A short ramble about the fact that GL will be more popular. Someday. Definitely.
I was just looking at Tapas and found that, currently, if you list their free novels by popularity... Well, 41 of the Top 50 are BL or M/M. Dudes who kiss other dudes is ridiculously popular on the internet as a whole, because more women read web novels than men. Heterosexual romance is popular too, especially on Wattpad. That, then, leaves GL as the smallest and least popular type of romance.*
(*Romance with nonbinary characters, or polyamorous relationships, that kind of thing are even more niche, but let’s focus here so I don’t ramble too far lol.)
I don’t exactly know why GL is so unpopular now; maybe the fact that it’s so hard to tell between stuff written for women/queer readers, and stuff written for straight dudes? In BL, it’s extremely obvious which series are written for straight women, but in GL it’s a crapshoot.
However, I am supremely confident that this will change in the future. It’s almost inevitable.
One is simple demographics. Young women identify as queer more than ever before. According to Gallup, more than 16% of Gen Z adults are LGBTQ+, and women are much likelier to be bisexual than men. An unreleased poll from 2020 by David Shor also claims that a full THIRTY percent of women under 25 are queer. Obviously, the future is trending towards one where a massive portion of the female population is gay or bisexual.
Straight women are also traditionally a lot less reluctant to reading lesbian stories than men are with gay stories. That will correct a bit over time due to declining toxic masculinity, but it still means that in the short term, GL stories have a much bigger “potential audience.”
They are still much less popular, but there’s a near-100% chance that this will change radically in the next ten or fifteen years.
Plus, look at western cartoons! Lesbian relationships are extremely common in western cartoons lately. Shows like Steven Universe, She-Ra, Harley Quinn, Owl House, Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, Adventure Time… You get the picture. There’s a LOT of them. And they’re incredibly popular among kids, teens, and nerdy queer audiences. It’s a sign of things to come once more women get in places of creative power.
So, I think the stories right now that are posting GL despite its lesser popularity are awesome. The entire field of GL books and comics is wonderful, and it’s a community of creators worth supporting. To support everyone, I’m starting a GL reviews feature soon, although I’m slow at reading so it’ll take some time. Because one day, all these books are gonna be so much more popular, and I want to help make that happen!
Someday, GL will be more popular. And I can’t wait for it to happen.
If you’re a creator considering writing a cute GL romance… I have a guide for this