February 4th, 2012

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The Proximity of Poverty

You've probably heard the phrase "living from paycheck to paycheck" which is what happens when you just barely make enough to scrape by.  More than 40% of households are less than three months from poverty.  Now add in the portion who actually are already poor.  That's well over half the population in an unstable position.  This is the foundation on which the success of America rests.  That it currently consists of wet sand rather than bedrock is bad for everyone. 
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Poke a Bigot in the Eye: Romance Writers Association

Romance Writers Association has officially come out as homophobic and discriminatory, banning same-sex romances from their contest. Okay, anyone who makes a contest can make up the rules for it. But it's more than a little counterproductive for a genre based organization to cut out part of its own content, just because it makes some people "uncomfortable." You know what makes me uncomfortable? Bigotry. That's as romantic as a knee in the crotch.

A good way to express such disapproval is with a boycott and a round of Poke a Bigot in the Eye. Instead of writing and reading a het romance, write or read a queer one instead. Instead of giving money to RWA for dues or anything else, take the same amount and put it somewhere queer.

Maybe drop something into the fundraiser for Plunge, a webzine dedicated to queer women in genre literature. Fund a few verses of my poem "The Morose Mascot," where two lesbians help a porcupine escape his evil mistress. [Unknown LJ tag] has Nadia, a vampire who prefers female partners; in this project characters may be adopted, stories requested, stories sponsored, etc. ("Morgan - First Feed Part 1" is a Nadia story waiting for sponsorship to become public.) Looking for a sweet male romance? Check out "The Less Than Epic Adventures of T.J. and Amal," currently in the running for a Rose & Bay Award in the Webcomic category. Over in Torn World we have various options including the adorable series about Dini and Lalya by [Unknown LJ tag] (most of which are public, one waiting for sponsorship) and my story "Owlheart" about Tekura and Osro (also waiting for sponsorship). There's plenty of romance in alllll combinations in the crowdsource fandom Schrodinger's Heroes. Feel free to play with any of the characters. "French Military Victories" has male/male romance; it's a crossover fanfic and thus not fundable, but you can read it and giggle. [Unknown LJ tag] has all kinds of queer characters spanning various superhero soap opera plot threads.

Want more queer romance? Ask for it in any prompt call where it seems to fit. (See a list of February crowdfunding projects.) The February Creative Jam here has a theme of alternative sexualities / QUILTBAG -- my, how timely! Bring your prompts, your muse, and your money. Torn World Muse Fusions are always wide open. [Unknown LJ tag] is running an asexual romance fest for Valentine's Day, spanning Feb. 7-21; if you like queer romance for its own sake, without expectation of sex, there's an opportunity to celebrate it. My Poetry Fishbowl this month has a theme of "wild animals" and I'm open to covering any of the thousand or so species that are homoactive.

Do you run a crowdfunded project? Consider setting "queer romance" as a theme, or touching on this topic in your ongoing work.

You could also look through the Rose & Bay Award nominees to see which ones have queer content; there are several.

I've thrown out a handful of examples here, stuff I've written or read regularly or remember off the top of my head. If you write, draw, filk, or otherwise portray queer romance and want to promote your project then please describe it in a comment.

Romance is for everyone. In crowdfunding, nobody has to take "you can't play" for an answer. So let's give the dirty laundry a good steam-cleaning!