Hello everyone! I’m Francis Gideon and I’m touring for my new release Hopeless Romantic, a trans rom-com of sorts. Follow along this week as I talk about all thinks romantic comedy, trans identity, and being pretty in pink! I’m looking forward to sharing some serious 1980s nostalgia; be sure to comment with your own bit of nostalgia for a $10 giveaway for Riptide publishing.
Rom-Coms and Clicks
I love rom-coms. I feel like most people reading this can say the same thing. Rom-coms are the main reason why I got into writing romance, since most of the film LGBT rom-coms I could find were not that good. Any kind of LGBT movie that was well-made was Oscar bait, meaning that it was sad and probably ended in death. Moonlight, thankfully, proves to be the exception to that rule–and don’t even get me started on how happy I was to see it win for best picture.
But Moonlight is still far, far from an LGBT romantic comedy. And sometimes, I want to set my e-reader and all the books down and just want to watch people fall in love and have that love not be a big deal. Oh, and maybe have a cool soundtrack. Is that too much to ask? For rom-coms with LGBT characters, it seems like it may be too hard to ask. And when we start talking about trans romantic comedies, there are even fewer flicks to pick from.
For those of you who are curious, here’s the list: Different For Girls, Boy Meets Girl, and Better Than Chocolate. Those were my go to films–until Her Story came along. It’s a short TV show on YouTube that documents the love life of a trans woman and a cis queer woman as she writes an article on trans identity. The show had me hooked from episode one. But because there is only so much I can watch these three movies and a TV show, I find myself going back to the staples of the romantic comedy genre more and more–but I try to queer them in some way.
Like the 1980s film Say Anything and its main character Lloyd Dobbler. In Hopeless Romantic, Katie and Nick get in a playful fight about whether or not this is the best romantic comedy or not. I picked this film in particular because it’s one of my favourites, but also because it provided for me a stark moment of clarity about my gender identity. When I was growing up and watching it, I realized that I wanted to be Lloyd, and not Diane. At first I thought this meant that I was a lesbian, since I was assigned female at birth. But as I became more aware of trans identity, I realized that I didn’t want to be Lloyd because I wanted to be in love with women, but because I actually felt like I was Lloyd. I wanted to hold the boombox to a window and look like a dude as I did it.
Or at least a little like a dude. I identify as more nonbinary, but that moment of realization when I wanted to be a guy, not a woman, became one of my ‘click‘ moments. And now, each time I watch Say Anything, I can’t help but picture Lloyd as a trans guy pining after Diane. Because why not, right? There’s no place in the movie where he says he cis, so he could be anything. And until the second season of Her Story comes out, this will have to do.
About Hopeless Romantic
Nick Fraser is a true romantic. He wants the guy instead of the girl, but other than that, he wants everything his favorite rom-coms depict: the courtship, the passionate first kiss, the fairy-tale wedding. But after breaking up with the love of his life, Nick wonders if anything fairy-tale will ever happen for him.
Then he meets Katie, who’s just like a rom-com heroine. She’s sharp, funny, sweet, and as into music and punk culture as Nick is. What’s more, he’s incredibly attracted to her—even though she’s a woman. Nick has never considered that he might be bisexual, but his feelings for Katie are definitely real.
When Katie reveals that she’s transgender, Nick starts to see how much he doesn’t understand about the world, queer identity, and himself. He is hopelessly in love with Katie, but this isn’t a fairy tale, and Nick’s friends and family may not accept his new relationship. If he wants it all, he has to have the courage to make his fantasy a reality.
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About Francis Gideon
Francis Gideon is a nonbinary writer who dabbles in romance, mystery, fantasy, historical, and paranormal genres. Francis credits music, along with being an only child to a single mother, as why they write so much now. Long nights at home were either spent memorizing lyrics to pop-punk bands or reading voraciously. Add a couple of formative experiences in university, a network of weird artist friends, and after years of writing stories Francis never showed to anyone, they now have books to their name.
After receiving an MA in English literature, Francis wanted to do something a bit more fun. They soon found the LGBTQ romance community and fell in love on the spot. Since then, Francis has attempted to balance writing romances with as many different types of couples as possible while also attending school for their PhD. When not writing fiction or teaching university classes, Francis works on scholarly articles on everything from character deaths in the TV show Hannibal, the online archive of Canadian poet and artist P.K. Page, and transgender representation on YouTube. Francis is a middle name, used to keep students from Googling their teacher and asking far too many questions.
Francis lives in Canada with their partner, Travis, where they often spend nights disagreeing about what TV show to watch and making bad puns whenever possible. Travis receives dedications in Francis’s novels because he tolerates Francis’s long hours and listens to random story ideas late into the night. Francis also might be a bit of a hopeless romantic—as if you didn’t already guess.
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To celebrate the release of Hopeless Romantic, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 15, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!