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