There is apparently a kerfuffle going on in the m/m world right now. A well-known author who has used a male pen name for years has finally decided to let it be known everywhere that she is female. I have not seen any of the negativity myself, and I don’t care to. Don’t even know where it’s happening. But I’ve seen a lot of positivity – most of which comes down to the idea that good writing is good writing (or, in this case, superb writing), regardless of whether you’re male, female, or other.
I saw one commenter who said that as a gay man, he prefers to support gay male authors. I get that completely. When you have limited dollars to spend and want to support a particular person or group, go for it.
Back in the day when the author in question began writing, it was very difficult for a woman to get published in the gay press. So she made the decision to use the male pseudonym. She’s always been very up front about the fact that the name was a pseudonym. A lot of people already knew who she was, including me, and it made no difference whatsoever.
I have seen comments in the past by gay men that they don’t want to read books about gay men by female authors because they’re not authentic. That’s their choice, but they’re missing out on some great literature – The Charioteer springs to mind.
But the idea that you’re not allowed to write about someone you’re not doesn’t hold up. If that was the case, the only thing that would be published is autobiography and memoir.
No one – no one – really knows anyone else, regardless of whether they’re in the same gender identity group or not. Besides – this is fiction. Jamie Brodie is who he is because I created him, and I know him better than anyone. Did I do my research? I did, and I still do. I read everything I can get my hands on by and about gay men, because I want to get it as right as possible. But no one gets to tell me that I shouldn’t write about Jamie because I’m not a gay man.