Why M/M (Gay Male) Romance?
I often get the question – why M/M? Why a focus on male characters and male relationships? The simple answer for me is that I relate more to male characters, always have, and I connect more with the portrayal of male relationships, whether friends, family, or romantic. It’s difficult to express exactly WHY that is, but it’s been true all my life.
We live in a society now where questions of gender identity are as often discussed as sexual identity. There is a spectrum of possibilities and a spectrum of opinions about what it all means and what’s acceptable. I find it fascinating and embrace the studies that have gone into it, because at the end of the day, we all just want to feel a combination of belonging and being unique onto ourselves.
I, for example, identity as a demigirl with she/her pronouns and am bisexual. The how’s and why’s and what that all means to me are very personal. I don’t shake someone’s hand upon first meeting them and say all this, but it tends to be obvious the more someone gets to know me that strictly being thought of as feminine doesn’t suit me and I am attracted to people across genders.
I’ve also had the pleasure of knowing several transsexual and genderqueer people in my life, and I enjoy the discourse that arises when all parties are open-minded and courteous. It does take mental work to remember someone’s correct pronouns if it conflicts with your automatic responses, but it is hardly a feat to do so to show respect and care for that person.
It is also no one’s business what someone’s lifestyle is like in the bedroom and doesn’t hurt anyone as long as what occurs is consensual between adults, so marriage equality as well as simple acceptance of LGBTQ+ people has long been something I’ve advocated and fought for.
There were times in high school and college where I used M/M writing to express my feelings on these matters to a wider audience, such as writing for the Day of Silence that occurs each year, choosing to go mute in honor of all those silenced by oppression. While I would not speak for that day, I would take the time to reflect and write and maybe reach a few people with the stories I told.
I like to think that my writing continues to do that today, whether in the form of my young adult novel, Life as a Teenage Vampire, that portrayed coming out in high school and young love, or more adult perspectives on acceptance as well as the importance of mental health.
What writing does for me, whether fantasy based or otherwise since I dabble in many genres, is reflect how I feel about these issues in a relatable way through a lens that allows me to see even more perspectives than I can ever know as just me. Maybe that’s part of why I write more about men, because it’s a perspective that isn’t inherently my own but equally important to explore and that resonates strongly with me.
Sometimes that means tackling difficult issues in my writing, sometimes it’s about writing sweet fluffy scenes of domestic bliss. We need all of the above in our fiction and in life, and I’m proud to be counted amongst a subset of voices shedding more light on M/M relationships.