Happy Thursday, y'all!
As an LGBT writer, I have often wondered how straight authors view the LGBT community and our causes. Even more so, I have wondered how a straight author would handle an LGBT story.
Author Robert Hays has answered my question with his novel, Blood on the Roses.
What I have discovered is that a straight author can tackle LGBT issues with poise and beauty. Mr. Hays tackled not only homosexuality, but homosexuality in the American south in the 1950s. This was an era and an area that is not necessarily LGBT-friendly. The entire LGBT community was still recovering from persecution from Hitler, and although J. Edgar Hoover was considered a good director for the FBI, his personal life was deeply questioned and unaccepted. To be gay in America in the 1950s was difficult, to be gay in the American south in the 1950s was even more difficult.
So Robert Hays set a very difficult task before himself in tackling a gay character in that era and environment.
What resulted is not only an incredible, gripping thriller of a mystery, but a beautiful and caring story. The characters involved in this story are likable, believable and genuine. Their beliefs (both good and bad) are true to the time and place. These characters are real.
The story itself is one of great depth with incredible back-story and intrigue. The descriptions paint an incredibly vivid painting for the reader. The storyline grabs you and never releases you. This is an excellently executed book.
So, what does it mean for the LGBT community when a straight writer writes a novel such as Blood on the Roses? It means that our cause and our struggles have not gone unnoticed. It means that we as a people, and our history, are just as important to straight people as we are to our own community. This book is a beautiful demonstration not only of good, solid, story-telling, but of tolerance and understanding.
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