This started out as a review of Tactical Pursuit by Lynette Mae but somehow devolved into an internal discussion about diversity and lesbian fiction so in the end I just gave up on the review and focused on the thought.
It started because one of the things I find weird about Lynette Mae’s books is that just about every female character is a lesbian. It doesn’t put me off – this is the second of her books I’ve read and I’ve enjoyed them both – but it does strike an off note. To me, these books are designed to be realistic in their setting and characterisation. She’s obviously done a lot of research about Police procedure and call signs etc. Portraying everyone as lesbian isn’t realistic, unless I’ve been missing something my entire life, and it’s the single jarring divergence from reality.
Please note that this is not a criticism. It’s a point of interest. We pride ourselves at the blog on being open to reading diverse fiction, but that doesn’t mean we get sent a lot of it to read and it strikes me that perhaps that’s where the issue lies here. Are there accepted tropes in lesfic as there are in many other kinds of fiction? Is a disproportionately high percentage of homosexual characters an accepted industry standard in lesfic? Are we just noticing it because we don’t read enough lesfic to know that this is normal?
It just strikes me that this is perhaps one of the issues that diverse books and diverse book categories are struggling with. One of the things that was stated again and again during our month of diversity was that readers wanted books to be a more accurate reflection of society, including ethnic, sexual and religious variety. So what happens when those books aren’t an accurate reflection of society in themselves?
If these are category or genre standard tropes, how does a reader learn them all so that they no longer stand out and disrupt the reading experience?
I look forward to anyone’s thoughts and experience in this subject 🙂