybe not, because you guys are funnier than circus clowns when you all delude yourselves into thinking that.

Dear Blog Land,

It has been one month since I last come across words like appropriation and other big words ending with "-ism", "-phobia", and what not.

Thank you.

Warning: not safe for work images. I should also warn people who get their hackles up about gay appropriation by straight women and stuff, because this article teaches those women how to appropriate the Ghey for the Washington.

AND here's the saddest part: I actually know the scenes of the gay adult movies he is talking about in there. I'm familiar with some of the gay adult industry names he dropped. And I definitely disagree with him about Falcon or Kristen Bjorn being good adult film producers/makers - they churn out formulaic vanilla stuff that put me to sleep. I find some Corbin Fisher and Sean Cody stuff far more palatable than some recent full-length Falcon movies, which tells you how bad those movies are. And I'm shutting up now before the church people start banging at my door.

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