I occasionally read book in the M/M genre, and I follow the review site Reviews by Jessewave. Wave is good people, and is a black woman from Canada. Her tastes are very similar to mine and I rely on her for guidance in this genre that I haven’t been reading long enough to really develop any fave authors. (However, I don’t post there because frankly that community is even more drama filled than Romancelandia and I don’t need the crazy.) Last week I popped in to find even more crazy than normal. Apparently Wave posted on another blog that she doesn’t review books that feature sex with trans men. That set off a veritable crapstorm about her head from authors of trans books who took issue with this, especially as they are of the opinion that trans men ARE men. They insisted that Wave take down her rainbow banner and specify that she only reviewed books featuring cis-men.
Now, my first reaction to this was outrage on Wave’s behalf. How dare they tell her what to do with her site and what she has to specify? Then I got to thinking about how angry we authors of multicultural books are at the sites that won’t review our books despite calling themselves romance review sites. So I had to ask myself, am I a hypocrite? Since I have no interest in reading books about trans men and I like Wave and the authors were being so obnoxious my first reaction was to side with Wave. Doesn’t she have the right to read/review what she wants without being called transphobic? Then I have to ask about all those people who have no interest in reading/reviewing multicultural books. Don’t they have the same right? The authors said that if Wave only reads cis-gendered books the header shouldn’t say M/M because trans-men are men. Of course, that begs the question, if trans-men are men, then why the hell is there a T on GLBQ? But I suppose that’s a question for another day.
I, of course, want more than anything to see fans of multicultural romance develop review blogs and sites. As far as I know there are only a couple and they aren’t widely supported yet. I don’t believe you can force people to read/review books they don’t want to read/review. This more than anything points up the need for us to develop our own. Have any of you ever considered starting such a site?