I’ve been asked a few times why I write queer romance? Usually this question comes from people who have read my straight romance, but are surprised to discover I write queer as well. Honestly, I never really thought about it. It wasn’t a tactic I had as an author—male/male is hot right now so that is my next book—because honestly, if that was the reason, the story would probably suck.
Queer romance is like any story in that it has to be genuine. The character have to be real to me, have to be people who exist in the world I’ve created, not because I need a queer character, but because they are a part of the fundamental fabric of that universe.
Growing up, we had friends of the family who were gay. I was a kid in the late seventies/early eighties, but at the time I didn’t know that being gay was an issue. They came to family gatherings and were quite clearly a couple. They traveled a lot so I was always fascinated with their stories. One fall I found out that one of the men had quit his job as a teacher. Some of the parents had found out about him being gay and applied so much pressure to the school that he no longer felt comfortable being there. I couldn’t wrap my head around that, even as a nine year old. He was great! I would have killed to have him as a teacher. Why did it matter if he lived with another man?
It was wonderful to be that naïve.
As I got older and the lines of sexuality and the impact of society on sexuality became more apparent to me, I knew I couldn’t let that type of close mindedness to win. When I started writing, I knew that queer people would naturally be a part of my world. Not characters that fit into a stereotype of what others thought they should be. In my experience life is rarely that neat and tidy. But these people reflected the individuals I knew in my life. Gay, straight, bi, these people were my friends, my friends’ children, people I went to school with, and to a certain extent even myself.
You see, the thing I realized as I got older is that sexuality isn’t a label that gets slapped onto us when we’re born and carries on throughout our lives. It’s something a bit more fluid than that. Love doesn’t know boundaries and our sexuality is not as simple as we’d like to think it is. The more we give ourselves permission to see the queer within ourselves, the more accepting we’ll be of others.
If everything and everyone was the same in this world, it would be a boring place.
About Christine d’Abo
A romance novelist and short story writer, Christine has over thirty publications to her name. She loves to exercise and stops writing just long enough to keep her body in motion too. When she’s not pretending to be a ninja in her basement, she’s most likely spending time with her family and two dogs.
About Pulled Long
For months, coffee shop owner Ian Long has fantasized about a customer he knows only as “Blue Eyes.” Until he learns Blue Eyes is in the midst of a divorce—the last thing Ian wants is to be the rebound experiment of a straight guy. Giving in to lust, he invites the man into the cafe after hours and they indulge in a little exhibitionist play, but Ian is unwilling to get involved.
But when he’s forced to see Jeff again to return his briefcase, Ian finally agrees to go out on a date. Dinner quickly becomes an erotic encounter in a special room at the sex club Mavericks, and Ian realizes Jeff satisfies desires he didn’t even know he had. The more he gets to know Jeff as a person, the harder it is to resist falling for him.
Jeff makes it clear he’s interested in more than just sex. He wants to go public with their relationship in more ways than one. But can Ian open his heart, when he fears it will be broken?