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Re: Pride, and there should be an LGBT plus tag

#43
CloverCloverClover Wrote: I'm not against the tag existing, but I'm curious how it would actually be used. 

Like, it's mentioned in this thread that gay relationships merely existing in a story would qualify for a LGBT+ tag. But the thing is, there's tons of stories that would qualify for the LGBT+ tag that aren't normally thought of as LGBT stories, in that case. Hell, I am pretty sure Wheel of Time had some gay relationships and that's definitely not normally thought of as a LGBT story. 

I think the problem is that people interpret the LGBT tag as being something much more than merely "LGBT relationships exist in this fiction." At least I know I do; when I see it I usually think it's something that *focuses* on one or more LGBT relationships. Like, usually when I see the LGBT tag I also assume the fiction could most likely qualify for the romance tag as well. Or maybe it's a story less about romance and more to do with the trials of growing up LGBT, but the general point still stands that it usually takes more to qualify for it than just "gay relationships exist in this fiction." I also think there's strong arguments for *not* using something like that tag if you have gay relationships in your story, because it just helps to sequester it. Or to put it more bluntly, some people ought to be confronted with the reality; if they fall in love with your imagination and your fantasy world, they will have to acknowledge that gay people exist within it too, while an LGBT tag could just prevent them from reading it in the first place. And I mean, it's not even merely the idea of confrontation, either: I bet tons of people who are perfectly fine with LGBT relationships don't read things *tagged* LGBT because they assume it's not *for* them; a lot of people probably assume that a story, say, that's an epic fantasy that happens to include some gay characters wouldn't necessarily be considered 'LGBT' because it doesn't necessarily focus on the gay relationships.

All that being said, this seems like stuff for authors and readers to hash out on their own. I don't see why the tag shouldn't exist.

Can't disagree with anything you're saying, here. I don't have a problem with the tag. Would I use it? Sure, if a significant theme or plot element revolved around LGBT. What if a major character falls into that category, but that's not a plot driver? I'd probably consider adding the tag because I'd want people who are looking for LGBT characters to know they could find them in my writing. For minor characters? Probably not. 

Also, the choice of an author not to use the tag needs to be respected. Everyone has a view of their own work that leads them to identify it the way they do. For example, I imagine there are plenty of authors who don't buy into the whole notion of basing everything around identity (be it sexual, ethnic, gender or what have you). They're just writing a story; the presence of characters of various shapes, sizes and persuasions adds color and depth, but they might not want to get caught up in discussions or even considerations around identity, particularly if that's not a driving theme.

One thing I do like about the tag is that it might help drive (hopefully constructive) feedback about such characters. They say you should write what you know. I'm a straight guy, so that's my POV. I have no idea whether, when I'm writing a scene with a lesbian couple, I'm getting the tone right, or maybe there are things I could change to make those characters resonate more with an LGBT reader. At the end of the day, I want all readers to enjoy my writing, and if a non-straight person reads my story, I don't want them thinking "ugh. Sounds like it was written by a straight guy". So if including that tag led someone to offer me some useful advice for writing those characters, I'd consider that a win. I've also got thick skin, so I wouldn't really care if I got a ration of hate in there as well. There are idiots out there everywhere, after all, even on a site like RR.

I could also see some people using the tag like a warning, so they stay away from stories with an LGBT tag. I think they'd probably be missing out, but they might have religious or other cultural reasons not to want to read stories with LGBT characters or relationships in them.

Currently all the tags have equal weight; there's no way to distinguish primary themes from secondary/tertiary ones. Perhaps RR could add the tag, but instead of presenting all the tags as checkboxes, format them as an ordered list, or provide some other way to designate primary vs secondary importance for each tag.

Re: Pride, and there should be an LGBT plus tag

#44
We will not be adding an LGBT tag or any other similar tags. If a story has romance, it has romance. If a story has sexual content, it has sexual content. We have a genre for romance and a tag for sexual content. If an author wishes to make it clear that the romance or sexual content in their work is of an LGBT nature, they can do so in their synopsis.

Another reason we do not have the tag and will not add it is that we strongly believe it is highly likely users who hate LGBT would search out fics with this tag to give them low ratings or harass the authors. We don't condone this, of course, and would punish it as we do when it rarely happens to our existing LGBT books. We feel adding the tag would encourage this behaviour and cause far more harm than good.

This is the one and only response I shall give to this topic now and in the future. If you wish to continue talking about this, keep everything respectful and do not argue or the thread may get locked or deleted.

Regards,
Moderator John,
Royal Road Team

Re: Pride, and there should be an LGBT plus tag

#45
Moderator Wrote: We will not be adding an LGBT tag or any other similar tags. If a story has romance, it has romance. If a story has sexual content, it has sexual content. We have a genre for romance and a tag for sexual content. If an author wishes to make it clear that the romance or sexual content in their work is of an LGBT nature, they can do so in their synopsis.

Another reason we do not have the tag and will not add it is that we strongly believe it is highly likely users who hate LGBT would search out fics with this tag to give them low ratings or harass the authors. We don't condone this, of course, and would punish it as we do when it rarely happens to our existing LGBT books. We feel adding the tag would encourage this behaviour and cause far more harm than good.

This is the one and only response I shall give to this topic now and in the future. If you wish to continue talking about this, keep everything respectful and do not argue or the thread may get locked or deleted.

Regards,
Moderator John,
Royal Road Team
Thank you, John for the offical Royal Road response as to why their is not currently an LGBT plus tag on the website.

It is of course a dissapointing, if expected response. It is a shame that the core argument for author's choice to use an LGBT plus tag to promote their works and face any potential risk has been stomped on. 

Despite my belief that an LGBT plus tag would be of more benefit than harm, and encourge community and inclusivity it is not my decision to make. 

Given the stated rareness of such harm it is confusing it is cited as a reason to actively prevent LGBT plus solidarity and readership through an LGBT plus. 

The modest increase in views seems a worthwhile gain for Royal Road in comparsion to a few more isolated and rare hate attacks on authors and their stories. 

As always this is a thread about Pride, support for the tag. It is also a space where of course polite disagreement can co-exist. I can only hope the same civility carries over into future threads on the topic for an LGBT plus tag. 

May we all be well,
Tea.

Re: Pride, and there should be an LGBT plus tag

#46
Moderator Wrote: We will not be adding an LGBT tag or any other similar tags. If a story has romance, it has romance. If a story has sexual content, it has sexual content. We have a genre for romance and a tag for sexual content. If an author wishes to make it clear that the romance or sexual content in their work is of an LGBT nature, they can do so in their synopsis.

Another reason we do not have the tag and will not add it is that we strongly believe it is highly likely users who hate LGBT would search out fics with this tag to give them low ratings or harass the authors. We don't condone this, of course, and would punish it as we do when it rarely happens to our existing LGBT books. We feel adding the tag would encourage this behaviour and cause far more harm than good.

This is the one and only response I shall give to this topic now and in the future. If you wish to continue talking about this, keep everything respectful and do not argue or the thread may get locked or deleted.

Regards,
Moderator John,
Royal Road Team

But this seems a little odd. If the argument is that romance is romance and should not be broken down into further subtypes:
1. The LGBT tag may not pertain just to elements of romance, it may be relevant for non-romantic elements
2. You *already* have a tag that breaks down romance into subtypes: The harem tag. It seems very strange to me to sub-classify romance when it comes to polygamy or polyamory, but to claim that it should not be broken down into subtypes when it comes to LGBT. If anything, I would expect the reverse. 

As for the second part of the argument, I agree it's likely - but this is clearly a matter of scale. To put it simply, trolls abusing a tag to hate on the fictions there likely happens with *every single tag*, it's just a question of how many trolls happen to hate that particular tag.  I also think that the LGBT tag would be likely to attract more trolls than others - but I have my doubts about how many it would be. As you said, someone could "unofficially" tag their story as LGBT by including the description in their synopsis, and if someone wants to go out of their way hate on LGBT stories they could simply search for that. 

I don't know. Given that the LGBT tag could apply to more elements of a story than just romance; given that romance sub-typing in the official tags in fact already exists; given that trolls can *already* use the search system to hate on LGBT stories if they wish, I have a really hard time seeing the argument against an official LGBT tag. 

Re: Pride, and there should be an LGBT plus tag

#48
CloverCloverClover Wrote: But this seems a little odd. If the argument is that romance is romance and should not be broken down into further subtypes:
1. The LGBT tag may not pertain just to elements of romance, it may be relevant for non-romantic elements
2. You *already* have a tag that breaks down romance into subtypes: The harem tag. It seems very strange to me to sub-classify romance when it comes to polygamy or polyamory, but to claim that it should not be broken down into subtypes when it comes to LGBT. If anything, I would expect the reverse.

Why not we say, it is a form of fruitful discussion instead of bringing it as an argument?
I totally agree that lgbt topics cover more than romance and sexual content. Especially when I wrote on the aspect of reproduction (not focus on the process to conceive... ya know what I mean... on Teleios) and mental struggle of gender dysphoria led drug abuse (Clara's). But the point is, I don't think this only relates to certain gender role or preference. We all might face similar struggles and live as normal as any heteronormative person. But here's the exact problem I face as RR mod described, on other platforms I got bashed simply by writing content trying to express a T's struggle on inability to conceive. I've been labeled as anti-trans cis karen simply because I did not write something that some other lgbt "activists" prefer to read: the happy jolly sweet lgbt stories that build some perfect wonderland for the lgbts. Make a T villainess, bam! And they call me trying to put a negative image on the Ts. In the end, they are the ones who shut their own people down.

Second, about Harem tag, I agree that it "sometimes" did represent polygamy or polyamory. But I don't think it is a sub-genre at all. Itself is a different beast that is uniquely on its own. As most of us do able to separate between Romance and Harem. Some Harem stories might not be related to romance at all. Mostly are minor puppy love or crush in 10% of the episodes and not even have ecchi! They are majority school life comedy that plays around with the idea of differences between genders. So the main goal of "Harem" is a genre of "one vs many". 

FancyDrakan

Re: Pride, and there should be an LGBT plus tag

#49
Cheers, Tea, for the thread!

I honestly didn't expect the responses I got to my (now locked) thread. I wasn't even completely upset about the lack of the tag at the time of posting, just curious, but after roasting in the resulting dumpster fire, I now want a tag more than ever.

It's nice to get Mod John's positioning stated here, but I can't deny it is disappointing, as well as containing false assumptions. LGBT+ is not solely about romance or sexual content, but it is about representation. Romance and sexual content are already individual tags. I think the fact that there is a demand for it by authors and readers is reason enough. And to field responses before I get them, if other minorities on the site want tags to help advertise their fic, than I will unequivocally support them as well.

While I appreciate the mods providing tools for authors to field review bombs and hate comments, this stance doesn't make sense to me. "The reason we don't have an email is because spammers will get the address and send spam, so if you want to send information, you need to walk it there yourself," is how it reads to me. I'm not trying to be uncivil, and correct me if I'm off base here, but there is always going to hateful users on any platform. I'd rather see clear support for the LGBT+ community who has demonstrated a clear demand for the tag, instead of not providing it in the hopes of not provoking further discrimination and hate on the site. 

Anyway, shoutout to the LGBT+ community on RR who have done an amazing job of finding ways to get more attention on LGBT+ fiction. A special shout out to Sereminar and their rec list, a true MVP. 

I'm simply an ally who includes representation in my fiction, because it is important to me. I will continue to fight for this tag.

Re: Pride, and there should be an LGBT plus tag

#50
I suppose a final remark to answer the romance/harem question is fair before I lock this thread as I don't want it to spiral into an argument - our stance isn't negotiable at this point.

I don't have any official response on the harem matter, so please take this with a grain of salt. Harem is the only tag we have that falls under the romance genre umbrella. I would assume that was due to popular demand. I am unsure. A lot of people like harem, a lot of people don't, and a lot of people are apathetic to it. But again, it is our only romance-oriented tag.

We do not want to become a site that has tags upon tags upon tags, and sub-tags upon sub-tags upon sub-tags. This is one of the reasons we are hesitant to add more tags, though that doesn't particularly factor into the LGBT tag discussion much.

I'll also address the other point of "not all LGBT is romantic or sexual". We understand that, of course. But at the same time, a story that is several thousand pages long doesn't merit the tag just because a single side character is gay. Just as much as you could not call a story where the main character meets a side character who has a harem but never shows up ever again a harem story.

Also, on the internet as a whole when it comes to novels, the LGBT tag is heavily associated with erotica novels. I understand that is not true for all LGBT fictions but the association still exists. A concern is that this could disappoint or confuse some readers who looked for the tag.

I'll lock this thread now.

Best Regards,
Moderator john,
Royal Road Team
This thread is locked