Monday, January 19, 2009

Gay ... in the global sense

It's too hot to think, much less blog, so this might be short ... and not as coherent as Keegan is usually inclined to be! Summer. Australia. Still waiting for the new a/c to be installed. You get the picture. So this is going to be a ramble through the labyrinth of my thoughts -- and in hot weather they tend to ramble far, and unpredictably!

The Internet can be a really weird place. Chasing links from place to place, I stumbled into the online edition of a Nigerian newspaper which is preaching from the pulpit against gay marriage, while their ad server is cheerfully plugging in contextual ads that must have raised a few eyebrows back home in Nigeria. Give this a click -- I uploaded it at 1000 pixels wide so you can actually read:

Gay Cupid on the front page of a Nigerian newspaper?! Somebody put their foot in it, somewhere. I wonder if anyone's noticed yet?

On the other hand, the Internet can be a place of painful truth. There's a feature running on China Daily: Body of Lies, about the plight of being gay and HIV+ in China at this time. It's an eye-opener. The cultural "great wall" the GLTBI community is up against in China is as daunting as anything occidentals knew in other decades. Well worth a look -- and it's not a long read. Just a disturbingly poignant one:

Meanwhile, over the water in Japan, it's a very different story, and as a writer I'm fascinated both by the incredible complexities of Japanese gay culture (take a quick peek right here: and the new wave of Japanese gay publishing, which isn't at all what you'd think.

You've heard of Yaoi, which is "boy love," or m/m romance mostly aimed at a readership of young women. There's also Yuri, which is "girl love," mostly aimed at (you guessed) guys ... and a lot of the Yaoi is written by guys, for the gals, and a lot of the Yuri is written by gals for the guys. Cool.

This echoes back to a post a made a few days ago: Gay books rock, but who's reading them? In that post, I was looking at my readership in response to a question I'd received from a visitor to this blog, and it all got around to speculating about not about who's reading gay books these days -- but who's writing them. Interesting stuff (and many thanks to Alex Beechcroft to adding to this discussion with her own observations).

So -- who's writing male gay books? Guys and gays. Who's writing lesbian books? Same story. Interesting, no? If you're interested, the most convenient place to start is on Wikipedia: ... from there, you're off on a ramble that will amuse, entertain and surprise!

And now I have to go find somewhere cool, or at least cooler than this corner wher my computers live!

Ciao for now,


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