A reader once told me she enjoys the fact that I discuss social issues in my books, but I think that's simply a product of the times we live in. Back in the 1970's and 80's romances were focused mainly about women being "rescued" by the man. Occasionally there was a breakthrough book where we had a heroine, always described as "feisty" or "fiery" who stepped out of the mold. But their world remained rather insular, and outside influences rarely added to or detracted from the romance.
In present day, it would be surprising to read a romance that didn't reflect social issues and their impact on the character's lives and, of course, how it weaves the romance into the story. People have higher expectations of their books and plots and require more than a good looking alpha hunk. (Really we do.)
What I enjoy seeing in gay romance now, is how so many of the stories aren't necessarily focused on "coming out," but rather are love stories focused on the two people who find each other, whether it's in a small town, or a big city. or a mystical world. But we learn as we grow; condom usage is almost always mentioned. I'm not of the mindset that romance novels, which tend toward fantasy and are not meant to be realistic portrayal of relationships, should be used as teaching methods. There are some things that shouldn't be tossed aside, and safe sex is the most important.
So in closing what I most hope to accomplish with my writing is to make people happy and spread a little love, one story at a time. It's not that complicated but then, in my opinion, it shouldn't be.
All Romance: http://bit.ly/CarterandReed