Gay Fiction and the Role It Could Play
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« on: June 01, 2015, 04:36:17 pm »

Gay fiction might be the wrong term to use. It is normally any fiction that includes one or more gay characters or a story from the perspective of a gay storyteller. Talking about gay fiction might even be a product of homophobia. Maybe we call it gay fiction just to warn homophobes that the book they might be interested in, includes a gay character or perspective. Be that as it may, lets stick to gay fiction for the sake of clarity.

Researchers tell us that the best way of dealing with homophobia is for gay people to come out. The moment people with homophobia realises that gay people are just as normal as they are, they tend to change their mind. The only way for that to happen is if they meet gay people or realise that some of the people they do know, are gay.

All of us meet people in more than one way. Either you meet someone in person, you meet him/her by reading their memoirs, by connecting to them in social media, or you meet a fictional character in a story. In fact, in many cases we know the fictional character in our favourite soap-opera better than we know our neighbours. Whether you meet a fictional character in a soap-opera, a good movie, or in a book, you know a lot more about their personality, their inner thoughts and their struggles than that of a person in real life.

Our fictional "friends" teach us a great deal about the struggles that other people experience. Stories teach us more about people in other groups than any non-fiction book ever could. It is much easier to hunt killer-whales if you haven't seen "Free Willy". In the movie you realise that killer-whales aren't the monsters you always thought they were. The movie changes your perspective and it helps you to see life from the whale's point of view.

In the same way movies or books about gay people can help straight people to understand life through the eyes of a gay boy or girl. It can help straight people to realise how bad it is to be rejected by your own parents, your own family, and your closest friends. In this regard gay fiction has a vital role to play in our society.

Of course there are a few buts to this argument. Gay erotica, gay militant individuals, or gay activists might alienate straight people even more. I wouldn't suggest that straight people should read gay erotica. Please leave those for the intended readers.

I would however suggest that parents or family members of gay people read some of the other excellent examples of gay fiction. It will teach you things you would not get in any other way. It will help you to understand your child so much better. Books or movies like Prayers for Bobby, comes to mind. I do not know a better example of a story that changed lives, rescued families, and healed broken relationships.

In conclusion I guess I am pleading for two things. Firstly gay people should tell or write more of their stories and secondly straight people should make time to read them.


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