In the week after Warrior Pledge was released, Amazon had it listed as Transgender Romance. The last thing I want is to trivialise or invalidate transgender issues in any way. I didn't think I had, but I checked anyway. These are the points I came away with:
There is a secondary character in Warrior Pledge--Rim--who has the ability to change gender at will. When he first discovered the ability, it was under extreme stress and it happened--and kept happening--involuntarily. It scared him. Then he learned to control it. Rim is a shapeshifter and his shifter skill is gender. That doesn't make him transgender.
During the course of the story, Rim gets stuck in his female form. Rim identifies as a male and hasn't spent a lot of time as a female. He's not comfortable with it, but he adapts to the differences. He doesn't want to be a woman forever though, and fears he might be stuck that way. Even though he does experience a few things a transgender person might, he's still not transgender. If he had become stuck in the wrong body permanently I might have had to revisit that assessment.
When the ritual is performed, whatever has held Rim in his female form is released and he spontaneously shifts back to his male form, the more comfortable form for him. During the course of the ritual, he also develops the skill of shifting into other species and even briefly merging with another person. He's still not transgender.
By the way, Rim is also not part of the romance, so the classification of Transgender Romance was even farther off.
No other character in the book gets stuck in a body of a gender different to the one they identify as, so they must have had Rim in mind.
I contacted Dreampspinner Press and expressed my concerns and they did what they could from their end to encourage Amazon to change their categories. It worked. Warrior Pledge is now classified as LGBT/SF&F/Fantasy, LGBT/Romance/Gay Romance and, oddly enough, Romance/Military.
E E Montgomery
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