It was a long journey to reach this point. At first, homosexuality had to be hinted at and could never be explicit. It was disguised in everything from vampire tales to philosophical fiction. Countless gay authors had to hide their own sexuality when writing about this subject. Many books with gay themes were banned or worse simply ignored and allowed to fade into obscurity. Probably the earliest gay novel published in America.
The 25 Best LGBT Novels of All Time
Gay literature - Wikipedia
Nothing could be further from the truth. Walt Whitman was a American, poet, author, essayist, and journalist. His prolific career is perhaps best remembered for his epic poems Leaves of Grass and Song of Myself. Whitman himself was cagey to say the least about the queer tones in his work. He often denied that there was any homoerotic subtext in his writing, yet those who knew him claimed that in their relationships, he was rather frank about his sexuality. You knew this was coming.
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The book, then just published, was evidently meant to help normalize already boringly normal families like ours by using the traditional substitution of animals for people in order to illustrate how much fun having gay dads can be. So did the name of a town en route to the country: Peckerwood. The title characters are best friends, both male, who essentially spend their lives together.
Historically, the term "gay literature" was sometimes used to cover both gay male and lesbian literatures. In a historical sense, literature as we understand it is a fairly new innovation, and the current concept of homosexuality is even fresher from the cultural oven. It's no great surprise, then, that gay literature — or even gay characters in literature — are so relatively new as to still be shiny.