Posts Tagged ‘lgbt fiction community’

So, I have a new boyfriend.

 

STOP FAINTING IN SHOCK.

 

Joking aside, this post is for the LGBT fiction community more than it is trans people. Because…honestly, trans people tend to actually get this part better.

 

Newsflash: trans people date.

 

And no, I’m not kidding. Trans people are more likely to fucking get that, than the LGBT fiction community.

 

How?

 

How is that possible, given…well, yeah, basically every trans person has had that ‘oh my God this makes me totally unloveable’ thing go off in the back of their heads at some point.

 

But somehow, it is.

 

Because trans people get older, put themselves out here, date, fuck, marry, and the rest of the community doesn’t react like this is in any way weird.

 

But for the LGBT fiction community?

 

Well, if trans people dating were normalised within that community, guess what. Trans characters would be all over the m/m genre like a hot rash.

 

And.

 

They.

 

Aren’t.

 

They are practically non-existent. And comments like whooooa, I thought this was an m/m book! are commonly seen on the review sections for the very few that do exist.

 

So, again, newsflash: it is still m/m if one of the dudes is a trans dude.

 

You know what it needs to be m/m?

 

Two dudes.

 

You know what a transguy is?

 

A dude.

 

This is seriously one of the most depressing things about the genre. People go batshit insane if you dare imply they might not be awesomesauce allies to the rest of the queer alphabet. And then there’s a ringing silence when you go, “Right then, what was the last trans hero you wrote in an m/m book?”

 

The hiiiiiiiiiiiiills are aliiiiiiiiiive, with soooooooooound of siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiileeeeence.

 

It’s like the LGBT fiction community has failed to grasp something really kinda crucial about trans people.

 

We’re fucking people!

 

We are not a medical pathway. We are not genitals. We are not surprise vaginas, cocks made from arms, and beach ball chest implants. We are not your pet research project. We are not your trans friend to protect you from being called a shitty ally.

 

We. Are. People!

 

Which means we date! Very often, we date cis people! And trans men especially are actually pretty damn likely to be dating men.

 

So the m/m genre needs to get its head out of its ass and stop claiming to be an ally when it still denies transguys a place amongst their fellow cocklovers. Put us in your books. Or shut the fuck up about being pro-LGBT, because you’re not.

 

That is all.

 

For now.

Advertisements

If you want to write transgender characters well, it’s ironically the little things that will help you the most.

 

It doesn’t take a lot to convince me you googled folks like me. You know what top and bottom surgery mean. You know about shots and gel. You know about those first terrifying forays into the right sections of the clothing stores. Good for you: you can Google. You had Trans 101, probably in a single conversation. Awesome.

 

But let’s face it, it’s the little things that make anyone believe a character.

 

Let’s take crime novels. I work in law enforcement in real life. And I enjoy crime dramas and crime novels…but ninety-nine percent of them don’t actually convince me. Why? Because nobody says, “Clear left!” when they’re the passenger in a car.

 

No, seriously. Every single one of my RL colleagues (and me) does it. Across three forces. Say this to a new colleague who started last week, and they look at you like you’re batshit insane. It’s a very…well, cop thing to do. And without it? I don’t believe the characters are real cops.

 

Writing trans characters is exactly the same. I’m not going to be overly impressed when you know about binders. (And yes, actually, many people in the genre do expect you to be impressed when they know what a packer is.) I am waiting for the inevitable trying-on-make-up scene if your character is a transwoman. I know it’s coming, let’s just get it over with.

 

Or, preferably, let’s get some authenticity up in here. Let’s get some variance. Let’s get some reality.

 

Like how taste can change. I have loathed yoghurt for twenty-five years. Even as a toddler, I had to be MAJORLY bribed. Now, I’m chugging the stuff. I fucking love it. And it’s weird as fuck, because my brain is still not convinced on this. It knows it shouldn’t like it. But my mouth is overriding it, and going mad.

 

Like how you keep some things from your past life, because fuck it, they’re good. Most visitors to my house believe I have a girlfriend who stays regularly, because there’s flowery bubble bath and two scented candles on my bathtub. Because yeah, I go mountain biking at weekends, I do kickboxing, and I am found six evenings a week doing weights in the gym–but fuck you, them candles smell good.

 

Or like the joys of gardening topless. Not because it’s manly, or gender-affirming. But because it’s fucking July and roasting hot and I have to dig up the lawn, damn it. Not every happy moment with our bodies is a trans thing. And let’s be cynical here, some of the changes are good or bad for totally self-serving, not-to-do-with-gender things.

 

Like the one thing I mourn about having my top surgery? I can no longer get instantly served in bars just by existing. I have to wait in line now. Kinda sucks.

 

Like how being trans doesn’t mean being totally in love with everything about your acquired gender, or hating everything about your assigned one. Being a transman doesn’t mean you have to hate your boobs. Being a transwoman doesn’t mean you must have a serious thing for make-up. Some transmen still have wedding-dress dreams; some transwomen still love nothing more than slumming it in crotch-to-the-knees sweatpants and hoodies on a Sunday afternoon.

 

So write them too. See them. Show them. Know them.

 

It’s not all about binders and packers and surgeries and hormones.

 

It’s about that one patch of hair that’s coming in under your nipple when the rest of your chest is as bare as a baby’s arse.

 

It’s about not being into false nails, no matter how many colours they come in.

 

It’s about the little things. And those are the things that make a character believable. And make our lives real.

Today is the Transgender Day of Visibility. It has been since 2009 in parts of the USA, and internationally since 2014.

I was at work, where I had to put my phone on silent because Twitter would not shut up. Trans media was, of course, all over it. So was a wonderful amount of mainstream media. And many individuals, tweeting away their support and sharing hundreds of great posts about what it is to be trans, and why we need to kick transphobia squarely in the sensitives. Even many UK police forces joined in, and I actually spent a couple of hours at work recording a new training video for my own workforce about LGBT issues, especially the respectful treatment of transgender people. Heck, my car insurance company tweeted about it! Holy shit, right?! This was awesome!

But somewhere was noticeably quiet.

The LGBT fiction community.

Review sites churned out yet more reviews for yet more gay romances featuring yet more exclusively cisgender characters. Authors posted about their cats, characters, and Ronnie Corbett. Blogging sites formerly known for taking part in awareness campaigns like the Blog Hop Against Homophobia and Queer Romance Month said nothing about transgender folks, and kept quiet. Publishers didn’t even take the opportunity to put their transgender fiction in the spotlight.

Really?

This is a community with the collective power to create Queer Romance Month and talk about queer identities several times a day for a whole month without pause. A community with the strength to turn the Rainbow Awards into a huge accolade without the need for big press publishers to be involved and shoulder out the small presses and independent authors. A community which can organise a huge, complicated blog hop for IDAHO months in advance. And pull it off. Several years in a row.

But, apparently, it is also a community that can’t be bothered with today.

After all, today is about transgender people.

And this community cares less about transgender people than my car insurance company does.