Do I have to explain why I support LGBT rights?
If you know me then it's a stupid question. If you don't let me explain.
On a very basic level I honestly don't understand why people don't support LGBT rights. But having read the vitriol and ignorance on social media nothing surprises me any more. I also don't know how you can write MM romance and not support gay rights. But as what you write and how you feel can be two entirely different things it is wrong to make assumptions. I do know my MM romance community of authors, readers and friends are incredibly open and supportive.
Before I started writing MM romance, I supported LGBT rights but it didn't affect me. I hated homophobia, but I was removed from the actual issues of being LGBT in Britain. I've worked with gay guys and lesbians all my life but beyond a superficial level we weren't that close, and I think unless you have direct experience, or family and friends who are LGBT (or any other minority) it is far too easy to accept your privilege and not think about those who are denied the same rights. In my straight couple world I lived through the worst of the AIDS era, but my gay colleagues actually lived it in their lives, attending many funerals of their friends and loved ones.
The last four years have opened my eyes. For a start, LGBT rights affects me personally. For my books I research. I listen to LGBT people. I read articles. I talk about gay rights even when my friends' and family's eyes glaze over. I don't care if they think it doesn't affect them now, they have ears, they can listen. One day it may affect them or a loved one (apart from me ;).
So for me fast forward to 2014. Things have changed somewhat for me and the country. Same sex marriage is legal in Britain. Yay! Homophobia is still rife. Boo! We have a long way to go for total equality. Until two men can walk down the road without being abused there is work to be done. I consider my writing as a miniscule part of that work.
So why do I support LGBT rights?
- I'm bisexual. I'd be a bit daft not to support my own.
- I'm human. I believe in equal rights for all, whether you're gay or straight, man or woman, black or white (and all the orientations, genders and races).
- I write MM romance.
There's nothing complicated about it.