#IDAHO and #HAHABT: Stop the bigotry! (No, I mean YOU)

Welcome to the Hop Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia!

Last year, I posted a discussion on bullying and same-sex domestic violence rebutting the myth that women can’t abuse each other. Same-sex domestic violence is serious and deserves as much consideration as all types of domestic violence.

This year, I have a message for everyone who is part of the LGBTTQQIA (or whatever letters you prefer) community, including straight allies:

Stop being a bigot.

Yes, you.

I can hear gasps in the background. “I’m not a bigot! I’m open to everyone. If people are nice to me, I’m nice to them.”

If that’s our goal, why do we need HAHAT and IDAHO? Just be nice to the people who are nice to us…right? Problem solved.

No. As people who have experienced marginalization, discrimination, and perhaps even violence, the bar is set higher for us. Too often, we see one marginalized group fight for acceptance at the expense of another. The Puritans escaped religious persecution and came to the US to burn women as witches. Early Americans fought for independence but imported and enslaved untold numbers of Africans. White women fought for the right to vote but excluded women of color. The list goes on and on.

One of the sites I have come to love is Everyday Feminism. (Give it a look!) The articles are well-written, well-thought-out, and represent a broad spectrum of experiences, ideas, and identities. It uses intersectionality, a term that means speaking from more than one identity or perspective at a time.

How often does “LGBT” really mean “G” for Gay men?

How many “Rainbow” or “LGBT” review sites actively promote, solicit, and welcome anything besides gay and m/m literature?

In a “queer” group recently, someone asked about tropes in F/F literature. This was the response (paraphrased):

F/F tropes? Is there even enough F/F to have tropes? Just saying…

Wow.

I’m not sure I can address this kind of ignorance in a constructive way, but let me give it a try.

I’m not familiar with the Fae world or Fae literature. I have seen a few references in books and movies, but I haven’t actively sought it out. Because I will write a character who is half-fairy (in my book world, “fairy” will be related to but not the same as Fae), I asked some questions. I was not familiar with any resources on Fae or stories on Fae.

However, I assumed that my ignorance, rather than lack of Fae literature’s existence, explained my unfamiliarity with the genre.

There are some people who can’t even recognize that F/F means “female-female” rather than, say, Fan Fiction or Future Fantasy. Then we have the same people claiming there is no lesbian fiction…how does this make sense?

We (rightly) talk about bi-erasure (not to mention biphobia). We talk about transphobia. We talk about sexism, racism, classism, and all of the alienating “isms” that define our community more than we want to admit. The prejudice against bi and trans is jaw-dropping, and it doesn’t only go one way.

Recently, in beta reading a trans story written in honor of Leelah Alcorn, I asked approximately ten trans women and men to give feedback whether the story honored their experience. The story depicts conflict between a transphobic lesbian and a trans woman fighting for acceptance. For the most part, I received (and was grateful for) helpful information.

One individual, however, felt compelled to share her opinion that anyone transphobic deserved to be raped and probably had it coming to her.

Yes.

Since when does fighting for acceptance mean tearing others down? For the “mainstream” folk who fit into easy definitions, the expectations are not there. For groups that should know better, the disappointment is almost unbearable. Emily, the main character in the story, explains this fundamental hypocrisy as she confronts her own bigotry:

Isn’t this what I’ve said to the straight white girls all along, that they can’t take feminism as a one-dimensional enterprise? I understand my privilege as an able-bodied woman who doesn’t need a wheelchair, crutches, or cane. I don’t have a chronic illness. Feminism is about human rights, not women’s rights…and it must be intersectional. We can’t pick one aspect of feminism over the other.

What about the concept of privilege provokes our defenses in a way that nothing else can? I told the feminist girls that they don’t see straight privilege because they’re conditioned not to. Humans aren’t designed to recognize what we can do or what we have, but to get what we don’t have.

There are those who will say, “But M/M is the majority! We’re all m/m authors/readers/publishers.”

Really? Last time I checked, M/F was the majority. Not M/M. Just saying…

To fight for acceptance while silencing others is ignorant at best and shameful at worst.

I support the LGBT community, but I do not support erasure of literature by and about women. Lesfic does exist. You just haven’t been looking hard enough. (Check out this introductory post by Nancy Heredia for Ana’s Advent Calendar 2014.)

Isn’t it time to stop the bigotry?

Please comment by listing the publishers, authors, and books of F/F that you have read or want to read. If you have not read any yet, please look through the list and pick out one or more. F/F ONLY, please!

Here are a few to get you started!

Publishers that don’t specialize in F/F fiction (meaning they publish other pairings as well) but give it equal consideration and promotion:

Prizes include a copy of Love’s Reprise, First Lady Love (a F/F anthology that will be published next month), and books from my backlist. Number of prizes awarded will depend on number of commenters.

Edited to add: If you’d like to see the whopping 160 F/F books Lynn read last year, here is the link to her Goodreads shelf. Wow! She cautions that not all of them are wonderful, but it’s a good start.

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13 thoughts on “#IDAHO and #HAHABT: Stop the bigotry! (No, I mean YOU)

  1. Lynn says:

    It’s hard not to get completely depressed about it, so thank you for trying to make a difference, Ana 🙂

    According to my goodreads account I have read over 160 F/F books in the last year and they are only the ones I am publicly admitting to reading 😉 so they certainly are out there.

    I am currently reading ‘Gay Pride and Prejudice’ by Kate Christie which makes the story so much more interesting.

    Oh and Less Than Three Press also publish lesfic and genderqueer stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lex Chase says:

    This is an excellent post! And last year I posted about my own experience living in an f/f domestic violence relationship. People don’t seem to believe same-sex let alone f/f domestic violence is a thing.

    As for books I’ve read, DSP’s young adult line Harmony Ink publishes all LGBTQ+ titles! Pretty Peg by Skye Allen is a delightful f/f story. 😀

    http://www.harmonyinkpress.com/books/pretty-peg-by-skye-allen-89-b

    Harmony Ink are also huge advocates for teaching LGBTQ+ youth that it’s okay to be different and embrace who you are. 🙂 (Also pluggy plug: They seriously want more f/f! Just putting out there! :D)

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Because women would never hurt anyone, right? *refraining from rolling my eyes* I am so sorry to hear this happened to you. I hope you are safe now. I’ll have to look for your post from last year–do you have the link handy?

      I did know Harmony Ink will publish F/F, but from what I understand it is just a few titles so far. I would love to see that grow. 🙂

      Pluggy plugs are always welcome. Even ginger. 😀

      Like

      • Lex Chase says:

        Oh yeah, I’m safe now. I left at 22, but now at 36, the wounds still remain. It’s getting better. Not perfect. But better than it was before.

        And here be the link! 😀 http://lexchase.com/blog/2014/05/18/hit-couldnt-tell-anyone/

        I’m excited for Harmony to grow. It is still a little tricky because folks still think Harmony is just YA M/M because DSP is the parent company. I was talking with a fellow author at GRL that had an f/f she wanted to pitch and I suggested Harmony. We kept talking for a good ten minutes until it clicked for her with “OH they do F/F too?” They do it all. Even Asexual and beyond. 😀

        Also DSP now has a mainstream non-romance line featuring LGBTQ+ protagonists called DSP Publications. I’m excited to see where that one goes. My books really don’t fit the romance mold, so I’m shifting to that line. Plus I have an f/f series I’ve been dying to do for a while that I may finally have my chance. ❤

        Like

  3. awesomesub says:

    Hi Ana, thank you for your post. If anything, it is more than obvious how miffed you are because of the comment and the degree of ignorance it revealed. I am sorry that this happened and hurt you so much, which it did because you are so passionate about f/f writing and equal rights for all; equal like in all human beings, nobody excluded. All I can wish for is that you do never ever lose your passion.
    Tearing others down in general is something that I do not understand, because I believe we should have respect for each other as human beings, even if we follow different doctrines or have opposing opinions. And, seriously, the rape comment is beyond my understanding. Just saying that is horrible and it shows how plain ignorant someone can be. We are talking about how women and men suffer for years emotionally, even long after the actual assault is over. This is so against being humane, it is most horrible. … Ok, I assumed you were vexed from the first ignorant comment, my trigger was the second.

    I do agree with all you write in your entry and I do see that negating the existence of Lesfic is part of the kind of bigotry you described. This sort of derogatory comment concerning f/f fiction will hopefully stop sooner or later, once the number of sold books makes it clear that there are lots of readers. I mean there is so much more lesbian and bisexual fiction now compared to about ten years ago. This is awesome and proves anybody doubting the existence of fiction dealing with lesbian or bisexual characters plain wrong and uninformed.
    … Thank you for giving me your soap box for a minute. 🙂

    Originally I came from an absence of serious reading for most of the last twelve years. So, when I came to blogging, it was actually Jaye Peaches and you who had a major influence on bringing me back to books (and Tilda, because I couldn’t go jogging with my bump). Thank you for that. 😀

    However, apart from yours I read only a handful such as …
    All you can eat,
    Spread the Love,
    Unwrap these Presents; all three of them are anthologies by Ylva Publishing, pretty cool to get an idea of what you could read afterwards.
    Hoar & Rime (K.T. Telford),
    Sing you home (Jodi Picoult),
    A woman like that (Joan Larkin),
    Ash (Malinda Lo),
    Oranges are not the only fruit (Jeanette Winterson),
    Terci in chains (Kate Richards).
    Instead of writing more I better suggest looking into Love Spanks, Sci Spanks and Spank or Treat anthologies, because there are so many awesome stories by about a gazillion different authors in it. I loved them all, and it is much easier to decide what to read then.
    Currently I am reading Jo Walton’s My real Children, which is m/f and f/f.

    Wishing you a wonderful Sunday, unburdened and full of sweet sleep and all else you might enjoy. 🙂

    hugs

    Nina

    Liked by 1 person

  4. JoanneBest says:

    Very informative post that has me wondering if I’M an idiot! As I may have mentioned a few zillion times, you are my first f/f author, through you and your anthologies I have been introduced to so many wonderful authors, I’ve expanded my list of to-be-read books which is now larger than the space in my kindle.
    Right now I’m once again rereading The Way Home, what seems to happen to me is this: I start reading a book, get quite a ways into it then realize it’s not satisfying me, I get frustrated with so many of the m/f books I read these days because so much of it is lather rinse repeat, I can practically recite the dialogue before I read it and I’m bored within a few chapters. So I find myself rereading your books over and over instead of finishing what I started.
    Thank you for this post, I intend to follow the links you posted and start reading more f/f, there seems to be so much more emotion and depth in the f/f stories I’ve read than a whole lot of other books I’ve read that are m/f only.
    And please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not trying to kiss a** or anything like that, I am sincere when I say you are my favorite author, I’m sincere when I say you have become what I measure all other books against and maybe I’m just a weirdo, but I know what I like. I will follow these links and I look forward to reading more of what is quickly becoming my favorite category.
    And as Nina said, in other words, please take care of yourself, we worry about you and we love you for a million reasons, don’t ever let the idiots get you down. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. laurellasky says:

    I’ve read Love Reprise, all of your (Ana’s) books, all of Stardawn Cabot, and M/M thianna books. I’ve enjoyed them all. My brother is gay and we are very close, he’s recommended books to me.

    Like

  6. JT says:

    Hi, Ana — I absolutely LOVE what you said about intersectionality. In fact, that’s the part that compels me the most when it comes to getting my characters out of my head and onto my computer screen.

    Also appreciated you mentioning about the trans feedback on the beta reads. I’m in the midst of getting a gay/trans scifi story out. However, I’ve had to table the story of a trans character in contemporary times because I haven’t had time to do his/her story justice.

    I’m embarrassed to admit that since I do write F/F (debuted in December 2014) that I haven’t actually read too much in the genre. That includes your work! However, I know I have something of yours in my ereader somehwere. I need to dig through my ever-mounting pile of books to find out which anthology I have and make a date for this weekend! JT

    Like

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