I have them. And I wear them all the time. They’re most active when I’m reading books, but then they can emerge when watching TV shows (most notably Merlin), and movies too.
What do they do? you might be asking, unless you have your own pair of queer tinted spectacles, and know exactly what I’m talking about (in which case, BLESS, we’re kindred spirits).
Well. Most of the time, their primary objective is to find a queer character, and usually ship that character with another queer character.
However, unfortunately, a lot of the time my queer tinted spectacles are just … making it up. Or they’re elaborating. Because sometimes I have super feels for what I seriously think will be a queer relationship, and the author goes and writes a completely non diverse heterosexual one. And I cry.
The reason why I decided to write this post is because of a book I was reading recently. One of the characters had died, but someone was sending them poems to their phone regardless. The deceased character was a guy. And he had a guy best friend who just completely disappeared after he died (or committed suicide … no one really knows). I thought to myself: yes. These two were in love. The best friend is sending the texts. And the dead guy might have committed suicide because he felt ashamed or something (which no baby no).
I was super excited, because as much as I ship my hetero couples, I ship my queer couples with the force of a thousand fiery burning suns. They mean a lot more to me. So I was waiting for the best friend to admit to something.
And then. It turns out it was a girl sending the poems. There was nothing between the two guys – there never was.
I was disappointed, to say the least. This book was pretty whitewashed and was severely lacking in sexual diversity (not even a side character, I mean what). My queer tinted spectacles weren’t the ones that let me down, though. Oh no, it was the fact that books are still lacking in diversity. I know it’s an author’s right and decision to create characters and their associated storylines however they want to (including diversity or not), but it still saddens me when there’s so much missing from a book.
With all the We Need Diverse Books campaigning, and countless other plights to include racial, sexual, physical, mental, economic, and so on diversity in books … why are there still books with all white characters who are all straight and physically able and mentally sound and middle class and so on? It makes me so sad and disappointed to come across these books because it’s like nothing has changed, even though so many readers (and agents and publishers) are asking for it.
So I guess that’s why I still need my queer tinted spectacles, because if I didn’t it might mean that something had changed, and I wouldn’t have to search and create my own sexually diverse characters. For now, they’re always on, but I hope one day that they won’t be necessary. I really do.