There are many individuals from the LGBTQ community who are not interested in literature. Such people mostly know only about a few gay and lesbian celebrities and their lives. The lives of such celebrities are often shown on popular media and this is how they know them. In fact, the classic and contemporary queer literature can be helpful in many ways for those who identify as LGBTQ.
These literary works can also help them get rid of their pain and a feeling of isolation. Much of the queer literature focuses on building self confidence in such people. This will help them overcome their fears and be more open about their sexuality.
How queer literature helpspi LGBTQ people
The discovery of queer literature has been a revelation for most of the LGBTQ individuals. One of the impactful books in this category is Kenji Yoshino’s Covering. It discusses the various ways minorities use for hiding or covering their differences. They do this for conforming to the social norms. This book not only talks about gay rights but also reminds us how conditioned everyone is.
Queer literature has the power to provide joy and solace to the LGBTQ community. There are many towns outside of major cities where there are no gay bars. There’s hardly any place in such towns where the LGBTQ people can socialize without any worries.
Under such conditions, people from the queer community might feel scared of revealing their identities. The LGBTQ books come to the aid of such individuals by helping them get rid of this fear. Among them are Patricia Highsmith’s Price of Salt and Eileen Myles’ Chelsea Girls.
Creating a favorable environment for the queer population
An absence of influential role models for the LGBTQ people is another great problem. Most of the cultures in this world still view homosexuality as something extremely bad and sinful. So, the queer population grow up hearing stories of their ancestors and the popular heroes. They never get to hear about great examples from the LGBTQ community.
Most of the parents are obviously not interested in queer history. They may be more accepting of the sexuality of their children, but they never talk about role models. This is why the LGBTQ need queer literature. Stories play an important role in shaping cultures. So, the LGBTQ population must have sufficient exposure to stories about something that’s a part of them.
Books are much better than therapy
There was a time when governments had banned education around homosexuality. So, the kids grew up in an environment where there was rarely a discussion on homosexuality and homosexual people. Some were lucky to chance upon queer literature. Until the same-sex relationships were given recognition and same-sex marriages were legalized, these books provided them some comfort.
Among the things that these books taught them was how to choose a right partner. They offered some new ways of educating the queer people about their own sexuality. For many of the LGBTQ individuals who like to read, literature is often better than therapy.
Without being subject to any clinical therapy, they feel heard. Such books are more engaging and less prescriptive. Besides, there are stories that need to be told, as many of them would otherwise go unnoticed.