“There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” The most talked about thing in the literary world for several eras was ‘being gay. The fact that it is still forbidden to love in several nations, just because they are of the same gender horrifies me. They even had to use pseudonyms to avoid controversy. Some were very vocal about their emotions for their lovers. Some just used ‘friend’ to protect their ‘love’ from the polluted and judgmental society. In this article, we are going to read about the top 5 LGBTQ writers you must read.
Top 5 LGBTQ Writers You Should Read
“My existence is a scandal” – Wilde. Oscar Wilde had several gay affairs. He kept his homosexuality a secret. However, his intense love for his ‘darling boy Bosie’, Lord Alfred Douglas revealed his sexuality. Douglas was 16 years younger than Wilde. Their relationship outraged the Marquess of Queensberry, Douglas’s father and Wilde’s sexual life became an open book because the matter went to court. The readers can get to know more about Wilde through De Profundis. It is a book, a memoir where he admits that only through sorrow and pain, the true nobility of the soul can be achieved.
Woolf was not very secretive about her relationships with women. She carried on several relationships with other women throughout her life. One of the most talked-about affairs was with fellow author Vita Sackville-West. Both women were happily married. They were very open about their relationship. In one of her diary entries, Virginia talked about Vita and referred to her as a ‘Sapphist’ who “may…have an eye on me, old though I am.” While Woolf was figuring out her emotions for Vita she wrote “What is the effect on me? Very mixed.” They used to write letters to each other, but the loveliest of love letters from Virginia was Orlando, which is about gender fluidity and a tribute to Vita.
In the year 1976, Isherwood published his candid memoir Christopher and His Kind. In this book, he revisited his years in Berlin and his times in the city’s gay bars. It is easy to aver that Isherwood led an openly gay life. He was in a relationship with Don Bachardy for over 30 years. Bachardy was only 18 when he met 48-year-old Isherwood. Despite the age gap and the 1950s society, they were in a relationship till Isherwood’s death. “We were considered revolutionary in our public fronting of it”, said Bachardy in an interview.
Like several sophisticates of her time, Highsmith believed homosexuality to be a curable ‘psychological defect’. But was she ready to cure that herself? No! When her analyst suggested she join a therapy group of married women who are covert homosexuals, she wrote in her diary that she would perhaps try “seducing a couple of them.” She sexually engaged herself with both men and women, however “the male face doesn’t attract to me” is what she wrote in her diary.
“Susie…come home…and be my own again…” Emily Dickinson was controversial for her sexual orientation. She had a lifelong affair with Susan Gilbert. Susan was Dickinson’s childhood friend and she later got hitched to Emily’s brother Austin Dickinson. Mabel Loomis Todd, Austin’s mistress and Emily’s first posthumous editor literally removed all the references to Susan from Dickinson’s letters and even painted their relationship as frosty – If it is a fact or not is still a matter of conjecture.
Also Read: Best LGBT Books of All Time – Top 10