Thursday, June 28, 2018


2018 is going to be known as "my year of reading gay fiction." Gay romance, gay erotica, gay mystery—I've read it, and I'll keep on reading it till you cut me and I bleed glitter. Sure, I know that gay fiction isn't for everyone, but I think it should be. If you think that gay fiction is all about boinking in the dark, kissing in secret, and having characters who are so touchy-feely when they're alone, then you have your work cut out for you. Personally though, I wouldn't mind reading something that's purely about boinking and kissing (and other kinky stuff). Who doesn't need those, right?

I guess I'm predisposed to putting unnecessary labels on things. I am, after all, a member of that wonderful but unfairly marginalized community called the LGBTQIAZGSIDFEDOGR. (Wait, did I miss a letter? I guess this is when the rainbow emoji comes in handy, no? Although I've seen the rainbow LGBT flag with two additional colors—brown and black. I have no idea what these two colors stand for. But adding those colors is a headscratcher. Why not periwinkle? Or chartreuse? Or coquelicot? Or even xanadu?) Anyway, I dream of the time when these gay fiction wouldn't have its own shelf or its own shopping category in Amazon. It would just be what it has always been in the first place—fiction.

I get why some people would be wary of gay fiction. The novels of James Lear, for example, border on porn. Every chapter, whatever the scenario, there'd be sex. And the result is one terribly funny but hot story. Open a page randomly in a Lear novel and chances are, you'll read the middle of a sex scene. Sex while doing laundry, sex in the barn, sex in a steamship, sex with the bartender, sex with the sexy village idiot who has an irresistible eggplant. The thing is though, aren't there non-gay novels that are written the same way? Of course, the Fifty Shades novels come to mind. I've read them, mind you. And I've never laughed so hard reading sex scenes that aren't supposed to be funny. Come to think of it, I've never met a gay guy who's been turned on by Fifty Shades. But Jamie Dornan though, woo-hoo. I grew up watching Dawson's Creek. So Dornan fulfills fantasies of what Pacey would look like after 10 years.

Do people still think that gays come from another planet? If you meet 10 people randomly on the street, at least 1 of them would be gay. Why are some people so hateful? Are they afraid of us and and our fabulousness? Perhaps they have heard of the gay mafia and how vindictive it could be? Here's the thing, I don't think there's a gay mafia though. If there were, shit, how do I apply? I bet the recruitment process involves "lip-synching for your life." (On a related note: I've never liked RuPaul's Drag Race. I just don't get it. The bf is very much into it. When it's on TV, I tune out. And if I'm in a good mood, I'd pretend to like it.)

What's surprising is that some of this hate comes from Christian groups. And they even have the nerve to say, "We hate the sin, not the sinner." Ummm, excuse me? Last time I checked, Jesus never wanted people to hate other people. What is this "sin" that we committed? The sin of fabulousness? And how does gay marriage weaken your "traditional Christian" marriage? If your marriage is threatened by men whose only sin is to have impeccable taste in shoes, then your marriage isn't strong in the first place, no? Yes, our flamboyance may be annoying sometimes, but don't you think we're also annoyed hearing from you how our "alternative lifestyle" encroach on your "traditional values"?

Anyway, gay fiction. There are tons out there. Lately, I've been reading gay novels published by indie presses. It all began early this year when the book club discussed Murmuration, a novel by TJ Klune. I knew that it's a gay novel so I was looking forward to talking about it. But finding a copy was a challenge, so thank goodness for Book Depository (free shipping!). Much as I'd want to support our local bookstores, online bookstores are a godsend for lazy but fabulous peeps like me. Come to think of it, I've been buying most of my books online lately. Saves me a lot of hassle. So it got me thinking why do our bookstores don't have that many gay novels in stock? Last time I checked, there were quite a number of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda though. So that's a good thing. And the usual David Levithan (love!) and Benjamin Alire Saenz (love, love!). But apart from those, relatively slim pickings on gay fiction. My technicolor heart bleeds, and my shiny shimmery soul weeps.

Yesterday morning I went to the post office to get my books. Couldn't be happier. Practically sprinted all the way from my desk to the post office. I imagine that I left a trail of pixie dust along the way. My shallow self is delighted by the eye candy on the cover of The Imperfection of Swans. Hopefully, what's inside would be more delightful.