Author Topic: LGBT Authors Support Thread  (Read 28411 times)  

Online HSh

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2015, 06:30:50 AM »
I have a question that might help to start things off. I've been wondering about all the books I see launching in LGBT Fantasy at 5-6$ that seem to be doing really well. Do you find that we can price higher due to being in a niche market? Someone over on Mark Dawson's Facebook group suggested that my books were underpriced due to being in a niche market that would pay more for them and it got me wondering considering that there are so many books in the top list for LGBT Fantasy that are selling well despite being priced significantly higher than the typical $0.99-$2.99 range for a debut novel/first in series.  Just curious what other people's experience with this is?

Well, I know most publishers tend to charge in the neighborhood of $6.99 for a gay romance or fantasy novel.  Sometimes Amazon drops the price down a bit.

I think the genre can support higher prices from indies than some genres, but only if the work
1) is findable to its target audience
2) is really enjoyable to its target audience

Now I'm in KU, and I've been slowly building a following for a bit, so I'm not sure how much my experience is everyone's.  (I know KU affects reader decisions and visibility.)

The first time I charged $4.99 for a full-length novel I was really nervous.  I thought I was going to be laughed off as a fraud and no one would even consider buying it.  But they did.  It was a 99 cent launch (which I find pretty painful, lol), and when I raised it to full price...it continued to do well.  It was a good decision for that book, and since then, I'm not afraid to price full-length, in-KU gay romance at 4.99 (although a cheaper launch price is still helpful).

If you want to charge higher prices than the norm for indies, do it.  But work on building your audience, and consider the impact of KU and lower launch pricing.

I will add the caveat that I'm seeing more and more 99 cent books in the bestseller list lately.  People are trying new things all the time, and competition can be fierce.  But personally I'm glad to see readership growth and more reading choices (because I read a lot, too).   ;-D

Another caveat: I don't know ought about the lesbian romance market.

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Offline Speaker-To-Animals

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2015, 06:52:11 AM »
Not true :)

To clarify, my point was about the lesbian romance market, not the MM market. There's tons of money to be made in MM. And I'm basing my FF claims on my experience, not random reports.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 07:15:53 AM by Speaker-To-Animals »

Offline Steve Vernon

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2015, 07:47:53 AM »
I'm putting the finishing touches on a paranormal novel with a very strong secondary character who is a lesbian - however, I am still debating as to whether or not I will lean the marketing towards that market. The book itself really doesn't hinge on that whole issue. She just happens to be a lesbian.

And a hit-woman.

Is there a market for LGBT hit-women???

Online Leah Ross

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2015, 07:48:53 AM »
I write MM action/adventure/fantasy/romance.  My first series, which I'm thisclose to finishing, has been a roller coaster, to say the least.  It began as a short story over a decade ago, and as I kept writing, it went from primarily MF, to fairly well-balanced, to primarily MM.  Unsurprisingly, it's been difficult to market and find my audience (or have them find me, I suppose).  But I'm happy with it.  I like the direction that the overall story took, and I'm going to let it be what it is.

I took the ramp-up approach to my pricing: permafree #1, $2.99 #2, $3.99 #3, and the rest at $4.99.  My short story collection, which features the main MM couple from my series in non-canon stories, is priced at $0.99.  I have no idea yet if this pricing strategy is doing anything for me.  I suspect that my main issue is lack of reviews (and perhaps my difficulties in categorization).  I'm releasing the last two books of my series before December, and I'll reassess after the new year.

My 2016 series projects are firmly in the MM camp, and I'll be able to market them as such.  I'm still very much a beginner at this, but I'm learning constantly.  I'm so glad to see so many other authors writing in this genre. :D

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Offline JLCarver

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2015, 08:14:50 AM »
Right. I apologize for word vomit. It's a good thread. Hopefully I didn't ruin it.

Ruin it? Not at all! I enjoyed reading your experience!   :D

Offline MMacLeod

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2015, 08:20:59 AM »
FF books are read by lesbians. MM books are read by straight women.

Am I the only one who finds this a real head-scratcher? I'm a "straight" woman. I started reading some LGBT romance for research into the genre this summer. I got through exactly 1 MM romance. I ended up reading pretty much every FF romance on KU that looked remotely readable. More straight women should be reading lesbian romance. Just sayin'.

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Offline YudronWangmo

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2015, 08:23:09 AM »
The protagonist of my current WIPthe second novel in my Buddhist-inspired YA fiction seriesis an African-American teen lesbian envoronmental activist. Her romantic life is about 1% of the story. I'm supposedly a lesbian, but I've been single so long I think my lesbian certificate of authenticity has expired.  8)

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Offline Speaker-To-Animals

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2015, 08:31:00 AM »
The protagonist of my current WIP--the second novel in my Buddhist-inspired YA fiction series--is an African-American teen lesbian envoronmental activist. Her romantic life is about 1% of the story. I'm supposedly a lesbian, but I've been single so long I think my lesbian certificate of authenticity has expired.  8)

It's like a credit report. Seven years and it slides off :)

I'd definitely put that in teen/LGBT. It sounds great.

Offline HMeloche

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #33 on: October 12, 2015, 08:38:02 AM »
Am I the only one who finds this a real head-scratcher? I'm a "straight" woman. I started reading some LGBT romance for research into the genre this summer. I got through exactly 1 MM romance. I ended up reading pretty much every FF romance on KU that looked remotely readable. More straight women should be reading lesbian romance. Just sayin'.

No, I'm scratching my head too, as a lesbian who started in fandom where MM is the norm. I read MM. I read MF. I read FF on the rare occasion that I can find some that doesn't leave me feeling like it was pasted on. I frankly don't care what the pairing is, I'd just like to see more variety. I'm certainly not anti MM or MF and not turned off by it.

Guess they'll have to revoke my lesbian card.  :P My wife might be surprised!

Offline AveryCockburn

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #34 on: October 12, 2015, 08:41:51 AM »
Shei, thanks for starting this thread!

I write contemporary M/M romance about an all-LGBT soccer/football team in Glasgow, Scotland. The series consists of interconnected stand-alone works with a new couple/HEA in each novel and novella. I'm also writing followup short stories with the couples from each novel.

Since the series features an ensemble cast, I've considered doing a F/F story with one of the prominent lesbian, bi female, or trans characters. So far I've only had one reader request a F/F story, but I think once the series is more established and the audience has become attached to the secondary female characters, they'll want to know more about them. I won't expect to get a huge crossover in general, and I understand it might not sell as well as the M/M works, but I feel like I owe it to the characters to share the love a bit.  :)

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Offline elizabethsade

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #35 on: October 12, 2015, 08:52:04 AM »
I've written m/m fanfic mostly in the Harry Potter fandom, m/f fanfic in the X-files, one f/f fanfic, some genderbending and a lot of in between.

Yay fellow fanficcer! I started writing m/m, mostly in BBC Sherlock, then stopped writing the main pairing and started writing exclusively 'rarepairs' - which included some m/m, some m/m/m, some m/m/f, some f/f, and some f/m. I like a lot of variety in my life, it seems.

Addressing this specifically, I would never mix FF with anything else. There are some lesbian women who will read anything that appeals, but there's a significant number if not a majority particularly among old school 2nd wavers who want to know they're reading books by and for lesbians. If you start mixing in MM or MF, they'll write you off. And on the other side, I really don't see much crossover from the MM side. So you have a lot to lose and very little to gain.

Addressing the FF market vs. the MM market. FF books are read by lesbians. MM books are read by straight women. They are completely separate markets, not part of a LGBT market. That's the real issue. If you take the good old kinsey 10%, then your audience is 5% of all readers for FF and 50% for MM. I love the genre so I write in it, but it's not something where even a bunch of best sellers are going to let you quit your day job--unless it involves asking if the customer would like fries with that.

Yeah I figured it would be like that. :/ I have an NA series in mind with a friend, that will include M/m, m/f, and f/f, but I think NA can get away with it due to the audience it's targeting, whereas older contemporary is likely to skew to a more lesbian audience. I figured right off the bat I'd need to 'supplement' my F/F stuff with M/F or M/M stuff, which actually isn't an entirely bad thing because I like variety.

Am I the only one who finds this a real head-scratcher? I'm a "straight" woman. I started reading some LGBT romance for research into the genre this summer. I got through exactly 1 MM romance. I ended up reading pretty much every FF romance on KU that looked remotely readable. More straight women should be reading lesbian romance. Just sayin'.

Oh, I agree - I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of the published M/M stuff I've found. But it's quite possible I just haven't found the stuff that I like yet - it's taken me easily 10 lesbian romance novels that I read the sample of before I found some stuff I liked that didn't go overboard on that 'instant attraction' element (which is something that annoys me). More people in general should read f/f stuff, but there's still a large, large crowd that doesn't - while they would still happily gobble up M/M.

Since the series features an ensemble cast, I've considered doing a F/F story with one of the prominent lesbian, bi female, or trans characters. So far I've only had one reader request a F/F story, but I think once the series is more established and the audience has become attached to the secondary female characters, they'll want to know more about them. I won't expect to get a huge crossover in general, and I understand it might not sell as well as the M/M works, but I feel like I owe it to the characters to share the love a bit.  :)

I think it will do better, mostly because you'll have some flexibility in that it's NA and you might have a higher percentage of readers who cross different boundaries? Plus the attachment of the characters will help.

Offline Speaker-To-Animals

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #36 on: October 12, 2015, 09:01:41 AM »
Quote
No, I'm scratching my head too, as a lesbian who started in fandom where MM is the norm. I read MM. I read MF. I read FF on the rare occasion that I can find some that doesn't leave me feeling like it was pasted on. I frankly don't care what the pairing is, I'd just like to see more variety. I'm certainly not anti MM or MF and not turned off by it.

FWIW I agree and read a lot of straight romance. But I'll do things like tweet something about a book I liked and wonder who's reading it and putting an X through my name on their "to read" list. It's definitely getting better, but I still see a lot of the "lesbians by and for lesbians" stuff. Enough that I'd never mix pen names.

Online HSh

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #37 on: October 12, 2015, 09:09:14 AM »
Oh, I agree - I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of the published M/M stuff I've found. But it's quite possible I just haven't found the stuff that I like yet - it's taken me easily 10 lesbian romance novels that I read the sample of before I found some stuff I liked

That's often the case.  If you are interested, and search, you'll eventually find authors or genres you like.  If you're on Bookbub, you'll see lots of stuff to check out.  Also checking the Hot New Release area, or Goodreads for suggestions.  If you're not interested, of course, no problem.

Quote
More people in general should read f/f stuff, but there's still a large, large crowd that doesn't - while they would still happily gobble up M/M.

Why should they?  Isn't this thread about options and finding your readership and support, rather than "shoulds?"  :/ 

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Offline elizabethsade

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #38 on: October 12, 2015, 09:17:52 AM »
That's often the case.  If you are interested, and search, you'll eventually find authors or genres you like.  If you're on Bookbub, you'll see lots of stuff to check out.  Also checking the Hot New Release area, or Goodreads for suggestions.  If you're not interested, of course, no problem.

Why should they?  Isn't this thread about options and finding your readership and support, rather than "shoulds?"  :/

I do, I just haven't had much time to read a lot. xD Bookbub is nice for that. I might check out Goodreads, see what they have.

Re: the should...I think, in my opinion, there's a lot more of a societal stigma against F/F stuff than there is against M/M stuff. It's societally okay for women to read stuff about gay men and no one questions their sexuality, but if they read anything with a gay woman in it, or talk about it, people start questioning their sexuality. So most don't. I think one way to find your readership or support is to dismantle the notions that some people hold about same-sex relationships, no matter the genre. -shrugs- That's more what I meant. If there wasn't the societal views about LGBTQ stuff that there are in certain parts of the world, I think the readership would be more broad. So not saying a specific person or type of people 'should', but more there's things that are potentially stopping the readership from expanding. Should was probably a poor choice of words in that sentence.

It works similar ways, for men, I think. (At least the 'if they read the gay people question if they're gay'.)

Offline HMeloche

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #39 on: October 12, 2015, 09:23:17 AM »
FWIW I agree and read a lot of straight romance. But I'll do things like tweet something about a book I liked and wonder who's reading it and putting an X through my name on their "to read" list. It's definitely getting better, but I still see a lot of the "lesbians by and for lesbians" stuff. Enough that I'd never mix pen names.

As a reader this still baffles me. *sigh* I think this is why I'll never write specifically for that genre. Personally, as a reader first and a lesbian second, I don't WANT to read books "by lesbians for lesbians". I want to read GOOD books, with interesting characters and plot, and the two aren't guaranteed to overlap.

Meh. I guess I'm more of a broader genre reader and writer (as I try to write the books I'd want to read, and one of the focus points may be on a romantic couple but the gender of said romance isn't really the important thing. No coming-out or finding-yourself themes here, please.  :P Not my cup of tea.)

Offline elizabethsade

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #40 on: October 12, 2015, 09:27:55 AM »
As a reader this still baffles me. *sigh* I think this is why I'll never write specifically for that genre. Personally, as a reader first and a lesbian second, I don't WANT to read books "by lesbians for lesbians". I want to read GOOD books, with interesting characters and plot, and the two aren't guaranteed to overlap.

Meh. I guess I'm more of a broader genre reader and writer (as I try to write the books I'd want to read, and one of the focus points may be on a romantic couple but the gender of said romance isn't really the important thing. No coming-out or finding-yourself themes here, please.  :P Not my cup of tea.)

Truth! Changing the gender of a couple only impacts them so much - at their core they're still people and if you make them boring, their sexuality won't matter. I think some writers tend to fall in the trap of making them a lesbian first and a character second, and then the only 'important' thing about them becomes their sexuality.

I have written angsting over sexuality, but like you, I like to write a loooot of variety so I don't get bored with anything. So I'm probably going to end up with a lot of pen names...oops.

Offline JLCarver

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #41 on: October 12, 2015, 09:49:13 AM »
Truth! Changing the gender of a couple only impacts them so much - at their core they're still people and if you make them boring, their sexuality won't matter. I think some writers tend to fall in the trap of making them a lesbian first and a character second, and then the only 'important' thing about them becomes their sexuality.

Yeah, I agree with you on making them their sexual orientation first. Not that there isn't a place for a story that centers on a character's sexual orientation as the main driving factor of the story. I think if I'd had access to those stories when I was coming out (I think me and Ellen came out about the same time. lol!) a story that put sexual orientation center stage would have been helpful. But, as a reader now, those stories seem more shallow. I think the stories we're going to see a lot more of--and the story that I'm trying to write in this novel--are ones where the character is a hero who is also different-gendered, other-sexuality, etc. I don't want to read about a gay guy who is a swishy hairdresser who spends all his nights at the dance club (not that there can't be a heroic character who also does hair and goes to clubs, of course. They are also part of our GLBT community.). I want to read about an average gay guy pushed into extraordinary circumstances and tackling real problems (well, real in the world of the story, because I love reading fantasy and sci fi).
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 09:51:23 AM by JLCarver »

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #42 on: October 12, 2015, 10:02:40 AM »
Two pages in, and I'm still conflicted over whether this thread is "for me", as a lesbian writer of mostly M/F relationships.


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Offline elizabethsade

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #43 on: October 12, 2015, 10:05:13 AM »
Two pages in, and I'm still conflicted over whether this thread is "for me", as a lesbian writer of mostly M/F relationships.

I would say yes? I'm certainly going to write M/F stuff and I'll probably talk about it here, in addition to my other stuff. I like variety, I like having options.

So welcome. :D

Offline JLCarver

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #44 on: October 12, 2015, 10:08:49 AM »
Two pages in, and I'm still conflicted over whether this thread is "for me", as a lesbian writer of mostly M/F relationships.

Absolutely it's for you! We're not just our sexual orientations. We all have other likes and dislikes that have nothing to do with being LGBT.

Online Madeline_Kirby

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #45 on: October 12, 2015, 10:23:01 AM »
So last month I went out on a limb and published "Not a Werewolf" - the start of a cozy mystery series where the main character is a young gay man. In all respects it's a typical cozy, with a few paranormal elements, the main character and his love interest just happen to be gay men. The books are set in Houston (where I live), which has a very diverse population, so I have plans for all kinds of characters to come and go.

I got the idea when a friend of mine told me that her cousin (a gay man) was complaining that most of the contemporary "gay fiction" he found seemed to be either erotica or about struggling or coming out, etc. Why, he wondered, could he not find a work of fiction where the main character was dealing with more universal problems or events, and oh, by the way, he just happened to be gay? He wanted to find something to read that he could relate to, without getting bummed out.

It's too soon to tell yet how it will go over, but early reviews are positive and I'm working on the next two books in the series.
Cable's Bend Book 2: 34%

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Jake & Boo - cozy, paranormal mystery with a dash of M/M romance. And cats.
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Online HSh

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #46 on: October 12, 2015, 10:48:49 AM »
So not saying a specific person or type of people 'should', but more there's things that are potentially stopping the readership from expanding.

Thanks for explaining.  That makes sense.  :-)

I tend to be a bit shirty when told what I should like.  It comes, I think, from when I was growing up and the universe seems to want me to know I "should" like M/F and only M/F, of all varieties and lots of heat, and I just wanted to throw up sometimes.  It wasn't for me, and I was pretty miserable about it sometimes till I discovered more about myself, and more about the options out there.   :D


To those mentioning looking for non-romance:

They're not indie, but a publisher (I've been published through them), Dreamspinner Press (http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php) has added a YA division:
https://www.dsppublications.com/ (I think this is largely romance but not totally?)
and a non-romance division that focuses more on fantasy, etc., with gay characters:
https://www.dsppublications.com/

It's not the be-all and end-all of things, of course, just another resource. 

Personally, things I don't generally feel like reading are anything about college students or coming out, anything with "first" or "taken" in the title, anything dark and sad about religious families not being accepting, and a long list of other dislikes.  That said, there are always exceptions to my rules...
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 10:52:27 AM by HSh »

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Offline elizabethsade

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #47 on: October 12, 2015, 11:15:47 AM »
Thanks for explaining.  That makes sense.  :-)

I tend to be a bit shirty when told what I should like.  It comes, I think, from when I was growing up and the universe seems to want me to know I "should" like M/F and only M/F, of all varieties and lots of heat, and I just wanted to throw up sometimes.  It wasn't for me, and I was pretty miserable about it sometimes till I discovered more about myself, and more about the options out there.   :D
Personally, things I don't generally feel like reading are anything about college students or coming out, anything with "first" or "taken" in the title, anything dark and sad about religious families not being accepting, and a long list of other dislikes.  That said, there are always exceptions to my rules...

I also don't like being told what to like, and I think that's one of the reasons I eventually rebelled against mainstream fanfic. I got yelled at by my Mom in a bookstore when I wanted to buy a book that had a lesbian relationship (I think I was 12), so I definitely identify with the being-forced-into-mainstream stuff. I think that was one of the reasons I like Anne McCaffrey's stuff so much - it had main-character heterosexuality, which was in the blurb, but there were lots of side same-sex relationships that weren't mentioned in the blurb. :D It got past my mother.

One series I'm working on that's paranormal deals with society not being accepting of relationships, but not due to their sexuality - more due to the 'rules' of the world. (It's set up in a non-werewolf, non-mythical creature soulmate verse. It's basically modern day society but people are born with soulmates.) It's been fun to play with.

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #48 on: October 12, 2015, 11:21:26 AM »
I got the idea when a friend of mine told me that her cousin (a gay man) was complaining that most of the contemporary "gay fiction" he found seemed to be either erotica or about struggling or coming out, etc. Why, he wondered, could he not find a work of fiction where the main character was dealing with more universal problems or events, and oh, by the way, he just happened to be gay? He wanted to find something to read that he could relate to, without getting bummed out.
Well, I can tell you that I'm with your friend's cousin, and I'll look forward to seeing a book where being gay is a character trait and not the defining point of the MC and his story.


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Offline HMeloche

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #49 on: October 12, 2015, 11:23:02 AM »
I got the idea when a friend of mine told me that her cousin (a gay man) was complaining that most of the contemporary "gay fiction" he found seemed to be either erotica or about struggling or coming out, etc. Why, he wondered, could he not find a work of fiction where the main character was dealing with more universal problems or events, and oh, by the way, he just happened to be gay? He wanted to find something to read that he could relate to, without getting bummed out.

This! Yes, exactly - I vastly prefer the "here is the hero doing heroic things and oh, hey, they happen to be gay" model rather than defining characters by their sexuality. The first is what I relate to, the second tends to be either depressing or boring.