It’s Pride folks!
Mind if I talk a little bit about queer stories? Awesome, great. As a kid, books weren’t my exactly thing until I found fantasy stories. I guess it was nice to escape and be a wizard or a princess for a little while. However, it wasn’t until I realized there were queer stories out there that I truly became an avid reader. Other books entertained me, sure, but nothing felt quite the same as seeing the lives of people like me in ways other media didn’t exactly showcase. I wouldn’t say the stories felt taboo elsewhere, they just weren’t often shown. And what was shown was pretty lackluster, if you ask me. But books! That’s where it was at. I still loved all the escapism of speculative fiction though, so it was even more exciting to later on find queer stories in those genres, too!
What exactly am I rambling on about? Queer all the things! Or well, at least we should be making more queer things!
I know some people think of queer stories as a narrow avenue of coming out drama and nothing else. Yes, that happens but there are endless stories to tell with these characters, each as nuanced and special as the last. Each of these stories is a valuable and necessary part of pantheon of queer literature and people should have access to all of it. Especially those with intersectionalilty and/or those written by people from these very backgrounds. In short, writers should write more and most importantly, publishers should publish more!
Here a few things I liked to see more of:
Hero’s Journey- Stories about good conquering evil and the hero saving the day should be available to everyone. Queerifying these tales is a great step forward and I’ve been thrilled to see more of them over the years. Let’s have more queer teens saving their communities and worlds!
Coming Out Stories- There have been many of these, I know, but I believe they will continue to be relevant. This narrative will change and shift over time but I think, at least for the foreseeable future, it will be a part of most queer experiences. As such, having a spectrum of stories that show this piece of the journey (the good and the bad) will be helpful for everyone.
Romances- Think of all the fluffy, gooey, adorable stories straight couples have had over the years. So many of them! And they’re enjoyable (for the most part), but I would love seeing these different tropes queered-up even more! Some are soft, some have tense angles, but there is plenty of room for happily ever afters as well.
Friendship Epics- Sometimes the most important story to tell is a friendship or familial relationship and these should be further highlighted in the queer community. Some of the greatest events in life happen with these people and having stories that show this sends a comforting message.
So many options for fun, real, and honest queer stories these days!
While they are becoming more popular on TV and movies, if you’re looking for the best representation, I guarantee it’s in book. I know I would’ve read a lot more as a kid and felt a lot less alone if I had even half of the stories out there these days. So I hope to see more tales like these and a lot more expansion on the variety in the future.