Homonormativity

The very small genre of fiction depicting worlds where homosexuality is the norm fascinates me. If anyone knows of more examples that I have missed, please write me at moggy-at-belladonna.org.

A few works I read were cited as belonging in this category but turned out to feature some other variation on sexuality, such as AE: The Open Persuader, Eleanor Arnason's Ring of Swords, Palace Without Chairs by Brigid Brophy, Be Ye Perfect by M. A. Bartter, The Fatal Fulfilment by Poul Anderson, Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones by Samuel R. Delaney, and Katharine Burdekin's Swastika Night.

Note: I decided not to include works of fiction set in single-sex worlds. For those, visit my Gynotopian site. (It includes an "androtopian" page.)

Novels

The Wanting Seed by Anthony Burgess
Depicts a dystopian world where the government encourages homosexuality in order to deal with overpopulation. This leads people to act out gay stereotypes and make vulgar public displays of affection to advertise that they are practicing the sex life the goverment wants them to. This could be interpreted as homophobic, but it seemed to me like the way heterosexuals would act when they attempted to pretend to be gay. In any case, the heterosexual protagonists aren't particularly admirable in this story either.

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
Due to relativity, when space soldiers return to Earth years or decades have passed. One of them, William Mandella, returns after a century and finds that Earth governments are encouraging homosexuality to combat overpopulation. The next time he returns to Earth, it is the twenty-fourth century and homosexuality has become the norm. People explain to him that he's lucky he didn't return an Earth century earlier, as heterosexuality was illegal and strictly persecuted. Now it is so rare that people consider it merely eccentric (and gross). Mandella finds the idea repellent, but wonders if after a couple of more years without female companionship he might find it more appealing. He also muses on how he would have felt with a "deviant" commanding officer with a cultural context very different from his own, which is the situation his own subordinates are now in. The idea isn't extensively explored, as the story is chiefly about issues such as military conscription, to which Haldeman was strongly opposed, and genetic engineering and cloning.

Solution Three by Naomi Mitchison
As with many works of homonormative fiction, in this novel it was governments which enforced the norm in order to control population. In addition, most people are born through cloning, in order to prevent violence and bigotry. For the most part, it works, and stubborn heterosexuals are tolerated but marginalized by society. This is interesting because it is a feminist's depiction of an attempt at scientifically engineering a peaceful utopia, using genetic selection and social pressures rather than force, but it shows that even this approach is fraught with peril. Scientific techniques can go wrong, and even the fairly gentle means of social control have a devastating effect on the small number of heterosexuals and people who have babies the old-fashioned way. Also interesting is a passage early on where a gay man berates himself for his revulsion towards women, echoing, perhaps unintentionally, the constant guilt over supposed thought crimes that political correctness has imposed on us today. Ms. Mitchison deserves credit for dramatizing the flaws in a utopia made to her own specifications.

Inside Gayland by Rajesh Talwar
A satirical play written by a heterosexual to promote tolerance. The protagonist visits Gayland, where, as usual, heterosexuality was outlawed to reverse the population explosion and by now everyone has become used to it. Various Gayland residents debate about straight rights and tolerance. The trial of a heterosexual couple is central to the story.

The Sten Chronicles by Allan Cole include an alien species in which the sex most similar to males lives much, much longer than that similar to females, so the males all practice homosexuality.

Short Stories

The Truce by Tanith Lee
I'm spoiling the entire story just by linking to it here. In the distant future, men and women have lived apart for so long that they have forgotten how the species used to reproduce.
Love Alters
In the distant future, homosexuality has become the norm. As with many such stories, this one revolves around the dilemma of heterosexuals in a heterophobic society.

Straight Fiction by Martin Amis
This just basically takes the difficulties of being gay in the late 20th century and flip-flops it so that it's heterosexuals who have to endure discrimination and the ordeal of coming to terms with their own nature, while homosexuals are the normal ones.

Beaumont, Charles. pseudonym for Charles Nutt. The Crooked Man, originally published in Playboy in 1955. Mr. Beaumont also wrote the screenplay for the movie Queen of Outer Space.
This story depicts a totalitarian society in which heterosexuality is illegal. To a modern reader, it reads as a message about the wrongness of society trying to enforce sexual orientation. I suspect that in the 50's, some people read it as one more dystopian horror story with enforced homosexuality as just one more unpleasant feature of the imaginary dictatorship, and perhaps this was a deliberate loophole in case the author and the magazine got in trouble for writing about homosexuality. I don't know what Mr. Beaumont actually thought about homosexuality, but the sympathy with which he depicts the straight protagonist's dilemma inclines me to doubt that he didn't feel compassion to those who have that problem in the real world.

Ben, Lisa. (Pseudonym: anagram of "lesbian".) "New Year's Revolution" January 1948, in Vice Versa, perhaps the earliest Lesbian magazine. Summary from "A CONDITION OF POTENTIALITY: AMERICAN WOMEN'S UTOPIAN AND SCIENCE FICTION" (which is available online, just google it): "A role-reversal utopia in which a misogynist anti-gay male character who has physically attacked a lesbian couple ends up in a world in which gay is the norm and straight is considered odd. He is persecuted for his heterosexuality, and the end leaves the question as to whether it was a dream or not. Important in imagining alternatives, giving lesbian women visions of acceptance, and giving heterosexuals visions of an alternative life. Satire."

Pervert by Charles Coleman Finlay
In this world people barely even have a concept of heterosexuality, except for a vague inkling that it is a behavior found in animals which, in the primitive past, humans used to stoop to.

Performed Works

Zanna, Don't!
This light-hearted musical depicts an all-gay world and contains much social satire. It plays with various gay stereotypes; football players are considered nerds while chess players are sex symbols, baby girls are given construction booties. One musical number, "Be A Man", explains that heterosexuals are unfit for military service because only real men like Mishima, Lawrence of Arabia, Alexander the Great, Frederick the Great and Leonardo da Vinci could possibly be brave and tough enough for war. The central storyline is about a star-crossed straight couple and their struggle to be "normal".

It's a Gay, Gay, Gay, Gay World!
An episode of Ellen where Spece has a dream about living in a homonormative world and his difficulty coming out.

A Rude Awakening. Stage play performed in London. A straight and a gay man from the present are cryogenically frozen and wake up in a homonormative future.
Another review.

Different is a film short included in the connection FirstOUT. It's "an award-winning playful teen comedy about a high school where gay is the norm and homecoming is just a few days away." The disk is available from Netflix. This short is very short indeed, and despite all its awards I was disappointed in it.

Love Is All You Need is a 20-minute film about a heterosexual preteen bullied in a homonormative world.

Fanfiction

Five Reasons Buck Is Candy's Best Friend
Author: chicafrom3
Fandom: Zanna, Don't! (musical by Tim Acito)
Pairing/Characters: Buck & Candy, minor side pairings, guest appearance by Tank
Rating/Category: PG/Gen
Prompt: "Candy & Buck, what he sticks around for"
Spoilers: for the premise of the show, but set pre-canon
Summary: There's more to Candy and Buck's relationship than meets the eye.
Notes/Warnings: First attempt to write Zanna, Don't! fic. Written for smallfandomfest.

Zanna Does
by Kadorienne
Fandom: From Eroica With Love
The From Eroica With Love characters in the Zanna, Don't! universe.

When We Were Young And Gay
by Jason Gaston and Mike Truman
Fandom: Sliders
Left behind on a slide, Wade and Maggie find themselves on a world where homosexuality is the norm. Soon, Wade finds herself the target of a strange stalker and Maggie is involved in a taboo heterosexual romance.

Beneath Angel's Wings: Celebrations
An Alternate Universe Soap Opera Featuring the WWE in a world where Homosexuality is the norm, hetrosexuality is is looked down on, and MPREG is possible and happens.
by Blue Gold

Can't You See Mine Are Wings of Glass
by Arachne
Fandom: original work
Summary: Why couldn't he just be fucking normal? Pete tried his damndest to be normal. Oh how he tried.

I'm coming out.
by CALLEN37
Fandom: NCIS: Los Angeles
Summary: In a world where everyone is Gay, Lesbian or bi-transgender. Callen is hiding a secret. He is straight. When his secret comes to light in the worst way he has to try and keep it together to avenge the woman he loved and worse of all he has to come out to his team as straight!

Show me Heaven
by Aelia1980
Fandom: Supernatural RPF
Summary: For almost a millennium the people of Heaven have been living in a society where homosexuality is the norm and heterosexuality is strictly forbidden. Ruled by the power-hungry Padaleckis and their ministers, the world is a place with strict laws, few rights and entrenched habits. When Jared, the President's son, falls in love with a girl, his father makes him date the gifted but socially awkward pianist, Jensen. Forced into a fake relationship, Jared treats Jensen with nothing but contempt, while Jensen tries hard to be Jared's friend, just to prove them both wrong. In the course of time, Jared sees more than the freak in Jensen and their relationship develops into friendship. When Jared faces unexpected and life-changing tasks, Jensen proves himself to be not only Jared's constant but also his eye-opener, causing Jared to question their centuries old laws. Can Jared make a difference and change Heaven into a better world? And will Jared see to whom his heart really belongs to?

Your Moment of Zanna
by Erin Ptah

Regular Guy Stuff
by heartsvilleMonarch
A "Zanna, Don't!" fic. 50 drabbles all on the theme of the Zanna/Tank pairing.

Research

Homonormativity in SF

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender SF

Uranian Worlds: A Reader's Guide to Alternative Sexuality in Science Fiction and Fantasy

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