Homophobia and Slash Fanfiction

Hi, readers! This is a very old post! In the interests of openness and transparency, the editorial staff at LGG&F have decided to leave it up. However, our views on this topic have evolved and become more nuanced over the years. For a more layered approach to this issue, we suggest these posts:
Sexualized Saturdays: Is Slash Fanfiction Degrading And/Or Homophobic?
Sexualized Saturdays: Queer Representation or Ship Representation?
Sexualized Saturdays: A Genderqueer Take on Slash Fanfiction
Sexualized Saturdays: Femslash and Fandom
Sexualized Saturdays: On Sterek, Shipping, and Selfishness
Why Is There So Much Slash Fic: Some Analysis of the AO3 Census


You are displaying the former if you hate the latter.

Allow me to explain.

The reason I’m writing this is because I know many people who are staunch supporters of gay rights but are downright disgusted by the idea of slash. When I mentioned fanfiction to a new college friend a few years ago, she told me an anecdote about a friend of hers who was a Remus/Sirius shipper. But she phrased it in a way that made it clear that she thought that was weird and gross and just beyond the pale. In another instance we were talking about our shared love of Hikaru no Go and I had joked about Touya and Hikaru’s epic love (holla, Hikago!), and she responded “You don’t have to make it gay, I was just saying.”

Pictured: Epic love.

I continue to be very close friends with this girl, but it took me far longer to come out to her as bi than it otherwise would have because these instances and others made me worry that she would come to dislike me or be suspicious of me or display any number of other gay panic-related reactions when she found out she was friends with a real-live queer person.

These little outbursts of hate toward the idea of queering characters not portrayed as such in their original work are easily comparable to, for example, getting angry at a fanartist for portraying a humanized version of Twilight Sparkle as black.

Oh, but she sounds white to you? Well, maybe Dean Winchester seems bi, or Sherlock seems asexual, or Lelouch seems gay to me. Why do you have a problem with that? Oh, it is certainly noble to champion the cause of gay rights as a lofty ideal, but when people you know or characters you care about suddenly shift your paradigm and become queer themselves, and you get uncomfortable, that’s a leetle bit of homophobia rearing its head. If you assume that every character whose sexuality is not explicitly stated in a show or book or movie is straight, you are succumbing to the heteronormative fallacy of ‘straight til proven queer’, a frustrating and frankly illogical trope.

Part of this is rooted in persistent and terrible stereotypes. If, when you think ‘gay’, you think ‘faaaabulous’, you’d never imagine Dean Winchester getting into a relationship with a guy. If when you think bi, you think ‘slut’, you never would imagine someone like Durarara‘s Mikado as bi. If you think ‘butch’ when you hear ‘lesbian’, you’d never in a million years think of, say, Luna Lovegood as a lesbian.In fact, these conceptions would be unnatural to you because they don’t fit into your nice little easily identifiable boxes.

But part of the magic of slash fanfiction is that it does escape these stereotypical boxes. It says “yes, some gay people are faaaabulous and fashion-inclined, but my Albus Severus Potter is gay and he is a bookish quiet Slytherin in love with Ravenclaw Quidditch star Scorpius Malfoy.” It helps break the mold that gay people (or any flavor of queer people) are one-size-fits-all feather-boa’d cutouts and helps perpetuate the notion that wizarding heroes and villains, vampires and vampire hunters, famous detectives (consulting or otherwise), gang leaders, bandits, and doctors (or Doctors) can be queer and still be badasses or hardasses and evil or good or neutral (or lawful or chaotic).

Many of the readers and writers of slash fanfic certainly get their sexual jollies out of reading and writing it. As a reader and writer of slash myself, I do not deny this. Some people read slash because the idea of two guys getting it on is hot to them, and leave it at that. But there is so much more to slash than just ‘gay porn’. Saying all slash fanfic is gay porn is like saying all movies are porn—sexual encounters may make up a significant and vocal minority of plotlines, but there also exists a wealth of stories that circle around adventure, drama, comedy, romance, and angst for which teh sexxors is only an optional plot device. So assuming that all slash fanfic is porn is like saying all gay people are promiscuous—it’s heterosexist and false.

Likewise, reacting in disgust to the idea that someone has envisioned a world where ‘straight till proven queer’ is not the guiding light is being homophobic. If you don’t like slash, don’t read it. I’m not going to hold anyone at gunpoint and make them read Love Under Will (especially because of that horrible cliffhanger ending that was never, NEVER RESOLVED AJA).

Here’s what you should do: live and let live. Accept the fact that some people like reading slash and go on with your life. Slash will not turn you gay or hit on you. Reading a story with gay people in it will not magically tattoo a ‘sexual deviant’ alert on your forehead, and neither will knowing someone who reads it.

And then here’s the next step: realize that slash is not a genre in and of itself that you can avoid the way I avoid dry political biographies or asparagus, but is in part an attempt at transforming the literature we have into a literature that is inclusive of non-heteronormative characters. And it’s, dare I say, a work-in-progress. (A WIP if you will, and don’t we all hate those.) People still warn for slash in summaries (aka, warning: GAYS!); and, hell, it’s still seen by most of the internet as the straight-white-upper-middle-class-woman’s porn; but in reality, slash is just a regular fan story where the main characters happen to be queer.

Morgan Freeman once said that he hated the idea of Black History Month, because it continues to separate black history from the mainstream of all history. Like, we only have to focus on black history for one month, then back to ‘regular’ (read: white) history for the other eleven. Calling slash its own genre is a similar fallacy. Beneath the umbrella of ‘slash’ we have adventure epics, tragic romances, political thrillers, exciting mysteries, and, yes, steamy encounters. And those are the genres by which we should define stories, fan-written or otherwise. “Queer” is not a genre. And continuing to frame it as such continues to make queer stories about mysterious others rather than about people just like you.

20 thoughts on “Homophobia and Slash Fanfiction

  1. Super true. Being a fan of “Will & Grace” and ‘Rent’ and other shows/films/plays with queer characters did little to make me see them as humans and not larger-than-life characters. Falling in love with Big Time Rush and unexpectedly starting to ship a couple of the guys together and read fics about them, however, opened my eyes to the possibility of gay people being just plain old people.

  2. Pingback: Sexualized Saturdays: Strong Women are Lesbians | Lady Geek Girl and Friends

  3. Same-sex romances having their own category is problematic because everybody always assumed it’s porn written for people’s sexual pleasure. There’s nothing wrong with writing porn but say I wanted to write Harry Potter fan fiction, say a sequel, just like any other fan fiction and I wanted to include some romances in it. Since Albus and Scorpius’ sexuality is never mentioned or even hinted at in canon I am free to match them up if I wish, free as I should be to match up Scorpius with Rose. But Scorpius and Rose would be accepted as a plot of a larger story whereas, even if I included a tiny bit of Albus and Scorpius, say holding hands and giving each other little kisses, it would be labelled slash and labelled as disgusting by the moral guardians and homophobic people (I’m not saying people who aren’t into the slash genre are homophobic, some people just aren’t into it. But if you go so far as to say two guys or two girls together is gross then, yeah, that kind of is the definition of homophobic.). Why can’t it just be another romance. The Shoebox Project is an HP sequal which includes Lily/James (of course) and Remus/Sirius. It’s very realistic and both relationships are developed very sweetly.

    • I agree entirely. Continuing to put same-sex romances in a special same-sex box just makes it seem like there’s something wrong and different about them, and it makes it easy for people who are grossed out to avoid them, and then no one benefits.
      Thanks for commenting!

  4. Your argument seems to be based on a couple principles (tell me if I’m wrong) A) Those who vehemently disagree or are disgusted with same-sex couples are homophobic, and B) The conflict can be resolved with a “live and let live” mentality. (those may not be all of your principles, but they are what I’m addressing) Addressing the former, I would first like to explain my definition of Homophobic because with many of the discussions I get into I find out ten minutes in that my friend and I are agreeing on the subject because definitions weren’t cleared up. This is my definition of Homophobe: one who fears or hates homosexuals and homosexuality. While I do strongly disagree against homosexuality and may even go so far to say I hate it, I do not consider myself a homophobe because I do not hate homosexuals. This is because of a belief concept that I have accepted, generally referred to as “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying that I’m better than you as some would believe I am. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. My point here is that (at least the way I’m interpreting this; you have the right to clarify) you’re saying that Homophobia is the problem. I disagree. I say that homosexuality is the problem. Interestingly enough, that leads into the second principle quite well. It is true that if everybody accepted a “live and let live” world view, it would end the conflict, but it would not resolve it. Your solution would be just dropping it and that is not a good enough end for me. There needs to be a universally accepted moral authority to refer to. I submit the bible because it was written by God. (2 Tim 3:16-17) I’m going to refer to Genises 2:24 first, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his WIFE, and they will become one flesh.” I also want to refer to 1 Corinthians 6:9, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites…” It says clearly there that homosexuality is wrong. That’s my stance and should be that of all other Christian. Now, although I should and wish I could go to the bible as the final word on the subject, I recognize that you may not accept the Bible as a moral authority. You may look at this and refuse to accept my arguments, rebutting with your own, but now you know where I stand as well as most Christians. I’m looking forward to your response.

    • Well, first of all, I think we’re going to start off at an impasse because I don’t believe homosexuality/acting upon homosexual desires is a sin. Even as a Christian, I also don’t think the bible is or should be considered a perfect moral authority, as many of its strictures were in direct response to issues of the time – for example, Paul’s idea of a homosexual would have been tied up in what same-sex relations were at the time he was writing, i.e. sexual couplings often in favor of a pagan god. We have no idea how he would respond to a loving, equal, modern gay couple.

      The point of my post, however, wasn’t to get into a theological debate, but rather to say that segregating off an entire section of fanworks (and published works) because the main characters are different than what is considered ‘the norm’ is prejudiced and continues to make queer folks out to be ‘others’ rather than part of regular society.

      • Well, all scripture is God-breathed and if it is not the perfect moral authority, then what is?
        Also, the reason they’re segregated off is because it is outside the norm and the majority of people don’t like it. I’m part of a minority too. I’m a brony and I have been mildly persecuted, and some of the fanfiction I wanted to post on certain sites were segregated off, but I’m okay with that because most people don’t want to see it.

        • The bible may have been inspired by God, but it was written down by regular humans with prejudices and faults.

          And segregation might be something that the majority of people approve of, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. I hate to appropriate a different civil rights struggle, but was it right when the majority of Americans thought black people were less than human? There was even a time at the beginning of Christianity when Christians were segregated and persecuted – was that right, just because the majority of people agreed with it? (And anyway, according to my sources, the majority of Americans think being gay is okay: http://www.gallup.com/poll/154634/Acceptance-Gay-Lesbian-Relations-New-Normal.aspx)

          And I really want to keep this civil, but in no way does being a brony entitle you to say “I am persecuted.” I consider myself a brony as well, but I think one of the biggest problems in the brony fandom is that the majority of bronies (especially straight, white, cis males who have every sort of privilege) see themselves as some sort of suffering saints whose minor social stigma is on par with the suffering of actual oppressed groups.

          As I said at the beginning of my last comment, there is really no point in us arguing, We are likely never going to change each other’s minds, so I’ll just say this one last thing. I’m sorry that you feel the way you do, but perhaps there are better uses for your time than coming to a blog that celebrates queer geekdom and telling a queer writer that she is a sinner for no reason other than the attractions she was born with. You say you’re a brony – what happened to actually loving and tolerating others?

          • Just because I disagree with you doesn’t mean that I’m not, at the same, loving you. Yes I am saying you are sinner, not merely because of your sexual orientation, but because you, like me, are human and all humans are sinners. Also, are you not segregating this blog by identifying it as queer and asking one who does not share in your beliefs to stay away? I guess tolerance only applies to one side of this discussion.
            I’m sorry that the intelligent discussion I wanted at the beginning has degraded into this. And you’re probably right, neither of us is likely to change are minds. I just wanted to express my views and have them challenged. Thank you for that.
            Maybe there will be another issue down the road that we can discuss.

            • Woah three years later I see your comment. Maybe you’ve changed your mind since. I don’t get why you’re saying you’re not homophobic, while thinking homosexuality is a sin ? That’s homophobia. Not every phobia is necessary bad (I’m arachnophobe, for example, and nobody is blaming le for it). Don’t be “phobia-phobe”.

              As for the Bible, most quotes against homosexuality are found in the Old Testament. I think it’s pretty accepted as a Christian that not everything in the Old Testament has to be followed exactly, and if you don’t follow the Shabbat (like Jesus) and the kasherout I don’t see the Old Testament as a compelling religious argument. Contrary to most rabbis of his time, Jesus had a lenient approach to Judaism and the Torah, why shouldn’t we follow his example ?

              As for the part of the New Testament, mithrandirolorin provided a link that explains it better than me. So no, being christian doesn’t mean we have to think that homosexuality is a sin.

              On the point pf divorce however, the Bible is pretty clear, and I don’t see anyone campaigning for a specific category for “post-divorce romances”, in fear of offending religious beliefs.

  5. Well if we’re starting a discussion on homosexuality here…

    The Bible really is terrible authority. It was written by PEOPLE, not God, therefore it’s as flawed as any other human’s views might or might not be. The Bible is just one more opinion of human beings.
    Whereas my holy book, the Quran, was written by God, and only God. In the Quran, all it says us that men should take their wives which have been provided for them. Interestingly, there is nothing in there on what women should do. But anyway, even if you think homosexuality is wrong and disgusting, something which I do not think and which I have not been told to think, I think you should treat homosexuals the same way you treat other people. Whether you want to integrate homosexuality into your culture is another matter, one on which there is no religious authority.

  6. I dislike slash fanfictions and I truly do not believe it makes me homophobic. In fact, I feel like when I say ,,Nope, I’m sure that character wouldn’t do that even if he was gay, I mean, he really hates that man, it’s his archenemy, he’s killed every single person he’s ever cared about, and now they’re making out. OK, really higly probable situation.” I’m accused of beeing homophobic and ignorant. W. T. F. ?
    You know, autors like this should really think about the characters they’re writing about first. It’s true that even the fact that they turn gay in the fanfic goes against their whole damn personality and stuff, but OK, it’s a fanfic, so OK. No problem with than. But when they start to act like copletely different person only because they all of sudden turned homosexual, it’s wrong and it cripples the reader’s view and relationship with the beloved character. And what’s the best on that, all these gay-turned characters act like one person created by fangirls. They bring their enemy to their knees, and then, instead of delivering the killing blow, they kiss them passionately and they kinda rape each other. Even if the character was straight and the enemy was a person of other sex, it’s just mindblowing ingoration of everything that’s ever been created about the character.

    So please, stop wearing this face like you’re fabulous kids who are straight yet they accept the homosexuals while kids who dislike slashes are stupid and ugly and ignorant and homophobic.

    Interesting fact: I’ve never met a guy writing slashes, always fangirls. I am girl, I’m heterosexual, no trouble with it nor homosexual people, yet when I list through fanfics and I see something where Altair and Malik are having sex, I’m like ,Whoa, these two have had a complicated relationship, but they would deffinitelly never do that with each other, I mean, never EVER, and if you think so you completely don’t get their personalities, lifes and story.’

    But what makes my blood boil and what has brought me here, are there authors, fangirls, who write comments under news about a game, of under a trailer for the game, saying something like ,LOLz Conr looks so cute :33 he and Haytham should totally make out.’ And then they go and write it down, posting a few pictures on Tumblr, when father and son are having sex with each other. Yea, i find it kind of sick, especially because they see homosexual relationships everywhere and not even an incest helps the situation. But WHY THE F*CK would that gorgerous man ever fall in love, even if he could possibly be gay, with his OWN DAMN SON when they hate each other, secretly hoping only in peace between them. If you’re capable of even thinking about them in that way you completely miss the point of their characters, the point of the father-son relationship, the point of the Kenway tragedy.

    I know there aren’t many popular characters who are homosexual, but that doesn’t mean you should take all the characters, cripple their personalities, make them gay and make them be raped by their enemy and/or father.

    Just stop it please.

    P.S.: I know nobody forces me to read these fanfics. But one can’t aviod the pictures, and it often happens to me that I tell my friend to google that amazing characters and they see pictures of an insane incest. Plus I can’t stand people who, after listening to a touching part of a soundtrack, about the humanity, death of two great characters and their Order, their throughts, their beliefs, their Creed. . . and girls calling themselves fans of the game (or anything else) comment like
    ,I WANNA MARRY AlL OF THEM AND THAN MAkE love WItH ALL OF ThEM AT THE SAME TImE!! :3333′ True story, this one’s not made up.

    • Hi, I think first of all you are suffering from a misunderstanding about fanfiction as a whole. Not every slash fanfic is about men who hate each other fucking for no reason. Rather, fanfics that make straight characters queer are predicated on the idea that their personality should not change in doing so. I would, in fact, not read fanfic that presumes all gay characters must act as a flirtatious stereotype – it’s just as offensive to me as suggesting that something massive must change about a character’s personality for them to be queer. As I have pointed out, what about, say, Dean Winchester or Luna Lovegood’s personality would have to change for them to be gay or bi? If you think that a gay character must be a predatory, rapey sex fiend to be gay or bi rather than being quiet, or nerdy, or masculine, or eccenric, then you have a problem. And fanfic writers who have this same outlook on making characters queer are suffering from a similar problem: while you see queerness as an othering and gross character fault, they see queer people as a cute and adorable accessory or sexual wish fullfillment, which is not okay either.
      Furthermore, I am not pretending that I am a kind and superior LGBTQ+ ally for liking slash fanfiction: I am bisexual myself, and the majority of fanfiction authors are queer as well. I have a personal vested interest in fanfiction that makes characters queer because there are so few characters like myself in the mainstream media.
      I think you may be traveling in the wrong fanfiction-related circles because I know of more than one straight male writer who writes very good m/m slash fiction. Furthermore, it’s kind of gross that your go-to example is an incestuous one – the majority of fanfics featuring same-sex relationships are not predicated on abuse and even in stories where enemies end up in a romantic relationship, it’s often because the author wanted to explore a storyline in which the evil character could experience redemption rather than imprisonment or death. Your experience with bad fanfiction cannot and does not represent the entirety of fanworks. If you truly believe that all slash fanfics involve writers “tak[ing] all the characters, crippl[ing] their personalities, mak[ing] them gay and mak[ing] them be raped by their enemy and/or father”, then you are wilfully closing your eyes to the wealth of fantastically written fanfiction out there. May I suggest checking out our weekly fanfiction recommendation column? I promise not a single story meets your criteria for what slash fanfiction apparently is.

  7. I personally don’t hate slash. I just don’t particularly care for it, and I never have. I have had the occasional pairings I thought was cool or could work, but, I kind of feel excluded from slash stories, to be honest. I know this is appealing for some people because they would rather be removed from it, but for me it isn’t. I want to feel like I’m a part of a story, that there’s something, or someone in the story I can relate to. And I want to be okay with the fact that I’m a girl and that I want to see more girls in stories in general, not just in fanfic. Girls who may or may not have a love interest but don’t depend on them. Women whose primary role isn’t love interest, or is only in the story for that purpose. I want to see women who defy stereotypes, and are people/characters first. And, god forbid, female protagonists.

    And I for one am with you with wanting to see more LGBT characters who are not more flirtatious, promiscuous, or somehow more sexual by virtue of being not heterosexual. That is just so false on so many level I don’t even know where to start. And heck, why aren’t there more LGBT protagonists? I think that would be awesome!

    While I may not entirely agree with the notion that people who hate slash are inherently homophobic, I can see where you are coming from with your points. For the most part, I’m inclined to agree than disagree on many of your points. Characters are open to interpretation, and in the end, you can pretty much do whatever you want with them. It’s fandom, the point is to celebrate and enjoy the things you love with other people. And I agree with your general advice, which is to live and let live.

    But, I disagree with your initial assumption. Partially because I think the reasons why people hate slash- like the reasons people like slash- are more complex than what you see on the surface. Some people may in fact be homophobic, and probably are. But, sometimes the answer just isn’t that simple, and it may not even be related to homophobia at all. Maybe it’s about their relationship with the fandom, themselves, or something else entirely.

    Still, an interesting read. It really took some time for me to decide how I wanted to respond to this, because I thought about so many things I could say. But in the end, I think these were the biggest and most important. Thank you for giving me some important food for thought.

  8. I don’t like slash. I’m ok with it though, as long as nobody accuses me of homophobia or, like Sterek, it doesn’t constitute 99% of the fanfiction of a fandom (Seriously, Sterek only exists becase the two actors are incredibly hot. An AU fanfiction where Stiles is a whore and Derek an Earl in the MA has nothing to do with Teen Wolf).

    To me, fanfiction romances are mostly porn. And that’s perfectly ok, what’s wrong with porn ? People like to read slash because they find two guys having sex hot, like some men love lesbian porn. It’s great, as long as you don’t think that you are fighting for gay’s rights this way.

    The fact that writer think they’re doing something something incredibly brave because they show guys having sex makes me laugh. In a way, it’s a very conservative vision of men and women. Slash fictions have more sex than femslash and het, why ? Because we still can’t write women having sexual desires. We have to use men behaving like women (from clichés like baking cookies to failling pregnant) to do that. We’re perfectly ok with writing a gay man thinking “I wanna feel him inside my ass” (because all gay men think about sex all the time, right ? Totally helping the gay community there). We’re not okay with writing a female character thinking “I wanna feel him inside my ass”. Women have to be like Virgin Mary or a whore, and either way, they are hardly loved by fanfiction writers, who start witch hunts against Mary Sues at every female character.

    I may be exaggerating, but If slash writers are so interested in the queer community, why don’t they write femslash ? We’re mostly women there, and we should write about what we know, right ? If it’s not porn and not about the sexy men, but the gay community, why so few femslash ? Why is a community who is mostly female ignoring female characters so much ?

    It’s interesting that the shows with the most femslah are the one with the most powerful women (like OUAT, for example : the Swann Queen is a pairing of two pretty badass characters, in roles of power mostly reserved to men). Fandoms like Teen Wolf with more than 50% of m/m should be a sign there’s are problem with the female characters. We can’t hide the fact that one of the reason of m/m romance is that neither we or the original writers could create interesting female characters. Romance with women are disliked because they are seen as boring, naive, stupid, powerless or, if they are intelligent and funny and powerful, then they’re Mary Sues and in competition with the female readers.

    We live in a society where men are seen as more interesting than women : not seeing this as a cause for m/m is crazy to me. And it’s sadder that it’s mostly women doing this to themselves.

    I like the idea of fetichizing men through slash, I think we’re allowed to do that. However, don’t be a misogynist. Assume that yes, it’s mostly for the porn because yes, women are people with sexual desires, not nuns, they like picturing two guys makings out. And if some slash writers could recognize that asking for a slash pairing to become canon is not about “a better representation of the queer community” but for sexy reasons (which are valid. Many shows have the sole purpose of showing women cute guys), that’ll be great as well. If we want a better representation of the queer community on a TV show, this is not the way to go about it : we should simply look for TV shows where main characters are already gays. There are plenty, and the relationship of the characters are thoughtfully written, but they don’t get the same love as the mainstream series, because they took risks. We should support them instead of asking MTV to turn two men gays and falling into queerbaiting.

  9. I disagree that all people who don’t like slash are inherently homophobic. What about those who don’t like romance in general? Labels like ‘slash’, ‘het’ and ‘gen’ are incredibly helpful when you are trying to find a story that suits your particular interests, so I suppose they are a simple courtesy for everyone’s convenience, so that everyone could easily find what they enjoy most. It’s a bit frustrating when people get all defensive about them, as if it’s some terrible offence. Gen stories are hard enough to find as it is and even harder when romance isn’t labeled.

    I can’t count how many times I’ve felt disappointed and let down when a beautiful gen relationship suddenly turned full-blown romance mid-story without a warning. Sometimes I’d keep reading, sometimes I’d silently abandon it, but still, I’m one of these few people who are following the story hoping that the relationships they enjoy the most WOULDN’T end up as romantic (and yes, it goes for m/m and m/f and f/f). I just don’t want to read about it. And then people go and lecture you on homophobia and on opening up your mind (while constantly shoving the same thing down your throat and saying that you are a bad person for not liking it). Sigh.

  10. This is a really old post, but I was doing a bit of research and i was really caught off guard and felt really offended by your header, considering that I am a gay man and I am very troubled by slash fiction.
    For me, slash fiction comes off as troublesome because it objectifies and fetishizes gay male sexuality, written predominantly by women, typically for women readers. I have no doubts about the presence of male and non-binary readers and writers, but in my own experiences they seem few and far between, which is why I’m so frequently troubled by slash, yaoi, and m/m romance, especially because the gay relationship is the selling point for prospective readers. It frequently strikes me as heteronormative, it’s frequently based off of harmful stereotypes, and often romanticizes unsafe sex.

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