What is happening to GLBT Literature, a sub genre of literature specifically produced by or for the GLBT community, or which involves characters, plot lines or themes portraying male homosexual behavior? In recent years, new popular market driven sub genres have emerged, most notably M/M (male/male) Romance, literature written by heterosexual women for heterosexual women involving (gay/bi) man to man romance.
Being a gay man, I have read works from both genres, I personally prefer GLBT Lit over M/M Romance. Reading works written by gay male authors, I have found subtle distinctions in perspectives and so I prefer the male view. Okay, call me chauvinist, if you wish, but you can not deny the fact that a gay man has a different view of the world than a heterosexual woman. Sure a woman can imagine or has experienced her own feelings of a son or brother coming out to her, but can she truly grasp the emotions and internalization which the gay man or boy is experiencing? Can a heterosexual female author grasp the true internal struggle a gay man encounters during his first m/m sexual experience or the mental bruising resulting from gay bullying? The questions go on and on. As a male who came out in my teens, I have encountered more life challenges than I can count, gay related challenges which heterosexual men or women do not encounter. It has made me who I am, the way I think and act. Yes, I share similar views with M/M Romance writers, but we don’t share the same experiences, we live in two different cultures. I am not saying that women shouldn’t write M/M Fiction, but what, with the insurgence of women writing “gay” will this have on the future of GLBT Literature?
This makes me wonder if the changing views of the general population of GLBT acceptance will alter GLBT Lit or will the sub genre be consumed by other genres and become only a part of the GLBT history? Will the gay author succumb to commercialism? Can GLBT Lit survive in the flood of these emerging genres created by and for females? Yes, I can not deny that the market (consumers) determine the type of literature purchased, and currently the market driven M/M Romance is in demand.
Being a GLBT writer (not yet published), I find that neither my work, nor I (being gay and male) fit into the M/M Romance genre. However, the agency representing my latest manuscript has classified and is marketing my work as “M/M Romance”, when in all actuality it is really “GLBT Lit”.