I'm not an argumentative person. Honestly.
This is a hoary subject, one that in the past I've steered clear from discussing while still making my opinion perfectly clear. That opinion is that I positively despise the term "Lesbian Fiction."
I understand the need to give a body of work a classification in order for it to find its intended audience. In this case, If you're a lesbian, these books feature lesbian characters, so you'll like them. Sounds reasonable, no? As a writer though, the essence of that statement feels so fundamentally wrong that it sets my teeth on edge and make my motor neurons spasm.
So — straight people. God bless ‘em. God bless everyone, but that's not the point. If straight people read books with straight characters, do they like them by default? I have two words for you: Dan Brown. Right there is more than enough evidence to refute that supposition.
Dan Brown. Like whoa.
The second and more distressing issue I'd like to address about "lesbian fiction" is not necessarily about it having lesbian characters per se, but the alarming insinuation that because they feature lesbian characters, readers should be grateful for that much and put up with sub-par writing.
This is typically where the kitty-claws come out.
I've been in the publishing business long enough to feel safe in making a few observations. A few years back I wrote a mystery. It didn't sell well because the protag didn't claim—didn't own—her sexuality on every third page. She had a male partner. I also gathered that didn't go down well. That's entirely my opinion of course, deduced from feedback I received from various avenues. The point is this: there appears to be a kind of ruthless indoctrination coming from lesbian presses pushing the notion that new and unpublished writers — who happen to be dykes — have to keep writing in a very specific way (let's call them formula-stories) so that the small presses will publish them, because there is no way a mainstreamer will touch them with a ten foot pole.
I don’t get angry much. I've learned not to. But that sort of patronizing crap makes me livid.
If you are an unpublished writer who happens to be gay, do not for one