I have been a GLBTQ romance writer, and was a publisher, for a long time. I wrote my first f/f story in high school (class of '88 what up?) and I was published in my first gay romance anthology in 2002. My first m/m novel came out in 2003. I have fought the good fight, as a mostly lesbian writer (I fall closer to bi on the Kinsey scale than my wife, but I'm definitely queer) writing romance fiction, to find equality and acceptance for all people in the romance community, gay, straight, bi, trans or asexual. Hell, I've written moose romance. No, not shifter. Just moose.
So believe me when I tell you that nothing ***NOTHING*** disappoints me more than getting an email chock full of advice on how to sit down and shut up in the romance world.
That's right. Grit your teeth, wear a nice dress, and do your make-up and no one in the greater romance world will be mean to you. If they are, just don't tell them you write gay! It will be fine.
Now, I am a huge champion of getting LGBTQ romance to stop being listed as a "genre". My genres are paranormal and historical with a few contemporary bdsm type books. I want queer romance to just be romance. But I refuse to stop looking like a lesbian in order to make people comfortable. I refuse to pretend that people have not asked me at every con I attend, including the supposedly gay romance one, "Why do YOU write m/m? You don't even like dick," because I'm married to a woman.
I go into every opportunity to meet readers of romance with a smile on my face. My attitude is great, even if my inner introvert wants to run and hide. But I refuse to cower behind the hetero-normative language and accept the gender bias running rampant right now in my chosen field. So don't send me an email that dismisses men writing romance, along with trans people or bi people, or anyone not comfy in a pretty dress and lipstick. And the closest thing I own to formal wear is the rainbow skirt I wore to my wedding. Cotton jersey, thanks.
Don't tell me to sit the fuck down and shut up. It hasn't worked at any point in my life, and it's so not gonna work now.