In creative writing, I have been working all semester on a short story about a character who comes home from his mission and deals the pain of having an older brother who committed suicide had committed suicide while he was gone. The older brother was gay. The story has been an interesting one to write, and has certainly been affected by the changes I have made through out the semester. I wrote with the idea in my mind that the younger brother was straight, that was just my assumption. Well, anyway, after writing a powerful scene with the character and his mother, I realized that my character was gay. It actually surprised me, because that wasn’t my plan, but I ran with it and ended the story with a coming out scene.
Today for the creative writing final, we all turned in our portfolios and read one of the pieces we had written. I read this short story. At the end, when the younger brother announces that he too is gay, there was this loud gasp in the classroom. When I finished, all of the comments were about how shocked they were that he was gay. (I don’t know why, I thought it was obvious). They really enjoyed the story, but I thought it was interesting that the younger brother’s announcement seemed so hard for them to swallow. It was ok for the older brother as a dead, non-missionary to be gay. Especially since his gayness made him miserable enough to commit suicide. But the lovable RM, the protagonist, surely could not also be gay.