the protagonist in gay writing

I’ve been reading the story The Chronicles of Kadin by Rick Spencer. The story is published on Codey’s World, one of a few websites that publish stories by gay authors. (A few others being GayAuthors, AwesomeDude, Nifty, etc.) My biggest and probably only beef with the exceptional story of Kadin is that he is, well… he’s straight.

I mean no disrespect to Rick. He has written a wonderful story, which you can easily fall into the warmth of his plot. But if I had wanted to read about a straight protagonist, I only need to go to my neighbourhood book store or Amazon and pick something at random. I realize that only about 10% of the population is gay, but to me it seems only 1% of the literature published is for a gay audience.

I’m a huge vampire and werewolf fan, as I have mentioned in previous posts. But I have not found a good vampire story in book form worth money to buy. No one has written it yet. There are a few good ones on the aforementioned sites, and I’ve read those. They’re pretty good.

When I choose to read an author’s work, I do give preference to a gay protagonist.

Why? Self-identification.

I’d much rather read a story about Boy A falling in love with Boy B, than Boy A falling in love with Girl B. And no offense to my lesbian readers, but the very last thing I ever want to read is Girl A falling in love with Girl B.

I read this one story, who’s title I have forgotten, which was this wonderful adventure in a medieval-type setting. The young man had homosexual relations with his friends and everything, it was great. But then the author did a major cop out at the end. He made the protagonist straight. The guy married a girl.

How sickening.

It’s like those stories you read, where everything is negated at the end because it was just ‘a dream’. In classes about writing, they tell you to avoid stories like this, because it leaves the reader with a bad taste if you negate the story just told because the narrator ‘woke up’. The same thing is true here. If you have a story where you expect a gay protagonist, and no one has said anything up front, and it turns out later they are straight, for me it leaves a very bad feeling in my stomach.

At the end of the day, the stories with the gay protagonist, weather written by a gay or straight author, will always win my hard earned time, attention, and perhaps even money.


  • Phoenix

    Rilbur: If the protagonist is straight, that can be okay. In the story I used as an example, apparently a brother is gay. The problem is, the author hasn’t revealed that in the story. So it just seems like it is another straight tale.

  • While I understand much of what you’re talking about, there is another aspect: it doesn’t have to be the protagonist whose gay. For example, a story where the protagonist is completely straight (well, I’m actually debating that point), but homophobic, and is ‘redeemed’ to realizing he’s been completely wrong? What about a story that’s about the (straight) protagonist’s refusal to set aside his friend just because he’s gay?

    Are those ‘less’ simply because the ‘main character’ and view point doesn’t happen to be gay? After all, there are plenty of ‘gay situations’ (for lack of better phrasing) involved in both of those: the ‘homophobe’ facing down the fact that his new foster brother’s parents were better parents than his own… despite being gay, the question of how to say \sorry, not interested\ when you find out your best friend wants more than you do, how do you stand up for what’s *right* when all the others around you simply follow their prejudice…

    Turn about is fair play, and seeing some of those scenes from the ‘other’ side seems like it should be of interest even to someone who prefers a ‘gay’ protagonist.

    Yes, the sites in question should focus on ‘gay’ stories, but at the same time… simply involving a *single* gay character is going to make a lot of ‘normal’ places impossible, leaving people who want to do a story that isn’t gay-focused in a conundrum. If I want to follow up on my Guardian series, I’m stuck with places like Nifty / Castle Roland because the Guardian story itself is so heavily ‘gay’, even if my sequel / follow up / expansion isn’t. Is it fair to *me* to insist I can’t do that story there, when finding another place to publish would be, at best, difficult?

  • First.

    I totaly agree. I read a lot of fiction, wheather it’s online, or on paper. The complete lack of good gay protagonist stories is sad. When I look for a good story, I want a story with some plot, not a lot of shagging (though the shagging is nice).

    Here’s to a world with more types of protagonists than just the straight ones.