There are a few things that make stories a little bit different when they're written by queer people-- to give a rough list of things I notice when they are (not restricted to VNs, just a general checklist across media)...Katta wrote: I'm really interested to know what everyone means by queer games for queer audience, how are BxB for women different from BxB for guys (GxG seems more obvious with fanservice and such)? I've read some BxB stories (not VNs, most BxB VNs indeed look to be SM, which seems really weird to me, but that's to some extent similar to 18+ otomes, that tend to be based on rape, that I also don't understand) that were written supposedly by girls and for girls and I've played a small part of Coming Out on Top that's available and this game is promoted like created for gay guys, and I don't really see difference.
-There's less fetishisation of queer sexualities as taboo. One of the reasons queer relationships can be popular with a straight audience is that extra 'excitement' they might perceive from characters having to either grapple with uncertainty over being queer, or a ~cruel uncaring world~ trying to tear their relationships down. Not to say that these things don't have a place in queer fiction-- of course they do-- but they're often played in a very overwrought angle, and played too often (ie. 90% of the goddamn time). To get an idea of this, just think about how much BxB/GxG fiction aimed at straight people involves the protagonists not knowing or identifying as gay to start with. I don't know about others, but I'm not hugely interested in watching someone else's coming out experience when I've been there, done that. Imagine if you were writing stories for fishermen and in every story, you wrote how to wind in a reel. They don't need to know that. We don't need to know any more about people dealing with the 'taboo'. (note: I'm also thinking of the 'it's so wrong but so right' scenes, while typing this-- y'know, when two characters have the big running inner monologue about how 'they've never kissed a girl before and society says it's bad but it feels oh so good'.)
-The relationships are allowed to be about the people in them. Related to above, queer romance can often be seen as its own trial. So there can often be an urge to sideline the personalities/stories of the people involved and just talk about the universal issues they're seen to face. Then we get 'holy crap, we're gay, this is my only trait'. It's basically a kind of tokenism, not one done with malicious intent, but one that can stunt the depth queer characters and stories get drawn in. It's probably a major part of a character's life, assuming a contemporary or historical Earth setting, but it shouldn't be the only part.
-This is the kind of obvious one, but the people involved are probably idealised in a different way to BxB/GxG for straight audiences. Can't speak to the tastes of guys, but I know that my ideal GxG game would have things like businesswomen in tailored suits, and muscley weightlifter-type women, and beanpole aristocratic women... as well as the usual busty variety and what have you. These aren't things straight men tend to be into, since they're too masc for their sensibilities (understandably), so it can be easy to pick a work aimed at queer women based on that fact. I'm sure guys can do the same, to a degree.
-Moreover, and this is a problem mostly unique to GxG (to my knowledge?), you get gay women who are actually gay and not nominally gay but suddenly into men the moment they 'fix' some mysterious issue that was preventing them from dating guys. Because it was all just my dad, you guys. My dad was awful and it made me gay. Sure, friend.
-There's less of that link between 'queer' and 'immediately raunchy 18+'. Like... I get that, due to people being idiots, you normally have to give media a higher rating if it portrays queer relationships than if it shows straight ones, but that doesn't mean you should go all-out and just dive straight into porn. It's another relic of fetishisation of queer relationships, as well. Straight people are more inclined to stuff that goes whole-hog since there's the perception of 'if I'm reading something fetishy already, why hold back?'. Of course queer people want sex and sexuality in their media... but ye gods it gets exhausting having that automatic correlation and that prevalence of adult works. Can't we have them just enjoying dinner together and skip the night after?
-There's more of an understanding of all the above. Maybe I'm alone in this, but I don't think I am-- queer romance obviously has more external shit to deal with than straight romance, and the subtleties of said external shit can be so easily overblown or forgotten by people who haven't spent time experiencing it.
At the end of the day the major difference between queer romance and straight romance is in the little defenses and behaviors you put up for it. Stuff like not wanting to specify you're gay to acquaintances, but not wanting to deny it either, so emphatically referring to your partner in neutrois pronouns and methods. Having a friend accidentally say something that makes you realise they see your queerness as a flaw to put up with, not just a neutral trait. Not knowing where to find people to date, so settling for someone you don't really click with.
None of this is enough to make a drama or a plot out of, it's just the little tinges of life that alter how you go about things-- and it can be left out, if it's not necessary or appropriate-- but on the mechanical level of boy meets boy or girl meets girl, it's often all there should need to be. Understanding that there are considerations made, but not major impactful ones, is perhaps the biggest thing that queer authors can do over straight ones. It's just a matter of experience. Knowing when it'll make characters more relatable to have them face these little issues and when to ease back and just let them have a calm, consequence-free relationship. All those sorts of things.
ANYWAY this has been a majorly long post but I felt like there was a lot to list, sorry for the extensive rant. People might disagree with a lot of this of course, because it's just my own limited experience and the stuff I've discussed with my gay friends. Anyone who wants to go 'whoa man that ain't my experience/opinion', please do, because I am but one person in a fairly kind country with marriage equality and all that kind of stuff, so I might have a less severe experience of queer sexuality than others. : D