List of gay characters in literature
This is a List of homosexual characters in modern written fiction. The historical concept and definition of sexual orientation varies and has changed greatly over time; for example the word "gay" wasn't used to describe sexual orientation until the mid 20th century. A number of different classification schemes have been used to describe sexual orientation since the mid-19th century, and scholars have often defined the term 'sexual orientation' in divergent ways. Indeed, several studies have found that much of the research about sexual orientation has failed to define the term at all, making it difficult to reconcile the results of different studies. However, most definitions include a psychological component (such as the direction of an individual's erotic desire) and/or a behavioral component (which focuses on the sex of the individual's sexual partner/s). Some prefer to simply follow an individual's self-definition or identity. See homosexuality and bisexuality for criteria that have traditionally denoted lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people.
Items listed here must have verifiable third-party sources commenting on the sexuality of the character(s) in question, and additional explanation may be necessary. Citing the work itself may be appropriate if an applicable quote is provided. Additionally, only notable/significant characters from a given work (which may have multiple LGBT characters) need to be listed here.
|“||[Alec Scudder of Maurice was] a refreshingly unapologetic young gay man who was not an effete Oscar Wilde aristocrat, but rather a working class, masculine, ordinary guy ... an example of the working class teaching the privileged class about honesty and authenticity — a bit of a stereotype now, but back then quite extraordinary.||”|
|American Psycho||1991||Ellis, Bret EastonBret Easton Ellis||Luis Carruthers||in love with the male protagonist, later marries Courtney|
|Baby Be-Bop||1995||Block, Francesca LiaFrancesca Lia Block||Dirk McDonald|||
|Beauty of MenThe Beauty of Men||1996||Holleran, AndrewAndrew Holleran||Lark
|Black MagicianThe Black Magician trilogy||2001–2003||Canavan, TrudiTrudi Canavan||Ambassador Dannyl
Tayend of Tremmelin
|Ambassador Dannyl has relationship with his assistant, Tayend of Tremmelin, who is referred to in novel as a 'lad'|||
|Books of OutremerThe Books of Outremer series||1998–2003||Brenchley, ChazChaz Brenchley||Jemel
Sieur Anton d'Escrivey
|Boy Culture||1995||Rettenmund, MatthewMatthew Rettenmund||X
|X (narrator's pseudonym) has sexual and romantic relationships with Andrew, Joe and other men.|||
|Boy Meets Boy||2003||Levithan, DavidDavid Levithan||Paul
"Infinite Darlene"/Daryl Heisenberg
|main character, ex-boyfriend of Kyle, in love with Noah
in love with Paul
child of orthodox Jewish parents
Paul's ex-boyfriend, who is attracted to both males and females
|Boy's Own StoryA Boy's Own Story||1982||White, EdmundEdmund White||Narrator
|Brideshead Revisited||1945||Waugh, EvelynEvelyn Waugh||Sebastian Flyte
|Brokeback Mountain||1997||Proulx, AnnieAnnie Proulx||Jack Twist||Main character who has a long term sexual relationship with another man, Ennis del Mar, as well as being married to a woman and having sexual relationships with other men and a woman while married. Critics have described him variously as gay or bisexual.|||
|CharioteerThe Charioteer||1953||Renault, MaryMary Renault||Laurie Odell
|Chocolates for BreakfastChocolates for Breakfast||1956||Moore, PamelaPamela Moore||Courtney Farrell
|Courtney develops a crush on her female boarding school teacher, and later has a sexual relationship with Barry Cabot, her mother's bisexual friend who is in a relationship with a man.|
|City and the PillarThe City and the Pillar||1946||Vidal, GoreGore Vidal||Jim Willard
|Confessions of Danny SlocumThe Confessions of Danny Slocum||1980||Whitmore, GeorgeGeorge Whitmore||Danny Slocum|||
|Dancer from the Dance||1978||Holleran, AndrewAndrew Holleran||Anthony Malone
|Dave Brandstetter Mysteries||1970–1991||Hansen, JosephJoseph Hansen||Dave Brandstetter||12 novels|||
|Dune||1965||Herbert, FrankFrank Herbert||Vladimir Harkonnen||Harkonnen's sexual preference for men is implied in Dune and Children of Dune, and presented more explicitly in the Prelude to Dune prequel trilogy by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.|||
|Fairly Honourable DefeatA Fairly Honourable Defeat||1970||Murdoch, IrisIris Murdoch||Simon Foster
|Front RunnerThe Front Runner||1974||Warren, Patricia NellPatricia Nell Warren||Harlan Brown
|Geography Club||2003||Hartinger, BrentBrent Hartinger||Russel Middlebrook|||
|Giovanni's Room||1956||Baldwin, JamesJames Baldwin||David
|Hallucinating Foucault||1996||Duncker, PatriciaPatricia Duncker||Paul Michel
|openly homosexual writer, said to have many male lovers, including relationship with male main character/narrator|||
|Harry Potter series||1997–2007||Rowling, J. K.J. K. Rowling||Albus Dumbledore||Claimed by Rowling to be gay, although nothing was said in the books. Some critics still doubt this.|||
|Heroes of Olympus: House of Hades||2013||Riordan, RickRick Riordan||Nico di Angelo|
|Hotel New HampshireThe Hotel New Hampshire||1981||Irving, JohnJohn Irving||Frank Berry|||
|HoursThe Hours||1998||Cunningham, MichaelMichael Cunningham||Richard Brown|||
|Last Herald MageThe Last Herald Mage trilogy||1989–1991||Lackey, MercedesMercedes Lackey||Vanyel Ashkevron
|In the series, Vanyel has two sexual relationships, both with male partners.|||
|Line of BeautyThe Line of Beauty||2004||Hollinghurst, AlanAlan Hollinghurst||Nick Guest
|Lord John series||1998–2011||Gabaldon, DianaDiana Gabaldon||Lord John Grey|
|Maurice||1913–1914||Forster, E. M.E. M. Forster||Maurice Hall
|Men from the BoysThe Men from the Boys||1997||Mann, William J.William J. Mann||Jeff O'Brien
|Men Who Love Men||2007||Mann, William J.William J. Mann||Jeff O'Brien
|Mortal InstrumentsThe Mortal Instruments series||2007–2014||Clare, CassandraCassandra Clare||Alexander "Alec" Lightwood
|Alec had a crush on the main male character and engages in a romantic/sexual relationship with the warlock Magnus Bane.|
|Mr. Benson||1983||Preston, JohnJohn Preston||Mr. Benson|||
|Now and Then||1995||Corlett, WilliamWilliam Corlett||Christopher Metcalfe||main character who has a sexual/romantic relationship as a boy with another boy at school; later has sexual relationships with other men and eventually pursues a romantic relationship with another man|||
|Other Voices, Other Rooms||1948||Capote, TrumanTruman Capote||Joel Harrison Knox
|The Perks of Being a Wallflower||1999||Chbosky, StephenStephen Chbosky||Patrick
|Persian BoyThe Persian Boy||1972||Renault, MaryMary Renault||Bagoas
Alexander the Great
|Picture of Dorian GrayThe Picture of Dorian Gray||1890||Wilde, OscarOscar Wilde||Basil Hallward|||
|Rainbow Boys||2001||Sánchez, AlexAlex Sánchez||Jason Carrillo
|Scott Pilgrim series||2004–2010||O'Malley, Bryan LeeBryan Lee O'Malley||Wallace Wells|
|Single ManA Single Man||1964||Isherwood, ChristopherChristopher Isherwood||George|
|SlapThe Slap||2008||Tsiolkas, ChristosChristos Tsiolkas||Richie||main character who has a sexual attraction to Hector|||
|Song of Ice and FireA Song of Ice and Fire||1991–2011||Martin, George R. R.George R. R. Martin||Renly Baratheon||Never clearly stated in the books but hinted at having a sexual/romantic relationship with Loras Tyrell. In the TV-show it is made clear that they are lovers.|
|Teleny, or The Reverse of the Medal||1893||Anonymous; attributed to Oscar Wilde||René Teleny
Camille de Grieux
|Vampire LestatThe Vampire Lestat||1985||Rice, AnneAnne Rice||Nicolas de Lenfent||Probably gay; While human, Nicolas shares a sexual relationship with Lestat de Lioncourt.|||
|Weetzie Bat||1989||Block, Francesca LiaFrancesca Lia Block||Dirk McDonald
|Where the Boys Are||2003||Mann, William J.William J. Mann||Jeff O'Brien
|Will Grayson, Will Grayson||2010||Levithan, DavidDavid Levithan and John Green||will grayson
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- Herbert, Frank (1965). Dune. ISBN 0-399-12949-9. "'I'll be in my sleeping chambers,' the Baron said. 'Bring me that young fellow we bought on Gamont, the one with the lovely eyes. Drug him well. I don't feel like wrestling.'"
- Herbert, Frank (1965). Dune. ISBN 0-202-86504-5. "'Why haven't you ever bought a Bene Gesserit, Uncle?' Feyd-Rautha asked. 'With a Truthsayer at your side —' 'You know my tastes!' the Baron snapped ... 'This old fool saw through the shielded needle you'd planted in that slave boy's thigh. Right where I'd put my hand on it, eh?'"
- Though Harkonnen is the biological father of Lady Jessica, it is noted in Dune that this is because he "once permitted himself to be seduced."
- Grimshaw, Tammy (2005). Sexuality, Gender, And Power In Iris Murdoch's Fiction. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press. p. 37. ISBN 0-8386-4061-3.
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