Dear Changeling Press and Loose Id,
We are loyal customers writing to express our outrage over the disrespectful and offensive article published on the joint Changeling and Loose Id blog, Loose Change, on August 13, 2010, entitled “Too Much Information, Or: Have you written a flaming gay hairdresser/ fashion consultant instead of the hero you wanted?” as well as the subsequent inadequate response to our expressed concerns.
This article relied on the most banal, base and narrow-minded stereotypes of gay men in order to assert 1) that straight men are nothing more than drooling Neanderthals incapable of carrying on an intelligent conversation or caring about anything other than sports and sex, and 2) that readers, female, male, gay and straight, only want to read about one dimensional, stereotypical characters and relationships in their romance and erotica.
When several of the members of the Goodreads M/M Romance Reading Group expressed concern over the article, the entire article and comments were deleted. Rather than receiving an apology for the derogatory ideas the article expressed, the commenters were accused of trying to start a flame war. Several iterations of a response were posted on the blog, one of which contained a belated apology that failed to address the issues raised by the commenters in a meaningful way. Instead it argued, illogically, that the publishing houses’ history of publishing M/M romance and erotica automatically precludes them from expressing bigoted views. The apology also asserted that the commenters were not long time or loyal readers of the blog because they have not commented before. This claim dismisses the seriousness of the offence by attempting to diminish the value of the commenters’ opinions. Besides, the apology was later deleted, thereby keeping it out of the public eye.
We recognize that both Changeling and Loose Id have been leaders in the publishing of M/M romance and erotica. We also recognize that although a person or company may express a homophobic idea, that does not make them as people or as entities homophobic. However, these facts do not change the reality that the article itself was vulgar and contemptible. Moreover, whether or not the article was supposed to be humorous, humor does not excuse or disguise the expression of hate.
We would like a sincere, public apology—one that remains published—for both the initial article and the handling of this issue as it developed. We hope that you take our concerns seriously and prove that both Changeling and Loose Id truly embrace readers, writers and characters from all walks of life, with a multiplicity of points of view.
Members of the Goodreads M/M Romance Reading Group and Other Loyal Customers