Read this first: http://www.ajllewellyn.com/site/2011/11/06/1360/comment-page-3/#comment-70420 Then come back here.
AJ Llewellyn was viciously outed by someone she considered a friend. Accusations were leveled. Attacks were made. And why? Because she had the audacity to masquerade as a gay male. Well, boo the fuck hoo.
Here’s a fact: Men still make more money than women in almost every field. I see nothing wrong with a female writer using a male persona/pseudonym. Likewise, I see nothing wrong with a male using a female pseudonym if he happens to enjoy writing traditional romance novels. In other words, if you want or need to use another name, that is your right. If it helps you make more sales, more power to you. A writer owes nothing to the reader but the work they create. That’s it. How the writer lives his/her life is no business of the reader.
“Oh, but she LIED! She told stories about her experiences as a gay man AND she had a friend stand in for her at a signing!”
Yeah? So the fuck what? I’ll let AJ Rose respond to this one, because he did it so eloquently when we discussed it on Skype:
“That comment about approaching the GLBT community: does the fact that she may be female change her orientation? No. She’s still a member of the glbt comm. And what makes what she did any worse than a transgendered person putting on a dress and tucking away the penis to go bar hopping? She was comfortable in her AJ’s skin. It’s other people who have a problem with how she portrayed herself. Just as other people have had a problem with gay people all along. And whose business is it if she gave sexual exploits? Find me a straight frat boy who hasn’t lied about who he’s banged.”
Every person, whatever their gender or orientation, has ever right to live the way they want to. Present themselves to others the way they choose to. I wish to hell everyone would get off her back. As far as I’m concerned, she did nothing wrong. It’s the people who are yelling and screaming about how she betrayed them that need to get a new, more tolerant and understanding perspective. Unless you are a close friend of hers, you cannot question her motivations or disparage her choices. She’s entitled to her privacy; respect it.
Live and let live. It’s not just a saying.