Sunday, September 16, 2012

LBGT People Are Not Our Sex Objects

Let me preface this post by saying that I am not trying to insult anybody. In fact, I’m really having trouble figuring out how to express my thoughts. So, I thought that I would just be a bit blunt and deal with the fallout. I also want to let my readers and most of my fellow authors know that I am not directing this at them. So, please don’t think this is aimed at you.  I admire and love you all too much for that. As such, here it goes.

Gay men are real people. With real feelings. Real lives. Real jobs.  They have real everyday problems. One could even go further and say that they have more everyday problems than the rest of society.  What they are NOT is a fetish, your personal sex objects or people you can exploit.

Yes, I have posted pictures of guys kissing and such. But, I did it more for the ‘this is love, too’ factor or ‘gay couples can be sexy, too’ as opposed to the ‘look at this gaggle of barely legal sexy boys…now go buy my books’. 

I know I bring my son up often. As a mother it’s hard not to. But, I watch as society slams on him and other LGBT people every day. I see the struggles he and his friends have to face. Most of all I see him as my…well, son. He is just like you and me. He hurts. He cries. He smiles. He laughs. He grieves. He loves.

The LGBT community is on the cusp of making great strides in the fight for equality. As authors we have the most amazing opportunity of helping out with that. I want you all to step back and think about that for a moment. We can help rectify one of the wrongs that will be a part of history. How amazing is that?

However, the only way we can do that is by pointing out the injustices the LGBTQ community faces and showing how they are just as normal as everybody else. We can’t do it by turning this already marginalized group into a fetish.

So, I’m putting this challenge out. Start writing about the real issues…the fact that gay men can’t give blood, that LBGT people can be denied housing, can be legally fired from their jobs (at least in some states), are heckled every day. Or how transgender people are afraid to use public bathroom, are shunned by society and sometimes even treated poorly by their own doctors.

I already see a great amount of authors doing this. Surprise! They sell as many if not more books as the authors who treat gay men as sexual objects. Not to toot my own horn (sorry for the cliché) but I’ve even had some gay men write me and thank me for showing the issues in my books.

I don’t mean to come off as harsh or judgmental. It just pains me to see my son being turned into nothing more than a sex object.  He’s a wonderful person, smart, caring, loving. I don’t like it when he’s seen for less than that.

So, I’m putting this challenge out to my fellow authors. Now is the time that we need to show the real issues that the LGBT community faces every day. Show that in your books. You don’t have to climb on a soapbox and scream, there are way to be subtle about it.  Believe it or not, you will make a difference. Even if your books are a bit risque or sexually charged, I have seen some amazing authors who have been able to still show the everyday struggles that LGBT people have to deal with on a daily bases. So, I promise that it can be done.

Please, excuse any typos and grammar crimes I may have committed in this post. As always, when I go on a rant, my fingers move too fast sometimes.

Shocker! I have a video to share, I couldn’t help it. Since it shows couples who are just being couples, and not sex objects.


  1. I respectfully have to disagree. The problem is not with sexual content in gay novels, but with its context. Sex is a healthy part of any romantic relationship and should be integrated appropriately (at the author's discretion) into a story. Exploring, incorporating physical love, and demonstrating those feelings are not fetishizing or marginalizing anyone. When done well, those scenes heighten the emotional tension of a book and keep the reader engaged.

    My books, specifically the Little Boy Lost series, have sex - they have some very explicit sex because of the context of their environment. To me, gay men making love is beautiful and I take great pride in writing it. I get a lot of mail from boys too - boys that identify with the characters, their fear and their pain, and are glad to see that sex between guys in the book isn't portrayed as something shameful, but something beautiful.

    I deal with powerful issues in my books - homelessness, ex-gay therapy, physical and sexual abuse, the decision to enter the gay porn industry, drugs, etc. Their inclusion is not mutually exclusive with sex.

    Cheers. :)

  2. Please don't think that I meant that there shouldn't be sex in books. Some of my favorite books, including yours, do have explicit scenes. What I was directing this post more at was how some people are acting both in and outside of their writing. I have seen some FB post, blogs or Tweets that often treat gay men as objects, instead of real people. I don't mind seeing pictures of men together. I think it's sexy, natural and attractive. I just think there are a select few who have taken things too far.