There’s a discussion in the Hearts Through History chapter of the Romance Writers of America about a specific chapter in RWA (NOT Hearts Through History Through History) refusing to allow LGBT in their contests. All other forms, from paranormal to inspirational, from sweet romance to erotica. Only LGBT is excluded. A fellow author, my critique partner, responded to the debate as follows:
“Chiming in from lurkdom regarding LGBT romances being excluded from chapter contests:
It’s one thing to have a chapter that specializes in a particular area, such as historical, celtic, paranormal, or suspense. It’s quite another to set your contest guidelines to allow for every category BUT LGBT. That’s discrimination. If you allow Inspirational, you should allow LGBT and erotica. Otherwise, hold a themed contest geared toward your chapter’s specialty.
I happen to have a very good friend/writing partner who writes LGBT. She has been extraordinarily frustrated that her genre is pretty much precluded from most RWA and chapter contests. The last time I checked (just now) neither the Rita nor the Golden Heart permitted LGBT manuscripts, even though they have a separate category for Inspirational. I find this particularly discriminatory, because Inspirational romance, as the genre is defined, is Christian-centered, and geared not only toward a Christian worldview, but toward authors who have embraced that particular worldview as essential to their own lives.
Many LGBT authors would love to write something more that mere erotica, but want to write the stories of their hearts just as the rest of us do. RWA clearly supports discriminatory practices through example, as well as aiding in the perpetuation of the idea that LGBT is just a variant of Erotica. From this perspective, their acceptance of LGBT as RWA members, without providing complete support, is worse than what they were doing to ebook authors a few years back.
BTW, if any chapter needs a judge to cover LGBT, I’ll gladly volunteer. And I’m sure there are several LGBT authors who would love to asked. I’m sure final judges can be found from any of the publishing houses that carry the lines, like Loose-ID, Ellora’s Cave, Samhain, The Wild Rose Press, Decadent Publishing, and many others. Saying judges can’t be found is not really an accurate presentation of the situation.
OK, ’nuff said, putting my hobbyhorse away for the moment.”
Author of Sexy Historical Romance
Storm Called-available now from The Wild Rose Press
An Unintended Seduction-available March 2012 from The Wild Rose Press
Thank you, Dorothy. I couldn’t have said it better.
P.S. Don’t forget to leave a comment for the giveaway drawing later this month!