It started off as a quick reply to krylyr
's post Bullshit and Blasephemy
, so go read that first if you need context. However, my reply got longer than I expected, so I'm posting it here:
"The Parable of the Shower
" was awesome
. Based on the title and the first few sentences, my immediate thought was, "There's no way she can pull this off," but she does. Not only does she maintain the language but she also keeps it funny throughout the story. She explores the implications of that opening situation without ever flinching or shying away. The issues she confronts turns what might otherwise have been a style exercise into a moving story that's also really funny.
As for Card, well, now I know not to read "Hamlet's Father."(Rain Taxi's review
) He has a right to express, by now, his really well known views. I have a right to express mine. That he wrote a story with a cardboard gay villain is still shocking but it's not surprising. What surprised me was his "this is fault of all of those calling me out on my homophobia" response. I get sad when people start calling out bingo card spaces.
About what happened to Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown
, I have absolutely no doubt that by the time I manage any sort of success in the field, either de-gaying or whitewashing will have happened to me too. I've already decided that whoever says that is an editor, publisher, or agent I didn't want to work with anyway. (Yes, I totally get that editors, publishers and agents can make these sorts of decisions without personally being racists or homophobes themselves.)
Actually, something like it may have already happened to me at least once. My same sex marriage allegory once got a personal rejection that ended with something like "We really enjoyed this, but it's too controversial for our magazine." It's a story about a town fighting off the monsters that carry winter. *sigh* And a completely insignificant example: One of the first crits I received from Critters was from someone who did the "I'm not a homophobe, but..." thing and de-gayed my story. (It's amazing how much damage bad copyediting can wreak.) I've received a lot of useless crits from Critters but that was the most useless.
On the plus side, we now have agents rushing to blog and update their web pages to make clear that they absolutely welcome a diversity of characters in fiction. Public disapproval of de-gaying is always a good sign.
(ETA: originally I'd written "same sex marriage parable," but I meant "same sex marriage allegory." I've replaced the word above.)