My Maiden Voyage
I have been reading for a long time, at some points I feel like I was born with a book in hand and for the last five or so years the genre I have almost exclusively read is romance and its various subgenres. So when I discover something new I feel it deserves a certain amount of fanfare. So, what is this sparkly new thing that has you all a-fluster I hear you say? It’s LGBT.
LGBT; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender. Before I delve in, I feel I need to give full disclosure. This it isn’t the first time I have read a book featuring some M/M action, nor is it the first book I have read where the main couple are the same gender; however, this was always part of a series that, until that point, was exclusively M/F or the M/M was part of a menage. And, also still in the interests of full disclosure, I still haven’t read a book with lesbian or transgender characters in the forefront. But, this is the first time I have deliberately set out to read a book in the LGBT ‘category’ and it seems the gateway to the genre is M/M.
And I loved it. I don’t know why I haven’t given it a try before and at the risk of sounding like some kind of ignorant homophobe (which, I most definitely am NOT), the book just felt like a contemporary romance, only the characters were both male. And, when I stopped to think about it, what exactly did I expect it to feel like? It was a romance about two people in modern times, of course it’s a contemporary romance; I was so caught up in it being classified as LGBT that I didn’t think beyond that.
When I think further on that, I can see why LGBT is a separate genre, I have found that people like to read certain niches of the market, be it LGBT, bikers, sports or billionaires and genres help us hone in on exactly what we like. But, it’s just a shame to classify all books where the characters are gay or transgender in to one category, this must limit the market. Maybe if they were separated into the wider genres then they might catch a bigger audience, I may have stumbled on to a LGBT book a lot earlier and think nothing of picking up a book where the main couple are two men or two women.
At the minute however, you have to actively seek out a LGBT book if you want to read one and the only reason I did this was for our Romance Roundabout yearly challenge. And, it wasn’t that before this that I was avoiding reading about gay or transgender characters, it simply never occurred to me to look and the books never really cropped up on my radar.
However, my eyes have been opened and I now have a whole new genre to explore and just like any other genre I imagine I will come across books I love, books I hate and books I am indifferent to. But, what I know for certain is I can’t wait to dive in discover what those are.