Thanks so much for explaining!!
Thanks, Glen! I asked a day or two ago about just what exactly makes "gay liturature" (and made a beginner-level typo for which I will never forgive myself):
And your explanation shed a whole new light on the subject for me. I just had a quick follow-up question: Suppose there really isn't that much focus on the character's sexuality at all, main character or not. At least, no more focus than there would be in any other fantasy story. What genre would it count as if the character just happened to turn out gay? No hinting, plot build-up, emphasis or anything. The knight in shining armour, so to speak, in this story just happens to like... other knights as opposed to the princess (who he still rescues of course, as he is a hero). Thanks a lot!Answer:
First, let me say I can't give a definitive answer here. This is just speculation and other readers should feel free to correct me if I'm in error.
Before, I suggested that having a Christian main character doesn't necessarily make for a Christian novel. Christianity is so common in the Western world that being Christian doesn't make a character stand out. It's a trait that doesn't call attention to itself unless it's connected to themes or issues in the story. (For example, in the play/film Doubt
, the fact that the main character is a nun has a huge bearing on the story.
Her inner conflict is all about a test of her faith.)
Presumably, the same would be true about a gay main character. If the character's sexuality has no bearing on the plot, issues, or themes of the story, then it shouldn't matter. It's no more an issue than his hair colour or favorite food. A book should only be considered gay literature if the main character's homosexuality matters to the story.
One day, that may be the case.
However, at the moment, I suspect that homosexuality is a trait that would call attention to itself, simply because a general audience would see it as an unusual trait. We are not yet used to gay main characters (though we are starting to get used to them).
It's a gray area. People who enjoy LGBT literature might be disappointed in a book where the main character's homosexuality is a non-issue. On the other hand, some readers might automatically categorize a novel as gay literature for no other reason than it has a gay main character.
I suspect it might even depend somewhat on who publishes it. A book might be more readily classified as gay literature if it were published by a house that specializes in that genre. The same book with a different publisher might be categorized differently.
Call it a cop-out, but in such cases I suspect it's best to just write the book and let other people decide what category to put it in.