Although I am a lurker there - rarely commenting, mostly for the same reason I rarely comment on any blogs these days - I read from my phone... I avidly read their reviews of m/m romances and have so many books in my TBR pile based on their recommendations, that if I bought them all at once, it would probably take my entire paycheck. The reviews on her site are informative, professional, and intelligent.
Why am I writing this post? Well, apparently, Wave's policy of reviewing only m/m gay books is ruffling feathers. Why? Because she doesn't review all the letters of LGBTQ, only the "G", and yet she has links on her site to Embrace the Rainbow, It Gets Better, and many other websites that provide help and assistance for troubled teens, and has the Safe Reading Zone logo on her sidebar. From what I can tell, the SRZ logo is indicative of a site that is not biased against the LGBTQ community, that is supportive and non-judgmental. This definitely describes Wave's site. Just because the site doesn't review other subgenres of LGBTQ, doesn't mean that the site is judgmental or non-inclusive. She doesn't review books about lesbians, bisexuals, transgedered or anything else, except for gay men. Yes, two penises, two acknowledged men in a romance with each other. She states it up front in her review policies. Apparently, to some, this means she is not an advocate of the genre, or of the LGBTQ community.
I say hogwash. OK, I say bullshit, but for the sake of staying PG, I say hogwash. First off, there is no stronger advocate for the LGBTQ community than Wave's website, and Wave herself. She does a lot of posts the goal of which is to educate the community (and herself, she admits) about m/m and also LGBTQ issues. I've appreciated many of those posts, because while I am not terribly educated about the lifestyle beyond what I read in the m/m romances I enjoy, I know there is a whole other world out there to learn about. Does that mean I can't advocate for the rights of those people? No, not at all.
Just because I'm not a lesbian does not mean that I can't be an advocate for lesbian rights. It doesn't mean that if I choose to put up a banner advocating for lesbian rights, but don't read and review lesbian books, that I should have to take down the banner. I don't read or review books about lesbians because it's not a genre I enjoy reading. I do frequently read and occasionally review books about gay men. And I am an advocate for gay rights, too. As well as bisexual, transgender or any other person. Nobody should have different (or fewer) rights based upon who they are, how they identify, the color of their skin, their religion, etc. I believe that I've made that perfectly clear through many of my posts - here, on my personal blog (intentionally unlinked), and on my political blog.
I digress. My point here is that as a book review blogger, I have the choice to read and review whatever the hell I want to. I blog about books because I have a love of reading, and I want to share my joy with others. Therefore, I tend to blog about genres that I read most and love. Wave's blog states in the banner that the site reviews male/male adult-themed books. It's not a secret. It's the genre she reads and loves. And frankly, the content on her website belongs to nobody else but her and the site's reviewers. They can post whatever they choose as long as it doesn't violate the law. And I have the choice to read it or not.
If I can't advocate for that for any blogger, then what happens to my own rights as a blogger to post the material that I choose to post? I lose control over that. If Wave doesn't want to read and review anything other than m/m gay romance, then that is her right. If she wants to post banners supporting other websites, supporting causes, or advocating for men on the moon, that is her right. Nothing else need come into the discussion.
Book blogging has evolved tremendously since we first started reviewing books here in October 2005 (and holy moly - that's almost 7 years!). It used to be stricly about sharing a love of books. Now it has become, for some, a big business. And that's ok. But for those of us who choose to stick with blogging for no other reason than we want to share our love of books, there continue to be no rules other than I get to share what I want, when I want, and in the genres I want. I don't know anything about Wave's relationships with publishers - other than she obviously has one, since she offers many free books - but it shouldn't matter. She should still have the right to choose which books from those publishers she accepts and reviews.
And I for one, will continue to