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.
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.