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November 20th, 2008

12:44 PM

Is Josh Lanyon the new Clay Aiken of the MM genre?

The MM romance genre is a hotbed for wanks, no doubt due to the fact that it has its roots in the fanfiction scene, which we all should know by now is as much about the LOLOLOLOL!!!! as much as it is about art. Recently, speculations on Josh Lanyon's gender led to his or her fans saying that we should judge the author on his/her merit rather than gender or, in more extreme cases, how speculation of an author's gender is a blow against the GLBT affirmative action or something.

I am getting flashbacks to the last few years leading to Clay Aiken's coming out.

Let's compare.

Claymates insist that their favorite singer is the best ever and that his music touches various sensitive and no doubt ticklish parts of their soul or, in some cases, various parts of their bodies. Josh Lanyon's most overzealous fans insists that he is the best author ever, that he understands what "real" gay men feel and do, et cetera.

Claymates flame the hell out of anyone who dares to offer even a mild criticism of their idol. Same insane Josh Lanyon fans flame the hell out of anyone who dares to disbelieve in the genius of their idol.

Claymates insist that Clay Aiken is straight and will fight to the very end about this. Of course, they will also say that it doesn't matter whether Clay Aiken is straight or gay, they will still love his music, et cetera. The rest of the world yawns when Clay Aiken came out, but these Claymates spend hours anguishing about they now feel "betrayed" because they have defended their idol's heterosexuality. So it isn't all about the music after all.

Now, I have no idea whether Josh Lanyon is a man or woman, but if he comes out as a woman, I have a hunch that the rest of the world will yawn and say just like Tim Gunn, "Carry on!" In a genre where female authors outnumber male authors, is it any surprise that another author with a male pen name turns out to be a woman? But I wonder how the more insane fans of Josh Lanyon will react. The ones that have insisted that Josh is a better writer than those MM authors with breasts because Josh understands gay men better than those people, because Josh's characters feel so real to them as gay men that apparently no women could write with such realism, et cetera - will they feel betrayed if Josh is revealed to be a woman? Will they turn against him the way the more fundamentalist Claymates turned against Clay Aiken?

Who knows, but reading the current drama about whether Josh is a man or woman, I am getting some strong Claymate vibes here. You know what they say: those who are screeching that it doesn't matter are actually the ones for whom the issue matters the most, and that those who say again and again that they don't care are the ones who care the most.

3 comment(s).

Posted by Conrad:

Who is Josh Lanyon?
November 21st, 2008 @ 1:33 PM