May 29th, 2007


There's One in Every Crowd

Over on the HWA message board, a member posted about one anthology's controversial guidelines and asked what we all thought about its inclusion of the line "We do not accept work that promotes gay lifestyles."

Most of the people who commented were a little shocked to see it, though some took a more blasé approach, shrugging their shoulders and saying they simply wouldn't bother submitting anything to such a market, even if it paid more than the ridiculous 1/2 cent per word this one is offering.

Of course, it was only a matter of time before one of the "persecuted privileged" showed up to mouth off on the subject. I don't know why it still surprises me when this happens, especially in the overwhelmingly reactionary world of horror, but I guess I just expect people to be smarter and more conscious of the world around them than they are.

Anyway, here's what he posted:

I'm going to have to word this very carefully, so as not to seem 'intolerant'...

(Which, as we all know, is the equivalent of clearing one's throat before saying something intolerant. The scare quotes doubly so. -- NK)

Here's another recent thread on a market:

Dark Scribe Press is seeking short story submissions for an anthology of queer horror tales.

No one seems to have a problem with a market that excludes all non-gay oriented material. Fair enough.

But if even the hint of anti-gay bias raises its head, or -- God-Forbid -- pro-Christian or pro-family-oriented, then it's time to burn the editors/publishers at the stake. Y'know, cause they're so intolerant.

Am I the only one seeing something of a quandary of ethics here?

Once I put my eyes back in my head, I was able to respond coherently. I reminded him that the listing from Dark Scribe is for a themed anthology, while the one from Journey Books is for a non-themed anthology that will look at anything so long as it doesn't portray gay people in a positive light. By calling Dark Scribe's queer horror anthology intolerant because of its theme, the point he was making is akin to saying that Night Shade's pirate anthology is intolerant of all non-pirates.

But like most people who scream that Christians are the most persecuted people in the world because, you know, sometimes there's homosexuality or divorce in popular entertainment, this person chose not to understand that he was wrong, and then proceeded to change the thrust of his own argument by claiming what he meant was that this isn't intolerance, it's simply an editorial policy, nothing more, nothing less. This obfuscation, sadly, was the one thing that didn't surprise me.

So thanks, horror, for reminding me what a backward, reactionary, victimhood culture you can be sometimes. And just when I'd gotten over all the foot-stomping about how unfair an African-American horror anthology is, too!