I had hoped to make it through the entire series before commenting, but at halfway through volume II of Cassandra Clare‘s Mortal
Instruments Insults book series, I just can’t keep my thoughts bottled up. I find her “gay” character, Magnus Bane, to be the epitome of the effeminate vain, ill-mannered queenie stereotype that has plagued our representation in all media prior to the current generation. For some reason, Clare not only feels the need to plagiarise other YA fiction authors for plot, but she also must have mined the likes of Three’s Company and La Cage aux Folles to render her openly gay hero. Seriously, if you believe in Clare’s fantasy world, then you must think gay men must either be closeted straight-acting bitches (i.e., Alec) or sequined, Kimono-draped semi drag queen bitches (i.e., Magnus).
These stereotypes are SO cliché in older media that they actually have academic classifications. You know that your writing is tired when it is actually named as an example of a writing trope, referred to by some as the “Magical Queer“, cousin to the “Magical Negro” — a literary figure presented in such a degraded way as to be humorous, and thus “non threatening” to the straight, white audience. Think of it as the gay equivalent of the sassy black maid. No kidding. Can you believe that in 2013, after the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and on the eve of marriage equality, this is what I’m reading in fiction from a fat white chick?
To be fair, I actually enjoy the books for the most part…they are heavy on action and the romantic tension between the two lead characters is well written…but then out of nowhere Magnus keeps popping up with 2 snaps and a “you go gurl”, and I question whether my money was well spent or not. One doesn’t have to sashay across the room in heels, suck face with another guy, and finish with a show tune to have a moving coming out story. Maybe by the time Judith gets around to plagiarizing books written in this century, she’ll also learn to present a modern view of gays in our society. I might just become a fan — because from her blog, at least I know her heart is in the right place, if not her pen.