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Evolution of Gay Romance


Superpride

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I have a question for you all.  Have you noticed any significant changes in the genre of gay romance in terms of the roadblocks the characters have to face?  I ask this because I know that gay rights has advanced far and beyond over the past few years.  I remember watching live streams of single states legalizing same-sex marriage, and then BOOM!  Marriage equality for the entire country of the USA.  I understand there is still major obstacles that need to be traversed before there is true equality around the whole world; though, I am very grateful for the progress that has been made so far.  I know from the gay romance novels that I have read years ago when I was in high school, the main conflicts the two characters endured that prevented them from fulfilling their happily ever after were from judgmental family and friends who did not accept the characters' sexuality, the lack of gay rights in the novel's setting, and the characters struggling with their own sexual identity. 

 

However, I noticed that gay romance in literature has veered towards a newer, brighter direction with characters having more supportive family and friends, marriage and other rights being provided to the characters, and the characters more or less already having accepted their sexuality.  I believe this phenomenon has occurred because of how times are changing and the positive direction this country has taken towards equality and acceptance.  I wonder if other people have noticed this change in gay romance, or if it is just me.  I also know that movies and short films featuring gay couples usually end in heartbreak, which is very reflective of the time they were created.  However, new films are being made that are more optimistic, and again I feel that is because of how people in this country have changed in terms of their views towards gay people and the LGBT community in general.  So, I ask you all whether you witnessed this recent trend, and if your writing has also changed as well.

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Writing changes with the era. We're living in a more tolerant society (in some places), and seeing a lot of Gay Romance stories are usually teenagers to young adults, then yeah, it's going to be a brighter world for them. I would say, a good gay romance that would be awesome to read is the 35+ crowd, who went through darker times and base their lives on that, interacting with the new more tolerant world. 

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Also, it's not just Gay Romance. It's across the whole spectrum of writing. Take Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, for example. Published in UK 1884/US 1885, and it's loaded with stuff that more sensitive readers would be appalled at. Chiefly, the use of the "N" word. There are other examples, but that one comes to mind first.

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2 minutes ago, BHopper2 said:

Writing changes with the era. We're living in a more tolerant society (in some places), and seeing a lot of Gay Romance stories are usually teenagers to young adults, then yeah, it's going to be a brighter world for them. I would say, a good gay romance that would be awesome to read is the 35+ crowd, who went through darker times and base their lives on that, interacting with the new more tolerant world. 

 

Yeah, that would be a great plot to write about.  Learning how a gay man, for example, from a different generation views the today's world versus the world he lived in as a teenager and young adult would indeed be very insightful and entertaining to read.  Also, I agree that many gay romance books focus on the younger generation of the LGBT community, and I'm more inclined to read them as well.  Maybe when I get older I will have more of a yearning to read gay romance about older gay couples.  I remember when I was in high school, I mostly just read gay romance novels that had characters of high-school age.  Though today I'm mostly reading gay romance books with adult characters and as well as write them.

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12 minutes ago, BHopper2 said:

Also, it's not just Gay Romance. It's across the whole spectrum of writing. Take Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, for example. Published in UK 1884/US 1885, and it's loaded with stuff that more sensitive readers would be appalled at. Chiefly, the use of the "N" word. There are other examples, but that one comes to mind first.

 

That is very true.  Thank you for providing that example.  I had to read that novel for my high school English class, and I encountered those words that are not acceptable to use in today's society; though, it definitely taught me and many others of how much this country has changed for the better from the time that novel was first published.

Edited by Superpride
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2 minutes ago, Superpride said:

That is very true.  Thank you for providing that example.  I had to read that novel for my high school English class, and I encountered those words that are not acceptable to use in today's society; though, it definitely taught me and many others of how much this country as changed for the better from the time that novel was first published.

The one thing, that lots of people forget, myself included, is that when you read those stories, is to remember the era it was written. While we might find the words not acceptable, they were back then. So, instead of getting offended, we should be looking at it as a history lesson. Like what you and your classmates experienced.

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10 minutes ago, BHopper2 said:

The one thing, that lots of people forget, myself included, is that when you read those stories, is to remember the era it was written. While we might find the words not acceptable, they were back then. So, instead of getting offended, we should be looking at it as a history lesson. Like what you and your classmates experienced.

 

Definitely.  And I disagree with people wanting to revise novels like Mark Twain's.  Instead of revising them, use his novel and others like them as a way to teach people, especially young people, of how they are from a different time period like you said, and that they should not be reflective of today's society as well as be a history lesson.  Revising these types of novels just erases the true hardships African Americans had to endure for centuries.  Sorry if I went on a tangent; I just disagree with changing a person's art without their permission just because some people might feel uncomfortable by what the art conveys.

Edited by Superpride
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On 12/1/2018 at 3:42 AM, Superpride said:

 

Definitely.  And I disagree with people wanting to revise novels like Mark Twain's.  Instead of revising them, use his novel and others like them as a way to teach people, especially young people, of how they are from a different time period like you said, and that they should not be reflective of today's society as well as be a history lesson.  Revising these types of novels just erases the true hardships African Americans had to endure for centuries.  Sorry if I went on a tangent; I just disagree with changing a person's art without their permission just because some people might feel uncomfortable by what the art conveys.

 

Never, ever revise art. It's the same as revising history. 

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Speaking of revising art! As a gay man and a retired artist - at my advanced age my hands are not steady enough to enjoy the pen sketching I used to do - I notice especially the changes in the morality of painting. In Renaissance paintings, the artist manages to cover or hide male sexual equipment almost every time. A fold of cloth or a leaf always manages to be in exactly the right spot even though the model may have everything else out in the air. In contemporary art, the male equipment is showing often, but it is reduced in size to nearly not appear. Hey, men have parts and they are an important part of his person. Let's drop some of the prudish hiding of his equipment and let him be comfortable

with it showing. 

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58 minutes ago, Will Hawkins said:

Speaking of revising art! As a gay man and a retired artist - at my advanced age my hands are not steady enough to enjoy the pen sketching I used to do - I notice especially the changes in the morality of painting. In Renaissance paintings, the artist manages to cover or hide male sexual equipment almost every time. A fold of cloth or a leaf always manages to be in exactly the right spot even though the model may have everything else out in the air. In contemporary art, the male equipment is showing often, but it is reduced in size to nearly not appear. Hey, men have parts and they are an important part of his person. Let's drop some of the prudish hiding of his equipment and let him be comfortable

with it showing. 

 

This. Why should any part of the human body be hidden?

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  • 2 months later...

 

On 11/30/2018 at 9:07 PM, Superpride said:

I have a question for you all.  Have you noticed any significant changes in the genre of gay romance in terms of the roadblocks the characters have to face?  I ask this because I know that gay rights has advanced far and beyond over the past few years.  I remember watching live streams of single states legalizing same-sex marriage, and then BOOM!  Marriage equality for the entire country of the USA.  I understand there is still major obstacles that need to be traversed before there is true equality around the whole world; though, I am very grateful for the progress that has been made so far.  I know from the gay romance novels that I have read years ago when I was in high school, the main conflicts the two characters endured that prevented them from fulfilling their happily ever after were from judgmental family and friends who did not accept the characters' sexuality, the lack of gay rights in the novel's setting, and the characters struggling with their own sexual identity. 

 

However, I noticed that gay romance in literature has veered towards a newer, brighter direction with characters having more supportive family and friends, marriage and other rights being provided to the characters, and the characters more or less already having accepted their sexuality.  I believe this phenomenon has occurred because of how times are changing and the positive direction this country has taken towards equality and acceptance.  I wonder if other people have noticed this change in gay romance, or if it is just me.  I also know that movies and short films featuring gay couples usually end in heartbreak, which is very reflective of the time they were created.  However, new films are being made that are more optimistic, and again I feel that is because of how people in this country have changed in terms of their views towards gay people and the LGBT community in general.  So, I ask you all whether you witnessed this recent trend, and if your writing has also changed as well.

 

Yes, life has changed significantly and gay fiction has as well.

 

While I was a youth, I read our @Bill W Castaway Hotel and Cryboy's Brew Maxwell and Jeff Allen on Nifty then other sites. To me, you 3 defined the genre of Gay fiction, romance and all beyond the generic "I see you have a hard on, let's play" that most stories operate under. I know other people read @Comicality Gone from Daylight, too.

 

Before gay rights was mainstream, the commonality of gay relationship boiled down to attraction and limited partners, when your characters came out to one another, you expect them to be together. There was the looser characters trying to find love, but always in a small circle.

 

Nowadays, you have far more choices and more open communications between gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and trans people. Freedom with online boards like GA, dating sites like Match.com, and hook up apps like grindr have altered how this generation finds love and pleasure.

 

I am one of those guys whose writing is tinged with techno-modernist realities. However, I know where we came from as well and still enjoy those old stories that I read in secret.

 

3 hours ago, Wayne Gray said:

I do think the location should be considered.  I'm from rural Kentucky.  People like me are still mistreated and even hurt there.  I tend to write in rural settings, but not the oppressively homophobic one I experienced as a kid and young adult.

 

I never experienced that unconditional acceptance many do now.  It's difficult for me to write it.  It seems such a fantasy.

 

If you ever come up to Boston, you'll feel accepted to a greater extent, acceptance has some boundaries, but you grow into it.

 

------------------

 

It also depends on your background and your character's background. but one movie franchise I have to say handled this evolution of where gay fiction used to be and where we are well would be the The Falls Trilogy, it's a LGBT movie trilogy about two Mormon boys who fall in love and face trials and tribulations relating to their sexuality alongside their faith. It's a complicated story, but it shows the evolution of gay romance in a nutshell. There's still prejudice, still unanswered questions, and a lot of soul searching, but love still perseveres and there is more hope, at least up to 2016 when the movie trilogy ended.

 

 

 

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On 2/24/2019 at 1:26 AM, Wayne Gray said:

I do think the location should be considered.  I'm from rural Kentucky.  People like me are still mistreated and even hurt there.  I tend to write in rural settings, but not the oppressively homophobic one I experienced as a kid and young adult.

 

I never experienced that unconditional acceptance many do now.  It's difficult for me to write it.  It seems such a fantasy.

I can understand that. Given what my own community faces (the trans/non-binary community), it's hard to imagine a world in which people just understand and accept, and there are so many hate crimes against trans people, even in very progressive areas. Even within the LGBTQ community itself there's so much prejudice at times, as illogical and strange as that may sound. It's not too bad where I am, not really, but it's still scary and it still hurts.

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41 minutes ago, Thorn Wilde said:

I can understand that. Given what my own community faces (the trans/non-binary community), it's hard to imagine a world in which people just understand and accept, and there are so many hate crimes against trans people, even in very progressive areas. Even within the LGBTQ community itself there's so much prejudice at times, as illogical and strange as that may sound. It's not too bad where I am, not really, but it's still scary and it still hurts.

It makes me crazy for someone who is in a marginalized group (gay folks in general) to express prejudice toward others even more marginalized.  That is the height of hypocrisy.

 

I can't imagine the struggle of trans/non-binary people.  I've tried to understand.  I've written a trans characters into a story, and that helped.

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1 minute ago, Wayne Gray said:

It makes me crazy for someone who is in a marginalized group (gay folks in general) to express prejudice toward others even more marginalized.  That is the height of hypocrisy.

 

I can't imagine the struggle of trans/non-binary people.  I've tried to understand.  I've written a trans characters into a story, and that helped.

That's awesome. More trans representation is a wonderful thing. I hope you'll keep doing that. And if you need any pointers or whatever I'd be happy to help. :) 

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On February 23, 2019 at 7:26 PM, Wayne Gray said:

I do think the location should be considered.  I'm from rural Kentucky.  People like me are still mistreated and even hurt there.  I tend to write in rural settings, but not the oppressively homophobic one I experienced as a kid and young adult.

 

I never experienced that unconditional acceptance many do now.  It's difficult for me to write it.  It seems such a fantasy.

Opposite ends of the spectrum. As I've aged, acceptance has grown. I reflect those new attitudes in my stories most of them set in urban environments.

 

I live in a suburb of Ft Lauderdale where the entire city commission's gay and the rainbow flag flies in front of City Hall 24/7.

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  • 7 months later...

I don’t know if this is on topic, but me personally I didn’t start to actively searching for companionship until later in life, and of course I was attracted to younger guys, but I felt like I still had to hide from my family. Just like when I was in my twenties, the gay world was different. It was stuck in a closet with few out and proud. Now it’s like I’m stuck in that world still hiding. 

I have a story that I wanna write that is kind of based on my life. An older guy longing for companionship from a younger guy. And the struggle of when people look down on that or think an older guy is a pervert for wanting a younger guy. 

Not saying it’s more worthy of mentioning over other situations, but just thought I would mention. If it’s OT, sorry. 

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