Friday, September 7, 2012

What Do You Expect From Gay Stories?

Gay Fiction has struggled for a long time.  Back in the eighties and nineties it was mostly about pornography or graphic gay sex.  Guy on guy fiction was either about domination, slavery, cruising, muscle or coming out.  And though these subjects work for some readers, other readers did want and still do more from their gay stories.  They want to read about characters who grow, who overcome obstacles, who find happily ever after.  And why shouldn’t they?  People read stories to find hope and motivation and to engage their imagination.  So why shouldn’t our stories be more complex?
Now, there’s a current trend of women writing our fiction for us.  There’s nothing wrong with women wanting to get in on stories about gay love—after all, strong men are engaging, exciting and enticing to read about. The fact that women want to write about gay men or man on man stories is just proof of how captivating this “men for men” arena really is.  It’s rich and forbidden.  The subject is still Taboo to some.  After all: don’t you feel excited about the possibility of taking a forbidden adventure?

But what about those of us who want to read fiction from gay male authors who’ve had the experience?  Who’ve been there?  You can’t deny that an author writing about what he knows intimately gives a story a sense of authenticity.

Gay stories about men in love don’t have to be just about gay sex.  Granted, sex is a part of life and is a great motivator for some character—many a guy’s life has gone terribly wrong because he was thinking from his sex glands rather than his head.  But you can’t deny that Many great stories have nothing to do with sex.  And we, as men, hopefully have more to us than our physical desires and lust.

Our stories can and should can have complex plots and fully developed characters.  They needn’t be about stereotypes from writers who haven’t had real-life, first-hand experience with the subject matter.  And something in the stories should happen.  Stories about gay guys should have fully developed plots that should not only delve into some greater truth, but that should mirror the natural process a human goes through when he or she experiences change.  Otherwise, what’s the point of reading a story to begin with?   

I hope you enjoy Forbidden and Taboo.  Not only do they take the reader through the struggles of being gay, of the pitfalls behind finding love, but they address some huge real world issues that face all of us now, issues that very few are willing to own up to right now.  Issues like: have we been lied to?  Are our gifts stolen from us when we are very young?  Is our educational system hobbling us?  What metaphysical forces lie below the surface of our every day experiences? And do our leaders have our best interests at heart?