Compared to gay and lesbian teen fiction, sales of gay-themed books for younger children remain “very dicey and very different”. It has been proven that the majority of the LGBTQI people who have come out across social media have had an incline since their younger years. This topic is in no way advocating for strong gay-themes, but in line with the short film “In a Heartbeat”, themes of love and social acceptance should be made available to anyone who is questioning, without fear of prosecution.
That isn’t to say that there is no gay-themed literature circulating. A quick google search, across all ages, will list must-reads.
But there still persists a closeted mentality in revealing characters to be gay. It wasn’t until after the series had finished, that J.K. Rowling announced that Dumbledore was homosexual. Outside of mainstream literature, the only medium I have ever witnessed open homosexuality has been within comic books. Furthermore, many mythologies exhibit homosexual themes, and even consist of deities who were openly gay, or bisexual in nature. The very philosophers who have contributed to societies mainstream thinking, and understanding, partook in homosexual acts and love; Socrates, and Plato to name a few — and even wrote about gay love.
There are many factors that can answer why gay literature is still only mentioned quietly, even in today’s age many countries are still very conservative. But with the rise of opinionated millennial’s, who for our very credit ask why we must be a certain way, this stodgy mindset could change – in no small part to social media, and online influencers.
It’s time we brought more focus to these types of literature, and have them available for those in the community, or who may be questioning. But where do we start?
We start by writing some great fiction, and getting it self-published. If you know of any writers, or stories, message them below so that someone questioning or who is actively seeking gay-themed content, can connect with a character not usually seen in mainstream media. It’s time this genre came out of the closet.
I think this is an important discussion to have. As even though there are a plethora of queer characters that are occurring in literature, if they are the protagonist in literature it is often only unspoken, or allegorically suggested, and if they are openly queer then the text as a whole gets sidelined into Queer Literature, rather than remaining as mainstream literature. I think this is a disservice to today's youth that do appear to be more open minded and accepting. As with feminist literature, it really is only through the immersion of queer protagonists in mainstream literature and television that significant changes will start to occur. – SaraiMW4 years ago