This whole Amazon thing has made me overwhelmingly sad. That it might come down to some poor bastard not understanding the difference between “erotica” and “sexuality” is not helping much. At the bookstore, a couple of years ago, the managers got into an argument about whether or not the GQ and Vanity Fair magazines were inappropriate. One thought they should be covered with one of those plastic guards, along with Maxim. When I told her that was censorious, she nearly exploded. Her position was that as long as we carried the magazines, where we displayed them didn’t matter.
I have trouble with that position. Of course display matters. Sales are influenced by how hard someone has to search for something. The more readily available, and visible you make something, the easier it is to buy.
Even within the queer community, a debate about tags and categories rages. Do you want your novels in the Gay & Lesbian section, or in General Fiction? Ellen Hart answered this question by saying, “I want my books on the table by the cash register.”
Or, looked at another way: my son has recently begun to say grace before meals. “Now we got to say prawr everybody.” And he reaches out to take our hands. I felt uncomfortable during these first prayers, and each time he suggests it, I fight my own hesitation. He deserves his opportunity to seek god. He deserves his opportunity to believe. That is all. I do not get to dictate, as his mother, simply because I do not believe.
In the end, this is all I want: the same rights and opportunities for myself and my work as everyone else has.