Thank you for stopping by my corner of the Hop for Visibility, Awareness & Equality. Today is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biophobia and I hope you continue the hop to share, learn, empathize, cry, laugh, enjoy and celebrate. And now, on to my post and giveaway~
For reasons unbeknownst to me, I get a new headline story from the Washington Post every time I open my Kindle. The last time this happened the insistent little icon declared, “Is it time for a Gay hero?” The fact that this icon appeared side-by side with my freshly downloaded copy of “Hexbreaker” by Jordan Hawk made me chuckle. “Well, duh!” was my initial response.
And then I thought of how in their insightful and cutting edge way, mainstream corporate America has once again jumped on the bandwagon after the parade is over and the band has gone home to snuggle. Of course, being steeped in the culture of gay romance literature, I probably have a different perspective than corporate America.
So now I’ve changed my answer to “Yes, it is time.” Not just in romance lit land, but in mainstream media, big budget Hollywood and direct-to-your-screen TV. And furthermore, the gay hero’s sexuality should be a non-issue. Okay, okay, that’s a lot to ask for at this point, but if they’re going to offer us an inch, we really should insist on a mile. I love Amazon’s Transparent, but the main character’s sexuality (and that of his offspring) is at the heart of the story. That’s great. Now how about we have a cop, superhero, PI, whatever, who is gay and nobody gives a damn?
As a professional fantasist, I’ve long believed in the importance of story. In dark times, a vision of a world of visibility, awareness and equality that does not yet exist can be a balm to the soul of the marginalized. In times of change and progress, it can be a guiding light. In times when a question like “Is it time for a Gay hero?” draws a “well, duh” from most people, it can be a celebration.
I’ve always written stories featuring gay heroes, but only in the past few years have my stories been published. I have many, many pioneers and forward-thinking writers who came before me to thank for this, for although I wrote those stories, naturally and without consideration of markets, I never expected them to be accepted – much less read – by anyone. In my mind, the worlds I created where the hero really could be gay and out without consequence were fantasy. I don’t suppose I was alone in that pessimistic view.
I wrote these stories for myself and they gave me great comfort. Always, in times of stress, I turned to these romances, set in worlds I envisioned where the question “is it time for a gay hero?” would get nothing more than a quizzical look, because sexuality was not an issue, nothing to judge nor condemn anyone for. Certainly nothing to stop anyone from being heroic, or others from enjoying the tales of their heroism.
And yes, I fantasized about those stories making it to the big screen, because, let’s admit it, don’t we all dream about who’d be cast as our characters? And now, while still a fantasy for this writer, the dream is at least possible, even if the story isn’t tragic, or filled with ‘fighting the dominant paradigm’ angst and strife. Imagine, a blockbuster movie featuring our favorite gay hero could just be a rollicking good time.
Here’s a fun question; which book or series featuring a gay/lesbian/bi/trans hero would you love to see made in to a major motion picture or TV series?
Post your answer in the comment section for a chance to win your choice of my past releases. Coincidentally, they all feature not one, but two gay heroes! You can check out the books on the sidebar. I’ll randomly select a winner after the hop is over from everyone who comments, so please leave a contact email.
And now, click here to hop on!
(Sorry I can’t get the linky list to appear here. I think it’s a WordPress thing, but it might just be me. 🙂