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infinitus_kaze
04-19-2007, 05:51 AM
I believe that one of the most difficult challenges for an author in a society where homosexuality is taboo is to write a novel using a homosexual theme that transcends the human mind. In other words, a novel that can make the readers who would otherwise shy away from homosexual themes actually read the novel without focusing on the homosexuality. Instead, all the readers see is two lovers in a pure and loving relationship without caring what about the sexual orientation of the lovers.

I'm bringing this up because I'm in the planning stages of a fantasy novel with a female homosexual theme to it. I'm hoping to use this novel to challenge myself; to stretch my writing skills and see if I can truly make people forget that the lovers in my story are homosexual and just accept it as a pure love. The reason I've chosen to use female homosexuality is because I want the novel to feel like a real romance and I know that if I were to try to write with male homosexuality the story would be too bland (since men have trouble expressing emotion) or too comical (seeming like two women in men's bodies instead of two men).

What do you all think? Is it naive to believe such things possible from a reader? Can a reader really forget their prejudice if a novel is written well enough? I'd like to know your thoughts on the matter.

scarletpeaches
04-19-2007, 05:55 AM
You think people will have a problem reading about two women together? Will it be a picture book? :e2brows:

Sorry. Just joking; it's late and I should try to get some sleep. I'll come back to this when I'm feeling vaguely human again.

The_Grand_Duchess
04-19-2007, 06:02 AM
Hmm, I think you're going to have trouble with this becuase you're already assigning stereotypes to your chars which is something you said you didn't want to do. I'm saying this becuase of your reasoning for not using men. It seems you assume that women would have an easier and more socially accepted go of it becuase they're women but in actuality it would probably be just as hard.

To me, gay or straight you have to approuch the relationship between the chars the same way you would approrch any other. Does that make sense?

As for your orginal question, if someone is opposed to homosexual lit then there's really nothing that can be written to bring them into the light so to speak. The only thing you can really do is write a compelling story.

Medievalist
04-19-2007, 06:04 AM
I believe that one of the most difficult challenges for an author in a society where homosexuality is taboo is to write a novel using a homosexual theme that transcends the human mind.

I'm not sure what you mean by a "homosexual theme" or "transcends the human mind," to begin with.

I'd suggest you worry less about your characters' sexuality, and more about them as characters, as people, and that encompasses a lot more than sexual orientation. It's difficult to write a novel that readers will read for character and story when you begin with what sounds like a didactic intention.

The reason I've chosen to use female homosexuality is because I want the novel to feel like a real romance and I know that if I were to try to write with male homosexuality the story would be too bland (since men have trouble expressing emotion) or too comical (seeming like two women in men's bodies instead of two men).

You seem to be making some assumptions here that are a little discomfiting. For instance, the sexist assumption that all men have difficulty expressing emotion, or that two men who love each other are inherently effeminate. That's, well, wrong and potentially hurtful, and it's not going to accomplish what you want to accomplish.

veinglory
04-19-2007, 06:04 AM
IMHO there is a long history of lesbian fantasy that has been fully overt for the last 3 decades or so. In fact it is one genre where all kinds of sexuality cause almost no interest or surprise. e.g. Lythande by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Northern Girl by Elizabeth Lynn, Gossamer Axe by Gael Baudino and many, many, many others. I also suggest you look into your market more to work out where the real fronteers are as fantasy genre with lesbian protags is common enough in this post-Xena world that there are whole small press publishers devoted to it.

Male homosexual fantasy is even more common and sells like hot cakes (Flewelling, Huff, Patton, Lackey etc etc etc). I think you are making a lot of interesting assumptions there about emotion, gender and your audience.

Now, a lesbian heroine in a political thriller or historical saga--that is less common. It exists, but not as a whole sub-genre.

maestrowork
04-19-2007, 06:07 AM
Plenty of gay novels or novels with major gay characters and relationships to go around. Don't worry. Just write.

scarletpeaches
04-19-2007, 06:08 AM
The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst did quite well as I recall...;)

Just Me
04-19-2007, 06:12 AM
To me, gay or straight you have to approuch the relationship between the chars the same way you would approrch any other. Does that make sense?
Co-signing on this.

I've written my share of stories with *GASP!* gay and bisexual male characters in them. I never try to write "a gay man"; I just write them as the people they are, whatever that may be. I'm pretty sure that most of us are greater than the sum of our sexual orientation and gender. ;)

As for the original question:
What do you all think? Is it naive to believe such things possible from a reader? Can a reader really forget their prejudice if a novel is written well enough?I'd like to think so, to a certain degree. Back when I was writing lots and lots of slash, I actually had a few straight men tell me how much they liked my stories. Sure, they usually prefaced it with, "I'm not gay, but..." or "I don't normally like gay stuff, but..." or "I think that's sick, but..." but the point is, they liked my work. *g*

~JM.

Shady Lane
04-19-2007, 06:15 AM
There's not really much shocking about gay/lesbian fiction anymore. Just write the book.

veinglory
04-19-2007, 06:17 AM
A lot of straight people do read fantasy and sci fi with gay characters. There is a good post on this topic here:
http://www.aleuromancy.net/article_series/demyst/free_articles/article_GLBT.html

Devil Ledbetter
04-19-2007, 06:18 AM
Don't forget Marlys!

veinglory
04-19-2007, 06:21 AM
You can't go far in this forums without tripping over people who write gay characters (cough* points to sig line listing a gay fantasy ebook and a bisexual/menage fantasy paper back due out in October *cough)

MightyScribbler
04-19-2007, 06:24 AM
The Vampire Chronicles seemed to have homosexual themes and implications. Those were popular. Brokeback Mountain was critically acclaimed. Didn't Zena: Warrior Princess and her female sidekick have a physical relationship?

I think there are always certain themes that people shy away from. I like violent, gory movies for example, and I know others who won't go near them. I think just about anything you write will be unappealing to someone. But I'm not sure you can ever predict who will read it and what they will think upon reading it. Is your intention to make a social statement within a novel that's impossible to put down? I don't think you can expect to change the minds of those who read your work, though I think you can certainly try to make them think differently, and you may very well succeed. I think the hope of every writer, even fiction writers, is that some will see the world a little differently after reading their work, that and massive book sales.

Sean D. Schaffer
04-19-2007, 06:30 AM
Snipped...

I'm hoping to use this novel to challenge myself; to stretch my writing skills and see if I can truly make people forget that the lovers in my story are homosexual and just accept it as a pure love.

...Snipped...

What do you all think? Is it naive to believe such things possible from a reader? Can a reader really forget their prejudice if a novel is written well enough? I'd like to know your thoughts on the matter.


If it's possible from the writer, I'm certain it'll be possible from the reader. I would tend to agree with others who have stated that 1) you should just treat the characters like any other character, like ordinary people, and 2) you should not worry about challenging yourself and just write the story. What matters is what you, the writer, want to put down in tangible form. That's basically all that matters here. If the reader likes it, great. If the reader doesn't like it, well, there are lots of readers out there with lots of differing opinions. Don't let that get you down.

So don't be afraid to write the book. Get it done, treat the characters like you would any other human being, and then let the chips fall where they may.

Most importantly, enjoy the process.

I hope this helps, and good luck to you.

:)

infinitus_kaze
04-19-2007, 07:14 AM
Hmm, I think you're going to have trouble with this becuase you're already assigning stereotypes to your chars which is something you said you didn't want to do. I'm saying this becuase of your reasoning for not using men. It seems you assume that women would have an easier and more socially accepted go of it becuase they're women but in actuality it would probably be just as hard.

To me, gay or straight you have to approuch the relationship between the chars the same way you would approrch any other. Does that make sense?

As for your orginal question, if someone is opposed to homosexual lit then there's really nothing that can be written to bring them into the light so to speak. The only thing you can really do is write a compelling story.

You're misunderstanding what I've said. I am not making my characters stereotypical and I don't feel that women would be more socially acceptable. What I meant when I said I wouldn't be able to write a male homosexual novel is that I'm possitive my writing skills wouldn't permit it. I want to make my characters as real as possible and I'm afraid that if I wrote a male homosexuality novel with my current abilities it would come out dry or stereotypical. I believe that I can write a female homosexuality novel without making it stereotypical because most of the people I'm around on a daily basis are women and I understand the female mind more clearly than I understand the male mind. I don't get along with many of the males in my extended family very well and due to some traumatizing experiences as a child with my male friends I don't get along with males very easily in general. That being the case, I know more than enough of female psychology to write a lesbian novel, but not enough about male psychology to write a convincing, real love story between two men.


You seem to be making some assumptions here that are a little discomfiting. For instance, the sexist assumption that all men have difficulty expressing emotion, or that two men who love each other are inherently effeminate. That's, well, wrong and potentially hurtful, and it's not going to accomplish what you want to accomplish.


I'm not making any assumptions about male homosexuality. I'm refering to my own writing techniques. I'm saying that I don't have the necessary skills to write a story that would not make the males seem too effeminate or too closed emotionally. I don't want to write on male homosexuality because of that very reason - I don't want to make my story insulting because that isn't the focus for it. Some of my good friends are homosexuals and I want to write this novel as an advocate of homosexual rights, not to insult.


There's not really much shocking about gay/lesbian fiction anymore. Just write the book.


Where I come from is a pretty backwater place in which homosexuality is really looked down upon (Look at the Matthew Shepard case which took place at my University) and that is one of the reasons why I was so worried when I asked this question. Everyone around me has told me that they would never read my book if I used homosexuality in it. I wanted to write a homosexual novel that showed the characters as real people who shouldn't be feared or shunned and wanted to know if it were possible to change peoples prejudices with a novel.

maestrowork
04-19-2007, 07:28 AM
Where I come from is a pretty backwater place in which homosexuality is really looked down upon (Look at the Matthew Shepard case which took place at my University) and that is one of the reasons why I was so worried when I asked this question. Everyone around me has told me that they would never read my book if I used homosexuality in it.

Your potential market is way bigger than your backwater place. For everyone there who will not read anything homosexual, you have a huge group of people out there (gay or straight) who would read anything homosexual. The Hours by Michael Cunningham, for example, won critical acclaims, a Pulitzer, and became a best-seller adapted to a major motion picture with Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore. So don't worry about it. Make sure you treat the story as true as possible and do your research if you don't know any gay people.

I just read an article about this straight, married British author who wrote a gay novel with explicit sex in it. Didn't hurt his career. And you may ask: What does a straight married guy know about homosexuality and gay sex? Well, what do I know about murderers and werewolves? I write about them.

Write a good book, then worry about the marketing.

Medievalist
04-19-2007, 07:38 AM
I'm not making any assumptions about male homosexuality. I'm refering to my own writing techniques. I'm saying that I don't have the necessary skills to write a story that would not make the males seem too effeminate or too closed emotionally. I don't want to write on male homosexuality because of that very reason - I don't want to make my story insulting because that isn't the focus for it. Some of my good friends are homosexuals and I want to write this novel as an advocate of homosexual rights, not to insult.

Err. . . . right. Some of my best . . . whatever.

You're going about this the wrong way; you've got it hind-end to. Write a good story, with interesting believable characters. That's the main goal of a writer; don't focus on your didactic, socio-political agenda. Treat sexual orientation like you'd do anything else; eye color, or a talent for cooking or the ability to speak Swahili like a native. Figure out your plot and story and characters.

Why not do some reading first? You've got some good suggestions here.

maestrowork
04-19-2007, 07:43 AM
I second Medievalist's suggestion. Plenty of good books out there. Time to do some reading.

czjaba
04-19-2007, 07:47 AM
In my opinion, there has to be more to the story than just the relationship between gay/lesbian people. So, write the story, let the characters have their own personalities, preferences, etc, and see what you come up with.
If you don't like what you end up with, you can always change something in edit stage.
I won't go to a bookstore specifically to look for a gay/lesbian book, however, I'm sure that if I picked up a book and something caught my attention, I would buy it and read it. If I make it through the first 2 chapters, I usually won't put it down because of a particular revelation about one or all of the characters that I now care about. And the something that usually catches my attention is within the first 10 pages, that I read while standing in the bookstore. So, IMHO, if the MC is gay, so what?

Toothpaste
04-19-2007, 07:49 AM
I'm sorry to hear you have had such bad experiences with men in your past, and I understand your reasonings to write what you want to so this is not to contradict you what I am going to say next. This is simply a general suggestion.

Try writing a male character as you would a female character. I bet you could do it. Men and women are different, and we often see the stereotypes, but really they are more similar than I think they would admit. My father likes sports and cars, but also musicals. He is very logical and at the same time very open with his feelings. And I know other guys like this as well. Try just writing a person, as you would see it, but make the person happen to be male. So that okay he doesn't wear heels or makeup or anything, but other than that . . . I bet you could write a guy character just fine.

veinglory
04-19-2007, 07:49 AM
If you check your local bookstore and look at regional sales figures for your area on amazon.com I bet you'll find a few of your locals are reading gay stuff and just not talking about it.

But these days the world is your market.

johnrobison
04-19-2007, 08:00 AM
I believe that one of the most difficult challenges for an author in a society where homosexuality is taboo is to write a novel using a homosexual theme that transcends the human mind. In other words, a novel that can make the readers who would otherwise shy away from homosexual themes actually read the novel without focusing on the homosexuality. Instead, all the readers see is two lovers in a pure and loving relationship without caring what about the sexual orientation of the lovers.
.


I think my brother did that, especially in DRY. Running With Scissors isn't very loving, but the gay sex still doesn't scare away many straight readers.

ClaudiaGray
04-19-2007, 08:06 AM
I honestly think that, if you're approaching this as an author who's trying to get in touch with the characters as people, there's no difference in developing a homosexual relationship and a heterosexual relationship. There's one individual falling in love with another -- no more and no less.

Now, how those characters fit into the rest of the world, and the opinions of those around them: There, you run into differences. But at its heart, I think it ought to be the same.

maestrowork
04-19-2007, 08:18 AM
I think my brother did that, especially in DRY. Running With Scissors isn't very loving, but the gay sex still doesn't scare away many straight readers.

I like both books. The gay sex stuff didn't scare me at all. Please tell your brother I say hi. :)

infinitus_kaze
04-19-2007, 08:26 AM
You're going about this the wrong way; you've got it hind-end to. Write a good story, with interesting believable characters. That's the main goal of a writer; don't focus on your didactic, socio-political agenda. Treat sexual orientation like you'd do anything else; eye color, or a talent for cooking or the ability to speak Swahili like a native. Figure out your plot and story and characters.

Why not do some reading first? You've got some good suggestions here.

I'm not going about this backwards. The first thing I developed was the plot and characters. The reason I'm bringing up sexuality on this forum is because of the responses I got when I told people I knew about the novel. Here's a brief synopsis of the story:

The story takes place in a world where men are practically non-existent because they destroyed themselves in an enormous magical war over 500 years prior. Since men are so rare in the story, females had long ago begun to form relationships with one another. The main character is a heterosexual woman from Earth who is transported into this world where homosexuality is the norm and births are done by combining the genes of two women's eggs and implanting the zygote into one of their wombs. The story evolves around her development as she starts out rather homophobic and then comes to not only accept the homosexuality around her, but actually falls in love with another woman. At first, she tries to find a way back home, but as she falls in love she begins to care less and less about returning to Earth. There are also other aspects to the story, such as a girl who lost her love three years prior and can't get over it, the development of magical powers, the election of the new Novas (the student presidents who reside over all four of the magic schools: earth, fire, wind, water), and the sub-plots of many of the other lead characters.

The actual sexuality doesn't play a very important part in the story. There is the occasional kissing scene and I plan to place one or two pan-away sex scenes in which you only see the kissing and a little foreplay before the scene cuts away to something else, but the story is really a fantasy/coming-of-age story with very little sexuality in it.

As for doing research by reading, I would love to. The problem is that I don't know any homosexual novels that aren't erotic in nature. Since I'm not writing an erotic romance novel I don't want to read erotic novels for reference. Could you please give me some non-erotic reference materials if you know of any? I will also head to my city library to see if I can find anything helpful there.

Medievalist
04-19-2007, 08:33 AM
As for doing research by reading, I would love to. The problem is that I don't know any homosexual novels that aren't erotic in nature. Since I'm not writing an erotic romance novel I don't want to read erotic novels for reference. Could you please give me some non-erotic reference materials if you know of any? I will also head to my city library to see if I can find anything helpful there.

This is actually a fairly standard SF plot; I've seen it in fantasy as well.

You've already been given a list by Veinglory; I'd suggest you start there. She's given you a very good list. There's lots more here (http://www.lesbiansciencefiction.com/).

It's also kinda interesting that you refer to "homosexual novels, " for instance, emphasizing, again, the sexual orientation of the characters as the primary characteristic.

veinglory
04-19-2007, 08:35 AM
I can give you several thousand suggestions, would you like to narrow it down to specific sub-genre (even 'fantasy' is a bit broad)? The majority of novels that happen to have gay protagonist are not erotic. You could start with Lambda award winners if you want to get some good stuff: http://www.lambdaliterary.org/awards/current_finalists.html

My approach to writing is to never discuss it with my friends and family unless they raise the issue--and even then not to listen to what they say. They aren't my target demographic ;)

infinitus_kaze
04-19-2007, 08:39 AM
It's also kinda interesting that you refer to "homosexual novels, " for instance, emphasizing, again, the sexual orientation of the characters as the primary characteristic.

That is true, but I can't think of any other way to put it. Even though the sexuality doesn't enter into the story very much, people who read the story will call it a homosexual or lesbian novel. Even the website you provided for reference does this in its url: http://www.lesbiansciencefiction.com.

veinglory
04-19-2007, 08:43 AM
Gay/Lesbian is a theme more than a genre. If you look at the link I gave you will see that most fantasy with gay characters will be marketed and shelved as fantasy not gay/lesbian interest by major presses and chain stores. It is more the erotica and contemporary stuff that gets shelved GBLT as it is more "about" the sexuality/orientation. The exception, sadly, is romance. I have yet to see a store shelve gay romance in the romance section.

But if course some sites are devoted to theme not genre because a portion of the readership is actively seeking the gay element.

Toothpaste
04-19-2007, 09:01 AM
I have a question to basically anyone here, especially because Medievalist said this was a common plot in fantasy, does this sort of plot propegate the belief that homosexuality is a choice and not a predisposition? It is a genuine question because on the surface that's what it seems to me, that a heterosexual person out of necessity becomes gay. And I am of two minds really. On the one hand I think it does propegate that belief. On the other I can imagine if you had no other choice . . . I dunno. What do people think?

Shady Lane
04-19-2007, 09:08 AM
Toothpaste--I don't think I quite understand what you mean. I think most people who write about homosexuality have at least some experience with it, firsthand or no, and I think becuase of this they're usually of the belief that homosexuality is genetic and not a choice.

I don't know, I think I'm having trouble sinking my teeth into this topic because of my own personal history--I live in Washington D.C, my sister is gay, several of my friends are gay, and it's just not a big deal. Most YA books that I read nowadays have a gay character or two, particuraly if there's a large cast of characters, and it's just not something stressful.

I think the problem with writing a book about a homosexual relationship and trying to teach the reader to be openminded is, well, you're sort of preaching to the choir. I, for one, wouldn't want to read a book that is trying to transmit the message that love is love. I already know that, and so will a lot of people interested in reading a book featuring (and, correct me if I'm wrong, but it does sound like it's featuring) a gay relationship. I want to read a book for the story and the characters, not the lesson behind them. The lesson should just fall behind them, in my opinion.

Marlys
04-19-2007, 09:11 AM
I have a question to basically anyone here, especially because Medievalist said this was a common plot in fantasy, does this sort of plot propegate the belief that homosexuality is a choice and not a predisposition? It is a genuine question because on the surface that's what it seems to me, that a heterosexual person out of necessity becomes gay. And I am of two minds really. On the one hand I think it does propegate that belief. On the other I can imagine if you had no other choice . . . I dunno. What do people think?
Look up the Kinsey scale (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinsey_scale). The idea behind it is that human sexuality is a continuum, not a dichotomy. The scale has at one end people who are exclusively homosexual, and at the other people who are exclusively heterosexual. In the middle are people who are mostly one but a little the other; mostly one but more than a little the other; and those equally attracted to both sexes.

So yes, it's feasible that someone who's a Kinsey 1 or 2 (predominantly heterosexual but either incidentally or more than incidentally attracted to the same sex) could live most of her life as a heterosexual but fall in love with a woman.

Medievalist
04-19-2007, 09:19 AM
I have a question to basically anyone here, especially because Medievalist said this was a common plot in fantasy, does this sort of plot propegate the belief that homosexuality is a choice and not a predisposition?

I think that there are a number of reasons, among them the fact that


Sexuality isn't a binary; there is enormous variation along a spectrum of individuals and their feelings and responses.


SF/Fantasy allow authors to write in ways that might not be as easy in other genres; same sex love is minor when you have aliens with sex separate genders . . .


In the case of fantasy, so much of it is "heroic" or "epic" fantasy, which removes it, somewhat, from contemporary sexual mores and assumptions

Toothpaste
04-19-2007, 09:32 AM
Yes I do know about the Kinsey scale, and I get that. Which is why I can understand why such a plot would work. I just wonder if there are a lot of plots like the OP's out there (again as Med suggested), does this not propegate a negative assumption that homosexuality is a choice and therefore can be "cured"?

(it's a bit how I feel about girls who go out and kiss other girls on the dance floor of a club to impress the boys. To me it lessens the actual connection that 'real' homosexuals have with each other, like it's just a game anyone can play - like anyone can be gay if they want to, so they can also be straight)

Again, just throwing it out there for discussion.

Medievalist
04-19-2007, 09:51 AM
Yes I do know about the Kinsey scale, and I get that. Which is why I can understand why such a plot would work. I just wonder if there are a lot of plots like the OP's out there (again as Med suggested), does this not propegate a negative assumption that homosexuality is a choice and therefore can be "cured"?

Only if the readers, or the writers, are daft. And, well, there are lots of people who are pretty daft.

There are lots of people who will, basically, have sex with anyone willing.

There are, at the other extreme, those who won't have sex with anyone/anything.

Somewhere in between are lots of other sorts of preferences.

There are enormous cultural/historical assumptions about sexuality of any sort -- and some authors have lots of negative assumptions, or agendas, and some have lots of stupid ideas. Humans are infinitely variable.

Characters in books are just as varied, so yeah, you'll have characters who have sex with other characters and then later proclaim "Just because I have sex with Walloons, doesn't mean, you know, I'm a Walloon lover."

There are also lots of problems with attempting to be too didactic and agenda-driven in fiction.

(it's a bit how I feel about girls who go out and kiss other girls on the dance floor of a club to impress the boys. To me it lessens the actual connection that 'real' homosexuals have with each other, like it's just a game anyone can play - like anyone can be gay if they want to, so they can also be straight)

Exactly; there's something repellent about aping a gesture for effect, of using another person's possibly genuine response for horrible reasons.

But people do behave that way, in life, and in fiction.

There's a difference in the engineering aspects, the "hardware" connections of sexuality, if you will, and genuine emotional response. Those girls kissing each other on the dance floor might not actually have any emotional or sexual response to each other at all which . . . yeah, it's repulsive, and manipulative and wrong, in that context, and a lie.

maestrowork
04-19-2007, 10:29 AM
Some people now are more fluid about their sexuality. They don't identify themselves as gay, straight, bi, curious, or whatever. They just are. If a girl wants to kiss a girl, she'll do it. So will a boy kiss another boy. Like Medievalist said, there's a wide spectrum between X and Y. And fiction can definitely reflect that reality -- or not. It really depends on your story, your characters, and your settings. I don't believe in pigeonholing anyone.

Anthony Ravenscroft
04-19-2007, 10:38 AM
Maybe I'm missing a point here, but I've been reading Samuel Delany & Theodore Sturgeon ("think "Amok Time") since the 1980s & I can't figure out how sexuality can possibly be controversial unless it's intentionally over-the-top.

Medievalist
04-19-2007, 11:05 AM
Maybe I'm missing a point here, but I've been reading Samuel Delany & Theodore Sturgeon ("think "Amok Time") since the 1980s & I can't figure out how sexuality can possibly be controversial unless it's intentionally over-the-top.

Yeah, that's partly why we're suggesting reading more; Dhalgren was, what, 1975?

Zoombie
04-19-2007, 11:10 AM
Writing anything is really simple. If your character would do it, the character would do it. If your character has a predisposition to sleep with those of the same sex, they do it. If a character has a predisposition to sleep with those of the opposite sex, they do it. If they do both, they do it. If they sleep with animals...they go to a psychiatric ward.

Penguin Queen
04-19-2007, 02:07 PM
I'm not sure about homosexuality being "taboo" anywhere in the west these days. There are intolerant and homophobic pockets in most countries, but gay civil partnerships are legal in a lot of European countries, in some states of the US and some Latin American countries and lesbians, gays bisexuals and transpoeple are visible in all art forms. It's not always as easy as being straight, but it's not a big deal compared to being an out queer person in, say, Egypt, Iran or Saudi Arabia would be where homosexuality really is pretty much taboo and poeple can get killed for being gay.

<...> Here's a brief synopsis of the story:

The story takes place in a world where men are practically non-existent because they destroyed themselves in an enormous magical war over 500 years prior. Since men are so rare in the story, females had long ago begun to form relationships with one another. The main character is a heterosexual woman from Earth who is transported into this world where homosexuality is the norm and births are done by combining the genes of two women's eggs and implanting the zygote into one of their wombs. The story evolves around her development as she starts out rather homophobic and then comes to not only accept the homosexuality around her, but actually falls in love with another woman. At first, she tries to find a way back home, but as she falls in love she begins to care less and less about returning to Earth.

The first half of this sounds rather reminiscent of Joanna Russ' "The Female Man". The world-peopled-by-women-only plot has been done quite a bit.
There are actually a number of 19th century novels with that exact theme, altho most of them fall over themselves to point out how un-sexual it all is (Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "Herland" springs to mind for example)

I'm a little worried too about your didactic intention. If you want to write this story because it's the story you want to write, then cool. But to want to write it to show backwater popele that "gays are OK too"... I dunno. I think we're beyond that point.


<...>
As for doing research by reading, I would love to. The problem is that I don't know any homosexual novels that aren't erotic in nature. Since I'm not writing an erotic romance novel I don't want to read erotic novels for reference.


I dont know what you would call "erotic", most lesbian scifi / fantasy has some sex in it but isnt what I woudl call erotic stuff.
I woudl highly recommend "The Female Man" simply because it's a superb novel. I cant rmemebr now whether it's got lesbian sex it it; I remember some - if you can call it that - straight sex involving a robot.
Also woudl recommend "The left hand of Darkness", Ursula Le Guin, set on a world where poeple are sexless and "become" physically male or female during periods of sexual activity for purposes of procreation. Which confuses the hell out of the narrator who is used to binary sex.

As for lesbian scifi, Jean Stewart's "Isis" novels are rather good (Return to Isis, Isis Rising etc.) & set in a post-apocalyptic world without men.

plunderpuss
04-19-2007, 02:54 PM
Based on the fact that you made this post at all, I don't think you're ready to write this book. I'm sorry. Put it away for awhile and work on other projects first.

Saundra Mitchell
04-19-2007, 06:19 PM
I'm going to have to respectfully concur with csinman. I think all artists go through a phase of wanting to change the world, wanting to do great things with their work. I say it's a phase because while you never get over the hope of writing the next Great Regional Novel, eventually you practice enough to realize that you have to hope it, not set out to do it.

It's just like dating- when you're desperate, people know it and avoid you. As soon as you get comfortable with yourself, whether you have a partner or not, you meet someone (who gets to meet the real you.)

Until you can sit down and write a novel about X and Y, who are the revolutionaries on Planet Z and plan to take down the shadow government, who also happen to be partners, you should work on other things. You can't achieve your stated goal (to treat homosexuality as a regular and ordinary part of life,) with this story (that makes homosexuality a requirement, in an alien setting,) about people you consider first lesbians and not just people. Just from your posts here, it appears lesbians are still exotic to you. Write, write, write, and live, live, live, until they're just people.

Then write your novel.

C.bronco
04-19-2007, 06:23 PM
here's a novel you might be interested in
http://www.amazon.com/Martin-John-Novel-Dale-Peck/dp/0374530300/ref=sr_1_1/103-8785785-3411848?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1176987250&sr=1-1

Roger J Carlson
04-19-2007, 06:38 PM
Where I come from is a pretty backwater place in which homosexuality is really looked down upon (Look at the Matthew Shepard case which took place at my University) and that is one of the reasons why I was so worried when I asked this question. Everyone around me has told me that they would never read my book if I used homosexuality in it. I wanted to write a homosexual novel that showed the characters as real people who shouldn't be feared or shunned and wanted to know if it were possible to change peoples prejudices with a novel.I'm not certain there ARE any such "backwater" places anymore. Not with the Internet. What people SAY they will read, and what they actually read (or view) on their computer screens may be two entirely different things.

CaroGirl
04-19-2007, 06:46 PM
I disagree with the idea of writing a "homosexual novel" with a "homosexual theme". I think that's akin to writing a heterosexual novel with heterosexaul themes. What would that be, exactly? Themes are generally about humanity, relationships, love, the nature of friendship. The details of the relationships that reinforce those themes are part of the story, not the theme itself.

I have a lesbian relationship in my novel, but I don't consider it a "homosexual novel" by any means. The themes of my novel include the devastation that arises from keeping secrets and telling lies. Any homosexuality is just part of the story and the characters through whom I tell it.

veinglory
04-19-2007, 07:01 PM
It depends on how you define theme. Homosexual content is a defining feature of some publishers, imprints and magazines--a catalogue themes for others--and a shelving area for most bookstores and websites -- in yet others it is a keyworded search term. I am a customer who deliberately seeks out and buys fiction with gay protagonists and institutions cater to this 'pull economy' be it gay people or people interested in gay people for whatever reason. It can be seen as a theme in the same way religion (inspirationals etc) or ideology or gender are.

CaroGirl
04-19-2007, 07:07 PM
It depends on how you define theme. Homosexual content is a defining feature of some publishers, imprints and magazines--a catalogue themes for others--and a shelving area for most bookstores and websites -- in yet others it is a keyworded search term. I am a customer who deliberately seeks out and buys fiction with gay protagonists and institutions cater to this 'pull economy' be it gay people or people interested in gay people for whatever reason. It can be seen as a theme in the same way religion (inspirationals etc) or ideology or gender are.
I suppose that's true. I wonder if it does a disservice to gays and lesbians, in the same vein as the debate about black fiction, to have their literature marginalized to a special area of the book store. If that's what you're searching for, I guess it helps to have a label on it. I just think life and literature are larger than sexual orientation and colour. Those labels are part of life, but not life itself.

Roger J Carlson
04-19-2007, 07:15 PM
I suppose that's true. I wonder if it does a disservice to gays and lesbians, in the same vein as the debate about black fiction, to have their literature marginalized to a special area of the book store. If that's what you're searching for, I guess it helps to have a label on it. I just think life and literature are larger than sexual orientation and colour. Those labels are part of life, but not life itself.Actually, they do it as a service to people who what to find the kinds of books they like as quickly as possible. I suppose we could just pile all the books in the middle of the bookstore, but I doubt if anyone would be happy with that.

CaroGirl
04-19-2007, 07:17 PM
Actually, they do it as a service to people who what to find the kinds of books they like as quickly as possible. I suppose we could just pile all the books in the middle of the bookstore, but I doubt if anyone would be happy with that.
Indeed.

Jenan Mac
04-19-2007, 07:21 PM
You're going about this the wrong way; you've got it hind-end to. Write a good story, with interesting believable characters. That's the main goal of a writer; don't focus on your didactic, socio-political agenda. Treat sexual orientation like you'd do anything else; eye color, or a talent for cooking or the ability to speak Swahili like a native. Figure out your plot and story and characters.



Exactly.
I've got a 91K novel sitting here, as yet unsold-- paranormal, lesbian protag. A's relationship with her partner is the least of my problems.

KimJo
04-19-2007, 07:59 PM
One of the most touching romantic relationships I've ever read is in a science fiction/fantasy WIP by a friend for whom I sometimes beta read. One character is a trained killer, and in fact kills to rescue his lover. But the relationship between the two is so tender and loving I honestly almost cried when I read the first scene between them. Both characters are male.

Roger J Carlson
04-19-2007, 08:31 PM
One of the most touching romantic relationships I've ever read is in a science fiction/fantasy WIP by a friend for whom I sometimes beta read. One character is a trained killer, and in fact kills to rescue his lover. But the relationship between the two is so tender and loving I honestly almost cried when I read the first scene between them. Both characters are male.That's the sort of dicotomy that makes characters interesting -- the cold-blooded killer as a tender lover.

infinitus_kaze
04-19-2007, 08:57 PM
You can't achieve your stated goal (to treat homosexuality as a regular and ordinary part of life,) with this story (that makes homosexuality a requirement, in an alien setting,) about people you consider first lesbians and not just people. Just from your posts here, it appears lesbians are still exotic to you. Write, write, write, and live, live, live, until they're just people.

These characters aren't characters I consider to be lesbians first. It's the people around me that considered them lesbians first, which is why I brought this up. I wanted to know if it was just the people around me who were against reading a same-sex love story or if it was a wider range or people who wouldn't read it due to the lesbian aspect. Lesbians aren't exotic to me because, as I've said before, a lot of my friends are homosexual. Most of my fantasy works include a love story, but only as a minor plot. I wanted to write a fantasy novel in which the love story was one of the major plotlines and I became worried when people around me began to shun the story just because the love story wasn't between a man and a woman. They would all seem really interested in the story as I explained the plot, but the second I mentioned that the main character fell in love with another women everyone I told said they wouldn't read a novel "like that" or a "homosexual novel". That's why I've coined the phrase "homosexual novel" in these posts, because everyone around me kept using it.

I don't want to write this story in a didactical fashion. It is true that I want to include my own beliefs that homosexuality isn't something to be fearful of or to look down upon, but I don't want to do it in a preachy manner. I want the lesson to come subconciously through the love between the main character and her lover. I have no intention of preaching in this novel. I just got selfconscious and wanted to know that there actually were people out there who wouldn't shun my book just because the love story was not "normal" (as everyone around me said).

maestrowork
04-19-2007, 08:59 PM
That's why Brokenback Mountain was interesting. Tender lovers who happen to be hardened cowboys...

Rob B
04-19-2007, 09:57 PM
You know, one of the nice things about writing is you can write anything you want, any way you want. Whether anyone (be it many or even a few) would ever want to read it, however, is another story, no pun intended.

I can't speak to anyone's sexual proclivity, but I don't think a writer is going to startle anybody today, regardless of the orientation issues. I'm not trying to be condescending, but because I am almost three times your age, I can state from experience that I thought when I was a youth I had "new ground" to break, only to learn it had been very well-trod on by the time I got to it.

You might want to take the advice of the poster who suggested writing your story without worrying about explaining the ramifications of the relationships. I think most of us can figure these out by now.

One issue you might want to consider is genre. Ray Wong mentioned THE HOURS. This is literature in the purest sense. If you wanted to write literature, you would have a great deal of leeway. But since literature is not the genre in which you are writing, I would take another poster's suggestion and read a wide variety of material to develop ideas where you can go--and what you might want to avoid, not because of potentially offending, but from the perspective of writing what could be considered mundane and boring. And likely unpublishable, it getting your work in print is your goal. I wish you luck.

IrishScribbler
04-20-2007, 12:14 AM
The only suggestion I have is to not draw a lot of attention to it. I read Melissa Scott's Dreaming Metal, and didn't even realize there were homosexual relationships because in her world it was so commonplace.

Jamesaritchie
04-20-2007, 12:27 AM
I'm perfectly willing to read a novel with a homosexual character. I'm currently reading "Hundred Dollar Baby" by Robert B. Parker. One of the tough guys who aids Spenser is a homosexual. Fine by me.

But I will not read a novel that's about homosexuality, or that has homosexual sex scenes. I find such repugnant. Which only means you lose me as a reader. There's still a fairly large market for such novels.

In any case, I don't think market share is something the writer of such a novel should worry about for a second. The idea is to write the novel you want to write, that means something special to you, that says whatever it is you want to say. You then put the novel out there and see what happens.

infinitus_kaze
04-20-2007, 12:28 AM
Thank you everyone. Your suggestions and critiques have really helped me to feel better about writing this story. I think I will take your advice and write without worrying about what people around me think. I won't pay attention to what the people around me have said about not wanting to read it because of the homosexuality and I'll just write it like I originally intended - as a love story dealing with inner turmoil and overcoming the past.

I don't care any more if the people around me have told me they won't read it now that I know there are many people who would want to read it for what it is, a coming-of-age love story set in a fantasy world of magic.

Michael Ocheskey

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 12:57 AM
I'll just write it like I originally intended - as a love story dealing with inner turmoil and overcoming the past.[/I]

I don't care any more if the people around me have told me they won't read it now that I know there are many people who would want to read it for what it is, a coming-of-age love story set in a fantasy world of magic.

Michael Ocheskey

Yes, exactly. Focus on the story, and not on the genitalia. Love is love, you know? It's not gender-linked. People fall in love with other people, not just their fiddly bits.

Paul S Cilwa
04-20-2007, 05:56 AM
I would recommend you meet some out gay people. Women, particularly, since those are the role models you need for your characters. I happen to know there is a PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians And Gays) chapter in your town with monthly meetings. Their purpose is to help the straight communities and gay communities realize there's really just one community, and they're both in it! They would love the opportunity to assist in raising the consciousness of a well-meaning writer such as yourself.

By the way, there was a story some 20 years ago--"Full Fathoms Five My Father Lies" or something like that--I forget the author--but it took place on a world in which, centuries previous, a ship with an all-male crew had crashed. (Or maybe only men survived, I forget which.) They had a device that cloned the DNA and brought to term a baby boy for his "father". (Really, twin brother but for the age difference.) The custom was, when the boys reached 18, they became their fathers' mates. The conflict in the story occurred when two of the boys fell in love with each other, violating custom and threatening to leave their dads alone and without love. It was a beautiful story, generated lots of comments and I don't remember any of them focusing on the homosexuality.

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 06:05 AM
I would recommend you meet some out gay people. Women, particularly, since those are the role models you need for your characters. I happen to know there is a PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians And Gays) chapter in your town with monthly meetings. Their purpose is to help the straight communities and gay communities realize there's really just one community, and they're both in it! They would love the opportunity to assist in raising the consciousness of a well-meaning writer such as yourself.

That's a super idea; you can find the main PFLAG site here (http://www.pflag.org/). This is a slightly tongue-in-cheek humorous guide to etiquette that might be helpful as well; A Straight Person's Guide To Gay Etiquette (http://www.io.com/~wwwomen/queer/etiquette/intro.html). An awful lot of it is just basic common sense and courtesy that really applies to everyone.

Devil Ledbetter
04-20-2007, 06:08 AM
That's a super idea; you can find the main PFLAG site here (http://www.pflag.org/). This is a slightly tongue-in-cheek humorous guide to etiquette that might be helpful as well; A Straight Person's Guide To Gay Etiquette (http://www.io.com/%7Ewwwomen/queer/etiquette/intro.html). An awful lot of it is just basic common sense and courtesy that really applies to everyone.
Didn't she already say she has several friends who are gay?

Paul S Cilwa
04-20-2007, 06:10 AM
Medievalist, I love the "Straight Person's Guide". I didn't know anyone else knew about it!

My favorite bit of advice from there (from memory): "Don't assume your gay friend is attracted to you. Don't assume your gay friend isn't attracted to you!"

janetbellinger
04-20-2007, 06:15 AM
I agree with what others have said. The story should come first and the characters should be people first and things like sexual preference, race, gender, intellectual capacity etc. should just be a detail, nothing more.

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 06:23 AM
Didn't she already say she has several friends who are gay?

Yes, he did, but having friends who are gay is sort of likely for anyone, these days, whether or not we know their orientation. Having friends though doesn't mean that they're the sort of people you can talk about the kinds of things writers are likely to want to know. (Writers are weird. I know this. Some of my best friends . . . nevermind.)

Sometimes one's friends are not the best sources of information for a writer -- it's a different kind of relationship.

infinitus_kaze
04-20-2007, 06:27 AM
Didn't she already say she has several friends who are gay?

Do I really come across as a she? :e2cry: As far as I can remember, I've been mistaken for a woman in every single forum or chat room I've participated in. :Wha: Is it something about the way I talk/write or something else?:Headbang:

maestrowork
04-20-2007, 06:44 AM
It's your avatar.

infinitus_kaze
04-20-2007, 06:48 AM
Ah, I see. That was the only one that looked halfway descent from the ones available to newbies. I'm planning to change it as soon as I get 50 posts and am allowed a custom avatar.

Toothpaste
04-20-2007, 06:57 AM
Also you said you couldn't write male characters, I just assumed that meant you were a girl! Sorry!

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 07:01 AM
Ah, I see. That was the only one that looked halfway descent from the ones available to newbies. I'm planning to change it as soon as I get 50 posts and am allowed a custom avatar.

S'Okay; I get taken for a guy fairly often here, even though my name is on every post.

Devil Ledbetter
04-20-2007, 07:01 AM
Do I really come across as a she? :e2cry: As far as I can remember, I've been mistaken for a woman in every single forum or chat room I've participated in. :Wha: Is it something about the way I talk/write or something else?:Headbang:Sorry about that. It was definitely your avatar. And pretty stupid for me to make that assumption since I'm female and my avatar is a guy. I've been called "he" here more than once, but it doesn't bother me.

And Medevalist, that is a good point about friends not always being the best source of info.

infinitus_kaze
04-20-2007, 07:22 AM
Also you said you couldn't write male characters, I just assumed that meant you were a girl! Sorry!

I can't write most male characters well. I'm good at writing male characters who are the gentlemanly type because I was brought up as an old-fashioned gentleman, but when it comes to other male character types I'm not very good at it because I lack experience being around other men. Due to an experience when I was in elementary school when my best friend (male) betrayed me because he wanted to join a gang I haven't been able to trust men very easily. His betrayal was that his initiation was to have the gang surround me so that he and the others could beat the tar out of me. If a middle-aged man hadn't rushed out of his house screaming to disperse the gang I'm pretty sure I would have been killed instead of just beaten to a pulp. Ever since then I've tried to stay away from men and most of my friends are female except for one.

That is why all of the male characters in my books tend to be gentlemen. Even the characters that seem a little gruff at first turn out to be kind, loyal, and chivalrous. That's the only type of male character I'm used to writing because that's the only type of male character I trust enough to be around.

Women, on the other hand, are easy for me to write because I'm always around them. I've gotten to the point where I can practically read their minds just by looking into their eyes and I'm able to understand their emotions on a level that most men can't because I've been surrounded by them ever since childhood. Unfortunately, being in tune with women like that usually makes me the "friend" and makes it incredibly difficult to move any of my relationships beyond friendship.
:Jaw: :cry:

Toothpaste
04-20-2007, 07:51 AM
Still it's a bit odd to me because you said you couldn't write gay men because you would stereotype them. But to me the stereotype is due to their more sensitive quality (I guess there is also the really big guy as well), and as such seeing as you are one, and tend to write them . . . I can't understand what the problem is with writing a homosexual relationship between two men (I don't mean to say you should change your female plot, but I am just confused is all).

infinitus_kaze
04-20-2007, 08:08 AM
Still it's a bit odd to me because you said you couldn't write gay men because you would stereotype them. But to me the stereotype is due to their more sensitive quality (I guess there is also the really big guy as well), and as such seeing as you are one, and tend to write them . . . I can't understand what the problem is with writing a homosexual relationship between two men (I don't mean to say you should change your female plot, but I am just confused is all).

The problem with it isn't really the homosexual relationship; it is the setting. I'm confident that I could write a love story between two men who are both of the gentlemanly type and make it very convincing because I can just use my own personality and my father's (who is also an old-fashioned gentleman) as reference material, but the problem comes in with the other characters. The story I'm writing takes place on a world with only one gender. It wouldn't seem realistic for me to make a world where every man had a gentlemanly personality and it would also remove most of the potential conflict scenes. I could write the gentlemanly men without being stereotypical, but the other personality types would end up being stereotypical because I don't have enough experience with male personalities to make them seem realistic. I might end up with the "biker dude" and the "pretty boy" and the "pervert", but I wouldn't be able to give these characters depth and they would seem comical which goes against the plot of my story; a dramatic, coming-of-age love story.

That's why the stories I am currently writing (I haven't started writing this story yet; only developed the plot outline and characters) and the one's I've previously written only have a few male characters within a largely female character list. I can get away with writing 3 or 4 gentlemanly male characters, but not all of them. Since I understand female personality types in great detail I can easily write multiple personality types in a female only world without the personality types becoming stereotypical. I'll be able to give my female characters a lot more depth than I could a male character. Does that help clear up what I was trying to say earlier?

freshpencils
04-20-2007, 08:11 AM
I would argue that homosexuality is not taboo in our society.

veinglory
04-20-2007, 08:13 AM
It is and it isn't. Bad things certainly still happen.

Toothpaste
04-20-2007, 08:36 AM
Totally! Thank you for answering, I really didn't get it but it makes way more sense now. It is interesting that you understand women better than men (I mean I can totally see why), still I find it interesting. Possibly what you could try to do, later on of course, as an exercise, is take some of the female personalities and translate them to male. For example I know a lot of female jocks. Girls who burp etc, love sports, and have "typically" male characteristics. Since you are so well versed in many different types of female personalities I assume this is one of them, possibly you could write one of these said personalities, but make them male instead of female. But like I said, as an exercise at a later date.

akiwiguy
04-20-2007, 08:41 AM
An interesting topic. Everyone's pretty much said it.

In reality I think there's still a whole lot of varying attitudes out there to homosexual relationships, and politically-correct speak is one thing but in reality.. not so sure. I remember when here in NZ the laws concerning same-sex marriages etc. came into effect, it just happened that a new law banning smoking in bars restaurants etc. was also passed the same week, and I found it interesting exactly who the people were around me making the inevitable double-entendre "fag" jokes.

Interesting the ridiculous coverage concerning that kiss of Jennifer Anniston and whoever on whatever show (sorry, I don't pay much attention to TV as you can see)... well, wow surprise surprise if it's not two drop-dead gorgeous women kissing, and of course they are bi rather than lesbian... well, isn't that half the populations fantasy? But really exploring homosexual themes, I'm just not so sure. Especially with regard to straight guy's attitudes to gay men rather than women.

I like the ideas expressed that sexuality is a continuum. Sexuality is far more complex than can possibly be described with a couple of labels.

A book that I'm always on about... Jeanette Winterson's "Written on the Body" is interesting in that it describes the narrator's love for a woman, yet no-one has ever conclusively determined whether the narrator is male or female. I've always felt instictively female but I think that's only because Winterson is herself gay. This androgenous quality alone adds to the intrigue of the book. I really recommend it, though it's not her most acclaimed work.

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 08:44 AM
I would argue that homosexuality is not taboo in our society.

Err . . . that kind of depends on the "our" and the "society."

People do still get attacked, verbally, and physically, and there's lots of discrimination; some of the most pernicious sorts are the kinds that are almost invisible because they're culturally ingrained; it's both distressing and very odd to catch oneself inadvertently indulging in accidental discrimination.

Paul S Cilwa
04-20-2007, 08:51 AM
I could write the gentlemanly men without being stereotypical, but the other personality types would end up being stereotypical because I don't have enough experience with male personalities to make them seem realistic. I might end up with the "biker dude" and the "pretty boy" and the "pervert", but I wouldn't be able to give these characters depth and they would seem comical which goes against the plot of my story; a dramatic, coming-of-age love story.
Now, those are stereotypes! --And, more to the point, not characters.

In my current novel, there are two male (human) characters. (There are also a couple of male non-humans, but we won't worry about them.) They have been roommates and friends for years. Both are "gentlemanly" as you would say--well-mannered, well-meaning. Joshua is devoted to the advertised essential goodness of the culture of which he is a part, while Dave is a "conspiracy theorist"--and don't think that doesn't produce some conflict between them. Moreover, Dave is bixsexual and has long had feelings for Joshua--more conflict, mostly internal. Then, when Joshua is presumed dead, Dave and Joshua's fiancee find comfort in each others' arms. When Joshua shows up alive, you can imagine how awkward Dave and the girl feel. Especially when Dave's sense of chivalry demands he come clean with his friend.

Trust me, gentlemen can have plenty of conflicts without coming to blows, or being "biker boys".

Paul S Cilwa
04-20-2007, 08:57 AM
it's both distressing and very odd to catch oneself inadvertently indulging in accidental discrimination.
No kidding. I am not effeminate, and it took someone else to point out to me that I related to effeminate gays almost as poorly as any straight homophobe.

That was a long time ago and I hope I am more enlightened now.

Shady Lane
04-20-2007, 09:37 AM
I can't write most male characters well. I'm good at writing male characters who are the gentlemanly type because I was brought up as an old-fashioned gentleman, but when it comes to other male character types I'm not very good at it because I lack experience being around other men. Due to an experience when I was in elementary school when my best friend (male) betrayed me because he wanted to join a gang I haven't been able to trust men very easily. His betrayal was that his initiation was to have the gang surround me so that he and the others could beat the tar out of me. If a middle-aged man hadn't rushed out of his house screaming to disperse the gang I'm pretty sure I would have been killed instead of just beaten to a pulp. Ever since then I've tried to stay away from men and most of my friends are female except for one.

That is why all of the male characters in my books tend to be gentlemen. Even the characters that seem a little gruff at first turn out to be kind, loyal, and chivalrous. That's the only type of male character I'm used to writing because that's the only type of male character I trust enough to be around.

Women, on the other hand, are easy for me to write because I'm always around them. I've gotten to the point where I can practically read their minds just by looking into their eyes and I'm able to understand their emotions on a level that most men can't because I've been surrounded by them ever since childhood. Unfortunately, being in tune with women like that usually makes me the "friend" and makes it incredibly difficult to move any of my relationships beyond friendship.
:Jaw: :cry:

I absolutely understand. I can't write girls for the life of me.

Sean D. Schaffer
04-20-2007, 10:22 AM
Err . . . that kind of depends on the "our" and the "society."

People do still get attacked, verbally, and physically, and there's lots of discrimination; some of the most pernicious sorts are the kinds that are almost invisible because they're culturally ingrained; it's both distressing and very odd to catch oneself inadvertently indulging in accidental discrimination.


Indeed. I've never been gay a day in my life, but I've been assaulted because I sat with a male friend in the same booth (across the table) at a local restaurant. The reason they gave me for the assault? You guessed it: they continually called me homosexual.

In fact the first punch to my jaw came when I said, "I am not a homosexual."

Jamesaritchie
04-20-2007, 06:12 PM
No kidding. I am not effeminate, and it took someone else to point out to me that I related to effeminate gays almost as poorly as any straight homophobe.

That was a long time ago and I hope I am more enlightened now.


That's interesting. I am not a person who approves of homosexuality in any way, but I am a person who has several homosexuals as friends, and a couple of them are effeminate in the extreme. I relate to them as well as to anyone else.

Jamesaritchie
04-20-2007, 06:17 PM
Indeed. I've never been gay a day in my life, but I've been assaulted because I sat with a male friend in the same booth (across the table) at a local restaurant. The reason they gave me for the assault? You guessed it: they continually called me homosexual.

In fact the first punch to my jaw came when I said, "I am not a homosexual."

Might be they were just looking for someone to beat up, and homosexuality was just the excuse they used.

I've sat in restaurants with friends who were obviously homosexual in the way they dressed, the way they acted, and in the lipstick and eye makeup they wore. Never had a problem.

It's been my experience that people pick fights primarily because they think they can win the fight, and protesting or arguing anything just gives them confidence.

maestrowork
04-20-2007, 07:52 PM
Or maybe it was a hate crime. People do find homosexuals to beat them up. It's a reality in many parts of the world, including this country.

Roger J Carlson
04-20-2007, 07:59 PM
People do find homosexuals to beat them up. You know, when I read this, I thought you were saying that people go out looking to be beaten up by homosexuals.

freshpencils
04-20-2007, 08:29 PM
True, true. But in general, I stick by what I originally said. Homosexuality is not "taboo." If you want to describe how homosexuality is viewed in our society (non-third world countries, say, if you want a definition), taboo is not the word you'd use.

janetbellinger
04-20-2007, 08:32 PM
Well, I had my stereotyped images shattered last year when a couple of gay men captured a robber who'd broken into the B&B my husband and I were staying in.

veinglory
04-20-2007, 08:34 PM
I disagree. Taboo is a thing that cannot be spoken of. Many people still can't let people know at work or they will be fired (this is still legal in the UK and mandatory in the US army). In many other settings you can't let people even guess or they will abuse, spit on and beat you up. Being openly gay is still a very brave thing to do and people are still dying because they do it.

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 08:45 PM
True, true. But in general, I stick by what I originally said. Homosexuality is not "taboo." If you want to describe how homosexuality is viewed in our society (non-third world countries, say, if you want a definition), taboo is not the word you'd use.

Err . .. yeah, it is taboo (http://www.bartleby.com/61/49/T0004900.html). I've had students attempt suicide when they realized that they were homosexual and that in their cases their families and friends, and they themselves, considered their sexual orientation absolutely taboo, and sinful and, well, pretty much the 405 freeway to hell.

Homosexuality is strictly forbidden in any number of Western cultures, and by a number of religions.

infinitus_kaze
04-20-2007, 08:53 PM
I disagree. Taboo is a thing that cannot be spoken of. Many people still can't let people know at work or they will be fired (this is still legal in the UK and mandatory in the US army). In many other settings you can't let people even guess or they will abuse, spit on and beat you up. Being openly gay is still a very brave thing to do and people are still dying because they do it.

I have to disagree with your definition of taboo, but I do agree that there is still injustice in this world, especially for homosexuals. I don't define taboo as something that cannot be spoken of. I define it as something that is prohibited (in a noun form) or considered improper or unacceptable by a particular society (in a adjectival form). Many sexual practices are considered taboo in this society including homosexuality, bondage, S&M, bestiality, and incest, but that doesn't mean that you can't talk about them in public. It only means that practicing them is looked down upon. Even premarital sex can be considered taboo. In slang form taboo means something spoken that can have a negative effect on someone and therefore should try to be avoided out of politeness. For instance, mentioning my dead cousin's name in front of my sister causes her to get really depressed, so her name would be considered taboo and something that should not be spoken around my sister out of politeness to her.

Roger J Carlson
04-20-2007, 09:00 PM
I think it depends on what you mean by 'culture'. In the culture of the US military, it is certainly taboo (by Medievalist's Bartleby definition). The same is true of the culture of, say, my home church. However, it is not taboo of the culture of the US as a whole. Homosexuality is openly discussed on television, several governmental bodies have debated and approved same-sex marriages.

Since the US is one of the most conservative of the Western cultures, I'm hard pressed to think of one where it is taboo. Ireland, perhaps?

On the other hand, many Middle Eastern cultures will severely penalize (even kill) homosexuals. I'd say that counts as a taboo.

veinglory
04-20-2007, 09:08 PM
If you think premarital sex is more frowned upon than homosexuality you must live in an interesting community. I think something that can get you fired, beaten and killed (and 'homosexual panic' will mean it isn't counted as murder) is taboo--no matter how you define it.

infinitus_kaze
04-20-2007, 09:13 PM
I never said it is more frowned upon. I said it can be considered taboo. It depends on what culture you are defining. Among many cultures it isn't taboo, but among Catholic and many Protestant cultures it is taboo and considered to be a sin just as homosexuality is considered sinful to these religions.

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 09:35 PM
Many sexual practices are considered taboo in this society including homosexuality, bondage, S&M, bestiality, and incest, but that doesn't mean that you can't talk about them in public.

Erp . . . careful there; it's sort of sloppy to equate homosexuality with sexual practice. There are, for instance, celibate homosexuals. It's the sexual attraction and love for members of the same sex, rather than practices so much. Pretty much the same practices are engaged in by some/many heterosexuals.

And if you talk about most of those things at my mom's formal dinner table, well, she's gonna get all southern on ya.

infinitus_kaze
04-20-2007, 09:44 PM
Erp . . . careful there; it's sort of sloppy to equate homosexuality with sexual practice. There are, for instance, celibate homosexuals. It's the sexual attraction and love for members of the same sex, rather than practices so much. Pretty much the same practices are engaged in by some/many heterosexuals.

And if you talk about most of those things at my mom's formal dinner table, well, she's gonna get all southern on ya.

I was actually speaking of the sexual practice aspect of homosexuality. I'm Catholic, even though I disagree with many of the church's teaching, and one thing I've learned in my religious education classes is that the Catholic church doesn't consider homosexuals to be sinful or taboo in any way. What it considers taboo and sinful is if a homosexual partakes in a sexual act. It's complicated. The church looks down upon homosexual sex acts because they occur "outside of wedlock," but it refuses to allow homosexuals to marry. Therefore a homosexual must remain chaste in order to remain "pure" in their eyes. This is one of the many issues I have with the Catholic church and with many religions in general.

Zoombie
04-20-2007, 09:59 PM
Now that's just nutty.

Sassenach
04-20-2007, 10:06 PM
That's interesting. I am not a person who approves of homosexuality in any way, but I am a person who has several homosexuals as friends, and a couple of them are effeminate in the extreme. I relate to them as well as to anyone else.

I'm sure they appreciate your realting skills.

Jamesaritchie
04-20-2007, 10:16 PM
I'm sure they appreciate your realting skills.

I'm sure they don't give a damn. That's what makes it work. They don't try to tell me what I should think or believe, and I don't try to tell them what they should think or believe.

Jamesaritchie
04-20-2007, 10:18 PM
If you think premarital sex is more frowned upon than homosexuality you must live in an interesting community. I think something that can get you fired, beaten and killed (and 'homosexual panic' will mean it isn't counted as murder) is taboo--no matter how you define it.

It's just as frowned on by me.

Jamesaritchie
04-20-2007, 10:19 PM
Or maybe it was a hate crime. People do find homosexuals to beat them up. It's a reality in many parts of the world, including this country.

A hate crime? How many love crimes are there? I suppose when a straight person gets beat up it's done out of love?

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 10:26 PM
I'm sure they don't give a damn. That's what makes it work. They don't try to tell me what I should think or believe, and I don't try to tell them what they should think or believe.

Right. And I'm willing to bet large sums of money you don't beat them up either . . . but I know for a fact that it's common for some thuggish sorts to wait for students to leave the campus GLBT center purely in order to beat them up, or verbally abuse them.

The first time I saw it happen I was sure it was just a fluke. But it wasn't. It's fairly common, common enough that people are a little careful about leaving at night.

ETA: No of course I didn't stand there and watch someone get beat up. Geeze.

Sassenach
04-20-2007, 10:29 PM
I'm sure they don't give a damn. That's what makes it work. They don't try to tell me what I should think or believe, and I don't try to tell them what they should think or believe.

I don't think it's as simple as that. It's one thing to disagree with friends about say, political parties or eating habits--another about something that is as central to your life as your sexual orientation/spouse.

I couldn't be close friends with someone who believes I'm going to hell because I'm not a Christian.

Roger J Carlson
04-20-2007, 10:35 PM
I couldn't be close friends with someone who believes I'm going to hell because I'm not a Christian.I think that's sad.

Sassenach
04-20-2007, 10:37 PM
You do? Why would I want to spend time with someone who believes that no matter what I do or what kind of life I lead, I'm going to hell?

Cassidy
04-20-2007, 10:49 PM
I have to agree with Sassenach here-- I don't need my friends to share all my belifes and I can be friends with people who are very different from me in lots of ways-- but if someone is saying they don't "approve of" who I am, or who my partner is (let alone that we're all going to hell) well-- yeah, that would be a major barrier to a friendship. i can afford to be a bit pickier than that. I sure wouldn't choose to have my kid be around people who didn't "approve of" our family.

anyway, the whole notion of "approving" or not is kind of weird. some of us have same-sex partners, some of us are gay or lesbian or queer-- that's a reality. not approving of it is kind of like not approving of brown eyes or short people. it's part of the world, part of who people are.

also-- it is a reality that many g/l/b/t folks do experience discrimination, silencing, invisibility and sometimes violence. suicide rates among g/l/b/t youth are still high. there's plenty of research and stats to back all this up-- not just my opinion. and yet lots of folks who i would guess believe in equal rights and oppose violence and discrimination still say they don't approve. i'd argue that their own "not approving"-- and their apparent need to make their lack of approval so clear - contributes to a rhetoric that perpetuates the difficulties g/l/b/t folks continue to experience.

Roger J Carlson
04-20-2007, 11:01 PM
You do? Why would I want to spend time with someone who believes that no matter what I do or what kind of life I lead, I'm going to hell?Turn it around. Would you think it equally acceptable that your Christian neighbor not want his kids to play with your kids because you don't believe the same as he does? Seems to me this cutting each other out of our lives because we believe differently is at the root of much of the violence in the world today.

Cassidy
04-20-2007, 11:15 PM
well... I wouldn't have any problem with my kid playing with my Christian neighbour's kids. My kid has lots of friends who are Christian (and other religions, and atheist too) and who are totally accepting and supportive of him and of our family. Not all Christians are homophobes. Some are great human rights activists and very concerned about social justice. But I wouldn't want my kid around people who were going to tell him that his that his family is not acceptable or that his parents are going to hell. I can't imagine anyone would want that for their kids.

Devil Ledbetter
04-20-2007, 11:19 PM
anyway, the whole notion of "approving" or not is kind of weird. some of us have same-sex partners, some of us are gay or lesbian or queer-- that's a reality. not approving of it is kind of like not approving of brown eyes or short people. it's part of the world, part of who people are.
I have to agree with you Cassidy. There is something almost arrogant about setting oneself up as in a position to approve or disapprove of someone else's sexual orientation or activities. I think people who say they "don't approve" may not realize how bad it sounds. They should think about how they would feel if someone said "I don't approve of your choice of spouse or refusal to reciprocate oral sex with her" or whatever. What any couple, gay or straight, married or not, does in the sack is strictly their business and not up for the approval of passerby.

I'm an atheist, but I would never go around saying I disapprove of fundamentalists getting married and having *gasp* missionary-position sex. (Okay, I would say I disapprove, but I'd be joking).

Roger J Carlson
04-20-2007, 11:19 PM
But I wouldn't want my kid around people who were going to tell him that his that his family is not acceptable or that his parents are going to hell. I can't imagine anyone would want that for their kids.But that's not what Sass said. She said she couldn't be friends with people who believed she was going to hell. This belief is foundational to Christianity (most versions anyway) so she cannot be friends with almost any Christian. This is as intolerant as homophobia.

What is tolerance? (http://www.tolerance.org/about/tolerance.html)

Devil Ledbetter
04-20-2007, 11:21 PM
This is as intolerant as gay bashing.
It's not. It's simply a statement that she doesn't choose to spend time with people who believe she's going to hell.

maestrowork
04-20-2007, 11:25 PM
A hate crime? How many love crimes are there? I suppose when a straight person gets beat up it's done out of love?

Jesus, JAR. Study the definition of "hate crime" under the laws and get back to me.

Sassenach
04-20-2007, 11:38 PM
But that's not what Sass said. She said she couldn't be friends with people who believed she was going to hell. This belief is foundational to Christianity (most versions anyway) so she cannot be friends with almost any Christian. This is as intolerant as homophobia.

What is tolerance? (http://www.tolerance.org/about/tolerance.html)

To clarify--I am speaking of those who fall under the broad rubric of "fundamentalism/born again" insist on being "saved", etc. and believe there is ONE. WAY. Roger, I'm certain you understand this, and are being intentionally obtuse.

Toothpaste
04-20-2007, 11:51 PM
James: from Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_crime )

"Hate crimes (also known as bias crimes) are violent crimes, hate speech or vandalism, motivated by feelings of enmity or animus against an identifiable social group. Animosity towards the victims of hate crimes are often based on race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, or national origin. Hate crimes differ from regular crime motivated by economic gain or personal animosity."

Roger J Carlson
04-20-2007, 11:53 PM
To clarify--I am speaking of those who fall under the broad rubric of "fundamentalism/born again" insist on being "saved", etc. and believe there is ONE. WAY. Roger, I'm certain you understand this, and are being intentionally obtuse.It is the official doctine of almost every Christian sect that there is indeed ONE. WAY. Whether everybody belonging to those sects believes this is another matter.

Regardless. That's still an awful lot of people you cannot be friends with based on a single belief.

Sassenach
04-21-2007, 12:02 AM
I've never had a Unitarian or Presbyterian or Anglican, for example, suggest I'm hell-bound, nor have I heard them promulgate that doctrine.

Penguin Queen
04-21-2007, 12:10 AM
<...> Many people still can't let people know at work or they will be fired (this is still legal in the UK and mandatory in the US army). <...>

I'm struggling a little bit with your sentence, but if I understand you right, you're saying that it's legal in the UK to sack poeple because of their sexual orientation?
Because it isnt. Since the 2003 Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations have been in force, which ban discrimination in the workplace on the grounds of sexual orientation in employment. This is true for all EU member states.
A couple of months ago, the Goods & Services Act was voted through in Parliament which makes discrimination against gays, lesbians & bi poeple by businesses illegal -- so for example, a hotel or B&B can't refuse to give a same-sex couple a room with a double bed, adoption agencies can't refuse to place a child with a gay or lesbian couple, etc.
So while there continues to be homophobia in the UK, and indeed anti-queer hate crime, it is illigal to discriminate in any shape or form agains lesbian, gay & bi peeple on the grounds of their sexual orientation. This includes the police and, I'm fairly sure, the armed forces as well.

Roger J Carlson
04-21-2007, 12:11 AM
I've never had a Unitarian or Presbyterian or Anglican, for example, suggest I'm hell-bound, nor have I heard them promulgate that doctrine. Unitarians, certainly not. But Presbyterian (http://www.pcusa.org/101/101-theology.htm)and Anglican (http://anglicansonline.org/basics/nicene.html) certainly do believe in salvation only through Jesus Christ. If Jesus is the only way to Heaven, and Hell is the alternative, then you do the math.

Very few churches nowadays use Hell-fire-and-damnation as a evangelistic technique. That doesn't mean they don't believe it.

ETA: Now I can certainly understand not wanting to be friends with someone who preached it to you irrespective of your beliefs and feelings. If that's what you meant, then fine. But to remove from the possible pool of friends anyone who believes that? That's what I think is sad and somewhat frightening.

Medievalist
04-21-2007, 12:16 AM
Roger let me use an alternative example.

I've got Southern Baptist relatives. I will never ever again expose my husband to them. He's Jewish.

They wanted to know if he had hooves, and what he did with his horns.

They told him, and me, that he was going to hell, and that I would to, for marrying him, and that we weren't actually married anyway.

Now, I don't know if that's the kind of thing that Sassenach is worried about, but I sure as heck won't subject him to that ever again.

Penguin Queen
04-21-2007, 12:18 AM
Well, I know quite a large number of lesbians who are also devout Christians, & have among my friends two out lesbians who are ministers in the United Reform Church.

The very question whether or not there is actually condemnation of homosexuality in the Bible is still very much disputed, and as most poeple now surely know, the sentence in question occurs in a place in the Bible, in Levitivus, in the company of the banning of the wearing of clothes made of "mingled yarn" (if I remember rightly) and other laws that we today no longer follow (cotton-nylon mix, anyone?). It really isnt a big deal, scripturally speaking, even though a surprising number of poeple get worked up about it to a surprising degree.

Sassenach
04-21-2007, 12:19 AM
I guess you'll have to continue to feel sad then.

PS: Televangelists are full of fire and brimstone.

Roger J Carlson
04-21-2007, 12:24 AM
Roger let me use an alternative example.

I've got Southern Baptist relatives. I will never ever again expose my husband to them. He's Jewish.

They wanted to know if he had hooves, and what he did with his horns.

They told him, and me, that he was going to hell, and that I would to, for marrying him, and that we weren't actually married anyway.

Now, I don't know if that's the kind of thing that Sassenach is worried about, but I sure as heck won't subject him to that ever again.I can understand that as well. Many people are ignorant and intolerant, neither of which was taught by Jesus. But will you condemn all Southern Baptists because of this? Because I know many Southern Baptists to whom such behavior is equally abhorant and they too believe in only one way to salvation.

janetbellinger
04-21-2007, 12:24 AM
I think I would find it hard to believe somebody who thought I was going to hell really cared about the condition of my soul.

Old Hack
04-21-2007, 12:27 AM
I have a very dear friend who happens to be a practising gay woman. She is an acknowledged expert in medical ethics. She also happens to be the head of the Quaker church in Switzerland, where she lives. I aspire to her standards, and admire her enormously. I can tell her anything, ask for her advice on everything, and I know that she'll be honest with me and offer suggestions which are stringent and fair.

I also have a friend who is a very evangelical Christian and although I like her, admire her generousity and warmth, and enjoy her company most of the time, I find her beliefs about homosexuality abhorrent. It gets in the way of our friendship even when we're not discussing sexuality. It taints our friendship. Consequently, we don't see each other often.

My point? Love, warmth and openness seems to me to be a better way to go than closed-mindedness and judgement.

Roger J Carlson
04-21-2007, 12:28 AM
PS: Televangelists are full of fire and brimstone.Televangelists are a very tiny minority of the Church, even the Fundamentalist/Evangelical church. Would you have us get our beliefs about homosexuals from situation comedies?

Sassenach
04-21-2007, 12:29 AM
I would never mention Ted Haggard in this thread. That would be a cheap shot.

Medievalist
04-21-2007, 12:30 AM
I can understand that as well. Many people are ignorant and intolerant, neither of which was taught by Jesus. But will you condemn all Southern Baptists because of this? Because I know many Southern Baptists to whom such behavior is equally abhorant and they too believe in only one way to salvation.

Heck no; my dad was ordained at Louisville Baptist Seminary, and thought very very highly of my husband.

But it does, I think, explain a desire to avoid folk who assume one is going to hell -- and in a lot of cases, such folk presuppose that it's their duty to inform you of your eventual destination.

And yes, I can see it as an issue of tolerance. I'd avoid the individuals, and not the class :D

Roger J Carlson
04-21-2007, 12:40 AM
I think I would find it hard to believe somebody who thought I was going to hell really cared about the condition of my soul.Really? Because that statement would surprise most Christians.

Roger J Carlson
04-21-2007, 12:41 AM
I would never mention Ted Haggard in this thread. That would be a cheap shot.LOL. Well, I'm glad you're above that sort of thing.

infinitus_kaze
04-21-2007, 04:25 AM
It is the official doctine of almost every Christian sect that there is indeed ONE. WAY. Whether everybody belonging to those sects believes this is another matter.

Regardless. That's still an awful lot of people you cannot be friends with based on a single belief.

This one way business is a belief of only a few Protestant religions and doesn't reflect Christianity as a whole. It used to be a Catholic belief too, if you weren't Catholic you wouldn't be able to go to heaven, but that obsurdity was changed in Vatican II. Now, it is believed in the Catholic church that anyone can get to heaven. It is God's decision and human's should not presume to know who will "be saved" and who won't.

Jan-Tosh
04-21-2007, 05:30 AM
Just be subtle. Don't spell it all out for a reader. Treat the issue like it should be treated in your characters' scenario, naturally, and so ubiquitous it almost disappears in itself, if that makes sense.

Sean D. Schaffer
04-21-2007, 07:38 AM
Might be they were just looking for someone to beat up, and homosexuality was just the excuse they used.

I've sat in restaurants with friends who were obviously homosexual in the way they dressed, the way they acted, and in the lipstick and eye makeup they wore. Never had a problem.

It's been my experience that people pick fights primarily because they think they can win the fight, and protesting or arguing anything just gives them confidence.


No, this was a hate crime, I assure you. The last words the guy said to me, after twisting my glasses in half and tossing them across the parking lot, were "Get your homo ass out of MY f***ing country!"

I'm sorry, but the guy beat me up because he thought I was a homosexual.

Jan-Tosh
04-21-2007, 10:02 AM
The last words the guy said to me, after twisting my glasses in half and tossing them across the parking lot, were "Get your homo ass out of MY f***ing country!"

And that's when you say "I'm sorry, all I heard out of that was 'homo ass f***ing.' Are you trying to tell me something?"

infinitus_kaze
04-23-2007, 12:13 AM
I finally reached a point where I could change my avatar and I chose one that related to the love story I've been working on. I've decided to change my avatar whenever I start working on a new project and try to find an avatar that relates to my newest project in some way. What do you think? It's not too flashy, is it?

Sean D. Schaffer
04-23-2007, 12:26 AM
I finally reached a point where I could change my avatar and I chose one that related to the love story I've been working on. I've decided to change my avatar whenever I start working on a new project and try to find an avatar that relates to my newest project in some way. What do you think? It's not too flashy, is it?



I think it looks good. Not too flashy at all.

:)

Toothpaste
04-23-2007, 12:37 AM
Not too flashy? Not nearly flashy enough in my opinion!

Jenan Mac
04-23-2007, 02:41 AM
Turn it around. Would you think it equally acceptable that your Christian neighbor not want his kids to play with your kids because you don't believe the same as he does?


You say that like you don't think it happens, Roger.

IME, it's not the "being Christian" that's an issue. Shoot, I'm married to a lovely (most of the time) Christian man. The problem is the "you're going to experience eternal torment and damnation because you don't belong to my group" deal.
But hey, we can turn that around, too. Would you really enjoy hanging out with someone who believed that, despite all your lovely qualities as a human being, you're going to be reincarnated as a cockroach because you believe in the Christ?

Jenan Mac
04-23-2007, 02:49 AM
But that's not what Sass said. She said she couldn't be friends with people who believed she was going to hell. This belief is foundational to Christianity (most versions anyway) so she cannot be friends with almost any Christian.


I'd dispute the "most versions anyway". The greatest number of Christians I've come across (and as a Southerner, you pretty much can't swing a cat without hitting one) believe that that's YHWH's decision to make, and not theirs.
Now, there are definitely some who confuse themselves with their God, but I don't find that to be the majority, by any means.

Sean D. Schaffer
04-23-2007, 08:12 AM
So basically, as far as homosexuality in a novel goes, I basically think the same as I did in my first post. If you really want to write the book, then by all means write the book. But don't be afraid of people's opinions just because of taboo or other potentially problematic issues.

No matter what you say or write, you're going to offend someone, somewhere. So don't worry what others think; just write what you want to write.

Roger J Carlson
04-23-2007, 05:51 PM
You say that like you don't think it happens, Roger.

IME, it's not the "being Christian" that's an issue. Shoot, I'm married to a lovely (most of the time) Christian man. The problem is the "you're going to experience eternal torment and damnation because you don't belong to my group" deal.
But hey, we can turn that around, too. Would you really enjoy hanging out with someone who believed that, despite all your lovely qualities as a human being, you're going to be reincarnated as a cockroach because you believe in the Christ?

I'd dispute the "most versions anyway". The greatest number of Christians I've come across (and as a Southerner, you pretty much can't swing a cat without hitting one) believe that that's YHWH's decision to make, and not theirs.
Now, there are definitely some who confuse themselves with their God, but I don't find that to be the majority, by any means.

This one way business is a belief of only a few Protestant religions and doesn't reflect Christianity as a whole. It used to be a Catholic belief too, if you weren't Catholic you wouldn't be able to go to heaven, but that obsurdity was changed in Vatican II. Now, it is believed in the Catholic church that anyone can get to heaven. It is God's decision and human's should not presume to know who will "be saved" and who won't.While I have absolutely no problem discussing this issue, it is very far off-topic for this thread as it has nothing to do with homosexuality in novels. I'm very sorry for having introduced it. Apologies to the OP.

maestrowork
04-23-2007, 07:39 PM
I think we can all agree that we can't please everyone. You need to know your market and there's a huge gay and gay-friendly market out there, even in your chosen genres. So don't worry and just write.