(Photo by Jorge Gonzalez)
A gay friend of mine earlier posted a semi-rant over GFY and the main point he was trying to make was that sexuality – for a lot of people isn’t fluid.
The science is clear that homosexuality is built into the genes and epigenetics of human beings.
GFY does a disservice to people – not because of the trope but because of the easy explanation of so-called sexual fluidity.
Those who’ve taken umbrage to this subset of a subset of a subset of this genre do so because they’re so used to the world outside telling them that they can change or that who they are isn’t natural – that when they see this, this reinforces that mindset.
If sexuality is in fact FLUID – you can CHOOSE to be straight. Or at the very least be in a straight relationship.
But there is a two-pronged problem here.
The first is the aforementioned.
The second, however, is telling people what they can write and telling readers what they can read.
We run into a constant problem here.
GFY – is high fantasy.
It isn’t real and anecdotal evidence to the contrary is just that. Anecdotal.
And then people – writers- get defensive over their work, readers get mad because they’re being ignored and the entire thing descends into a flame war.
It is irrefutable that a writer can write what he or she wants. That is crystal clear.
But there is often a distance between what one CAN do and what one OUGHT to do.
GFY – as a subset – isn’t going anywhere.
The market eats those books up like cookie monster eats cookies. And to be honest, it’s a cash cow that authors have found and it would be dumb to give it up.
Screaming about that does zilch – other than causing a bunch of stupid drama and then, unintentionally sells a bunch of books people were angry over.
But instead of slapping sexual fluidity in place of actual research and understanding of human sexuality may assuage some people’s feelings about the subset and make them less angry about feeling like not only do they have to watch out for the crazy preacher down the road who thinks they can change and the ignorant author who happens to agree with them in their work.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write about gay people – it simply means that you should fear your subject. And with that trepidation approach it with respect and the dignity they deserve like you would someone of a different race.
Sexuality is as ingrain as skin color, eye color, blood type….
I can guarantee you some straight person doesn’t wake up one day, no matter how much they may like another person of the same gender and think, “I want to have sex with him/her.” Or – if a gay man and a straight man have a very close emotional relationship – doesn’t mean that they’re going to have a sexual one.
Are there sexual fluid people? Yes.
But they are not gay. They have their own special set of circumstances that should be highly respected. As do bisexual people who’ve really been done a disservice by this subset.
None of these things should be flippantly brushed aside to get two hot guys into bed.
GFY – will remain a high fantasy, especially for gay men who fall in love with their best friend. But it’s a fantasy that should be broken. Because there is nothing but heartache and disappointment down that road – unless the gay guy can come to understand that his buddy’s heterosexualness is just as ingrained in him as gayness is ingrained in the gay guy.
After all – he was born that way.
Unconditional Postive Regard dictates that we love people for who they are no matter what. Gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual etc. etc. instead of fighting over the labels and over the words – maybe we should start listening to those who say, “This is my truth,” and accepting that and being compassionate about that when we reflect it in our work.
We can evolve this into something better than it is.