I was reading an interesting article on a blog site dedicated to m/m (male/male) romance. On it, one reader mentioned liking one book but not another in a series because while one book was m/m, the other was a "het" (heterosexual) romance. The reader was peeved that the author wrote it that way.
Interesting, because I've found myself mixing it up a time or two. I'd never thought about the romance leads's sexualities being a problem.
I know people have different tastes, and I can understand selectivity as a reader, but I'm not wearing that hat when I create. The characters speak to me. They're as gay or straight or bi as they're...well, made. Sounds bizarre, but trying to make a gay character straight is a nightmare, and vice versa. There's nothing worse than reading an intimate scene in a story that feels unnatural or forced because the character isn't true to type.
I like to write about diverse characters. Some are straight, some are gay, some white, some not, and some aren't even from this world. Personally, a setting where every couple is straight is as odd to me as a setting where every couple is gay. It just doesn't ring true because people aren't wired the same unless they're living in forced environment. So when I wrote my Dawn Endeavor series, about men made into creatures that needed sex with others like themselves, a natural bisexuality was built into what would normally be straight military men. Mostly. Because one of those same military men wasn't straight to begin with, he was gay.
I hadn't thought about alienating readers when I wrote it. But I didn't set out to write a story for a particular person. I wrote characters who came alive. I thought about having a protagonist of Hayashi's Hero interact with a peripheral female, but it didn't work. My guy was gay. Not playing at gay; he was gay.
I don't have a problem reading gay or straight romance, so long as the story is good and the characters feel authentic. So I'll follow a series and its characters no matter what. It hadn't occurred to me until I read that post that other readers might not feel the same. Stupid of me, but then, I'm thinking with my writing hat on most of the time.
My biggest gripe about authors is when they switch genres during the same series. Going from romance to urban fantasy or mystery with little to no romance drives me nuts. The gender bending, not so much. Or have I completely missed out on what floats a reader's boat?