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Romance Comp Bans Same Sex Couples (Yes, in 2012).

February 11, 2012

So, I just found this outrageous news story via For Books’ Sake (which is a great female-oriented book blog) and I couldn’t read it without airing my cider-soaked opinions on the matter.

In a nutshell, Oklahoma-based writers’ resource Romance Writers Ink brewed themselves a shit-storm this week by banning  same-sex couplings from their romantic fiction competition. Their excuse for the flagrant discrimination was that LGBQT literature “is a genre” of its own. When challenged, the publication shrugged its metaphorical shoulders and compared LGBQT literature to young adult literature – also ineligible according to competition rules. Read The Guardian’s take on the issue here.

I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to give these bigots any further exposure, but as it’s pretty much just me and my cat who read this blog, I reckon I’m probably not making things any worse. Anyway, this post has a point: I believe it’s the responsibility of the writing community to fight this battle – which will crop up again – as we’re not just writers: we’re first and foremost readers. We have more power than the editors of McSweeney’s in that we can choose which publications to support, which stories to read, which websites to visit. We, as readers, provide hits for blogs, entries to competitions, traffic for websites. We can fight this bullshit by keeping our ears to the ground and by boycotting publications that discriminate.

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