As a writer, I struggle with pigeonholing myself into LGBT books and its genres. There’s so much more to me than being gay.
You can probably relate—gay, straight, African-American, or [insert adjective]. None of us like to be forced into defining ourselves as one thing. It’s contrary to our existence.
To LGBT or Not to LGBT
I just finished writing the last chapter to my novel Carolyn’s Turn: Making of Witches of Salem—a book about Carolyn Sohier (pronounced like Sawyer), a performer who struggles with the demands of show business and two Salem witches who try to help her suceed. Carolyn is straight—not that that matters. While there are gay elements to the story, I wouldn’t say it would primarily land on the shelves alongside other LGBT books. I’m just not sure.
The other day I asked my Facebook fans what were their all-time favorite books. I initially kept my cards close to my chest, because 1) I felt obliged to pick something overtly LGBT, and 2) I couldn’t pick only one favorite, as you’ll see.
In asking folks about this, I got back to the core of what I like in reading. I think you’ll agree: It doesn’t matter if the character(s) are gay, aliens, witches, straight-white-male conservatives (had to throw that in), or African-American women.
Us avid readers want a good story.
With that, my favorite books are, in no particular order: Cider House Rules, The Accidental Tourist, The World According to Garp, A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, and (ahem!) Charlotte’s Web.
Until doing this post, I’d forgotten how much I love John Irving and Anne Tyler.
None of the books on my list are “specifically” gay—though some have gay elements—and those from my readers were quite mixed too. To Kill a Mockingbird ranked up there.
7 Insane Ways LGBT Books Describe the Male Anatomy
Who wants to read all-gay all the time?
I swear the most common words in LGBT books seem to be fuck, gay, dick, and ass. While I’ve contributed my fair share of these colorful expressions in my own creations, I have to say it says something—not sure what—about the state of the genre.
That being said, pick up any straight romance novel and you’ll find similar mentions of anatomy and intriguing ways to describe the nasty. It’s not just a gay thing.
As you know, when it comes to writing you can’t repeat the same word(s) over and over. Even if you’re describing a cup of coffee, too much use of the same term bores the reader. (See, even there I had to use word and term.)
LGBT Books: Colorful-Genitalia Terms
I asked readers of LGBT books what some of the more colorful terms were to describe the male anatomy. Here are some of their interesting choices:
- Tally whacker
- Steaming sword of passion
- That damn thing
- Drive Shaft
- Stick shift
- Man pole
Got a favorite one?
In Dan Sexton’s Wrestling with Love, he uses penis once or twice. God forbid! Who’d have thought to call it what it is? Sometimes less is more.
LGBT Books Become Just Books
With the acceptance of the LGBT into mainstream society, I feel there is less of a need to pigeonhole. As the saying goes, “You can’t choose sides on a round planet.”
What do you think? What are your favorite books—LGBT or otherwise?