At my core, I am a ginormous nerd. I revel in the rich lexicon of science fiction and supernatural film and television. I’m also a Jewish, adopted, homosexual who discovered himself during the anxiety created by the AIDS pandemic. Back then, gay characters were just starting to be more visible on network television, though relegated to the B storyline; most did not live to see the series finale. We are still fighting this kind of representation.
Frustrated by the continued absence of queer leads in genre storytelling, I find myself developing my own. I create stories that combine the discovery of one’s own power with a wide range of queer characters. In the past, I’ve submitted to a few LGBTQ+ writing festivals. However, the judges’ believed my stories didn’t address “traditional gay archetypes,” and though populated by queer characters, “weren’t gay enough” to warrant serious consideration.
Pop culture tells me that I can only expect to see myself and my friends represented in limited, tokenizing roles. I am also being told that without these standard tropes in my stories, they have no real place in the context of queer culture. I find I am battling stigma on both sides of the same queer coin.
Today, queer stories must be viewed as accessible and commercially viable. I offer a queer but universal voice through which all audiences can see themselves in the experiences of my characters. While coming out and HIV awareness are a vital part of our queer history, and sexual expression is an essential part of our identity, our library of entertainment options is ready for a sophisticated, layered exploration that goes beyond these myopic narratives. I am excited to bring my voice and queer storytelling into our industry.