Why Gay Fiction?

By J. Daniel Stone

So. Gay Fiction.

 Why do those gays always want to disturb normality? Utopia was just fine before alternative lifestyles demanded equality. 

 What is Gay Fiction (capitals intended) after all? Said character is attracted to the same sex, right? Said character lives her/his life as a member of the LGBTQ community, right? Those are not the sole definitions, obviously. I can go on for pages and pages about what gay fiction should or should not include, how a responsible writer should or should not cover gay characters. Because fiction writers, after all, are mere reporters of reality, shaping its malleable meat for the entertainment of the reader. But remember, we are reporting. And as far as horror goes, my good friend Kathe Koja says it best: “The real world is stranger than anything anybody will ever come up with, and things happen in the real world that you cannot do in fiction.” Let that simmer a bit.

 Speaking of reality, I have a newsflash. The LGBTQ community exists! They are real people who undergo all the same strife and wonders of life as you do. Yeah, you! Cis-gendered, heterosexual reader. They love and hate, eat and breath. They have sex; they have families of their own. They contribute to the better good of society, and sometimes to the not so better good, natch. So why do we show up so infrequently in fiction, and specifically for this post horror fiction? Is it the small number of our population? Is it that the writers who are writing have no gay people in their lives? Is it that they turn a blind eye to us? Is it the old "write what you know" technique? Well, let me just drive home my point.

 Readers frequently ask me the same three questions:

 1. Why write about gay characters? We can't relate.

2. Why write about gay sex?

3. Does gay and horror mix?

 And I do my best to answer them:

 1. Because I’m gay, and a person, and I exist. So you will find people like me in my work. Oh, you can't relate? Well, I can't relate to the life of hoarders or Bravolebrities, but I have an open mind that wants to learn and observe to better myself. Why not try that?

2. Sex? Because we all have it! Stop the nonsense. Thanks!

3. Gay and horror mix perfectly. A genre that can't be easily classified and a sexual orientation that defies complacency. What doesn't mix about that?

 So there you have it, folks. Gay people exist. We come in all shapes, sizes, colors, genders and orientations. Try to include us. We aren't going anywhere.

 

J. Daniel Stone is the pseudonym for a hotheaded Italian kid from NYC. He has been a menace to society since 1987 and has, at various times, prepared bodies for the morgue, broke up fights between gerbils and used fire to change the color of the carpet in his bedroom. These days he can be found terrorizing local book stores, art galleries and dive bars boasting about his two bastard children: The Absence of Light (2013) and Blood Kiss (2016). Somewhere, out there in the dark, one can find more of his illegitimate spawns at places like Grey Matter Press, Icarus: The Magazine of Gay Speculative Fiction, Blood Bound Books, Prime Books, Crowded Quarantine Publications and more. In 2016, readers selected his work to be featured in DREAD--THE VERY BEST OF GREY MATTER PRESS. 

Find him on Livejournal and Twitter @SolitarySpiral

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Michael Schutz

Michael Schutz was born and raised in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, where the macabre tales of Ray Bradbury and Stephen King kept him warm at night. He’s seen way too many horror movies to be healthy and blogs and podcasts about them on Darkness Dwells. Watch for his new novel, Edging, from Burning Willow Press in spring 2017. He is the author of the novel Blood Vengeance and the novella Uninoch. His short fiction has been featured most recently in Dark Moon Digest, Sanitarium, and the anthologies Beasts: Revelations, Beyond the Nightlight, and Cranial Leakage: Tales from the Grinning Skull. He lives with his three naughty cat-children in northern California.