Guest Post: Bisexuality Does Exist by A. E. Radley

Happy Friday!

Today, I’m honored to have A. E. Radley stop by. She recently released Mergers & Acquisitions, which soared into the top ten of Amazon’s lesbian romance best sellers.  I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Mergers & Acquisitions and I enjoyed it. This was the first book I’ve ready by A. E. Radley, but it won’t be my last. In fact, I loaded another one on my kindle as soon as I finished Mergers. But enough about me.

Here’s A. E. Radley!

A year ago today I read a newspaper article that really upset me. It was a story about British gay icon Christopher Biggins and his insensitive words upon the subject of bisexuality. Now, Biggins, as he is known, is a sixty-year-old white man, a species not necessarily known for their tact, diplomacy and openness. But Biggins has always been known as a kind, bubbly, flamboyant man. Almost cuddly. A friend of everyone.

So, when he was quoted as saying “the worst type, I’m afraid to say, are the bisexuals. What it is, is people not wanting to admit they’re gay. Be honest: that’s what you’ve got to be” it hurt. A lot. I grew up watching this man on children’s television. He was gay and proud, well-spoken and kind. But suddenly he was also biphobic.

This bi-erasure, both within and outside of the LGBT community, and comments about “choosing a side” or “being honest with yourself” are damaging and extremely hurtful for bi people. Unfortunately, these are also very common comments that all bisexuals are sick of hearing. But hearing this comment from a gay icon hammered home the fact that the bi community are still receiving more scorn from the LG community than we are from the straight community.

This highlighted a trend I was seeing at the time. I had recently published my first novel, Flight SQA016, which focused on the romantic story of two women. As such, it was plonked into the category of lesfic aka lesbian fiction. I don’t personally like the term lesfic, I use it as it’s the most recognised term for my genre. I prefer a term I coined myself, lesbific, but even this is problematic.

You see, while Flight SQA016 focuses on the story of two women, one of those women is a bisexual. And I, the author, am also a bisexual. I didn’t think this would be much of an issue, we’re all allies under the LGBTQ umbrella, right? Wrong. Or so I discovered.

Suddenly I was being attacked by lesbian authors, told that I shouldn’t be writing in the lesfic category and that I should be in the bisexual fiction category. But my story focused on a tale of women loving women, just because one identified as a bisexual that didn’t mean the book was bisexual in nature.

Of course this wasn’t the first time I heard this. There’s a small but persistence thread of people who claim that lesbian fiction must be written by lesbians for lesbians. I think this is wrong. What about bisexuals? Or trans? They have just as much right to be writing a woman loving woman story as anyone else.  

My, sometimes unpopular opinion, is that story is king. I don’t care if a good story has been written by a lesbian, bisexual, man, or woman. I’m reading a story for entertainment and enjoyment. I don’t expect people who write murder mysteries to have murdered people in the name of research. I’d like the characters to be realistic but this can be achieved through research and good writing skills.

Demanding that your lesbian fiction is written by lesbians is depriving yourself of good fiction. And, in some cases, it’s showing your prejudice.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

E-Book $7.99
Paperback $13.99
Also available in Kindle Unlimited
Release Date: August 3, 2017
Romance

Kate Kennedy prides herself on running the very best advertising agency in Europe. One day, her top client asks her to work on a lucrative project with the notoriously fastidious Georgina Masters, of the American agency Mastery. The temporary merger causes a fiery clash of cultures and personalities. Especially when Georgina sets her romantic sights on Kate’s young intern, Sophie.

Amazon US   /  Amazon UK

A. E. RADLEY

She describes herself as a Wife. Traveller. Tea Drinker. Biscuit Eater. Animal Lover. Master Pragmatist. Annoying Procrastinator. Theme Park Fan. Movie Buff.

When not writing or working, Radley indulges in her third passion of buying unnecessary cat accessories on a popular online store for her two ungrateful strays whom she has threatened to return for the last seven years.

Twitter  /  Website  /  Facebook

 

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MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Thanks A. E. for stopping by today and best of luck to all giveaway entrants!

 

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American living in England. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs, or reading. Not necessarily in that order.
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7 Responses to Guest Post: Bisexuality Does Exist by A. E. Radley

  1. Ted says:

    Thank you.

  2. kdwilliamson says:

    Oh very good blog! I don’t get the issue and as always it floors me that ppl are so concerned about who you sleep with. But, its a heart stopper when a marginalized community does the same to others. I too wrote about a bisexual character as was naive enough to think it wasn’t a big deal because of the overall story. The crazies came out of the woodwork. It’s shameful that our community isn’t more accepting and tolerant when its something we’ve been trying to earn for decades.

  3. K Aten says:

    Yes! A.E. Radley, thank you for saying this! This is an issue that truly makes me angry. You can be just as sexist on the female side as you are on the male side. And it has just as harmful consequences to the community and our LGBTQ members. A good author is a good author. If you don’t want to read lesbian fiction written by a man because you want to support female business and such, great! Then say that. But when women try to say that men can’t write lesfic because they couldn’t possibly write women’s intimacy properly…I’m going to call bull. Great authors can write any viewpoint, any gender, any history. Fifty years ago women wrote sci-fi under men’s names, because they wouldn’t have been taken serious otherwise. I’d like to think we are further along than that.

    Women write gay romance all the time, and are very successful at it. Would these same “men can’t write lesfic” women decry anyone who tried to say women can’t write gay romance? Listen, I don’t have to grow a penis to write about a male main character any more than I have to grow antenna to write about aliens. How about we stop being fiction bigots? The sex and/or sexuality of an author has nothing to do with the quality or content of their fiction! How about we judge a book by it’s story quality and content and not the content of the author’s pants? That would really be great.

  4. As I said in my guest blog, I do read books from male authors who respectfully write in the genre, but yeah my preference is to support some of the little known lesbian authors who quite honestly are struggling in a market that is all over the place and includes a fair number of books that are more F/F without a representation of a loving relationship between 2 women. I do believe everyone is on a continuum and if the two main characters are both bi-sexual and women and end up together, I’m all for reading that, but if in the end one ends up with a man, well that would piss me off and I would not consider that a book that falls into the lesbian romance category. I hope I am not considered bigoted just because I choose to spend my dollars in a certain way. I also look for LGBT businesses for similar reasons. An interesting person to read is Dr. Bonnie James (I hope I am remembering her name correctly) who talks about the “disappearing L”. I prefer healthy dialogue on this issue without either side tossing out disparaging words simply because the perspectives are different. Painting a broad brush on anything is I believe a dangerous thing, especially when we should be supporting each other versus tearing each other apart. We already experience that too often from the privileged communities who are quick to tear us down!

  5. Mystics_fan says:

    Very interesting dialogue. I completely understand making a choice to support lesbian or bi authors as a way to encourage the community, much like I choose to support local businesses to encourage my neighborhood. I don’t, however, argue that the businesses I don’t frequent should not be allowed in the marketplace. I personally would prefer to support lesbian (or bi) writers (and artists, restauranteurs, musicians, et al) but unless an author specifically states her orientation, how would I know?

    I’m relatively new to reading lesfic. Interestingly, this seems one genre where the content is not the sole determiner of its category. That’s really rather fascinating to consider what exactly makes a book lesfic. Based on the feedback A.E. and kd received, some seem to hold that a narrow consideration of orientation and/or gender of the author is important to whether a book can be included in the category. This seems unique as most other book categories are content-defined rather than author-defined.

    I’m curious….if a lesbian writes a fictional narrative where an f/f relationship is not the central story, is it considered lesfic? Is the author or is the content more important to determining whether a book can be considered lesfic? I know this is a bit rambly, but I do love a good philosophical muse.

    • All true statements and I suppose what makes it all really difficult is that there is an LGBT category, a Gay category and a Lesbian category, but where is a category in Amazon for B, T, Q, etc. Unfortunately one does not exist. That is sad! As far as knowing the author’s and supporting them….since it is a small community, I’ve met or interacted with quite a few and just like supporting local folk that I know and respect, that’s pretty easy to do. I now know quite a few great lesfic authors and their work, including the guest blogger!

  6. Jea Hawkins says:

    Thank you so much for this!

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