My Bisexual Heroes: Extended Version

Hi Everyone, I’m blogging over at AReCafe today about my bisexual heroes for LGBTQ Pride Month. But I had to keep it short and was only able to promote my books listed on ARe. I got a lot more stories with bisexual heroes. Below is the extended version of my blog post.

Remember Torchwood? The Dr. Who spin-off show set in Cardiff? There’s definite sexual chemistry between Captain Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper, and we the viewers so want something to happen, but we know Gwen already has a boyfriend who is a nice guy and she can’t just have an affair without consequences then suddenly…

OMG.

Captain Jack is kissing the lusciously handsome Ianto Jones.

Because Captain Jack is…wait for it…bisexual.

And we the viewers are so utterly thrilled by this. Okay, maybe me the viewer was so utterly thrilled because a hot dude who’s into chicks and yet he’s also into hot dudes and maybe, maybe both at once.

I strive for that “OMG” moment when I write my bisexual heroes – that element of surprise for the reader. Like in Disobedience by Design (Harwell Heirs 2), when Victorian aristocrat Arthur Harwell kisses a guy. Arthur himself is a bit taken aback by his guy-crush, and his surprise is not just because the man is of a lower class, it’s also because Arthur is very much in love with – and affianced to – a woman.

I hope I achieved reader astonishment with my gender-bending short story “On the Eighteenth of January, ’78; or, A Night At Valley Forge”. I know my beta reader was quite taken aback!

I also like to show that same element of bisexual surprise for one of my protagonists.

Like in Where Destiny Plays (Harwell Heirs 3) when the heroine Lavinia discovers Arthur has a thing for a man. Of course, Lavinia being Lavinia is a little turned on by this notion.

Or in The General’s Wife, Clara is surprised by a view of two men going at it. She already feels a mutual attraction with one of the guys and she’s left quite intrigued by the idea of this different sexuality.

In “One Cheek or Two?” my alternate-history story in the erotic Steampunk anthology Valves and Vixens, Professor Edward Ockham had always assumed he was homosexual. His one time with a woman had been simply disastrous. Then Miss Delia Bennett joins his laboratory. Delia sparks that realization that he might very well be bisexual. This is more fully explored in “Delia’s Heartthrob”.

Then There’s History

Authentically integrating the bisexual hero in a historical erotic romance is a challenge I love to tackle in my stories.

Throughout history there have been people who are forced to be bisexual by circumstance – men and women who are born homosexual but, because of the time and place in which they live, must marry and create a family with a person of the opposite sex.

I hinted at that in “A Night At Valley Forge”. I definitely explored this theme in Hadrian and Sabina: A Love Story. Roman sexuality was very complicated with its hierarchy of positions (man on top of a woman; older man on top of a younger man). Throwing an imperial marriage into the mix creates another level of complexity. I intend to revisit this theme in my NaNoWriMo novel for 2015.

I’ve also written historical heroes who, when the book opens, are already comfortable with and fully exploring their bisexuality, although not public with their orientation.

That’s the case in Where Destiny Plays. Twenty years after Disobedience By Design, Arthur is comfortable with his sexuality, although he still has to keep it hidden from Victorian society. That’s also the case with Sam and Patrick in The General’s Wife. For all of these men in the time and place in which they live, the homosexual aspect of bisexuality was a criminal offense. Exploring alternative sexuality was a revolutionary act.

Then there is the opportunistically bisexual. Sebastian of “One Cheek or Two?” and “Delia’s Heartthrob” definitely identifies as homosexual. He does like to play around with Delia, though, just because she’s there, and, well, fantasies of Edward “inspire” them both. Of course, this is alternate history.

Why write the bisexual hero?

I tend to see sexuality as fluid, as a continuum from flexible to rigid rather than a continuum from homosexual to heterosexual. If it is the right person at the right time, does it matter what the gender is? It does to some people, to be sure, no matter what their sexuality, but that only strengthens my hypothesis: Their sexuality tends to the rigid end of the spectrum.

No matter what your sexuality or how you gender identify, let’s celebrate this glorious thing called “sex”. I certainly help celebrate through my stories!

Happy LGBTQ Pride Month!