Dear Valentine, you won’t be hearing from me for a while. I need to find out if I am as gifted at peace as I am at war. They have rewarded me with the rank of admiral and left me to my own devices, which suits me fine. I’ll travel the universe and carry with me a precious cargo - because I have a promise to keep.
When I first learned that Orson Scott Card was homophobic, I subscribed to the “but it doesn’t affect his writing!” view. This was while the “Shadow” series was coming out, and while it was pulpy and inconsistent with the original Ender series, I enjoyed it well enough… it was like decent quality fan fic of the Enderverse, basically.
But then I got to a point in one of the books (Shadow of the Hegemon, maybe?) where the protagonist, who up until that point had been determined that his genetically engineered traits should die with him, realizes that he MUST breed. Why? Because he’s had a flash of his super-intuition–which the books thus far have demonstrated gives him infallible if somewhat random insight–that the point of life is to find someone of the opposite sex to reproduce with, and anyone who denies this is sick in the mind and any happiness they claim to feel is a lie or delusion.
You know what that is?
That is Orson Scott Card’s views on human sexuality, inserted into the middle of the novel as Unassailable Fact.
In the Enderverse, Orson Scott Card’s views on heterosexual supremacy and the ill/deranged status of anyone who isn’t a married sexually active heterosexual are CANON.
That book is on a very short list of books I didn’t finish reading. Usually it’s physically painful for me to put down a book unfinished for long. This one made me sick to my stomach to continue reading.
I’ve posted about this before and had people rush to tell me that the scene in question wasn’t “about” gay people, it was about the protagonist and his needs. Well, yes, but unless we believe that this one intuitive flash alone was wrong, the book establishes that his needs are the needs of every human being. And no, it’s not “about” gay people… it’s about straight people. Orson Scott Card doesn’t believe that gay people exists. You know how some fundamentalist Christians don’t believe anyone doesn’t believe in Christ and their God, we’re all just naughty children who are pretending not to out of spite? That’s how Orson Scott Card views queer people. And in the world of Ender’s Game, he’s right.
Think about how… for lack of a better word… childish a writer has to be to set up a multi-book plot arc that culminates in the phlebotinum of his imaginary universe proving him right. He out Randed Ayn Rand.
And once that really blatant example was in front of my face, I realized that wasn’t the only time that the idea that there’s an inexorable force that draws men and women together to form babbies and it cannot be safely denied cropped up in his writing. Just never as blatantly.
Today, being a bit more mature and knowing what I know of the extent of his activities, I would have stopped reading him even if I could believe that his writing isn’t affected by his views. But Orson Scott Card the homophobe doesn’t stop being Orson Scott Card the homophobe when he puts on his writer’s hat. When you read his work, you are reading homophobic works.