Homophobia?

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#1
At the risk of getting flamed by fans of Orson Scott Card, I'm just wondering if his writing (or the man himself) is as homophobic as I've heard/read other people say. I've heard a lot of great things about this guy but the whole homophobic thing has put me off.

Can some true fans set the record straight for me?
 
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#2
Certainly, I've seen things of his (essays meant for a general rather than the science fiction/fantasy audience) that indicate that he does not approve of homosexual activity. That isn't surprising to me, since the church he belongs to does not approve of homosexual activity.

On the other hand, there are a number of openly gay folks who post on the forum on his website on a regular basis. While they take issue with his position on the issue from time to time, they seem to be quite welcome there, and they seem to be quite comfortable there as well.

I haven't read all of his work, but within what I have read I can honestly say that I've never noticed any evidence of an opinion one way or the other on the gay issue. If it were there, I would probably have noticed it because I am disntinctly uncomfortable with homophobia personally. Such an attitude (of homophobia) could be present in things of his that I haven't read; I have no way of knowing that.

I hope that helps. *puts on supermod hat* I also hope that there will be no flaming over this issue. Enough said, everyone? Play nice.:) *removes supermod hat*
 
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#4
No flaming? This IS still the internet, isn't it?
Well, we hope it's a kinder, gentler internet.:p;) One where we discuss issues calmly and rationally rather than throwing the "you're an idiot"..."no, you're an idiot" rhetoric that is so common these days, not only on the internet but on every "talking heads" news program you might care to tune into. At least here, we can't all talk at the same time so that nobody can hear anything.:D
 
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#8
I've loved Card's work since I first read Treason many moons ago. I've not come across any indication in his works of fiction that he's against homesexuality although I have heard that he personally does not approve of such.

I'd go with Cloud about reading his books and making up your own mind. He's a wonderful writer and his books derserve a read or two or even three. Treason for instance has some curious gender issues.
 

steve12553

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#9
I'm about halfway through Ender's Game and I was starting to suspect leanings in the other direction. (Note italisized words) But like I said maybe, I'm just halfway through and interactions are just starting to form. If his writings showed a prejudice it's not in this book. May I also point out that there would appear to be a difference between a religious upbringing opposing something and an irrational fear (note the suffix "phobia") of something. This is another case where I would be happier not knowing the background of a celebrity and just accept their work on face value.
 
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the_faery_queen

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#10
well for me, i guess, i wouldn't want to read a book by someone who was anti something that i believe in. i know that a person's personal view points doesn't always come out in their literature or affect their books, or even have that much to do with what they're writing, but i just wouldn't want to buy a book by someone who had personal dislike/issues, with something i supported. i wouldn't buy a book from anyone pro life (in an aggressive sort of way) anti gay, or misognistic or anything like that, even if theire books had nothing to do with abortion, gays or women whatsoever. i guess i just wouldn't want to have any links with someone that was that openly against things i believed in.
 

Redhawk

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#12
I guess that would indicate a trip to the library...as I strive NOT to spend my hard earned monies on individuals or companies that are in direct opposition to my own values and beliefs....assuming I am aware of their leanings.

If someone is pressing their personal opinions in connection to their product or service....like some clothing designers who are raciest and have let it be known they are...I simply spend my money else where...there are a lot of choices available after all!

I know the book I'm working on currently has the potential to pissoff EVERYONE....lmao....since my main characters are reincarnated and change gender at least three times....and are romantically and spiritually linked! If it manages to get picked up...I can hardly wait to see the reactions...<eg>
 

the_faery_queen

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#13
why would that be a problem? the book orlando had the main character change gender. and katherine kerr's devery series had reincarnated characters who changed gender (only once though i think. in her world souls tended to come back as the same gender, something that annoyed me. the last thing i'd want is to ALWAYS be female. i'd like to be male sometimes, or a cat :) so i like the idea of people coming back as anything)
 

The Pelagic Argosy

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#14
Eh...I dunno. I still love the movie Braveheart, regardless of Mel's drunken ramblings.

Tom Cruise is another good example of an artist who has clearly gone stark raving mad. But I still think he's a good actor, and I like his movies.

I would hate to think that I'd have to rigorously research an author's biography before I could risk liking the story of someone who is in favor of the death penalty. Or worse...doesn't recycle. I don't believe I'm making a political statement every time I pick up, or purchase, a book.

I love reading the Marquis de Sade, for example. And I hear his autobiography was a bit sketchy. However, I believe I can safely say that he was not homophobic.
 

steve12553

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#15
Eh...I dunno. I still love the movie Braveheart, regardless of Mel's drunken ramblings.

Tom Cruise is another good example of an artist who has clearly gone stark raving mad. But I still think he's a good actor, and I like his movies.

I would hate to think that I'd have to rigorously research an author's biography before I could risk liking the story of someone who is in favor of the death penalty. Or worse...doesn't recycle. I don't believe I'm making a political statement every time I pick up, or purchase, a book.
Wonderful sentiment. That is why I would prefer never to know if an author, or actor, or any entertainment figure is gay or homophobic or Repubican or communist or anything else. If they are not a political writer (in the broadest sense, anyone using a work to OPENLY present an agenda) I would prefer that they don't use an entertainment forum or their fame that is achieved by entertaining people to establish a means to present a political agenda. A political writer or speaker establishes their qualifications and takes the heat of their opinions.
 
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#16
I'll second that. Unless reasonably qualified to do so, those in the limelight for one reason or another should refrain from using that platfrom to express views on topics they have absolutely no clue about. Whether they realise or acknowledge it, they have the capacity to influence people who might then make choices harmful to them or others.

As for the the books and movies, I decide based on the book or movie itself and not the beliefs of the writers or actors. I live in a country where all of Steven Spielberg's movies are not shown because he made Schindler's List and Khalil Gibran's Prophet is banned simply because of the word 'Prophet' in the title.

Yes, there are things we all believe and do not believe in but as far as books go I think they deserve to stand on their own merits. It's curious how not much of a fuss is made if the characters or the writer is homosexual.
 

Cloud

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#17
some good points here, and I tend to agree. I don't vet my author's personal philosophies before I consent to read their books, nor am I bothered excessively by actors' political or social views.

Except that . . . art, be it writing, acting, or fine art, is the ultimate expression of the human soul, so when the art is experienced, you take in a little bit of the artist. If the artist is a bigot, well, you absorb a little bit of that, whether it's the overt intention of the creator, or not.
 

steve12553

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#18
some good points here, and I tend to agree. I don't vet my author's personal philosophies before I consent to read their books, nor am I bothered excessively by actors' political or social views.

Except that . . . art, be it writing, acting, or fine art, is the ultimate expression of the human soul, so when the art is experienced, you take in a little bit of the artist. If the artist is a bigot, well, you absorb a little bit of that, whether it's the overt intention of the creator, or not.
That works for me too. I'm usually so naive that I don't see an agenda within a work (book; movie) I just don't like to see any sort of artist express an agenda within an interview promoting a book or movie to an unsuspecting audience. ("we had to spend two day in the water to shot that scene and Oh, by the way vote for Bozo the clown in the next election because I am qualified to tell you all about it because I'm so good looking") Let the forums for their agendas be the same of the rest of us unqualified people. I don't have a Master's degree in political science (or a PHD in psychology as Mr. Cruise doesn't) I'll express my views through a letter to the newspaper or a forum jusxt as they should fairly also. If not they should expect reprocussion to their work. (Boycotts, lowered sales, el al)
 

mosaix

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#19
Some noble sentiments expressed here. There is one thing, however that always nags at the back of my mind and it is this.

If I fundamentaly disagree with a personal opinion of an author or artiste and it happens to be in an area that I regard as important and hold dear (such as homphobia) then, by buying their books or watching their films, they have some of my hard earned money clinking around in their pockets.

Not only that, but I am adding to their popularity and thereby boosting their ego's and, indirectly, helping to confirm in their own mind that they are right. Also, by contributing to their wealth and success, others who are more easily swayed than members of Chronicles, may have their heads turned.

This is a little off-topic but serves as an example. In Great Britain, before the 60's, racism was frowned on and disapproved of. Then a politician, Enoch Powell, made a speech that was openely racist. Overnight it was OK to be racist "because look what Enoch Powell said." Now I'm not saying there were more racists after the speech than before but he gave credibility to racism, he provided ammunition to be used in racist's arguments that, because of who he was, carried weight. And that is my point, there are a lot of people who take on board what celebrities say, because of who they are and not because of the validity of their argument.

That is why, by and large, I will not contribute to the coffers of authors and artistes with whom I hold fundamentaly opposing views.

I take it further than that. I won't buy products from companies that I know contribute to political parties that I wouldn't vote for. Why should I? I might as well make a direct contribution to the party itself.
 

The Pelagic Argosy

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#20
It works the other way to, though. I hope to have a successful writing career some day. I would hate to have people judging me on my sociopolitical views, rather than on the merits of my work. (Not to mention that it could hurt my book sales, and I'd have to continue working my crappy day job.) Considering that I'm an ultraliberal atheist, this is a real concern. (I heard that atheists in America are less trusted than gays, illegal immigrants, and Muslims.)

However, Cloud's concern about an author's beliefs coloring their work is a real one too. I would be remiss if I failed to mention that the book I'm planning prominently features several atheist characters who are openly scornful of the religious society in which they live. Despite the fact that the religious folks in my story turn out to right all along, I can just imagine all the publicity denouncing my "atheistic agenda." I just want to entertain people, not change their opinions. Of course I'll draw on my own beliefs to an extent. But only as far as it serves the story. All I would ask is that my readers approach my work with an open mind.

[I have an active imagination, don't I? I haven't finished Ch. 1, and already I'm imagining all the bad press.]

To all of you writers out there, what happens when you are interviewed? What happens with the interviewer asks you about your influences? What if you drew heavily on your religious beliefs? What if your story was based on the controversial stem-cell debate? This is all valid source material, correct? Should you decline to answer the questions for fear that you will be accused getting up on your soap box? You finally get a book published, and now you're not allowed to have opinions?

Look at poor J.K. Rowling. She's as reclusive as they come. And she's been labeled with all sorts of evil intentions...corrupting the children with her witchcraft and such. She doesn't even have to say anything.
 
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