Love is love is love. July 25, 2018

I just sent this letter off to the RWA board.

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To everyone on the RWA Board, hello.

I couldn’t make it to the National Convention this year, so I missed out on seeing all of you in person again. I know I’ve only been to one convention so far, but last year I called it the Romance Family Reunion. I missed the reunion this year, and I regret it.

I regret it more in that I didn’t have a chance to see Suzanne Brockmann’s speech in person. I’ve read it, and wow! I am sorry I missed that.

I’m also sorry that you’re now having to deal with the fallout of that speech. It boggles my mind that romance writers can be so closed minded. Our genre is about love. Love is the reason for our writing. To say that somehow love is wrong because of gender, or color, or any other reason is to deny the very guiding principle of our genre. To quote Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Love is love is love is love,” and no amount of gate-keeping or pearl-clutching is going to change that.

I’ve seen people saying that the speech was too political. I’m reading that as “How dare you shine light on the dark places of my soul? How dare you tip my sacred cows!” Really, how is what we do not political? Writing is art, and art is nothing if not political. Art is meant to be uncomfortable. It exists to make people think. To make them open their minds and their hearts to the greater meaning of the universe.

Boy, that was pretentious, wasn’t it?

Romance pushes envelopes. It’s subversive. It always has been. It always will be. And even though the romance industry has been slow to change, it has changed! A large part of that change has come because of what you’ve done, and what your immediate predecessors have done, and for that, I thank you. From the very bottom of my heart, I thank you.

There’s still more to do. And it starts with standing up for love. It starts with making statements like Suzanne Brockmann did. It starts with tipping those sacred cows and calling the ignorant and the small-minded on their hypocrisy.

I’ll finish with another quote. This one is from another hero of mine, writer J. Michael Straczynski. Being the unrepentant nerd that I am, it’s a comic book quote, from “Civil War: The Amazing Spider Man.” The words were spoken by Captain America:

“Doesn’t matter what the press says. Doesn’t matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn’t matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right.

This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — “No, YOU move.”

We believe in love. We will stand for love, in all of its many forms and colors.

It’s time for the people who say otherwise to move.

What do you think?

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