Yes, let’s talk about my off-again-on-again relationship with the contemporary genre.
If you’ve been following my blog for more than about 0.25 seconds you’ve probably heard me scream about this.
I haven’t actually complained about this for a while, so this post is needed, tbf.
But yes, I’m reading so many contemporaries and just can’t read fantasy at the moment??? I don’t know what it is???? I mean look… these recent reads are all contemporary.
And if we have a look at the bigger picture at the past few months of my reading:
Yeah… not a lot of fantasy and a lot of GAY.
(can we also not mention how long it’s been since I posted and actually went on WordPress?? I’m on holiday and actually doing things / having a life and it’s a new experience and I’m trying to cope over here. The air outside is v strange and v unfamiliar. Someone send help/backup, please?)
It actually came to my attention that while I’ve been reading more books with LGBTQ+ representation, the number of fantasy books that I’ve read (which
is was my main read genre) had plummeted. SEVERELY.
I’ve turned back to contemporary because one) there’s more variety of rep, two) it discusses a lot of challenging topics and can (in fantasy the plot/worldbuilding can take over?) three) it’s easier to find contemporary books with rep, four) contemporary books with LGBTQ+ rep seem to lack a lot of the issues that I have with f/m / cis contemporaries.
Like??? Some fantasy books have really good rep (I’m talking Magnus/Alec here and Mark/Keiran (and omg I just need Ty and Kit to be a thing already) from TMI/TDA here) but I also don’t see that much??? I also know that Amanda Foody’s books are also great with rep and I’ve yet to read them!!
BUT there is a severe lack, that I think is starting to be bridged.
ANYWAY. Still A Huge Lack™
So, above, I mentioned the issues that I have with f/m / cis contemporaries. And trust me, they are still very much there. And yes, I can still have issues with m/m or f/f contemporaries too. BUT.
I find that I’m just so DONE with m/f contemporaries?? I find them cliche a lot of the time (yes, LGBTQ books can still be cliche), and not really as interesting?? I want the rep, and everything else is just?????????????????????? no thanks?
I find that there’s MORE in a f/f or m/m book because it tackles a lot more issues than your regular, f/m contemporary. Because even if it doesn’t explicitly talk about them being LGBTQ it SAYS SOMETHING. The fact that it doesn’t, says SOMETHING:
It shows that it’s normal. And it shows that it’s a part of life. And it’s not some world-altering thing.
And the thing is… when I go to read a book that doesn’t have any rep and a love interest I just don’t feel AS invested as I could be?? I don’t know what it is, but I can just invest myself MORE when it’s an LGBTQ+ REP book because I relate!!
I find it really hard to find fantasy books with LGBTQ+ representation, and now, when I start them, it takes me AGES to get into them even though I can love everything about the book???
I would say that it’s me being in a Fantasy Funk or whatever, but it’s not that. I just want to read books with LGBTQ rep and a lot of fantasy books do not have that!!
And I’ve said it before on here, and I’ll say it again: m/m relationships make my still heart beat once more.
… so when the rep isn’t there my heart sheds tears and… yeah.
Fantasy + no rep ever = sadness
Because I really want to have some kickass LGBTQ character saving the damn world and it not being a huge thing. Like oh, they happen to be LGBTQ and oh lookie-here, they also happen to be able to wield 5000 knives at once like a BOSS, while also knitting a scarf and saving the world, while also throwing glitter and rainbows around as they ride on a freaking unicorn.
But does this happen?? No.
Does my heart weep? Yes, continuously.
BUT: Is it right to pick books for just representation? I think that it’s okay because we need to support books/authors with rep!!
I guess that if it really came down to it if there were two books that I couldn’t choose between and I both liked the premise of and one was (white)f/m while the other was either m/m or f/f or had any other LGBTQ+ rep—or POC and was still f/m—(because there’s a lot of rep to cover, people!) I would choose the one with the rep.
BUT: that book that I didn’t choose in this hypothetical situation could have been better? It could have been AMAZING! So is it really okay?
Some might say ‘we can’t ask for everything to be diverse‘ HA WELL PPL STILL WANT THAT, AND NEED TO BE REPRESENTED, BYE. But the thing is people could turn around and say ‘we still need white f/m rep‘ and to that, I would just laugh because,, honey,,, are you from a marginalised, targetted group? No.
(this may be controversial or whatever but,,,, I’ve said it now,, oh well,, cool,,, bye.,,.)
jegusguseg THIS IS SUCH A HARD TOPIC TO TALK ABOUT.
BASICALLY *ADDRESSES WORLD* CAN WE JUST HAVE ALL THE REP THAT WE NEED THANKS BYE.
DOES ANYONE ELSE JUST,,, STRUGGLE TO DISCUSS THINGS.
Why can I never end a discussion post with actual opinions and not flail like a fgrdkgr?
fdjndjfg someone pls join me in my opinions?? What do you think about the rep in fantasy?? do you have any recommendations?? what do you think about rep in general? Do you think that ppl should pick books just for the rep???? SOMEONE HELP. BYE.