Josh Lanyon, award-winning author of the Adrien English mysteries series, turns a queer eye on the P. Things were looking pretty bleak back at the beginning of the Millennium. Minotaur's Stonewall Inn closed its doors and Alyson was foundering.
When I was a teenager, I was obsessed with the hard-boiled detective story. There were gay characters in noir stories before the novel The Heart in Exilebut we were always coded in plain sight as villains like in the film adaptation of Laura or slimy henchman assigned with elaborate slurs like in The Maltese Falcon. Gay people were present but decidedly othered and unwanted.
Read this exclusive guest post from Neil S. Plakcy about the history of homosexuality in crime fictionand then make sure you're signed in and comment below for a chance to win a copy of The Next One Will Kill You! Sayersand Erle Stanley Gardner.
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Alan Cumming is at it again. The Scottish-born, naturalized American, actor and activistof course, is enjoying quite a run. Following his breakout, Tony Award winning turn in the Broadway revival of CabaretCumming has starred in big screen blockbusters like X2 as the teleporting mutant Nightcrawleron the small screen with an Emmy nominated role on The Good Wifeand with a string of theatre roles on both sides of the Atlantic.
The act of coming out is an unveiling. Since queer people live in a straight, cis-gendered dominant culture, we have the burden of proclaiming our sexual orientation or our gender identity. Crime stories have a similar structure, which perhaps is why they resonate with queer readers and writers: the tension of withheld secrets, the satisfying snap of the puzzle pieces fitting together, the wonder of the reveal.
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Since then, gay and lesbian detective fiction has been one of the fastest growing segments of the genre. It incorporates gay and lesbian cultural elements and offers crossover appeal. Its authors call upon a century of development in the mystery genre, while providing new, more accurate images of lesbians and gay men than generally found in mainstream literature and popular media.