Rainbow Blog Hop – What Writing GLBTQ Literature Means to Me
I have to admit, this question struck me as funny at first. As far as I’m concerned, writing is writing – whether a character is a straight female spy or an omnisexual hermaphrodite spy is irrelevant to me. A story is a story. The character is what they are, and that’s that. But here’s the funny thing: to other people, this question can mean a lot.
Maybe I’m just spectacularly naive, but I thought part of the joy of reading was experiencing life from the points of view of people and things you could never be, exploring new worlds and cultures and places you could never be, seeing through eyes that aren’t yours. A lot of people feel the opposite way – they just want their viewpoint represented, over and over again; they want something safe and reassuring. If you have a low opinion of humanity already, you may want to skip this link, but it does tackle this with comedy, so it softens the blow. It’s a site called Least Helpful, which gathers together very unhelpful Amazon reviews, and they have a gay panic section here Least Helpful . It not only has people posting negative reviews because of gayness in books, but in TV shows, movies, and even video games. It seems that in most of the cases, the fact that a character or the author is gay/perceived to be gay alone is a huge negative for these people, regardless of how the work actually is. One gay apple is enough to spoil the whole bushel.Yes, they come off as complete lunatics who obviously need some help in the spelling and grammar department, but they are the loudest representative of a genuine subset of humanity. Just mentioning gay (or transsexualism, or asexualism, or anything that’s not hetero missionary position sex) in a non-negative context means you’re trying to brainwash innocent children ( won’t somebody please think of the children ) into believing gay is good or normal or perfectly natural. Next thing you know, they’re going to claim gay people are human beings just like everyone else, when we all know they’re iron based life forms from Tau Ceti 9! Jesus Christ, people, they’re here – and you’re next!
I’m making light of it, because it is pretty silly, but there are people who genuinely believe in things just parallel to the Invasion of the Body Snatchers clip. They think gay cooties are real, and they may catch it if they dirty their eyeballs with the reflections of a gay humorist or the point of view of a sympathetic gay character. It says more about them and their repressed feelings than anything else, but it gets frightening when you think these people are parents. They may be judges, or in congress, the senate … aiming for the White House? It’s terrifying. How do you demonize people just because they don’t like what you like? But it happens all the time, and it seems to be a sport now. (And they would probably argue that my intolerance of their intolerance is intolerance – an argument so stupid it could give you an aneurysm.)
So what does writing GLBTQ literature mean to me? It means I’m being myself and making a revolutionary statement at the same time, a statement that I hope will not be revolutionary but pedestrian in ten years’ time. And remember, reading is an adventure. Read everything. Just read fearlessly.
I’m giving away a copy of an e-book of the winner’s choice (any in my catalog) to commenters. Since posting is disabled on my site, please got to my Goodreads blog and leave your comments here: Goodreads blog.