So I made a comment on twitter last night.
I feel like this post may get me in hot water, but lolz, that’s not anything new.
My comment was to the effect that I can tell, when I’m reading, if a queer fiction book was written by a queer person. (I didn’t say what TYPE of queer person, just that I can tell if it’s written by a queer.) And I can.
Books written by allocishet women, (probably men too, but I’ve never read any m/m that I know was written by a straight guy) lack so much nuance. This doesn’t necessarily make them bad books. It just makes them books I don’t want to read.
That lack of nuance means it’s not meant for, nor is it usually marketed to queer people. That’s totally cool. There is a huge market for m/m written by straight women for straight women.
Does it edge into fetishizing gay men? Absolutely. Is it my business? Not really. I’m not a gay man and until I hear from one of my gay male friends about their feelings on the matter, I don’t (and shouldn’t have) a voice on whether that particular subset of fiction is harmful because it doesn’t really affect me. Not as deeply as it does the gay male community.
Here’s the tweet.
So. I'm really not joking when I say I can tell dif between a fetishist type m/m author & a book written BY a queer FOR a queer.
As w/most things dealing w/marginalized peeps?
You're missing so much nuance.
I highly doubt you'll ever find it.
Still waiting to be proven wrong.
— Kaelan Rhywiol (@KaelanRhy) December 21, 2017
I feel, given some of the responses that I need to be crystal clear in my opinion on this.
To be 100% clear, all I’m saying is that I CAN tell the difference when I’m reading if it was written by someone who is allocishet and if it was written by a queer person.
I’m not making a judgment call, I’m not saying you (if you’re an allocishet writer) shouldn’t write it. All I’m saying is that I can tell and that you’re missing nuance.
I can’t even really put my finger on the exact parts of a book that clue me in to that, but so far, I’ve never been wrong.
It’s the same for me when I read kinky fiction, I can TELL if someone is kinky (even if they haven’t DONE everything they’ve written about, they’ve thought about it, a lot, it’s just how the kinky brain works. They’ve probably researched it, read about it… so that’s another subset of queer fiction I can tell about.)
I can tell if a female writer has either thought about having sex with a girl a lot OR if they actually have.
It’s probably little things, word choices perhaps. I don’t actually even know.
Also, to be 100% clear.
People can write whatever the hell they want, that’s their choice. I don’t have to buy or read it, that’s my choice.
I don’t agree with the, apparently massive, level of witch-hunting that goes down in the communities toward straight m/m authors. I don’t think I was even aware how bad it was, or the forcible outings that have happened. That’s not cool by any stretch of the imagination.
All I’m speaking to is me and my experience.
I don’t buy or read books written by white people about the PoC experience. (That’s not the same thing as having PoC in your books, world is full of diversity, show that, but maybe don’t write *about* being black if you aren’t. Even if you manage to avoid harm, you’ll miss the nuance.)
I don’t buy or read books that bash queer people.
I much prefer ownvoices fiction with regards to ANY marginalization.
I also don’t knowingly buy or read queer fiction books written by allocishet people.
They lack the quality that I need when I’m reading queer fiction.
It’s the be all and end all of it for me. My book money and my time is too scarce to put it towards something that I’ve historically not enjoyed reading.
That doesn’t mean that queer folk shouldn’t be writing for other queer folk. Of course we should be!
ANY sort of queer person can write queer fiction. I mean, I write m/m relationships (I have them strictly vetted by my gay male friends, lolz, they love getting new pieces from me) but I DO write them. To exclude m/m relationships from my very queer work would be wrong, IMO. It would be exclusionary.
And I’m a non-binary, pansexual, kinky, asexual, aromantic queer. I’m not a gay male.
I’m not saying queer folk should only write their own narrow marginalizations.
I’m not saying people can’t write what they want.
All I’m saying is that I *can* tell and I usually choose not to read queer fiction that is written by allocishet people.
You do you, don’t be an ass. That’s all.