Friday, June 11, 2010

LGBTQs in Fiction

It's Pride Month! Time for some links.

First, Malinda Lo is doing an amazing 5-part blog series on Avoiding LGBTQ Stereotypes in Fiction (she says it's a series on YA fiction, but I've read nothing in the posts that would limit her advice to YA novels). The series is divided into (1) Major LGBTQ stereotypes, (2) Gender, (3) Words to watch out for, (4) Secondary characters and gay jokes, and (5) Resources. Beautifully done.

Second, if you are into YA fiction, there's a great blog called I'm Here, I'm Queer, What Do I Read? that covers gay teen books, culture, politics, and more. In addition to the core content, it's also link-tacular.

Finally, here's some fiction I personally adore, with prominently-featured queer characters:

Uncle Bobby's Wedding: Bobby’s niece Chloe is worried that she won’t be his favorite person after he gets married. The fact that Bobby is marrying his boyfriend Jamie is more or less incidental to the story, which focuses on a little girl always wanting her uncle to think she's special. Also: they're guinea pigs. So good.

Commencement: A story about four best friends who went to Smith College together. One friend falls in love with a woman, even though this conflicts with both the wishes of her traditional family and her own self-identification as a straight woman. One of many nicely-complicated relationships portrayed in the novel.

The Corrections: Y'all have already heard of this one. The mother in this novel is terribly afraid that her daughter is sleeping with her boss, a married man. She isn't. She's sleeping with her boss's wife.

The World According to Garp: Again, you all already know about this novel. Best trans character I've ever read. And I'm not just saying that because John Lithgow played Roberta in the movie. Nope, I'm saying it because the character was an ex-football player for the Eagles. (Go Philly!)

God Says No: "The story of a young black Christian struggling with desire and belief, with his love for his wife and his appetite for other men... a riveting picture of how a life like his can be lived, and how it can't."



  1. In college, studying to be a teacher, I took a kid's lit class. We had to read this book called Luna, about a transgender boy who wanted to be a girl and called himself Luna at night, but he hid it from his parents. Only his sister knew. It was a gripping book that helped me better understand the inner conflict experienced by somebody who struggles with gender identity.

  2. While over-the-top flamboyance isn't the norm for gay men, it's still a lot of fun in entertainment, and it's been useful in the last 30 years to make breeders more comfortable with LBGTetc's. I think it was a neccessary step to the present where we see more variety in the pride community, and be comfortable with them, as they don't seem so foreign.

  3. Thanks for the suggestions. Last year a librarian defended "Uncle Bobby's Wedding" with this long but well-said post.