Same-sex Marriage and Gay Romance Discussion/ #poll

Should legalizing same-sex marriage affect readers and writers of gay romance?

Gay Marriages NYCAs of today, lawsuits have been filed to lift bans on same-sex marriage in every state where such bans exist and have not yet been declared unconstitutional. Nearly half the states allow same-sex marriage, and another dozen or so recognize out-of-state marriages. It’s an amazing turn of events in the past year or two, with approval by the general population at well over 50%, according to polls.

Statistics aside, the world is changing dramatically for same-sex couples. With that change, there are new pressures and expectations on men and women in relationships. When the idea of marriage seemed impossible, many couples never even considered it. I expect in some couples there are disagreements now that they can get married.

The shift in options for gay couples is something I think should be incorporated into the stories we write about gay couples. Until recently, many stories focused on getting couples together for sex, or for HFN, without much thought to what that future might look like.

In traditional romance, the heroine’s goal was finding a husband, because writers thought that was what women wanted and thus wanted to read about. That has changed quite a bit over the years, but there is still a lot of emphasis on finding the right man to settle down with in one fashion or another. In our gay romances, for the most part, the characters rarely seem to have such goals in mind. To be honest, a lot of stories center on guys hooking up in different ways, with little thought to a relationship beyond the physical.

So, now that marriage is a very real option for almost every couple in the US, I wonder how authors will incorporate it into their stories. And what do readers want or expect in this regard.

I think it will be interesting and exciting to explore how each man in a couple might have differing views on marriage, and how those will affect a relationship, both long and short term. Not all gay romance stories try to depict the lives and issues of real gay men, and not all readers want realistic depictions.

 

What do you want to see? Please join the discussion with your comments.

 


Same-sex Marriage & Gay Romance 

 

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5 thoughts on “Same-sex Marriage and Gay Romance Discussion/ #poll

  1. Hey EM,

    I’m glad you’re asking these questions, but I have to say that I am seeing change in some of the books I’m reading. There is some movement towards realizing a future for gay couples. The HEA and marriage are becoming more of a focus.

    Also, while I voted for – I would like to see storylines change – I also do still like to read about the struggle. In contemporary fiction marriage should be explored, as an option, but it’s not always going to be easily obtained, just yet. Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s accepted.

    There is also always going to be the historical writers that get to continue to play with the angst and trials that have been such a focus in our reads. So, even though I voted as I did, I would still want to read about the struggle. *I wonder what that says about me??? :/

    🙂 Good poll!

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    • Thanks for voting and commenting.
      I don;t think that all stories will or should end with a couple getting married, or even thinking about it. But I would like to see more stories about how the new options are affecting relationships. What if your partner wants to marry and you don’t? There are entirely new pressures on couples. The idea of acceptance is another one to explore. It’s legal but that doesn;t mean your neighbor is going to invite you to the next cookout.

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  2. OK I am going to say, as a reader, it depends. If the story calls for it, that’s fine. I don’t want m/m to fall into the m/f trope of marriage and kids at the end of each book. Seems like your questions say yes or no, there is no middle ground. I’m all about the middle ground. 🙂

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    • I don’t think every story would or should end with a marriage. The point is that now marriage is much more probable, will stories incorporate that. THe questions were not Should your characters always get married, just whether you think it should be a factor in storylines now, in a way it never was before.

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  3. This has become a very complex issue for my co-author and I, specifically, because marriage is deeply relevant for many of our gay characters, and we’re interested in reflecting the reality of the political landscape.

    Where it gets dicey is how fast things are moving and that we’re writing a series that takes place over a long time. Knowing how to handle this issue in the first book, which takes place now, was one thing but knowing how to handle it when the timeline later has us in 2017 or 2020 becomes more complex — will there have been a national resolution on the issue by then? Getting it wrong feels incredibly high risk!

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