LGBTQ+ romance is ridiculously white. This is not a rumor, this is a fact! Go through most M/M or F/F romance recommendation lists and what you will see are a sea of white faces and nude torsos.
If you are white the world already reflects your point of view. Yet, for BIPOC authors and readers we are told that our stories, our experiences, our happily ever afters don’t count
I’m concentrating on Black romance today because I am a Black queer person and I shouldn’t take up space from other marginalized voices in our community. What I will say is this: if you think Black people have the worst in this community, then you haven’t been paying attention.
There are only a handful of Asian and Indigenous authors in this genre.
The amount of w\hiteness in queer romance is dire and the silence from the prominent people in our community is perpetuating an endless cycle of white supremacy in a space that is supposed to welcome all of us; not just white people.
As a Black and queer person, I face passive racism in the LGBTQ+ romance community daily. Black authors constantly have to face the many hurdles to get published. We have to deal with racist Agents who think that white people won’t relate to our stories, publishing houses who don’t want to publish books targeted towards Black LGBTQ+ folks, or they won’t put a Black model on the cover.
In Indie or Self-Publishing, Black LGBTQ+ romance authors not only have to face many financial hurdles, but they also have to promote their books with little to no support. White book bloggers won’t feature us for blog tours. We often don’t get offers to write guest posts, and the most influential book clubs will always pass us over in favor of a white author.
There is also a special brand of racism and ignorance in queer book spaces where white queers think their sexuality exempts them from doing any anti-racism work.
“I can’t be a racist, because I’m gay.”
Another instance of the passive racism in our community is white authors writing BIPOC main characters for obvious diversity brownie points while ignoring our complex cultures and languages. White authors especially ignore that American Black people have our own complicated history, culture, and language just like any racial or ethnic community.
Then they are white authors who have never written a BIPOC character in their lives now taking up valuable space in the LGBTQ+ community from authors of color while profiting off our stories.
We must make LGBTQ+ romance a more equal and just place not for white people, not for cis people, but for everyone. We all deserve a happily ever after and Black LGBTQ+ people are no exception.
Black people deserve to see our ownvoices stories promoted, and supported. We deserve to have an equal place in our book community. The time for sitting at the back of the bus is over.
Georgina Kiersten is a black non-binary (they/them) author of diverse LGBTQ+ romance and erotica. They are also a fierce advocate for diversity and inclusion in publishing. Georgina blogs about writing and books and is writing their debut romance novel “The Bipartisan Affair”. Visit Georgina’s website, subscribe to their FREE newsletter or follow them on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.