Monday, February 6, 2012
Like many RWA chapters, RWI (Romance Writers, Ink, based in Tulsa, OK) sponsors a couple of contests. They have one for unpublished authors, and one for published authors. The More Than Magic contest, for published authors, is now accepting entries - with one big exception. For the first time, according to their rules, " – Note: MTM will no longer accept same-sex entries in any category."
Key phrase there? "No longer." Same-sex romances have won awards in that contest in the past. But now, according to reports, the chapter has decided that the majority of members are "uncomfortable" with accepting same-sex romances in their contest.
They've been offered judges willing to evaluate same-sex romances. They've been inundated with negative responses, so much so that apparently they've disabled the pingback function on their contest page because it was full of links to outraged blog posts. And still, they're choosing to double down on their (in my opinion) bigoted and offensive choice.
On the positive side, the larger romance community is up in arms over it, and not just those who write GLBT romance. Writers from newbies to New York Times bestselling authors are standing up for equality, stating unequivocally "this is not right. This is not who we are, as romance writers. And love is love."
Is there disagreement? Of course. With 10,000 members in RWA, and far more than that in the larger romance community, there are people arguing the other side as well, insisting that the chapter has every right to limit their own contest, which is true.
It is also true that we have the right to challenge that limitation, and refuse to participate in activities that condone it. Courtney Milan, among others, encouraged people to boycott the contest, and let the chapter know why.
And by the end of the day Sunday, the contest had been cancelled.
Does this fix everything? Sadly, no. But I'm heartened to realize, once again, I'm surrounded by awesome people, people who support equality, and non-discrimination, and love. Above all else, love.
Because for me, that's what it's all about.
Posted by Kate Davies at 2:08 AM