My Hot Take: Why I, As a Queer Woman Romance Author, Will Not Write Gay Men.

The written word is an incredibly powerful tool that can be used to foster understanding and healing. It’s important that all voices be allowed a chance to tell their stories. BIPOC, Queer Folks, people with different religious, cultural, or mental-health backgrounds, etc. Everyone deserves representation.

Now here we are. The moment you’re waiting for. 


For those of you who aren’t familiar, the #OwnVoices movement was (according to this resource) a hashtag coined by a YA author named Corinne Duyvis. The message, and intent, was for underrepresented and marginalized people to be empowered to use their own voices to tell their own stories. 

So, I’m sure you know where I’m going with this.

I’m a gay woman. I am not a gay man.

If you’re a part of the romance genre, I’m sure you’re familiar with #mmromance (boys who like boys for those outside of the romance reader space). It’s everywhere. I can’t scroll for a solid minute without seeing some pouty-mouthed Adonis of a man with floppy hair and a vaguely erotic pastel calligraphy title. Have you ever noticed that the bulk of those books are written by women? 

Largely straight women? 

So, here’s the thing. As a homegrown, wild-caught pan-romantic lesbian, the idea of a straight dude writing a love story like mine twists my grundies. In all the wrong ways. Honestly, the idea fills me with such existential dread my insides want to collapse in on themselves until I turn into a vacuous blackhole and blink myself out of existence. 

Why? My dude. Have you ever been fetishized? Just by virtue of loving someone? It’s understandably a strange concept for straight people, but imagine kissing your partner and having some creepy mouth breather asking if he could join. Imagine someone assuming that you’re only gay because you’ve never “had the right one.”

Repeat after me: yuck. 

If a straight dude was to try and write my experience as a woman who loves women, he simply couldn’t understand. Why? He can legally marry whoever he wants, wherever he wants. He can also move through society openly with his partner. He doesn’t have to worry about losing friends, family, careers, living situations, etc., over who he loves. By not sharing that common ground with us, he can never understand what it means to be a queer person and, thus, can’t convey it. At least, not in any meaningful way.

This means that he’d be offering a straight fantasy of what it means to be a lesbian. Where we’re always perfectly hairless and always smell nice. Where every home is immaculate, and there are home-cooked meals every evening.

Oh, and we’re all femme. 

Because there’s only one kind of palatable gay, right? The femme lesbian, the butch gay man, or its grotesquely feminized stereotypical counterpart?

Unfair, right?

Why is it different when a woman does it?

People, by nature, are creatures of comfort and familiarity. People don’t often like to have their beliefs challenged. This means that the larger audience (predominantly straight, perhaps questioning individuals who are wrestling with gender identity/sexuality) is keener to buy books written by straight people because they’re portraying the kind of gay they know/understand. Thus, further embedding internal bias and harmful stereotypes. 

What happens to the queer authors who try to tell their own stories?

Oftentimes, their work is overlooked.

Why read about the aches and pains and the anger that comes with queerness when Sergio-Lorenzo-Thundercock can bend Lancello-Violet-Wiltingflower over in ways that would make cirque-du-Soleil performers envious? Why humanize the same group of people who are being fetishized?

It’s always just sat badly with me. That people who don’t have this experience, who haven’t paid their dues on the “the world sucks, and we will hurt just because of who we are” toll road get to capitalize off the queer community’s backs. Sure, a lot of people probably think that’s how they can be allies by writing LGBTQ+ content, but… are you really? 

I have no problem with straight writers featuring gay characters in their stories. I love seeing them just existing thoughtfully in the spaces they’ve made. But it’s another thing entirely to tell a story that relies on the experience of queerness from the lens of a straight person.

Sure, there is an argument to be made about someone else of different gender identities under the queer flag exploring writing gay men. Do I have a problem with it? Absolutely not. Why? Because *gestures in gay* Queer

Will I do it? 


Don’t get me wrong, I will feature gay/bisexual/pan/ace/aro/etc. until the cows come home. Write solely from their perspectives, telling their story and their experiences? No. I want to, instead, elevate the voices of gay men writing their own stories. I don’t want to contribute to fetishizing or take money out of their pockets. It doesn’t sit right with me in my spirit.

Simply put, their stories are not mine to tell. 

I do want to note that there is nuance to this conversation. For example, people who are struggling with their gender identity/expression, and their sexuality. I think writing is a wonderful way to explore our inner world and learn things about ourselves. That, to me, is wildly different than someone capitalizing on a  marginalized group of people and fetishizing our sexualities. 

Also, if anyone wants to say that I don’t have the right to write straight romance as a gay person (harr harr), I spent the better part of my life pretending to be/passing as straight, so, valiant attempt 😉

I know this isn’t my usual content.

If you’ve stuck around to the very end, thank you. You’re a real one. I promise we’ll get back to our regularly scheduled program this upcoming Wednesday, but sometimes things just sit heavy on the soul and need to be let out.

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2 thoughts on “My Hot Take: Why I, As a Queer Woman Romance Author, Will Not Write Gay Men.

  1. Hi you!

    I’ve missed you. Hope you’re doing well!

    I totally get you on this. Always baffled me, all these straight women writing gay romance.

    Hope you’re doing well!


    Angie ~

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

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