second think that you have to write for the gay presses. Mainstream publishers will publish you if you come up with something unique. It is also complete bullshit that mainstream publishers are wary of LGBT characters. In many ways they are less discriminatory than some queer publishers. Prime examples: Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy series or Elizabeth Knox's The Vintner's Luck.
I stopped reading "lesbian fiction" years ago because I was tired of reading the same story. Tired of having the characters and the scenery change but the situation stay the same. Tired of getting the impression that all lesbians do is pine, fall in and out of love, kick ass and die. (Sometimes they also get deathly ill before they die, while being emotionally broken.)
Not even Sam Jackson could save some of this stuff.
From that point of view, no, a mainstream publisher will not see fit to publish a manuscript that simply regurgitates stale storylines. They want originality, creativity, innovation, writing that pushes the boundaries and puts these old, universal truths forward in a new way. They want something that makes us see things from a fresh and exciting perspective.
So, let's recap.
If I had my way? I'd like to do away with the term "lesbian fiction" altogether.
Because it undermines the nature of storytelling. It dictates to a prospective reader that this story works on a narrative level because it has lesbians. It's exclusionary; you know, that thing the queer community has been trying to get away from? I'm sorry, I just don't find the "fiction written by lesbians for lesbians" argument persuasive. Not only does it tend to perpetuate stereotypes and a repetitive narrative (i.e. illness, emotional fragility and cabins in the wood) but it gives gay presses a stranglehold on budding queer writers.
I can put everything I've said here down to personal experience. I used to get worked up about it. Now it's just kind of meh. Well, not entirely, otherwise why am I writing this? That's the other thing about writers, they contradict themselves all the time. On this one, though, I've got it straight: I'm a writer, who happens to be a lesbian. That's the incidental bit — now here's a story.
Okay, let's see how many Facebook de-friends are swinging in the wings.