It's that time again. My brain is stuffed with questions, and I must regurgitate them to avoid mental indigestion.
1. Are there gay men in law enforcement anywhere outside of Los Angeles? Anywhere? Or is it a rule at every police academy on the face of the earth that if you're a man who loves men, you can only work in LA?
2. Where did all the BDSM experts suddenly come from? There seems to be a bumper crop on the 'Net these days. Did the first class at BDSMU just graduate? I'll listen to most anything James Buchanan or TeddyPig has to say, because they didn't just pop out of the underbrush and start pontificating, but I swear there's a diploma mill somewhere that recently put specious degrees in a whole lot of people's hands.
3. Are vampires dead (as a character type, I mean) or aren't they? I've been getting distinctly mixed messages on this issue for at least a year or two, and it's giving me a serious case of WTFitis.
4. Is it necessary to surgically remove gay characters' tear ducts? I doubt any health-care plan would cover this procedure, but I figure there's a reviewer somewhere who'd be happy to do it in a back alley.
5. Does Japan have the only gay fiction worth filching? Isn't it time we started scouting other countries' and cultures' popular lit for some new (to us) fads to steal? The French probably keep theirs securely under wraps -- gods forbid they should undermine their hard-earned reputations as womanizers -- and the Germans . . . well, I doubt they have any erotic material worth boosting. I think we should start investigating South America, Southeast Asia, and Melanesia/Micronesia.
6. What words are okay? What words aren't? "Queer" seems to be okay. So does "homo." But "fag" and "cocksucker" seem to be verboten. Are there others? Who decides in which column they go? What's especially bewildering about the line between acceptable and unacceptable is that derogatory usage has little to do with where that line is drawn. I've heard a lot of 'phobes use "queer" and "homo." But those words are not considered offensive.
7. What's the role of women in gay fiction? It seems they can't be ex-wives or ex-girlfriends; no matter how they're portrayed, they get kicked in the ass. (I'm interested to see how readers react to Celia Quill in To Be Where You Are. She'll no doubt end up with a shoeprint or two on her rear.) And it seems women can't be the best buddies of gay guys; ditto the previous comment. That pretty much leaves faceless employers and "colorful" relatives. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm as fond of the eccentric-female-relative trope as I am of the word trope. Better yet, meme.
So, wise and wise-ass readers, please come to my rescue with answers!