The Dorothy Dollar and Pink Pound

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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Perking the Pansies, the Book

Perking the Pansies on Facebook

22 thoughts on “The Dorothy Dollar and Pink Pound

  1. Your blog readership says it all Jack…as does your comment about being a gay couple living in Turkey rather than gay life in Turkey.

    Personally, I enjoy your blog because of your sense of humour, which is my kind of humour. I can’t wait for the book…which I suspect will be the first of many.


  2. Blimey! You guys are gay? I never realised. Truth is Jack that it doesn’t matter to those who matter – if it does matter to those who don’t matter, tell them to go and get stuffed!


  3. Good grief I am a stastistic….Jack I read your blog because you are funny articulate and incisive not because you are gay but hey don’t let that stop you!


  4. You are right as Linda said your blog readership says it all. If your interesting & observant then that’s what’s coming through in your writing everything else is just by the way. Hope to keep reading in the future and look forward to the book (if I can get it).


  5. Hi Jack. I started reading your blog before the summer this year as I was planning to travel in Turkey with my husband and 2 teenage daughters. I wanted to get a feel for the place from someone actually living there. I enjoy your gay and expat perspective on life which I can totally relate to (I’m a Kiwi living in Italy)- you being gay just adds flavour to you stories! I also like your blog because it is concise and written well.


  6. I agree with Linda, I am one of those females over the age of 45 who likes to read your blog in a morning before I start work because it brightens my day. I have put your book at the top of my christmas wish list & like Linda cant wait.


  7. Hi Jack
    I’m a friend of Stranger’s whose just moved to Bodrum and she pointed out your blog to me partly because of that and partly because she knew I’d enjoy it.
    I’m British and a female and like the previous poster love your blog because it’s so funny.
    I agree with you about the gay scene being more high-street but I think too that there is still a huge amount of homophobia in the UK – it’s one thing to watch Graham Norton but it’s another to have him round to dinner, if you see what I mean.
    I think its that there’s still a huge amount of bigotry about ‘difference’ even if people are much more politically correct about expressing their prejudices.
    I say that as someone who is not white and who often witnesses the “but you’re not like that” sort of racisim.
    As it’s a book we’re talking about though it would fall into the ‘safely’ exotic/different category so hopefully shouldn’t be just a niche market.
    I’m also really looking forward to it btw 🙂


  8. Hi Iman. Welcome to Pansyland and thank you for your comment. I’m really pleased you like my blog and hope you’ll continue reading. Huge strides have been made in Blighty over the past 30 years or so to develop an inclusive, pluralist society. But, you’re right. There is still much to do. I’m afraid bigotry will always exist in the minds of those who define themselves in opposition to others. Sadly, this is an all too common human trait and it’s what starts wars. The issue remains complex, multi-faceted and multi-generational, not just a two dimensional ‘them and us’ dilemma. Gay people can be racist, black people can be homophobic, older people can dislike anyone who aren’t like them. And don’t even get me on the subject of religion! But, things do and are changing. The proper legal framework and education both have a crucial role to play in this. Regrettably, our foster home lags behind in so many important ways. Personally, I’ve never much cared what people who don’t know me think of me. If I did, I’d be a basket case by now!


  9. OMG! So proud not to be your average reader-hate been average! I am a female but below the age of 45! I read it becuse you are funny and articulate and I love Turkey and the Bodrum penninsular. Keep it up and are waiting for the book where i am hoping i will get the same looks i get on the peasant wagon as when i read Bill Bryson and laugh out loud!!


  10. I unlike others do not take a daily dip into Jack world, I am far too important and busy for that (TIC). No I save them up and then splurge. I am a statisitic, which means I may have to stop reading as I don’t want to be a “demographic” Only joking, I read your blogs because you are one of the few commentators that I think talk to my middle aged female sense of humour, the only others being Dawn French and Victoria Wood…hope that is a compliment..


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