Ciel's Reviews > Wicked Pretty Things: 13 Dark Faerie Romances

Wicked Pretty Things by Trisha Telep
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Sep 18, 11


Literally five seconds ago I found about this book and the controversy surrounding it, and I simply couldn't fight the urge to share my own thoughts about it, no matter how patchy, muddled or slighty squiffy they may be.

Dumbed down to the bare bones, one of the authors, Jessica Verday, pulled out of the anthology because the editor asked her to change her story of romance between two boys to a heterosexual romance. Verday refused and pulled out, and I don't think I will ever be able to put it into words how much I respect her decision.

The story goes like this:
My younger brother came out almost two years ago now during the first term of the school year when he was in year twelve. I had just started University, and was living away from home for the first time. Now, I had always known my brother was gay; hell, my parents knew as well (it wasn't like he was ever that subtle about it), so when he came out it wasn't so much to us as it was to his 'friends' at school. I never worried about it because I assumed they'd known each other so long it wouldn't be an issue.

So, about a week later I came home for the first time. I waited at the train station for my family to come and pick me up, and when the car pulled up I was surprised to see my dad all alone, looking tired and worried. On the drive home he told me that my brother had been being bullied at school by his old friends, and had locked himself in his room for the last three days, refusing to even eat anything.

Now, my brother is a very bright, energetic guy who is always laughing and joking around, the kind of guy who puts a positive spin on everything and rarely, if ever, gets down about something. Naturally, as soon as I got home I surprised everyone by getting my dad to park the car under my brothers window, and climbed in.

He was crying, slumped over on the floor next to his bed. For the next two hours we just talked, and for the next two hours, for the first time, I really got an indication of how out supposedly liberal western society treats these so called 'unnatural' minorities. And I was horrified that anyone could look at my brother, especially people who had been his friends for so long, and immediately shun him and hurt him just because of his sexuality.

My brother eventually switched schools and made new friends and his sexuality no longer became an issue, but I shall forever be haunted by the image of my cheerful, optimistic brother as that broken, emotional mess on his bedroom floor. It should never have mattered to his friends what his sexual preferance was, because that has nothing to do with his personality or what kind of person he is; either way he's an amazing person that anyone would be lucky to know.

But what we really have to ask it, why was it even an issue?
I couldn't possibly go into all of it; even the bare bones of why homophobia exists today in such an open and blatant way could easily be the subject of a doctoral thesis. I can't claim to understand what it's like to be pushed aside or ridiculed because of who I might fall in love with, or even why someone's sexual preference should immediately colour all views of them. I couldn't even begin to explain what goes through the heads of the people who hold a view as medieval and backward as 'all gays are wrong and unnatural'.

But what I can say, is that it's stories like the one surrounding this anthology which goes some way to explaining why homosexuality is viewed as alien and weird. Verday's story was singled out because it contained a relationship between two boys, something perfectly natural, and turned into an issue by the editor. Of course there are going to be people who say being gay is wrong so long as we continue to treat it that way.
You know what would help? If we stopped making homosexuality an issue and just accepted it as a natural part of everyday life. You know why? BECAUSE IT IS. There is absolutely no reason why mature readers shouldn't be able to look upon a relationship between two men and view it as anything but normal. It's not like there isn't similar things being portrayed in other aspects of the media; aside from other gay characters and relationships in other YA books, there are many examples in modern day media.
Aside from soaps, The Simpsons had contained openly gay characters for years. And what about the hillarious Modern Family? If more couples like Cam and Mitchell with Lily were portrayed in mainstream media, then soon enough you'll find that no longer shall homosexuality be seen as an unnatural choice selected by the strange minority, but just another path in life that some of us take that can lead to loving, long term relationships and lay a happy basis for many same sex families.

Although I'm perfectly aware that my arguments are neither clear nor clever, I hope you can at least understand my point that homosexuality is a natural part of life, and something we should continue to embrace as the norm. It pains me to think of other people going through what my brother did, and hopefully one day such incidents shall be eradicated.

Thank you for reading.
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