So a few days ago on the Outer Alliance forum, someone posted about New York Times bestselling author Jessica Verday pulling her gay themed story from upcoming anthology.
The shorthand: Verday was part of an upcoming dark fairy romance anthology, WICKED PRETTY THINGS, and wrote a boy/boy tale for it. The editor claimed the publisher wouldn’t approve of it and she’d need to
make one of the characters a girl. Verday called BS on the claim as the publisher had previously produced m/m titles in the past. Verday pulled the story in protest. It now turns out the editor didn’t even check with the publisher first, and the publisher would’ve actually been fine with it.
The editor’s response was added to the blog post. Her response includes offering to show a YouTube video of her wrestling a gay guy.
I applaud Verday for standing tall and doing the right thing and I hope other authors follow her example.
What really disturbs me is that a lot of the comments that I’ve read.
“I can’t believe the editor said such things.”
“I’m shocked people still have these kind of attitudes.”
“I’m just appalled that someone would have a problem with a gay story.”
Are you fucking kidding me? Do you honestly think this was an isolated incident or these kind of attitudes are happening in a vacuum?
This is most pervasive of the industry as a whole.
Ask yourself how many novels there are out there in mainstream speculative fiction that feature LGBTQs, particularly gay males, as the primary protagonists? For that matter ask yourselves how many mainstream speculative novels feature POCs.
In other words, if it ain’t straight and white, it ain’t right.
While the editor was being reprehensible, the truth is, she was being far more upfront in her bigotry than most are.
See most editors and publishers who see a story featuring an LGBTQ or a POC will simply say it’s just not a right fit for what they publish and keep it moving. While they’ll reject it because of racism or homophobia, they’ll hem and haw and use every other lie and excuse to save face.
So until more people start demanding better, until more people start following Verday’s example in standing tall against bigotry, don’t expect incidents like this to be isolated….Because the truth is, it’s simply business as usual.