Thursday, 17 May 2012

Hop Against Homophobia

Since we're taking part in the 'Hop Against Homophobia', we thought this would be a good moment to say a little about discrimination and prejudice as we've experienced them personally.

As you've probably gathered, most of the people involved in Manifold Press are significantly over the age of 21 and have been reading and writing M/M fiction for a considerable number of years. During that time we've encountered quite a lot of anti-gay sentiment, one way and another, and we've had our literary preferences described as 'dirty', 'perverted' and just about every other epithet you can imagine. Even though most of our output is not especially steamy, we are often shunted into the genres of 'erotica' or 'adult' work simply by virtue of the participants being men and the presumption that sex between men is somehow less acceptable to the general taste than heterosexual sex.

Whilst we're quite prepared to believe that the majority of the world is heterosexual - or at least thinks it is - we don't feel that in any way invalidates the lifestyles of those who are not. We've been told some utter falsehoods about gay people in the past, by people who thought they knew what they were talking about - that gay men don't kiss, for example, or that gay sex is always rough and painful and always involves violence. We hope these ill-informed views are on the decline, and we're trying to do our little bit towards promoting understanding through our books.

To us, gay men are neither disgusting creatures to be reviled nor wondrous beings to be fetishised; they're just men who happen to be gay. They live, love, laugh, work, eat and sleep just like anybody else; they have the same everyday concerns as the rest of the world - money, health, their own safety and that of others, the list is endless. That we choose to read and write about them should be of no greater importance than if we chose to read and write about cooking or art or dogs or railway engines; this is simply what we know about and what we like to do.

The prejudice encountered by M/M authors is a pale shadow of that encountered by people who are gay, although it's part of the same phenomenon. We have never understood why genuine love and affection - or indeed the honest exchange of sexual pleasure without emotional commitment - should be anybody's business but that of the people involved. We do not consider ourselves politically-minded in any way, and we are certainly not a campaigning organisation, but when we're given an opportunity like this to be part of a protest against homophobia we are only too glad to stand up and be counted.

Please comment on this post to enter a draw to receive the free Manifold Press book of your choice, the winner to be announced on 20 May.

ETA: If you have difficulty leaving a comment here, please leave one on the equivalent LJ post and we'll include them all in the same draw!

13 comments:

  1. So true! I live in the Netherlands and maybe it is a little more accepted her. But all I say is Love is Love no matter what.

    Hugs Linda

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  2. I have always believed that as long they do not hurt anyone else, everyone should be free to live how they want and to love who they want.

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  3. I believe love can triumph over hate and that it always will!

    Thanks for participating in the blog hop.

    kimberlyFDR@yahoo.com

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  4. thank you for sharing this with us today. I think this is an important cause that needs the spotlight shining on it.

    musings-of-a-bookworm@hotmail.co.uk

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  5. I couldn't agree more! All people should be able to love and marry who they want. Authors should be able to write about two men being in love and not be criticized for it. I should be able to read m/m romance and not worry about what anyone else thinks.

    Thanks for taking part in the hop!

    lkbherring64(at)gmail(dot)com

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  6. Thank you for participating in the blog hop. I'm seeing a lot more m/m books now that they are so readily available in ebook formats. I see that as a very good thing.

    andreagrendahl AT gmail DOT com

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  7. I'm sending my virtual support for you great, hard work.

    0401romance(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. Thank you for the post!
    Yvette
    yratpatrol@aol.com

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  9. Thank you so much for participating in the hop. I hope that this helps to spread the word and that one day a hop like this will no longer be needed. I have shown many of the post to my nieces and nephews. We recently have been discussing how damaging bullying is and how innocent remarks can make you be seen as being a bully. One of the things that makes me mad is when I hear...you're so gay... pisses me off. These post have helped them already. I heard my nephew stand up to someone that called someone else a hurtful name... I was so proud. Thank you all for helping by sharing hurtful and/sad memories and your personal views/message.
    I pray one day for equality for EVERYONE not just some.
    forettarose@yahoo.com

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  10. To the folks at Manifold Press,

    Thank you for that great post.

    I am not one of your talented non-fiction writers, I am actually a straight gal in the U.S. who writes for a gay adult entertainment studio in Europe but I have not found a category that I do fit into but I feel strongly about this cause and the folks who organized this Hop have been kind enough to let me participate. http://shadowsterling.blogspot.com/2012/04/studio-i-write-for.html

    What you said in your post is 100% right. Gay folks have sex and make love exactly the same way straight folks do. Yes some of the parts may be different but they kiss, caress, fondle and embrace exactly the same!

    If we continue to stand together I know this fear and hatred WILL end in our lifetime!

    Thank you again for letting me participate.

    Shadow Sterling

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  11. Thanks for an interesting post and you are so right they are just men - they put their pants on the same way as everyone else. LOVE is Love.

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  12. I am afraid I am too late to enter the draw - it has taken me this long to read this far through the blog hop and I still have a way to go.

    But I did want to say that I enjoyed this post and thank you for participating in the blog hop.

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  13. Thanks for participating in the HOP.

    gisu29(at)gmail(dot)com

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