What does writing LGBTQ literature mean to me?

Rain Book reviews Blog Hop

Welcome Blog Hoppers

This is actually a tougher question than it seems.  When I first signed on for this blog-hop I said, Oh that’s easy! I know why I do it. But the question wasn’t Why? It was what does writing LGBTQ lit mean to you?  I spent many, many days tossing this around because writing has been such an intricate part of my life for so long that it has never really had a singular meaning.

There are many reasons I write but none of them ever revolved around wanting to be published, making a name,  or any of the other dreams aspiring writers chase after. When I first started it was a vent for me; a place to put down frustrations and hurts, a place to pen the pains of others that I could no longer carry within me. Writing became a dire need and the salve that I used to work into the wounds of my heart. But that was not meaning, that was impetus.

You see, the two books I have published thus far are harsh, judgmental and unforgiving, much like life. When I was first asked about what I wrote I answered something about exposing what happens in the shadows, under the LGBTQ rainbow. But that was not meaning either, it was an arrow into the heart, a mark I put down to state that being LGBTQ is not always fabulous. In fact most of the time it is damned hard.

In the end, I decided that among the many intentions of  my writing one stands out: giving a few moments and a voice to the voiceless. For me writing LGBTQ means opening minds to what homophobia does when it is left unchecked, to opening eyes to what has happened in our past, and to opening hearts to what still needs to be done to ensure that this dark history is not repeated.

And while we’re doing all that we still need to have a bit of fun, which is where the new book Afflicted comes in. Because without some fun you will all turn into morbid old wretches like me.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a FREE copy (ebook) of my new M/M Romance Afflicted!

Tell me why you read LGBT lit in the comments below.

The new M/M romance by Brandon Shire

Have you ever met a gay blind man? One from the South? Ever?

Don’t worry, most people in the LGBT community haven’t either. So I want to introduce you to Hunter Stephens. He’s gay, tall, dark haired, and he’s hot. Very hot. But he doesn’t rely on the visual cues when appraising a man because he’s also blind. He listens to the timbre of their voice, trembles at the touch of their skin, and luxuriates in the deep richness of the aroma of man. He’s hard of the hand because he’s a black belt and takes no shit, but soft of the heart because he’s lonely and has been for a while.

Until he meets Dillon.

Dillon Chambers is straight man candy. He’s a high priced male escort that works with an exclusive agency who handles only the wealthiest of clients. But it wasn’t always like that for him. At sixteen he was thrown out of the house for being gay and struggled to survive, turning tricks on the street and finding food and a place to sleep wherever he could. He met two people that changed his life, but he has never met anyone who could change his heart.

Until he bumped into Hunter.

And now they are both Afflicted.

Coming in September!


*Winner chosen at random. You must be over 18 to participate.

Don’t forget to visit all the other authors on the Rainbow Book Reviews blog hop

  • Ambrose1963

    I read lgbtq literature because I grew up without gay role models or community, and I find a lot if pleasure in seeing aspects if my sensibility and experience reflected in others’ stories.

  • Pingback: Listening to Dust by Brandon Shire | Indie Reviews()

  • Emily

    I read LGBT lit because I like it. Acceptance, overcoming adversity, love are all common themes in LGBT lit which I love. Thanks so much for participating!


  • Bn100candg

    Very nice post.


  • Karen K

    Hi Brandon. Thank you for the nice comment on my blog post. I guess you already know my answer to the question but can I still enter your contest. 😉
    kleemoon66 @ gmail . com

  • Ceagles48218

    Hi. The only answer I have for reading LGBTQ storie is…They just hit me in the right spot and I keep going back for more. I read M/F for over 30yrs. I happened upon a M/M story and I was hooked from then on. I believe it was a book by Stormy Glenn and I think it was in the Alpha series.

    Great post. Thanks for being on The Blog Hop.


  • Jamie Martin

    Because I sometimes feel like I can’t always relate to hetero literature. I want books about characters, dealing with things that I’m dealing with!

  • First let me preface my answer by saying I can’t type for beans. So I’m answering short and sweet and then copying and pasting at other stops on the hop! Why do I read LGBTQ fiction? Cuz I like it! And it does what you said about writing it, it opens my eyes, ears and mind to the trials and tragedies of this community that I had been blind to previously. And it’s made me a better person: it’s made me re examine who I am and what I believe in. It makes me think. And it’s made me step up and speak out for people who are treated as less because of who they are and who they love. And, in the interest of full disclosure, the gorgeous men on the covers don’t hurt!
    seritzko AT verizon DOT net

  • Margie Church

    Hi Brandon, I had to stop in and see what you had to say. As usual, you are thoughtful and articulate. Afflicted sounds fascinating. I’ve never written a book with a character who had a significant handicap. Sell millions.

    • Thanks Margie. 🙂 If I can attain your level when I grow up, I’ll be a happy camper.

  • Penumbra

    I read M/M because I love men 🙂 Also because I never like the women in the bodice rippers. I’ve never cared for helpless the damsels.


  • Lilly

    I love your post! Thanks for participating in the hop!


  • ocanana

    There seems to be more depth to the characters in most mm stories than in the mf romances. And frankly they are hotter.

  • Juliana

    Thanks so much for participating in this hop! I love the way two men can find love in my favorite M/M books! I think there is so much intensity in LGBTQ fiction.
    OceanAkers @ aol.com

  • Diall68

    Why do I read LGBT lit (and I’m one of those straight female fans), was due to the characters. While I have some favorite authors of heterosexual lit, I was finding that most of the male characters were alpha male or broken man with alpha male underneath, and neither the male or female leads would allow vulnerability to be a part of their relationship. The first LGBT book I read, the characters did not fall under stereotypes, they had depth, and the more I’ve read, the more I’ve found books that make me cry, laugh and cheer for the characters! I actually care about the characters, what happens to them, what choices they will make. Some are a bit more surface than others, but overall, I’ve been lucky to have enjoyed all the books with very few I have not really enjoyed I’ve chosen to read which has given me a long list of favorite authors and has me completely hooked!


    • Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully with Afflicted I’ll bring a few smile instead of a gush of tears.

      • Diall68

        I’ll read anything you write, but I am looking forward to Afflicted for something different!

        I also realized I typed my email wrong (yeeesh) it’s diall(at)shaw(dot)ca…good think it’s the weekend!!!

  • Yvette

    I love the truthfulness and sincerity in the characters.

  • Cornelia Simpkins

    I was curious about LGBTQ books once started it opened my eyes to the treatment of the LGBTQ community.Where I had been I don’t know.Thanks to the books I became aware of what was going on.I know there must be equality for all or the human race is lost.

  • Gale

    Hi Brandon, your comments echoed a lot of my sentiments – “Writing became a dire need and the salve that I used to work into the wounds of my heart.”
    Reading has always been an escape for me and writing even more so when I suffered a personal tragedy in my family. I’m looking forward to reading your books. Gale

  • Lisa H

    I really appreciate your reasons for writing. Hopefully, people will become more understanding if they read LGBTQ literature. I know it has opened my eyes and made me more aware of the issues many have to face on a daily basis.

    I don’t always need a story with a HEA because that’s just how life is sometimes, but I must say that I really look forward to reading Afflicted. Thanks for the giveaway!


  • Tracey D

    I read LGBTQ because it brings out emotions in me which no other genre does.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  • Ryalwoods

    I have to confess, I don’t read a lot, but that’s because I don’t want to be influenced by what others are writing. It’s amazing how little bits and pieces from writing we admire can sneak their way into our work! But when I do, I look for stories that are out of the ordinary, like your blind character. There are so many experiences out there, and I love to see (or perhaps not – at least, not in the typical way) the world from those unique perspectives.

  • Julia Alaric

    Oh, so many reasons… but you touch one two of the big ones: to learn about experiences that I, as a straight woman, will never undergo; and to hear the voice of the voiceless that would otherwise have no way to make it to my ear.

  • Erica Pike

    Thanks for sharing, Brandon 🙂 Afflicted sounds great.


  • Sue

    What a brilliant book, by the sound of it. It’s a sensitive topic, but one I’m sure you’ll write well and lovingly…
    I’d love a chance to win it 🙂

    corieltauviqueen@ yahoo dot co dot uk

  • In the end, I decided that among the many intentions of my writing one stands out: giving a few moments and a voice to the voiceless. For me writing LGBTQ means opening minds to what homophobia does when it is left unchecked, to opening eyes to what has happened in our past, and to opening hearts to what still needs to be done to ensure that this dark history is not repeated.

    That’s a powerful and revealing statement. Thank you for sharing so honestly here with us today.

    akasarahmadison at gmail dot com

  • Shawny Jean

    I read GLBTQ for the same reasons I read anything – a good story. It doesn’t have to be pretty or end with rainbows and glorious sunsets, but I want to feel like I met some new people and got to be part of the adventure for a little while.
    shawnyjeann @ gmail.com

  • Amanda

    Thank you for participating and for your post. I am excitied to be meeting new authors and adding to my reading list. Afflicted sounds right up my alley, I can’t wait to read it.
    thanks again,

  • Jeff Erno

    Brandon, I was deeply touched by your story The Value of Rain, and I sincerely hope you continue to share your incredible literary talent. I’m excited to hear you have another published novel which I will certainly add to my reading list. jeffaerno@gmail.com

  • Gigi

    Thanks for participating. Love your post.


  • Cindy

    I really enjoy the fact that you are willing to write for the voiceless. Life is not always roses and while I enjoy a good HEA as much as the next person, I also enjoy the truth coming through while reading a good book. I will be looking forward to reading Afflicted when it comes out!!

    • Glad to hear that Cindy, thank you.

      • Coffey Brown

        I’m hopping by as many posts as I can. This is a great post. The voiceless always need someone in their corner. It’s a great thing you’re that guy.
        Stacey aka Coffey Brown

  • I love your post! Your words are very touching. Writing GLBT fiction means much the same to me. I can’t wait to read Afflicted. The blurb alone definitely has me hooked!

  • Trix

    Oh, the book sounds great! I love LGBT literature because it feels less sexist and cliched than het romance. You see a fuller spectrum of experiences and sexuality; I feel it’s made me more empathetic toward men in general.


    • Hm, your last comment is interesting. I’ve never considered that perspective. Thanks

  • Afflicted sounds awesome!!

    • Thanks Amelia! It’s my first HEA ending too, hoping my readers enjoy it. 🙂

  • I come at it from both a writer and reader perspective. I never think about confining my writing by sexuality. The novel I’m shopping now has two male main characters that are in an established relationship. The novel I’m currently finishing up has two heterosexual romances. I’ve written short stories that have transgender themes, m/m relationships, and m/f relationships. It’s just what the story calls for. I’m proud to be an LGBT writer. When I’m seeking out LGBT fiction to read, I tend to gravitate toward stories that feature established relationships, that show the commonality of love, because all love should be celebrated.


    • Knitwitch70

      What a great idea – I could save myself even reading these blogs if I just cut and pasted the same comment to all *headslap* why didnt I think of that?

  • laurie

    yeah, your book does look interesting! i do read gay fiction because a lot of the story lines i find more intriguing and capturing my attention more than a lot other books


  • Zoe Ride

    Your book sounds intriguing. I’ve never read a gay fiction book with a blind man. So it would be fantastic to do so. I love reading gay fiction because it makes me happy, and if it has a slow build up and a happy ending, even better.
    Zoe Ride

    • Thanks Zoe. I worked on this with the LGBT Blind Pride International, a worldwide group of blind LGBT. To my knowledge, there are no other books that portray blind LGBT people, which was one of the reasons I took this project up.

  • Jessica_klang

    I read LGBT fiction because I love reading about love that defies a label, the happy ever after. I hope LGBT fiction will spread to open a better world for future generations.

    thanks for your giveaway!


  • Andrea Grendahl

    I read LGBTQ fiction because I like reading about people that don’t fit into the “normal” category. I know that there are many people out there who hate me just because of who I am without even knowing me. I want to read about people like me finding love, happiness and acceptance.