What brave and articulate authors! I feel honored even to be in the margins of the same fiction community. How many female writers and readers of slash fiction and m/m romance, I wonder, secretly identify not only with but as gay men? My guess is, far more than people realize. I'd love to see a study of this phenomenon. [Edited to add: I've looked into this, and apparently I'm behind the times. Wiki has an entry here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girlfags_and_guydykes, and it appears the subject has indeed been studied and discussed. But how extensively or scientifically, I have no idea.]
When I was still in my twenties, a boyfriend told me, "You're the only woman I've ever known who wants to be a gay man." My current SO is befuddled and a bit snarky about my love of gay fiction and porn. Me? I don't quite understand this crooked river of gender fluidity, and I've never had any desire to undergo transformative surgery, but I do sure as hell identify with male homosexuality. I just don't worry about it. Instead, I try to funnel that mindset into my fiction.
What added even more stun to stunning was an interview with Anne Rice in the same magazine, and how some of it related to what Alex and Erastes had to say. For example:
Anne's responses to all the questions were thoughtful and made eminent sense, even if one isn't as devout a believer in/follower of Jesus as she is -- although, I should note, she's divorced herself from all organized religion. This interview combined with an anecdote about her generosity, which I read on one of my m/m groups, has instilled me with a new respect for her. (And keep in mind her celebrated, bestselling author-son, Christopher Rice, is gay.)
I have no consciousness of being a particular gender. It gets me into trouble all the time. I’m constantly reminded that I’m a specific gender. When I rejoined Christianity and discovered the tremendous amount of emphasis they put on gender, it was just jarring.
Final note: Regardless of Ms. Rice's opinion of her books, I still believe Cry to Heaven was the most extraordinary novel she ever wrote.
Read these interviews. Seriously. They're eye-opening.