Monday, January 30, 2012

Men Writing Lesfic (Updated at the End After the ****)

A hot topic in some of my lesfic Yahoo groups lately has been men writing lesfic. For example, should they, how good could they possibly be without going through the lesbian experience, and should lesbians buy their works?

Here's where I stand:

One of the great pleasures of being an author is meeting all kinds of people. And I have to say that some of my kindest new fans and friends are men. I've grown close to one on Facebook. He also writes lesbian fan fic. Guess what? He's good. He writes like a woman. He even talks like  some women (for example, he says "sorry" a lot).

I have another fan, an older man. He lives in another country. He's married to a lesbian who is his best friend. He discovered me when my "Old Woman" collection was free and bought all my other books.

I love these guys. I'm certainly not going to turn right around and tell them they can't write good lesbian fiction if they so desired to write it. Some men have unique life experiences and insights. A boy raised by two lesbians might have good insight, perhaps more insight, than some of us lesbians do. Who knows.

If people buy a lesfic book written by a man and enjoy it (or don't enjoy it), and later find out he is a guy and feel cheated... well, that's understandable to some extent. But I would hope the buyers would get over it eventually.  Life is risky. Life is also short. Let people do what they want to, and if you make a mistake, move on. Don't buy that author's books again if you feel betrayed.

Focus on yourself. Focus on being happy. That's what I try to follow. I am not always successful (people get to me more than I'd like to admit), but I try. ;-)

For me, it is all about a good book.

People should write what they want to. People are diverse, with diverse interests. If this bothers some people, just don't buy these people's books. I'm sure some straight people were unhappy when Patricia Cornwell came out, but it just goes to show you never know who might be gay or straight. (I can understand why some lesbians buy only lesbian. That's all cool, and I respect that. Many of them have been through a lot others haven't, all sorts of discrimination, etc. They're entirely within their rights to buy only lesfic by lesbians.)

I've written a few short stories about straight couples. In one, a man grieved his wife. Should I not have written that because (1) I'm gay and (2) I'm a woman? Bollocks.

Bottom line: buyers usually take a risk every time they buy a book, product or watch a movie. A risk that maybe later the author, director, company, whatever, will be outed as anti-gay, or pro-gay, as a man, as a woman, whatever.

Life's risky. And short.

**** I am deaf. What bothers me more than men (or straight women) writing lesfic is people who aren't deaf writing books from a deaf character's POV. Even then, some get it right. I stand by what I said above; people should write what they want to. Nondeaf writing deaf just bothers me more on a gut level.

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