Sharon and I attend some writing conferences throughout the year. Some of those conferences have agent pitch sessions where you have a few minutes to “pitch” an agent. It is nerve wracking really. At one conference, Sharon and I pitched our book idea to an agent who was openly gay. When we told her of our idea, she asked who our target audience is. We responded “Everyone who is dating – men, woman, people all races and religions, gay, and straight. Everyone.” Then, she tilted her head and said, “this book can’t be all things to all people.” I don’t recall Sharon and me saying that. She seemed to get angry and said, “you can’t include straight and gay stories together – they are different audiences.” Sharon and I shook our head. I audibly gasped in a rather annoyed fashion. Sharon was much nicer. She said, “this is about the experience of dating … and gay and straight people date. They may have different experiences, but the premise and experiences and feelings are all similar.” The agent said, “you can’t compare them.” I sat up in my chair and leaned back and decided I was done with this exchange. Sharon persevered. She explained that we had gotten plenty of stories from gay, lesbian and transgendered people who shared touching stories whose universal story about looking for love or a soul mate prevailed regardless of where or who.
This agent shot back, “but It’s not.” Huh? Really? It’s not.
I have plenty of gay friends who share their stories and were stood up, thought they found the one, were disappointed when someone didn’t call and got taken advantage of. It is not gender specific.
So, I beg the question … dating is dating – right?
I lost all patience and even Sharon was visibly frustrated. Sharon seemed on a mission to make her understand. I interrupted and said, “look, dating is dating. Love is love. Rejection is rejection. It doesn’t matter if you are gay or straight or white or green or in the USA or India – we all have parallel experiences and there is no reason to separate them out and have a book just be about gay or straight stories.” The agent went on to argue with us and I looked at Sharon and said, “I think we’re done here.” I looked at the agent and said, “Thank you for your time.” And got up.
If I am wrong, by all means, please tell me. But, Dating is Dating, right?