Are coming of age stories and coming out stories still relevant today?

by Martin Delacroix

I’m Martin Delacroix. I write erotic, male/male fiction for adults of all ages. My short fiction appears in over twenty erotic anthologies. I’ve had three single-author anthologies published: Boys Who Love Men, Flawed Boys, and Becoming Men. I’ve had five novels published: Love Quest, Maui, Trick and Treat, Adrian’s Scar, and Convict Ass.

Many stories I’ve written deal with coming out issues for young gay men. Young gay men seem to like reading about the whole experience of revealing one’s sexual orientation to family and friends. Older gay readers seem to enjoy reliving their personal coming out experiences, through the lives of my characters.

I have a website: Through it, I frequently hear from young gay men who have come out, or are considering it. Many of these young men are athletes: surfers, wrestlers, skateboarders, triathletes, hockey enthusiasts, volleyball players, and BMXers. In fact, you might say my website is an unofficial sounding board for young, gay athletes. And based upon what I hear from these young men, coming out is not much easier than it was twenty years ago.

In these days of Ellen DeGeneres and the “It Gets Better” campaign, I think we sometimes want to believe being queer has become cool and acceptable in youth culture. But it’s not the case. The young men I hear from often feel lonely and scared, particularly those who live in rural areas of our country. They long for a loving relationship with another male, but are frightened of the consequences, should they come out.

I think it’s important to write coming out stories. I believe they offer hope and encouragement to young gay men. I’m happy my stories have pleased so many. I’ve received dozens of e-mails and comments via my website, thanking me for such stories, and I intend to keep writing them.

Here’s what one young man from Canada, said about his experience in coming out t his parents:

“For anyone who still has yet to come out, you don’t need me to tell you it gets better after. But the closet does things to you that people aren’t meant to go through. The constant introspection and over analyzing and the fear, it stops. It goes away and it doesn’t come back.  Remember that telling people isn’t so much a clarification for them but a fight for you and your life. No matter how much it feels like your environment is dictating to you, remember you can give it the finger and change it however you like.”

I find his statement inspiring.

Don’t you?

2 Responses to “Are coming of age stories and coming out stories still relevant today?”

  1. 1 Julia Talbot August 14, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    I do find that inspiring. Being able to come out fully is a truly freeing experience


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