If you’re gay I’m not asking if your family and friends know that you like people with the same bits, but are you “out” with regard to your reading material?
Do you openly admit to friends, coworkers and family that you read m/m? If you write it, does everyone know the types of stories you write or are you kind of vague about it all?
I noticed in our discussions on sharing books, many people said “None of my friends read the type of books I do.” Is that because they have no interest or because they don’t know?
I’ll be honest, I used to keep it pretty quiet (and I’m still not running around with a rainbow flag screaming “I read m/m romance”) but I’ve started to open up more. I guess for me, even straight romance has a reputation that it’s not “real” literature and I fell into the “if you’re not reading Oprah’s book list, you’re not reading something worthy”. Duh.
It started I think with someone at work. The conversation in a bookstore went like this:
Allison: “What kind of books are you reading?”
Me: *deer in the headlights look* so I bit the bullet and said “Gay romance”
Allison: *odd laugh* “Really?”
Me: “Yeah, I’m kind of into books with lots of sex these days.”
Allison: “They have lots of sex?”
Me: “Oh yeah. Well, I mean not ALL of them of course.” (trying to avoid coming off like total perv)
Me: “Do you like paranormals? Like werewolves and vampires and stuff?”
Allison: “Well, I’ve read some vampire stuff.”
Me: “I have one you might like, it’s about werewolves, I’ll lend it to you but I want it back.”
So I gave her J.L. Langley’s Without Reservations. I haven’t gotten it back yet nor heard any comment on it. But she willingly took it. That was kind of my first step into the light.
With some of my on-line friends I started dropping hints and now they kind of expect me to chime in on certain subjects with my “literary expertise”. My daughter knows what I read (not the details obviously) but I will mention “I read a book about a guy who had a fight with his boyfriend about X” so it’s obvious I’m reading about two guys. I also got her to read Vintage: A Ghost Story which is YA and she really enjoyed it.
My parents? Ummm. I don’t think my Mom would get it AT ALL. My Dad would be clueless. My Mom doesn’t even get why I read so much. No sibs to explain it to.
So how “out” are you? If someone asks what the last book you read was do you say “Hot Man Lovin’ 3” or do you just say “a romance novel”? If you keep it quiet what do you think people would say or do if you came out of the m/m closet?