Archive for ‘LGBT’

Recognition for LGBT Romance

Romance Writers of America (RWA) was established in 1981 “to advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy.” I’ve been a member since 2000, when I attended my first National convention, and I still remember that heady feeling when I found myself in a room filled with over a thousand other persons who loved to do what I loved: read and write romance. It was a spectacular homecoming for me, a deep sense of being exactly where I belonged.

That feeling began to take a beating as the two halves of Adriana identified more specifically what we love to write: not only steamy erotic romance, but erotic love stories about women who are bisexual. I kept my RWA membership and joined the special interest chapter for erotic romance, Passionate Ink, but began to lose interest in attending conferences because I wasn’t sure where I fit.

Meanwhile a dedicated group of writers producing romance across the entire spectrum of LGBT was taking on the battle directly. At Romantic Times and RWA Cons they brought their books for display, participated in signings, and sometimes bore the brunt of prejudice and discrimination, even to the point of having their books removed and their displays taken down.

Rainbow bannerThose courageous writers persisted and RWA has just recognized a new special interest chapter: Rainbow Romance Writers , an on-line chapter with the following goals:

 

 

  • to promote excellence in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender romances
  • to help members become published in LGBT romances
  • to be an advocate within the industry for our genre
  • to be a resource to our members and others on writing and the publishing industry

It may be a virtual room, and at this point there aren’t thousands of us, but both halves of Adriana are thrilled once again to be in a room where we so profoundly belong.

 

What kind of Bi?

We just ran across a very interesting article on the wide range of desires and experiences that are included within the broad definition of bisexuality. Kathy Labriola, R.N., is a bi- and poly-friendly counselor in the SF Bay area whose writings on bisexuality and polyamory have been published on line by a friend of hers. In “What is bisexuality? Who is bisexual?” she describes thirteen specific types based on the work of J. R. Little. There are probably many more permutations and combinations out there, but we like this approach as a place to start.

Sometimes we write heroines who’ve been chiefly heterosexual but expand their horizons and discover that they’re also attracted to women. Some of these would fall under the “alternating bisexuals” designation in her typology – persons who have relationships serially, with one gender and then the other. Martha Richards of The Mistress of Purgatory Point most resembles this type. Others are more like “concurrent relationship bisexuals.” They have a primary relationship with a single gender, but at the same time have “casual or secondary relationships” with persons of the other gender. If things work out for Merry Delaney in The Merry Widow, that would be her hope.

Mistress 150        Merry 150

Luci Parker, heroine of Writing Skin, is altogether different. She’s known she is bi for a long time. She’s not sure she could ever settle for a primary relationship with one or the other, and she’s pretty much given up trying. Loving both is part of who she is. Her first choice would be what Labriola calls “integrated bisexuals,” persons who have “more than one primary relationship at the same time, one with a man and one with a woman.”

Skin 150

The story of how she finds her partners – a man and a woman – is tender, funny, fraught with anxiety and uncertainty, soul-searching and heartwarming. You can find an excerpt here – enjoy!

 

Getting Bi Revisited

Under the radar with all the focus on the marvelous advances in marriage equality this week, there have been some great posts on bisexuality. Over at Queers United yesterday was a forum on the bisexual/bi-racial overlap with the following observation:

“Society tends to see things in black or white and often does not see shades of gray. Differences challenge us to open our minds and see that most things and people are not an absolute but simply fall into some shade or variation of whatever attribute we happen to be discussing at the time.”

That may be why so many in the movement embrace the term “queer” instead of “GLBT” or some other alphabet combination that perpetuates the notion of neat categories.

Over at Jezebel.com, a fabulous spoof on lesbian clichés and stereotypes brought out a spate of bi responders who’ve endured insults, criticism and attacks from both sides, just for being bi. Even so, there were many voices lifting up the riches of being bi. My favorite was a comment from Lilah, who re-wrote said alphabet to place bi in the middle and have it both ways: “Actually, GBLT is exactly how I refer to it, because I like to think of it as a lovely gay sandwich, with delicious rainbow mayonnaise.”

Our blog title today is based on the title of one of my favorite books. I heartily recommend Getting Bi by Robyn Ochs – authentic voices from the international bi community on a wide range of issues, and compelling articles providing food for thought. We’ll give you a more thorough review in a future blog.

Comments on the Jezebel.com blog raised another interesting notion – if bisexuals were more accepted into the queer/GLBT community and felt more comfortable, their numbers could greatly swell rallies across the nation for the entire spectrum of gay rights. April’s already been filled with amazing opportunities and will continue to be so as the marriage equality campaign heats up. Maybe we’ll catch you at a rally!

 
© 2017 Adriana Kraft. All Rights Reserved.