When I was in negotiation with my publisher, Jo Parfitt, she asked me if Perking the Pansies, the book, would attract a wider audience beyond a gay niche. It’s a question I had asked of myself. It’s not a bad niche to be stuck in. By some accounts, the pink pound is worth about £6 billion in the UK and the US equivalent (the dorothy dollar) is reckoned to be worth a staggering $640 billion. Even if this is an exaggeration in these recessionary times it’s still big bucks.
The more I thought about it the more I realised that neither the book nor the blog are actually about gay life in Turkey, rather they are about a gay couple living in Turkey. This is an important distinction. I did a little digging about my blog readership. It turned out that my pansy fans are overwhelmingly British, female (about 70%) and over 45 (around 80%). Even though the blog is occasionally a little naughty and gay boy about town, this hasn’t put off the straight reader. This may be because gay culture is much more mainstream in Britain than elsewhere. The gay scene has emerged from the dark ghetto on the wrong side of the tracks and gone very high street (or Main Street as they say on the other side of the pond), the Daily Mail has stopped being routinely beastly and the tea-time TV choices for British women of a certain age are Graham Norton and Paul O’Grady (neither of whom hide their flashing pink light under a bushel).
What do you think?
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