The best LGBT characters in Literature

Two years ago the Marriage Amendment Act was passed in New Zealand, allowing same-sex couples to marry, making me so proud live in this beautiful country! This morning, I woke up to the news that the US Supreme Court has declared same-sex marriage to be legal across all 50 states! LOVE WINS!!

So, to celebrate, here is a list of my favourite LGBT characters in literature:

Albus Dumbledore: the poster boy for the magical LGBT community! Although Dumbledore’s sexual orientation is only implied in the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling has stated in many interviews that Dumbledore is gay. Dumbledore was a champion for all kinds of love and equality: standing up for the rights of Werewolves, Merpeople, Centaurs, Muggle-borns, and House Elves. In the world of Harry Potter no one gives a shit about his sexual orientation – because gay people are just people!

Patrick from The Perks of Being a Wallflower: A force to be reckoned with, Patrick has a rough time as a gay teen. Although he is out, the boy he loves in not and this is fairly self-destructive, turning to drinking and drugs to numb the pain. But, amongst all this, he still finds time to befriend and care for the lonely Charlie. Patrick is the one to give Charlie his famous epithet: “He’s a wallflower…You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand.”

Kafka on the Shore’s Oshima: It is not until halfway through the novel that the protagonist Kafka finds out that Oshima is biologically a girl. Oshima reminds us of the linguistic difference between the words gender and sex: “the word ‘gender’ was originally used to indicate grammatical gender. My feeling is that the word ‘sex’ is more accurate in terms of indicating physical sexual difference.” And although biologically Oshima is female, the pronoun ‘he’ is always used – because that’s what he chooses!

Lisbeth Salander from The Millennium Trilogy: the badass tattooed Lisbeth “had never thought of herself as a lesbian.  She had never brooded over whether she was straight, gay, or even bisexual.  She did not give a damn about labels, did not see that it was anyone else’s business whom she spent her nights with.”
You go girl.

Calliope Stephanides from Middlesex: the owner of a rare genetic mutation, Cal “was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.” Raised as a girl, when Calliope finds herself in a girls’ junior-high, flat-chested, and drawn to a red-headed, bossy classmate, she begins to suspect that she is not like the other girls.

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One thought on “The best LGBT characters in Literature

  1. June 26th was a wonderful day in the states! I was a 1L in law school when Massachusetts declared same-sex marriage a right. It’s hard to believe it has now happened for the entire country in just a little over a decade (a long time for those who weren’t permitted to marry, but less time than many of us thought it would take for love to win in all 50 states!).

    Like

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