neyronrose (neyronrose) wrote,

Kris on the topic

Kris ( posted about "Gay for You" stories.  A lot of readers love them.  I have my theories as to why, and it's quite understandable to me.  I try to keep a civil tone to the conversation when people tell me about why it works so well for them.  They're sharing their feelings about it, and I want to respect that they are giving explanations.

This was my comment:

AnonymousEmilie said:

One of the only "Gay for You" stories that worked for me was J.L. Langley's Without Reservations. Part of why I could accept it was that Chay had experimented a little in college. There was that "supernatural mates" thing, too.

Personally, I'd rather have characters stay with one orientation. I'm much happier if the protagonists in a m/m romance are gay or bisexual at the start of a book. K.Z. nailed it for me about not wanting to go along with the "homosexuality is a choice" belief.

I can still enjoy some of the stories for their other qualities, but it's not a key fantasy for me. I know it's a fantasy that really works for many other readers, as you can see here.

May 28, 2010 12:35 AM

I ended up posting a couple more comments.  Of course I give the great majority of readers credit for knowing that it's a fictional belief, that sexual orientation doesn't change that easily.  I just worry that some may not have discussed it with gay men or lesbians, or read enough non-fiction, to know that it doesn't really happen that way.  Men may be in denial, or repressed, or marry knowing they're gay but trying to force themselves to be straight.  If they get over their denial and/or self-hatred enough to come out, it doesn't mean that they were heterosexual before.

I think, too, as I've discussed with Teddypig and Kirsten Saell, that women are much more likely to really be bisexual.  I think a fair number are like me, not feeling like they have a sexual orientation either way.  I believe that some women might not think about until they fall in love with a woman, and maybe start identifying as bisexual or lesbian, or just reject labels and say they're in love with the person.  I have the opinion, and the science seems to go along with this, that men tend more to be on one side of the spectrum or the other.  So my fantasy about some men being truly bisexual is probably nearly as much of a fantasy as men changing orientations.  I've known some bisexual men, though -- even dated one.  Different things work for different people in their fiction reading.  I might not agree.  In some cases, I think perpetuating a certain belief is harmful, and "Gay for You" kind of edges on that for me.  I think it's much worse when gay characters are turned straight, because a lot of people have been badly harmed by "reparation therapy" and the methods used for that.

Romances about men turning gay don't really make me angry in the way that perhaps they should.  I get resentful about spending money on a book I feel is bad and/or unconvincing, but that's just in general.  So I feel "Gay for You" stories are politically incorrect in a way, but lots of people have politically incorrect fantasies.  Mine are hardly what would be considered correct, in a variety of ways.  But I know that most people separate fantasy from reality quite well, and are well aware that what happens in a romance is fiction.
Tags: gay-related, m/m, reading

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