Queer Bookworm

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there were like three fucking books with queer characters in them in my high school library, and i didn’t even find them until my senior year. in fact, i think that two of them weren’t even there until my senior year. i have read a grand total of five books with queer characters in them. maybe as many as ten. fifteen if you include books with side characters whose entire personalities revolve around the fact that they’re gay. only one of these books had a female bisexual character, and that’s pushing it, because she never identified herself as bi in the book, and came off as more ‘straight with an exception’.

i have been reading since i was four years old. i discovered slashfic when i was twelve, that i was bisexual when i was fourteen, and my first published, mainstream novel with a queer character in it when i was sixteen. i didn’t even know that being gay was a thing until i was ten, but if i had had books with queer characters from the very start, then i probably would have known i was queer when i was eight years old and i spent every day for two weeks staring at a beautiful older girl during recess.

when i am terrified, worried that my parents will find out and hate me, fearful that i will be beaten and left for dead by hulking, drunk, cishet men, angry that nearly one half of all bisexual women will be raped, sexually assaulted, or stalked, usually by someone that they know and love and trust, what do i have to turn to? more books and movies and tv shows filled with straight people, the very people that i live in fear of and am trying to get away from for a while? queer people whose entire lives revolve around being queer? or worse yet, queers who get to love for a bit, and then die for their heinous sin of loving.

straight people will never know what it’s like to have to scramble for crumbs. a line here, a paragraph there, a game of ‘was that innuendo subtext or a “lol gay” joke?’. it’s usually a ‘lol gay’ joke. and when i try to see how one of my favorite characters could be like me after all, i get told i’m ruining it. ruining a friendship with sex, destroying an interesting and unique relationship by interpreting a close bond as romantic, murdering the sacred and almighty bromance. ‘stop turning him into a fag’, ‘stop making her a dyke’, ‘they can’t be bisexual, they’re not a slut’. if you can’t stand for your precious favorite to be interpreted as queer, what does that say about how you think about me, an actual queer person? you just don’t want queers to exist at all, in fiction or real life. so thank you very much for your shitty opinion, but i think i’m going to keep queering up everything i touch. for me, and for many other queers, our only options are rebel, or die a slow painful death.

i choose to rebel.

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