Woo hoo – check out the interview on the Means Happy site:
I caught up with science fiction author J. Scott Coatsworth to dig a little deeper into why the genres of science fiction and fantasy appeal to a lot of LGBTQ readers. Coatsworth runs Queer Sci Fi with his husband Mark, a site that celebrates fiction that reflects queer reality.
You’ve talked about Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings trilogy as being your introduction into the world of fantasy and science fiction. What was it about Frodo that particularly drew you to that character?
When I started reading Lord of the Rings, I was in second or third grade, so I think at that point it was at least partly because he was a little guy like me. I remember hoping that I’d have furry feet when I grew up.
Since then, I’ve re-read it two or three more times, and have found myself attracted to other parts of his character. He starts out as young and innocent, but behaves with an iron-clad sense of honour in the face of many temptations and challenges, and he comes out of it alive but damaged. There was something very appealing about that to me, in a weird way — I’ve since realised how I like to take care of people, and how much I want to either repair their damage or comfort them in the face of it. It’s horribly co-dependent at times, but I feel like I’m at my best when I am helping someone else.
There was also an appealing intimacy between Samwise and Frodo that connected deeply with me, even if I didn’t quite know how to label my own sexuality when I was so young. It wasn’t necessarily a sexual thing, but more the draw of the connection between these two male characters. I wanted that. I didn’t quite know why, but I wanted it.