Speaking of adult stories as I did in my last blog post, it occurred to me that all these years of fan fiction/slash really has had a result on 'conventional' book publishing.
When I was a teenager, I found myself inventing slash stories, even though I didn't know anyone else who did (or read anything like that). Where I lived, in a small town, gay issues weren't discussed. I'm sure gay people suffered discrimination. I do know that being different, albeit straight, was tough here, but then I suspect this is one of the worst towns in the world. I'm not exaggerating. Anyway, for years I didn't write my stories down, and if I discussed them with anyone, it was my sister who tends to feel about the same as I do about most things.
Then a little later (early 20's and so on) I decided that I would write my stories. It was fun but a bit embarrassing, because I couldn't let anyone read them except my sister. Of course, my first stories were awful (and so was my poetry). Still, I don't regret doing all this writing, because eventually I did get better (at least I hope so).
One day in the late 1990's I was chatting on the Star Trek chat room (on about.com - I think the site still exists, but the best before date has long since expired). Someone said 'if you're a writer, then you'll be writing fan fiction too, right'? I was puzzled, because I'd never heard of fan fiction. It struck me as ridiculous and I couldn't see why people would do it. Then, only a few weeks later, I remembered hey, those kinky stories I dreamed up when I was about 13, those were fan fiction (and slash even!) so why not? After that I spent more than ten years writing, writing, writing. Some original fiction, but mainly fan fiction. Even today, when things are extremely different, I sometimes look at one of my old stories and I'm amazed I wrote such good stories so long ago (sadly, I often encounter a different kind of story that I wiill occasionally delete).
What I was going to get to, eventually, by the time I've stopped cheering myself up by reminiscing about my good old fan fiction days, is that all those years when so many other people got used to reading and writing slash stories, eventually resulted in people writing such stories for publication.
Which is so much fun. In the past, especially in older books that I'd had handed down to me, anything gay was almost never mentioned, and if anything was, it was usually as an example of something related to mental illness. That's why it's so great to find all kinds of different books, not only romance stories that deal with gay (male) couples.
On the other hand, when gay gets more accepted, you tend to lose the plot device that deals with 'the shameful secret'. I kind of miss that, even if real life is different and I think it's great that people no longer have to hide.