I have been gone. First, on vacation (sans laptop) and then, laid flat with some kind of sinus bug (dismal). However, I am finally semi-conscious once more and thus back on the wonderful wide web.
One of the first things that I came across when I logged into my tumblr was a post by fellow author, Sasha L. Miller (check it out here). It made a lot of sense to me. You may not have noticed a slight change I have made to my blog banner (several weeks ago now). Initially, it read "Reading, Writing and Reviews all to do with the wonderful world of M/M romance." However, I changed it to read "Reading, Writing and Reviews all to do with the wonderful world LGBTQA+ romance."
Initially, I entered this wonderful community through M/M romance. It was wonderful to find diversity I had never known. The community at the Goodreads M/M Romance Group was welcoming and great about giving reading rec's and helping this aspiring author to write her first stories. However, as time passed I began to realize the maybe my blog title of M/M romance was not quite right. First, I posted a review about a lesbian fiction anthology and felt I needed to explain myself since it wasn't M/M. Then I realized that when people (often me) looks at the phrase M/M they assume two gay cis males.
This erases many of the great queer romances out there (and stories in general but since I mainly focus on romances, that's where we'll stay). Many of the stories I previously categorized under M/M would truly be stories about bi characters or pan characters. Many of those assumedly cis-men were actually trans*men. Some of the stories I was reading didn't feature male leads (cis or trans) at all.
I would like to say that I am ally. However, I know that I have not always gotten it right in the past (nor will I always in the future). I would love to see more stories out there that embrace the entire spectrum of the rainbow. I can help that happen by buying books with characters that go beyond the "G", by reviewing those books, even by writing those books.
I'd love recommendations on books to read, review requests, plot bunny suggestions, etc. Also, if you ever notice me "getting it wrong" and doing something unknowingly offensive, please let me know. I'd rather be told so that I fix my behavior than continue doing something hurtful.
PS To those contest winners awaiting your ficbits, I have not forgotten. I just had no brain power to write while I have been sick. I'll need a few days to get caught up in my day job and then I will be getting to those.