Questions tagged [sexuality]

Questions related to sexuality, including LGBT themes (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender), in works of literature or literary theory.

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8 votes
1 answer
940 views

How does the trans community view Gore Vidal's 'Myra Breckinridge'?

Gore Vidal's Myra Breckinridge (1968) was perhaps the first major novel in English to have a transgender protagonist. Myra, née Myron, undergoes gender confirmation surgery. In order to retain Myron's ...
5 votes
0 answers
146 views

Was John Lyly's play "Galatea" deliberately "queer", and how was it received at the time?

Galatea is a play by the Elizabethan playwright John Lyly which is thought to have been very influential on the era, sparking the popularity of the cross-dressing/gender reversal themes adopted by ...
6 votes
1 answer
461 views

What evidence do we have that, after her death, Christina Rossetti's brother destroyed some of her poems before he published the rest?

It is widely believed that Christina Rossetti had lesbian inclinations, although it is unclear whether she ever acted on them. In several places, I have seen references to the fact that her brother, ...
13 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is Ozma a lesbian character?

Throughout the Oz books, we see that Ozma has several indicators of perhaps being gay: She never takes a boyfriend, she has a... erm... very close friendship with Dorothy, and some people claim that ...
14 votes
1 answer
305 views

Was "Earthly Powers" actually based on Burgess' private, and secret life?

The gay-oriented book Earthly Powers (1980) was narrated by an 81-year-old successful, homosexual writer, Kenneth Toomey, a figure loosely based on W. Somerset Maugham. However, it seems that ...
14 votes
1 answer
343 views

Were the early sexual experiences of Lolita and her classmates inspired by the real experience of children in New England in 1947?

In the last pages of part 1 of Nabokov's Lolita Humbert relates Dolores's description of her own previous sexual experiences, in the course of which she mentions ways in which some of her coevals at ...
21 votes
0 answers
880 views

Are Frog and Toad more than just friends?

In a 1977 interview with The Lion and the Unicorn, Arnold Lobel said: You know, if an adult has an unhappy love affair, he writes about it. He exorcises it out of himself, perhaps, by writing a novel ...
3 votes
0 answers
79 views

Short story from the 1990s about a transgender Native American in the 1800s

I've been searching for a short story I read, I believe in the early 1990s, where the main character was a Native American (possibly female) with a transgender female friend from the same tribe, and ...
3 votes
1 answer
204 views

Does Vivien sleep with Merlin in Tennyson's "Idylls of the King"?

I am re-reading Tennyson's Idylls of the King after many years. His idyll "Merlin and Vivien" is a rather in-depth look at how Vivien learns Merlin's magic through some impressive feats of ...
3 votes
0 answers
44 views

Is Schloimele gay-coded in Singer's "Schloimele"?

Schloimele, in Isaac Bashevis Singer's short story of the same name, is described as having feminine qualities when he's first introduced: The door opened and a pink-cheeked young man with cherry-...
22 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is there any evidence for a gay relationship in The Merchant of Venice?

A couple of years ago, I went to a stage performance of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, in which Antonio and Bassanio were portrayed as being in a gay relationship together since before the ...
20 votes
4 answers
6k views

Are there recorded instances of asexuality in the body of ancient Greek writings?

I've been reading through a fraction of Ancient Greek literature, lately, and an odd thought occurred to me. In nearly every work of Greek literature that is tangentially related to sexuality (which, ...
5 votes
1 answer
339 views

What exactly drove Humbert’s preference for preteens?

In the first four chapters, our narrator Humbert, after explaining his backstory, relates an experience in which he met, in his youth, a girl he was friends with. He even had a kind of relationship, ...
65 votes
2 answers
35k views

Did Arthur Conan Doyle code Holmes and Watson as a gay couple?

Given the Victorian era, a writer couldn't deliberately create an openly (or even quietly) gay couple for public literary consumption. But gay people existed, and had romances. Arthur Conan Doyle knew ...
1 vote
0 answers
329 views

Was Ewing Klipspringer supposed to be a gay character in "The Great Gatsby"?

Was Ewing Klipspringer supposed to be a gay character in "The Great Gatsby"? My theory is that he is gay, considering there is textual evidence, and that he lives in Gatsby's home. Here are ...
2 votes
1 answer
514 views

What does the "Tell the neighbors I'm not sorry" line in "Girls Like Girls" mean?

One of the lines in Hayley Kiyoko's "Girls Like Girls" song (which, as you may have guessed from the title, is very lesbian) goes like this: Tell the neighbors I'm not sorry if I'm breaking walls ...
1 vote
1 answer
3k views

Does “The Picture of Dorian Gray” contain any explicit content?

I’m reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. So far, I have read the first few pages, and I noticed Basil saying things like “I meet him [Dorian Gray], I cannot be happy without meeting him” ...
1 vote
0 answers
72 views

How was "Symptoms of Being Human" received by the queer community?

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin tells the story of Riley, and the story of her navigating a new school, people bullying him, and being outed as genderfluid to their family. Recently on Writing ...
2 votes
0 answers
42 views

How did contemporary female readers respond to the sexual violence in the Contes de la Bécasse?

In Maupassant's short story That Pig of a Morin / Ce cochon de Morin, the narrator, Labarbe, says to a woman he finds very attractive (emphasis mine), Parce que vous êtes une des plus belles ...
2 votes
1 answer
393 views

What does Fingersmith say about the relationship between feminism and pornography

Minor spoilers for Fingersmith follow. Pornography is an omnipresent but tangential feature in the plot of Sarah Waters' novel Fingersmith. Several important characters are related to the trade as ...
6 votes
0 answers
275 views

Are the homoerotic hints in "La Reine Margot" intentional?

La Reine Margot by Alexandre Dumas can be read as the story of two guys, and their two girlfriends: the alpha couple is Marguerite de Valois (Margot), who's having a passionate affair with the ...
0 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why is the painful deflowering of a virgin motif in romance novels so common?

While experiencing pain during the first sexual encounter is a common concern among women, I have read that a woman's first sexual encounter is actually not painful at all, if she is experiencing ...
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

What does violence have to do with a 'bodice ripper' romance novel?

I'd really like to know what violence has to do with your typical bodice ripper romance novel. I've found either this term in some definitions, and others which hint at something like it, such as ...
15 votes
3 answers
8k views

What suggests Edmund might be gay?

While I was doing some research, looking for an answer for Are Frog and Toad more than just friends?, I found this article listing 15 fictional characters the author thinks are probably gay. Some of ...
34 votes
1 answer
21k views

Is there any textual evidence to support that Dumbledore was gay?

JK Rowling announced in 2007 to an audience at Carnegie Hall that Albus Dumbledore was in fact, gay and always had been... Q: Did Dumbledore, who believed in the prevailing power of love, ever fall ...