Gays Are From Mars

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 four years later we get the Running Press fail and some folks STILL wonder why LGBTQs hardly have any representation in the media.

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?

6 thoughts on “Gays Are From Mars

    • That’s actually been on my shortlist. I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about it and a few friends have recommended it. So I’ll probably check it out after the two titles I’m reading now. Maybe sooner as one of them is already failing in the suck.

  1. There is this book I read many years ago called The Vintner’s Luck, which is something of a love story between a man and a male-angel. They made a movie of this book and they missed both of the book’s main points, the relationship between the man and the angel, and the religious elements. They changed the relationship so it was between the wife and the angel from what I’ve read and ditched all the religious stuff completely.

    There’s an urban fantasy series that I enjoy by Tanya Huff with a gay man as the main character. There were news stories that they planned to make it into a TV series and switch the gender of the protagonist to female. With her Blood series (which I’ve not read) they removed any mention of bisexuality (and the gay character was replaced with a woman).

    There’s so little GLBT fiction, especially in the fantasy and sci-fi genre out there, why do they insist on taking that which does exist and making it heterosexual?

    Which books did you buy?

    The Steel Remains does have a number of problematic elements, but I’ve got trouble thinking of anything that doesn’t have something wrong with it. It is completely different from everything else out there. I’d definitely suggest reading it if just to say that you have and to form your own opinions on it.

    Toby Johnson’s Secret Matter, is a near-future sci-fi story, with aliens, that tackles some themes of spirituality and religion. While there is a romance that’s central to the story, I wouldn’t call it a romance novel since there is non-romance plot.

    I’ve just finished reading Steven Harper’s Silent Empire series, which is set in the future where the majority of the human race aren’t white, and the protagonist is a gay man of colour. Of course, for some mind-boggling reason, they chose to put a blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman (who’s a secondary character) on the cover of one of the books.

  2. “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.”

    It’s sad to think that even amongst our own, people think it’s impossible to tell stories with GLBT characters, without it being a huge taboo. That somehow we’re not family friendly, we’re a niche of freaks who can only have movies about how tragic and brave lives we lead, or as best-friends who don’t have a right to exist on their own.

    Were you aware that the second season of Torchwood, unlike the first, was edited to make it more family friendly? It had two timeslots, the first was at 10pm for the adult audience. The second was an edited repeat, shown pre-watershed at 7pm, which was so the younger viewers could watch it.

    The only 7pm version I watched was the first episode with John Hart in it. In order to make the programme family friendly, they removed some of the violence and the bad language and they left everything else intact, including the kissing.

    I miss Russell T Davies and how inclusive his programming is and how he wasn’t willing to compromise on that front. How on Doctor Who, one of the most popular family shows on television, he fully believed in including queer characters. Not just as a one-off but throughout his entire run.

    • “How on Doctor Who, one of the most popular family shows on television, he fully believed in including queer characters. Not just as a one-off but throughout his entire run.”

      All the more reason why I resent Moffat’s regime with a passion.

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