gay ghettos where there need be none

15Aug06

i finished the game recently and all i can say is if you haven’t read it, go do so. now! but that’s another story. the story here is that i went to pick up another book to read because without tv, books are excellent solace. i haven’t read a work of fiction in years, and so i picked something off jocko’s reading list, because, well he has good taste. and for the first time in pretty much ever, i decided to pick up one of his gay themed recommendations.

so i go to my local non-chain bookstore and ask at the info desk for the book, and as usual, they don’t have it – what is the deal with cody’s? they never have shit in stock. fuck ’em, i’ll stick to green apple. upon leaving the non chain store disappointed, i go to the borders a block away and search for the same title. it’s in stock in the gay fiction section. what the fuck? there’s so much gay fiction that it merits its own section – like true crime or self-help? is that really necessary? i mean even if there is a ton of gay fiction, is it so differnet from regular fiction (however that’s defined) that it needs its own section? and is classic fiction with gay themes in the regular or gay section?

so i look around all the fiction and literature sections of borders and can’t find the gay fiction section. finally, frustrated i ask for help. instead of pointing in a general direction, the woman says “let me show you.” which if you don’t know, is code for “it’s so small you’ll never find it yourself.” so she takes me over to the psychology / gender studies type area and points at one section of shelves and says it’s here. one section of shelves – only tangentially sortof near where all the other fiction is? that’s the gay fiction section? is that necessary? i mean would it really have been so bad to put those 200 or so books in with all the other thousands of books in the fiction section?

now one could argue in favor of the gay lit ghetto in one of two ways (1) don’t we – the gays – deserve our own fiction section like true crime or romance? to which i’d answer no, because it’s not like there’s an asian fiction section, or i dunno a lonely white girls complain about past relationships fiction section, even though those are both equally large genres represented in borders. or (2) well we need to keep the gay literature separate so as not to offend any ultra conservative people browsing through books who may be shocked to find a book with a gay theme in our fiction section. to which i’d say “what? you think those people actually read? they watch bill o’reilly and buy bible stories online or from supermarket checkouts. bookstores? those are liberal breeding grounds. and as a final point, “classic” literature with gay themes is in the regular fiction not the gay fiction section. so reading about anias nin fucking other women in between screwing henry miller is straight. reading about a lesbian doing the same when henry miller isn’t there is gay.

so please, borders, free the gay fiction. let it out to mingle with barbara kingsolver and tobias wolfe. it’s ok. we gays live among straights our whole life. our books can live among them too. peacefully, i’ll bet.

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