classic gay literature

Anti-Gay Display, Hate, Philadelphia Mummers; Colton Haynes Is Brilliant With This; Classic Gay Literature

Anti-Gay Display, Hate, Philadelphia Mummers

You know, there’s such a thing as being too PC, which I think everyone who reads this blog knows I can’t stand. And then there’s the opposite which is being an outright piece of shit bigot, which I can’t stand as much as being too PC. This report falls under the category of piece of shit bigot.

I purposely took this from an outside source and not from a Philadelphia news source because I want it to come from a more objective POV, and the Mummers parade in Philadelphia is a huge event most local media outlets might not want to offend. In other words, it’s being reported locally, but it’s being treated with great care. The recent gay Philly bashing story received a lot more coverage.

According to Philadelphia TV station WCAU, the 116th Annual Mummers Day Parade was led by a group of drag queens, symbolizing the folk tradition’s recent efforts to become more inclusive of marginalized groups, including people of color and LGBT residents. Historically populated by straight white people, the Mummers Day Parade has been referred to as “Philadelphia’s version of Mardi Gras,” according to the station. \

But during Friday’s parade, a gay man walking his family dog through Philadelphia’s City Center was allegedly punched in the face, after several assailants hurled antigay slurs at the man and his dog. John Holtz told Philly.com he and a pair of friends were walking near Broad Street at approximately 2 p.m. Friday when they came across a group of Mummers, dressed in red, white, and blue, and with patriotic face paint. The 28-year-old chemist said the revelers appeared “very intoxicated” and were urinating in the alley. 

This is only one of two gay hate incidents that allegedly happened at this parade. The other one allegedly involved mocking Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner in a huge public display during the parade. They are calling this parody. There are photos and I saw a news clip on local Philadelphia news last night.

You can read more here.

What I find interesting is that it would be very simple to do a vicious, mocking parody of the idiotic Philadelphia Mummers parade itself. In fact, too easy. I would bet the people throwing gay slurs and doing gay parody that day only get out of their pajamas and sweat pants once a year to DO the Mummers parade.  

Colton Haynes Is Brilliant With This

I’m not even familiar with Colton Haynes and I already love this more than most things I’ve read lately. Evidently, someone on social media made a comment about his past gay life and he gave the most clever response ever.

In other words, it really shouldn’t matter anymore. And by him responding this way he’s setting the path for others to follow. And I think there are a lot more like him out there based on what I’ve seen on social media.

You can check this out here. 

Classic Gay Literature

I’ve had the “what is classic gay literature” discussion with friends before and we don’t always agree on everything, but we always agree on at least two books:

 Dancer From The Dance by Andrew Holleran

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

James Baldwin’s 1956 magnum opus follows David, an American living in Paris, as he navigates through his homosexual desires and the frustrations that come with them, particularly his feelings for an Italian bartender named Giovanni. Years after its publication, Baldwin revealed that when he first turned in the manuscript to his publisher, they told him to burn it, warning him that the themes of homosexuality would alienate readers. Baldwin chose to publish it anyway and the book went on to be considered one of the best LGBTQ novels ever written.

You can read the rest of the books they consider classics, here. They look interesting and there are two I haven’t read yet.

I’d like to add one more: The Front Runner by Patricia Nell Warren. For me that is the ultimate gay classic. And, you can get it in digital (e-book) now on Amazon. I added it to my digital library over a year ago.  

When A Man Loves A Man


Glendora Hill Series


The Great Gay Novel

I had a discussion this weekend with a friend about a blog post where a gay author stated he’s still waiting for the great gay novel. It’s all subjective; it’s all personal taste. But it stunned me a little because I’ve read “great” gay novels I thought were not only great, but are great classic gay novels.

So I did a search and this is what I came up with. I didn’t want to list my own favorites, or what I think is the “great” gay novel. I wanted to show that others have taken the time to write lists of what it most commonly considered great gay literature. And the lists below cover several generations of gay authors, not just older gay authors.

The article lists twenty great gay novels, and you can check out the other fourteen by clicking this link.

“Giovanni’s Room” by James Baldwin — a man discovers his sexual identity in Paris
“Nightwood” by Djuna Barnes — early postmodern fiction of women in Paris in love
“Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic” by Alison Bechdel — a graphic novel memoir of her troubled gay father and her own coming out
“Rubyfruit Jungle” by Rita Mae Brown — the 1973 tale of a young woman’s coming of age
“Naked Lunch” by William S. Burroughs — the focus of a breakthrough obscenity trial, a landmark experimental novel
“Oscar Wilde” by Richard Elmann — bio of the lively writer whose gay relationship got him sent to prison for “gross indecency”

I’ve read four out of the six above. I highly recommond “Giovanni’s Room” and “Rubyfruit Jungle.” In fact, I urge anyone reading or writing gay fiction of any kind to read “Rubyfruit Jungle,” specifically.

Here’s another web site that lists ten great gay novels. Some lists repeat others, as well they should. That’s what makes the books classics and great. One of my favorites on this list is “Dancer from the Dance.” I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I read it in college and it was one of the gay novels that changed my life.

And here is yet a third list, where again, some of the books on other lists are relisted. You can see a pattern, and it becomes less and less subjective. But for someone to say he’s still waiting for a great gay novel to come along sounds either uninformed, or leaning toward pompous. Or, just highly, highly selective.

As a side note, Elisa Rolle has compiled many lists of great gay books. You can check that out on her blog, here.