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2012 Reads > TIG: Chp 2: Gays as pedophiles

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message 1: by Chase (last edited Jun 12, 2012 05:20PM) (new)

Chase | 8 comments Okay, I'm trying to trudge through the beginnings of this book because everyone here seems to really enjoy it but Devin's throwaway references to gay males as pedophiles really bugged me. Are there any other references to gays as something other than predatory pedophiles or is it just another example of the gays are pedophiles trope? Also, the reference to the pedophiles seems really random and out of place. Is there a reason why it's even mentioned?

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) I'm wondering why did Ray have gay characters at all? For most writers it's a third rail topic and most of them avoid the gay world like it's the plague. I've been reading scifi and fantasy a long time, and if such characters even exist in the books, it was as a clownish sycophant or evil rapist of the male hero. My guess is it's because Ray is using as his muse for his story the ancient Greek plays, and poetry, which I have read. For ancient Greeks, taking up with a young boy, teen or man was respectable, and a career move for the pretty lad. Zeus had young men lovers, you know.

message 3: by Chase (last edited Jun 15, 2012 01:38PM) (new)

Chase | 8 comments April the Cheshire Meow wrote: "I'm wondering why did Ray have gay characters at all? For most writers it's a third rail topic and most of them avoid the gay world like it's the plague. I've been reading scifi and fantasy a long ..."

That's what I'm wondering as well. I think that perhaps the author had no idea that portraying gays as pedophiles was a stereotype and just chugged it out without thinking.

Karly (karlycay) | 79 comments This is said a lot around here, but just keep reading.

Caedy  Eries (karida) | 21 comments That statement didn't bother me too much, because in reading Greek literature and knowing that in that particular time period it was not seen as something bad, it was as April said, more often than not a career move for the young lad because it got them in the favor of someone better positioned to bring them prosperity.

Even the Gods wanted young boys.

message 6: by Erick (new)

Erick Taggart | 71 comments I agree that there is a certain classical Greek view of homosexual relationships between boys and men, and while it's definitely not shown in a favorable light, it's understandable in that way.

But there is one section that bothers me a bit; in chapter 18, the short outsider-perspective section that shows the reunion between everyone at the inn has some pretty obvious references to how the people watching assume all the men are gay because they're happily embracing each other and such. It's not overtly homophobic, but it bothered me as being really unnecessary.

"More than one man, eyeing the two women with frank admiration, decided that his chances of a conversation, and who knew what else, might be better than they'd first appeared if the men were all like that."

All in all, some pretty unfavorable views of gays in the book.

Richard | 221 comments I didn't take it so much as gays as pedophiles as it was priests & certain deviant aristocrats as pedophiles (the typical pedophile stereotype). That said, there are a couple of bromance moments, but no depictions of any actual homosexual relationships. I would take the position that the scene where 2 men hugging are assumed to be gay without causing an uproar as being an admission that homosexuality is an accepted part of the culture. On the other hand, this did happen in the Palm's "red light district" where any deviant behavior is likely to be pandered to & profited from.

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) I haven't read his other books - are there gay references in them?

Based on the fact he had a gay hero in this book, and the pedophile angle, to me, was situational rather than generally derogatory, and I think he was giving a metafictional performance of his craft (heavy-handed allusions to our own Mediterranean/Middle East Great Literature/Myth history), I did not read anti-gay or unconscious spewing of cultural misbeliefs in this book.

I'm not gay, only an (effing) liberal female. My sensitivity is anything prejudicial against civil rights. I marched in the 1970's and when younger then or irritable now, I could and can get pretty silly with oversensivity. I'm no stranger to the act of overreacting. I can see how this 'gays are sometimes pedophiles' angle can be aggravating, because the author did not balance that part of reality with heterosexual child stalking, which is also prevalent in reality. It is possible that the author has a linkage in his head 'gay=pedapervert' because the stupid religious right infect discussions with this dribble. l can attest, as a female child once, that I had DOZENS and DOZENS of heterosexual perverts try to pick me up at malls and movie houses -bastards. But I did not see it in this book. What I did see was a clumsy lack of balance. Maybe in private Kay has a discomfort with gays, or knows nothing about gays, but in this book I only saw that he wrote in a brave gay hero who in the end of his life his father asks for his forgiveness and gives him his love.

Kay should have also put in a paragraph or two, here and there, of girl children being prostituted in these red light districts, for unambiguous clarity. And I hope to not write such a sentence again!

Charles (CAndrews) | 60 comments April the Cheshire Meow wrote: "Kay should have also put in a paragraph or two, here and there, of girl children being prostituted in these red light districts, for unambiguous clarity."

There were numerous suggestions to men taking an interest in Catriana in an "unhealthy" way and the likelihood that prostitution happened. However, prostitution didn't form part of the story whereas homosexuality did.

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) If Kay turns out to be an anti-gay asshole, I'll be changing my opinion and rating. I'd be happy to find out.

message 11: by Erick (last edited Jun 17, 2012 07:23PM) (new)

Erick Taggart | 71 comments Darren wrote: "I think a fantasy where the author shows the ugly stereotype, and the open prejudice against gays (which, we can all agree, exists?) and then shows a gay man both using the stereotype to fool others into underestimating him, while at the same time being ultimately a hero, is pretty damn far from homophobic."

Tomasso was an interesting and complex character, and he comes off as ultimately heroic, but he's not exactly the best example of a strong gay character. You could say that he was forced by his society and its stereotypes into the situation, and that he was using the image to his advantage. But two things still stand out glaringly: 1) he still "indulged" himself in the temples and such, as they make clear, to cultivate that image, furthering that connection to sexual deviance, and 2) he takes one of the tensest moments of the book, after years of plotting, when he's standing over the body of his dead father, to hit on Devin? Really?

Again, not saying that Kay's homophobic, but his depictions are not sterling examples, which is, in my opinion, a bit of a shame, but it doesn't mean he's completely discredited as a writer. You're absolutely right, Darren, that we shouldn't have to have constantly perfect gay characters, but more positive ones could do some good.

message 12: by Erick (new)

Erick Taggart | 71 comments Darren wrote: "I think to make Tomasso an exception to this showing of both good and sometimes horrible aspects of the characters would be much worse a sin for Kay as a writer."

Definitely a good point. And there's no reason that every writer needs to take on every cause either. But he falls into some easy roles on this subject, which is a shame. You have reminded me of how much I liked reading Tomasso's story!

Karly (karlycay) | 79 comments Tomasso's death was the part that really drew me into the whole book! It was so sad that Tomasso never really believed it was his father who was saying those things. That chapter was one of the most well written in the book. Sandre really opening up to his son was what makes me think Kay wasn't relying on offensive stereotypes to make his character.

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