Gay Stereotypes In Fiction: Unabated
I moan about gay stereotypes here on the blog sometimes because we see them happening in real life all the time. And when this happens, especially in a news story, it can be frustrating because it creates assumptions that may or may not be true.
However, another truth is that stereotypes are real and almost everyone has to deal with them. From doctors to gay men. Everyone. It may not be politically correct, and it may hit a few nerves sometimes, but it’s not always possible to ignore the proverbial elephant in the room.
In many of the books I write I try to break down stereotypes, which is what I’m doing right now with my latest WIP that isn’t even titled yet. In this particular case I’m trying to break down the stereotypes within the gay community that deal with tops and bottoms. I’m trying to break down the stereotypes between what’s masculine and effeminate. And there are definite stereotypes out there about tops and bottoms, and butch and fem. They are not always accurate.
I think the most dangerous stereotypes are those that aren’t accurate. They are exaggerated and exploited. They profile people in negative ways, creating discrimination, pain, and even fear. That kind of stereotype bothers me the most because it cuts to the soul.
However, when a writer works on a novel he/she cannot ignore the fact that they’ve experienced certain realities in life, and he/she is going to draw from those experiences. With that said, I drew from my experiences with gay men when I wrote Unabated. I also did that in An Officer and His Gentleman by using the gay stereotype of the young gay man who gets shunned by his family because he’s gay.
So Unabated might have a few stereotypes, but this time it couldn’t be avoided. And they weren’t done in a mean-spirited way that promotes discrimination or negativity. Those stereotypes happen in RL all the time, and I wasn’t going to self-censor in order to be politically correct. And I wasn’t going to rewrite gay culture as I’ve always known it. I think that’s one of the most dangerous things a writer can do: self-censor to please the PC review police. I’ve had editors ask me to do that and I’ve always regretted it when I did it.
I guess my general point is that gay stereotypes can’t be avoided sometimes. No matter how hard we try to ignore them, they exist in gay culture. If you’re a gay man, and you’ve been around gay men all your life, and you’re being truthful, you know that better than anyone else out there. And when you get a chance to break the inaccurate, most discriminatory stereotypes down, that’s just as important.
North Carolina Rejects Repeal of Trans Bathroom Law
This is disheartening, especially for those who live in North Carolina and don’t agree with the law that bans transgender people from bathrooms.
North Carolina’s Senate on Wednesday voted against repeal of a law that restricts transgender restroom access and has put the state at the center of national debate over lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.
The legislation to repeal the law, known as House Bill 2 (HB2), was defeated by a vote of 32-16, leaving the bathroom restrictions in place statewide.
You can read the rest here. This law is reminiscent of so many horrible laws that were in place years ago that sparked the civil rights movement. And it’s still happening today, only this time with trans people.
I don’t think this will go down well in history.
Colton Haynes On His Mental Health
Colton Haynes has been very open and honest about his issues with anxiety, and you don’t see that kind of honesty often. For the most part, mental health is not discussed as openly as it should be. I also think this is a good example of how so many gay men feel, and what they experience.
Remembering how different life used to be. I’m often called “Miss Memory Lane” by my closest friends due to the fact that I always look at old photos hoping to relive the memory. But what I’m finally realizing is that I can’t and wouldn’t want to go back to that headspace ever again. So clouded and unsure about myself, my life, my privacy, my mental health. I’m finally in a position where I can say I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.
You can read the entire quote, here. It’s a quote from an essay in People.