A-Z Challenge – Queer eye for the straight guy

There are deviants of every sexuality, and they are deeply repugnant, but to call someone automatically perverted because they prefer the company of someone of their own sex is to call everyone living on benefits a Mick Philpott.  Or every father a Josef Fritzl.

The closet door creaked open very slowly – who remembers Elton John coming out as bisexual, and saying twice as many people waved at him? That was the late 70s, and society was cautiously accepting there were homosexual people, but still hoping a gay man could be cured by the love of a good woman (just as a gay woman was only waiting for the right man). Since then attitudes have changed and when even my mother changed direction completely on her attitude to gay men I assumed the whole world was now okay with alternative sexuality.

Anyway, this is my autobiographical A-Z, so you’re probably wondering when I’ll get to the point.  Actually, it’s my book, again. My characters have different interests, different lifestyles. Donald, who appears late in the first book, is not, how can I put this, overwhelmingly masculine. I was taken aback to be violently criticized by a reader for including ‘disgusting’ elements in my first book without, he said indignantly, any warning.

I’d already made the friends twenty years younger.  I didn’t want them pairing off and turning the books into sloppy romantic whodunits, hence building in anti-romance from the start. Maybe I should scrap the whole grown-up thing and recreate them as pre-teens, I don’t remember Enid Blyton having any of these problems.

And frankly one of the tenets of the whodunit is that it must portray its time frame accurately (see the R post). The character in question is now just a man who never married, can be a bit bitchy, and is suspected, without hostility, of being ‘a bit of a poofter’. Enough?

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11 thoughts on “A-Z Challenge – Queer eye for the straight guy

    • Thank you so much, I’ve actually been awarded a Liebster already but oh the shame don’t know how to show it permanently on WordPress (I’m new to blogging and a bit dof)
      And I would love you to read the book, the link is on One Two Buckle My Shoe 🙂

  1. I could never understand the argument that gays choose to be gay. Why would one choose the hard life of being a persecuted person? And, when did the rest of us choose to be straight? To quote South Pacific, “You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear. You’ve got to be taught be for its to late, to hate all the people your relatives hate.”

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

  2. Hi Elizabeth – eeewee re ‘the disgusted reader’ – poor queer/odd thing, pity on her querulous soul. Don’t change a thing – they’re your friends for Pete’s sake. ‘Poofter’ is funny if this is as others regard him and as you say it is said without hostility. Those who senses are offended – in this day and age nogal – are people not worth anything much so please don’t change your friends!
    Susan Scott’s Soul Stuff

  3. I am certainly not a member of the experienced collective but I do remember even Enid Blyton’s Noddy books being banned in some English libraries and schools back in the 1980’s when you were probably in SA. Racism (the golliwogs) and homosexuality in the Noddy/Big Ears relationship were cited as the reasons for this action. Thanks to people like the man who criticized you for not printing a warning in your book, in the modern reprints of Noddy he no longer shares a bed with Big Ears and they live much lonelier lives in separate houses. No author is safe from a reader who is determined to be offended.

    • I do remember the Noddy thing! And golliwogs disappearing rapidly from every toy cupboard – politically correct carries its price 🙂 I agree about the reader but in fact the character doesn’t need to be called gay – it is his personality, rather than his sexual persuasion, that applies so I just removed the label, didn’t change him otherwise

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