Shaping the Queer Voice

Queer Voice

By Ken Pienkos

I have practiced my voice for as long as I can remember. At eight years old, I would gather a laundry basket of stuffed animals and wander into the back yard where the small acre’s length of lawn and maple trees seemed endless. The creek sparkled through, and beyond that horizon, all was infinity. I would set each of the animals in a semi-circle under the shade of gently applauding broad leaves and begin…to speak to them.

Each of my fans, nay friends, sat very still, wide-eyed and listened to the dreamer-boy. The polka-dot elephant curled his trunk and for the moment forgot just how queer it is to be spotted in bright colors. The monkey stuttered so that even his laughter was broken in gasps of sticking sounds until one day I pulled his tail between his legs to give him the penis it seemed he was missing. He returned great wisdom from then on. Never could figure a cure for the blue dog. I would begin the program with a belted rendition from Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella:

Ten Minutes ago, I met you
and we murmured our how-do-you do’s,
I wanted to ring out the bells and fling out my arms
and to sing out the news,

I have found him.

It was a charming opening number where Cinderfella found his prince, and the audience never tired hearing it.

Last week I read a Chuck Wendig’s blog post, Dear Guy Who Is Mad Because I Wrote A Gay Character In A Book.

I won’t reprint the email here, but he said, and I quote, “I didn’t like that you had a main gay character reviling [sic] in a homosexual sexual relationship.” (Reveling, I guess he means?) He feels I “corrupted” the book with the presence of “gay male relationships.” He then added that he feels I was jumping on some kind of “bandwagon,” which I assume (he did not clarify) means that I was doing this to fill some kind of diversity bingo card. Finally, he concluded that it “didn’t matter” or “effect [sic] the story” that the character was gay so why include it at all? Continue reading