So for the past few weeks, I’ve been searching for quality gay sci/fi fantasy fiction where 1) the gay male is the primary protagonist. 2) the story is not a romance and/or a straight woman’s fetish 3) it’s devoid of heterosexist bile.
At this point I’m convinced that I’d sooner have an easier time finding the Holy Grail. But I bought a few books which piqued my interest and seem promising so we’ll see how they play out.
During my quest, I happened upon the title The Martian Child. The title caught my eye because a movie of the same name was released a few years back and I was thinking about checking out the film.
Upon further research I learned that in the novelette, the protagonist is actually gay but in the film, his orientation was erased. The protagonist was turned into a straight widower.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, one of the producers, a “proud gay man” had this to say:
“This was not Sidney Shorr: A Girl’s Best Friend (the basis for the sit-com Love, Sidney) or a Lifetime movie about the issue of gay parenting. This was going to be a movie intended for the whole family.”
And it appears that author David Gerrold blames the producers for the character being made straight. It should be noted that most writers have no power over film adaptations which is why we get fails like this and the Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea fiasco where the characters were whitewashed for the SyFy Channel’s miniseries.
According to the article, in a previous interview, Gerrold spoke about his involvement in a gay Star Trek episode that was squelched by producers — like many gay artists, he has been dealing with this kind of bigotry his whole career.
And for those of you who are wondering, Martian Child tanked at the box office. And the fucked up irony of it all, if they had kept the protagonist gay, I guarantee that film would’ve done well, for the sheer fact that it would’ve been something different and the press and curiosity behind a story about a gay parent would’ve driven people to the theaters to see what the fuss was about, not unlike Brokeback Mountain.
So tell me, how’s that homophobia paying off for you?