My Gay Protagonist

"Why can't he be gay?" Andrew Garfield notably asked when discussing Spider-Man (or Peter Parker). And it's a valid question (except to the entertainment industry people who believe that making a main character a homosexual will cut their box office potential by a wide margin by alienating a large portion of the potential audience).

Peter Stoller, the protagonist in my St. Peter series, is gay. And yet the stories themselves are not about him being gay; the plots don't revolve around his sexual preference. His being gay is a simple matter of fact, a part of his life. His relationship with Charles is as real a relationship as a fictional spy can possibly have, I guess, by which I mean you could make Charles into Charlotte and still have the same story, the same tensions, etc. But I wouldn't change a thing about Peter because I love him as he is. (Says the loving mother/creator of the character.)

When I turned St. Peter in Chains into a screenplay, the readers were excited. They were so happy to see a gay protagonist in a movie where his being gay was incidental instead of key. I have so many gay friends, and their lives are not all about their being gay any more than mine is about being straight. This is what I wanted to show in Peter's story. That relationships are relationships are relationships regardless of gender. And that being gay is not the only part of a homosexual's life.

Of course, no one would touch the script in order to produce it. Because, hey, gay protagonist.

I'm currently writing the sequel (it's nearly done!), which is titled St. Peter at the Gate. And maybe I'll take that story and marry it to St. Peter in Chains and do up a full-length screenplay . . . That no one will buy because Peter is gay. Or they'll suggest I turn Charles into a girl (or maybe Peter into a girl). And I'll say no. Because while I'm pretty flexible, pretty easy to work with on most accounts, I'm very protective of Peter. He deserves to be who he is without people demanding he change or hide it. Yes, even though he's a fiction. He's my fiction, and I'll fight for him.

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