I asked Teddypig to come up with his all time list of gay romance books. TP has been reading these books for decades, and I thought his recommendations would carry a lot of weight. I love his editorial comments – you may or you may not, depending on your perspective – but I do think they were quite appropriate in light of the longevity of these books.
#1. Patricia Nell Warren ~
From: Wildcat Press (Not available in eBook)
Here it is, my starting point. The very first Gay Love Story I ever read… Yes, a “lesbian woman” wrote the first Gay Love Story I ever read. I say Gay Love Story because this novel has a tragic ending. But, read it anyway it was one of the firsts.
My very first Gay Romance Novel EVER and it is written by guess what? A “straight woman”! Comes complete with a full blown HEA and a huge two part epic Historical Romance about two male trapeze artists meeting and falling in love in the 1940’s and the 1950’s. A must read for anyone looking into the origins of today’s Gay Romance.
#3. John Preston ~ 1980
From: Cleis Press (Not available in eBook)
OMG! An actual gay male type author! Mr. Benson is a Gay BDSM Romance more than it is Gay Erotica in my opinion. It has the required HEA and lot’s of great emotional character growth in the story arc and several wonderful BDSM erotic scenes. OK, so the last part gets a bit hokey. Another must read in my opinion and well worth it as a glimpse of the type of important storytelling Drummer Magazine brought to the Gay Leather Community during it’s heyday. I had to mention this book since I am a member of the Gay Leather Community and an alumni member of the Centaur MC. Not an expert mind you.
#4. Annie Proulx ~
From: Scribner (Close Range: Wyoming Stories, Available in eBook)
Yep, another Pulitzer Prize winning “straight woman” writing here and probably the most well known Gay/Bisexual Love Story ever written. Another must read and another tragic ending. Gay Love Stories tend to have the dramatic tragic ending in order to underline the ideal love between two men because as we all know… two living gay men are just two horny sexual perverts. We are pigs too but that’s another story.
#5. J.L. Langley ~ 2006
From: Loose Id (Available in eBook)
Yep, another “straight woman”! But but but, that’s not Gay Romance Teddypig, she’s an M/M Romance writer who started at Loose Id!
Did you learn anything here? Look at my list above. These are all simply Gay Love Stories starting from around 1974. There is nothing special about how these books were written or who they were written by or who they were written for. Do you honestly think any writer straight or gay, man or woman, or even “a good writer” has this special magic capability to write only a certain type of story for a certain group of people?
How is that working for you?
The fact is The Tin Star was the NUMBER ONE bestseller for 2008 at A Different Light in San Francisco on Castro Street. That means the gayest fucking bookstore on this god damned planet sold this paperback (of what people say is just M/M Romance) to real “gay men” who loved it. That says to me one thing of note… it’s all just Gay Romance between the covers people.
As a gay man who has been around this planet for a while I faced very real bigots and very real homophobia and very real deaths caused by such thinking. In my opinion trying to separate M/M Romance from any other form of Gay Literature or Gay Romance based solely on the “perceived notion” of a writer’s or reader’s gender or a writer’s or reader’s sexuality is playing into yet another form of bigotry and prejudice that I will never respect and personally do not feel has any place in our community. Teddypig says “Gay Ghetto Thinking” is for losers who need to stop reading and flapping their lips and get out of their mother’s basement and see the real world… news at eleven.
So there you have them, T.P’s Top 5 Gay Romance Reads Ever. What do you think about his other comments?
What are your Top 5 gay or M/M romances?