My first editor was a straight, white, male. He assured me that nothing shocked him and that he was perfectly comfortable editing my writing about gay romance and sex. Skeptical that a straight man could understand the subtleties of a gay romance, I pressed forward anyway.
The first and second chapters were easy for him to edit and give constructive criticism. He was, after all, a professional. In Chapter 3 of my first book, the main characters fall in love and have sex; hot blistering, sex, both oral and anal. I wondered if my editor could handle the words that I chose and the scene that I set. I was happily surprised. Not only did he give me praise for the boldness of my writing, but offered tips in making the scene even better. I felt confident knowing that this man could actually do the job and do it well.
By Chapter 6, the protagonist, Daniel, asks his lover, Ethan, to marry him. It was at the heart, literally, of why I write gay romance novels. The proposal required that Ethan be introduced to Daniel’s two young children. That is where the wheels came off the bus for my editor. He roundly criticized me for bringing children into the mix of a gay romance novel. Intellectually, I understood that his remarks were only his belief system coming spewing out like venom. It had nothing to do with him being a straight man. He was enmeshed in a stereotype of what gay couples should be allowed to do. I believed that a marriage between two men was a wonderful thing for the children. I had also read enough other gay romance novels to understand that it is useful meme in telling a love story.
Needless to say, the first editor and I parted ways. I needed insight into helping me write better stories, not a critic of my morals. This blog is where I go to write about politics, family, and my life.