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Equality for our stories ~ and all LGBTQ persons

February 5, 2012

I write erotic romance with my husband under the pen name Adriana Kraft. Most of the heroines we love to write and read are bisexual. In addition we’ve written some lesbian heroines and an occasional bisexual hero. So our pairings include M/F, F/F, and M/M, plus ménage, in a range of combinations.

Authors who write stories like ours have just been excluded from entering the “More than Magic” fiction contest based on those pairings – giving us a taste of the discrimination our characters so often struggle with.  The contest is an annual one sponsored by the Romance Writers Ink chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America). In previous years, all romantic pairings have been eligible to enter, but this year, the entry guidelines state that the contest will “no longer accept same-sex entries in any category.

We’ve been members of RWA for over a decade, and we’ve celebrated two victories with that organization across the years. The first was an attempt by some members to define romance as between “one man and one woman.” Thankfully that went down to defeat, and the organization’s official definition of romance focuses on the following two elements, period:

A Central Love Story: The main plot centers around two individuals falling in love and struggling to make the relationship work. A writer can include as many subplots as he/she wants as long as the love story is the main focus of the novel.

An Emotionally-Satisfying and Optimistic Ending: In a romance, the lovers who risk and struggle for each other and their relationship are rewarded with emotional justice and unconditional love.

The second was the creation a few years ago of an on-line RWA chapter formed by authors of LGBTQ romances. We joined immediately.

Rainbow Romance Writers has been visible and active over the last two days spreading the word about this problem – and, once the first wave of anger settled out, chapter members and chapter leadership have been strong advocates of finding solutions to the problem.

It’s gone viral – several of our members blogged on Friday, Smart Bitches blogged about it yesterday, Suzanne Brockman has been posting on FaceBook, and it’s all over Twitter.

What can you do? Our chapter president, Heidi Cullinen, posted a blog today filled with things authors and readers can do to be part of the solution to the problem. If you care about LGBTQ romance and LGBTQ people, please take a look and get involved.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2012 9:00 pm

    Thanks Adri Ana for your post and for the link to Heidi Cullinen’s blog. You know you can count on my support.


    • adrianakraft permalink
      February 5, 2012 9:32 pm

      Thanks so much, Mare – this is such an important issue. There is so much readers can do to support our stories – appreciate you!


  2. February 6, 2012 2:54 am

    How disappointing….just when you think we are getting past some of this.

    • adrianakraft permalink
      February 6, 2012 9:06 am

      I wish! Clearly there are still pockets and we have to keep at it.

  3. February 6, 2012 2:54 am

    I signed a petition against this Tulsa chapter (from Sara York) and support y’all (not everyone in Tx. & OK. are against m/m or other glbt romance).

    • adrianakraft permalink
      February 6, 2012 9:08 am

      Thank you Dave – I’m thrilled with the support we’re getting! And I agree, it’s not everyone from any one place, it’s pockets (sometimes very loud and vocal pockets, alas). My grandkids live in Oklahoma and they’re proud of their gay uncle.

  4. February 6, 2012 8:42 am

    sucks. I cannot believe that we are back to this discrimination… again. 😦


  5. adrianakraft permalink
    February 6, 2012 9:08 am

    Thanks, Mary – it’s a long process.

    • adrianakraft permalink
      February 6, 2012 2:02 pm

      UPDATE: It’s Monday now, and the RWI chapter has cancelled their contest in response to the flurry of emails and publicity. That wasn’t our goal – and there are still many effective and useful steps readers and authors who love GLBTQ books can take to address this issue, within RWA and within romance fiction as a whole.

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