There was a time when it was virtually impossible to find a story featuring gay characters that didn’t end tragically. Like there was no other option – loss and unhappiness was the inevitable outcome in fiction, as in life. Well of course, that’s bullshit; has always been bullshit. Life is not an endless stream of placidity, but that’s true for everyone. Nature, left to her own devices, shows no discrimination in doling out good fortune and tragedy.
No matter what the time period, location or common condition, there have been happy, fulfilled, well supported gay people. Perhaps high on the fortunate scale, some might say – yes, very true, there’s no question that overwhelmingly, circumstances have been difficult, even dangerous. But it’s also dangerous to have the scales so constantly tipped on the side of tragedy. Think about it: if every story of the girl’s handsome prince was like that of The Little Mermaid (I’m talking about the original Hans Christian Andersen story wherein the little mermaid lives in excruciating mute pain in order to win her prince, and when she fails, dies alone in sadness, transformed into sea foam – not the sanitized Disney version) do you think for one moment that little girls would have the happily ever after princess fantasy?
And yes, there are still unfortunate stories to be told – will always be, due to the human condition. We can’t just sweep that under the rug and hope for the best. Reminders of this serve an important function in keeping society on the forward move, and we do need constant prodding. We take an awfully long time to learn lessons, and even so, there will always remain pockets of the uninformed, or holdouts who refuse to accept what should be common knowledge: the Earth is round, disease is caused by bacteria not demons, sexuality is naturally varied.
We need these stories to remind us, motivate us, share solace and support. There are many people to tell these stories much better and more deservedly than I.
I also can’t tell fairytales – neither Grimm nor jolly (though I think jollity in fairytales is a rarity). I must leave that to others more qualified as well. My focus is more on the everyday aspects of life. They’re not always positive, but that’s most often due to circumstance, not sexuality. Ultimately, I want to tell stories of human experience. Our tenacity, our successes and failures, the things we contemplate, the things we encounter as we go along our singular ways. To be human is divine, and that’s something we all share in.