Will a gay protagonist alienate straight readers?

Dear Grandpa Wiggly,

You used to be a schoolteacher and you’re a really good writer, so I was hoping you could help me out here. I’m writing a novel with a protagonist who I just realized is kinda gay. But I’m wondering if people will still want to read it. Will having a gay protagonist alienate straight readers?

Lord knows I’ve encountered this problem before! I’m always asking Effie if readers will read my stories if the protagonist is mayonnaise. She says no. I say, mayo!

The more important question here is, should you care if you alienate straight readers? If readers aren’t going to read your book because your protagonist is a homosexual, then you’re better off without them! This is the 21st. century. You can have a gay protagonist just like I can have a mayonnaise protagonist.

“Wands out, Harry!”

Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I don’t recall him ever alienating readers, in fact, he’s one of the most beloved characters in the Harry Potter series.

Dumbledore’s sexual orientation is ambiguous and never directly addressed in the books. J. K. Rowling doesn’t bash us over the head with it. I think most people never picked up it (despite his robes and all that “wands out” business) until Rowling was asked if Dumbledore had ever been in love after the last book came out. (I only made the connection when reading the letters Dumbledore wrote to Grindelwald in the last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Those are more incriminating than my secret love letters to mayonnaise!)

There is a difference between a gay protagonist and a protagonist who just so happens to be gay. The thing to remember is not to announce it to your readers. This is the difference between showing and telling. Show that your character is gay (but don’t over-show it) and don’t restrict his or her identity to sexual orientation.

Depending on how pertinent your protagonist’s sexuality is to the story, some readers will pick up on it, others will not. If you can, avoid using label words like “gay” entirely (think of the film 28 Days Later, does anyone ever say “zombie?”) That’s like trying to write a story about vampires without ever using the word “vampire.” This will strengthen your writing.

Best of luck with your novel.

Write. Every. Day.

Where Mayonnaise Gets Its Name

Don’t you wonder whose great idea it was to go and whip together eggs and vinegar?

Mayonnaise was a marvelous accident, losmonos.

In 1756, during the siege of Mahon, the capital of Minorca, one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain, there was a food supply shortage. The chef of Duke de Richelieu in France thought of whipping eggs and oil together without adding any seasoning. The delicious dressing was served to a dinner party hosted by Duke de Richelieu.

Mayonnaise gets its name after a battle was won against the British in Port Mahon. The word Mayonnaise was named after Mahon.

Bill O’Reilly vs. Gayonnaise!

Finally! My two favorite things in the whole world have come together: Bill O’Reilly and mayonnaise. Well, not really. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am really into mayonnaise, but I’m not that into Bill O’Reilly. He’s not very good between two pieces of bread. I prefer turkey, not bologna! But for once I did actually find some amusement in Bill O’Reilly.

The amusement comes in the form of O’Reilly’s phony outrage and confusion over a Heinz mayonnaise commercial airing in Great Britain only. In the commercial, two men share a kiss, thus making them evil mayonnaise-pushing homosexuals. It’s the “gay thing” that confuses O’Reilly. He thinks the underlying subtext is not about mayonnaise but rather about tolerance and gender blending:

So why are they doing that? Why — it was… It was obviously a gay thing. Now I don’t know what the message is, other than gay people like mayonnaise… I’m confused. This whole gender blending thing. It’s confusing to me… I just want mayonnaise. I don’t want guys kissing.

You’ve got to watch the video. O’Reilly is the only one who seems “outraged” by the commercial. Everyone else is just enjoying a good laugh…at O’Reilly’s expense.

My favorite part: “This is not a gay issue. It’s a mayonnaise issue.” Priceless!

Bill should have known that you can’t talk about mayonnaise for too long before you start to find the situation utterly absurd–and delicious!–which is exactly what happened. And what was with the obscure Wile E. Coyote reference? What point was that guy trying to make? Whatever it is, he can’t do.

Now every time Bill O’Reilly slathers mayonnaise on a sandwich he’s going to think of the gays making the sex–doing it live!

When reached for comment, Ketchup wouldn’t respond on the issue, even after pressing him hard and turning him upside down. But after a few minutes at the right angle, he spilled everything. Caught red handed.

Mustard didn’t immediately return phone calls, some sources have alluded to the possibility of a crusty clog in the tip. Critics have harshly accused Mustard of being yellow in the past.

Play us out, Bill!

Butter Luck Next Time

Help me, Grandpa Wiggly!

I was trying on my girlfriend’s engagement right before i pop “the question” and now it’s completely stuck. She gets back in 30 minutes and I don’t think I can hide my hand from her all night (I’ve tried butter).

My, my, what a predicament. You can never rely on butter for anything. You butter believe it!

Have you tried mayonnaise yet? Mayonnaise should have been the first thing you tried. Nothing is slipperier than mayonnaise! I got my finger stuck in my ill-tempered, one-armed wife’s once and had to slather it up with great gobs of mayonnaise to get it out before she woke up.

Lube it up real well with a lot of mayonnaise (at least half a gallon) and let the mayonnaise ooze and absorb into your phalanges and pores for a few minutes. That ring should slide right off. But for goodness sake don’t lick up all the mayonnaise until it does! Resist the urge and mayonnaise shall be your reward.