I am a newly converted, I just spent the last month reading every single Sanderson cosmere book, and I am now enthralled by the universe he created. I have read all of the annotations, and I even trawled through many of his old blog posts . I came across the one where he began talking about same-gendered marriage, and he mentioned that he intended to write some gay characters into his novels one day! And that got me thinking. "What would all of the different cosmere societies believe about homosexuality?". The topics has never come up in any of his books, so I felt free to let my imagination loose
Of course I am just talking about the different cultural biases, how the people of the worlds feel about the topic. I think it should also be mentioned, that just like our world, all of Brandon's worlds are patriarchal societies (except maybe Nalthis).
This is the planet I am most on the fence about (at least in Arelon and Teod). It's government has no religious ties, but the dominant religion in the Aonic countries is Shu-Korath, which teaches acceptance and unity, and I can't see why they would have any opposition. Shu-Dereth is focused on obedience(although to a fault) and while it is represented as an evil empire, I don't believe at it's roots there would be anything about homosexuality in it's scripture. Elantris however, Is Brandon's least "religious" book, and i don't think there is much you could say about the topic just based on the information we received in this book.
Scadrial is the one that I really thought about the most, as for a thousand years it was ruled by a tyrannical dictator who basically said that if any of the nobles had sex with skaa female, she had to be killed before she could give birth. I thought this created an interesting dynamic as, well, guys can't get pregnant hahaha. In my mind I can definitely see certain nobles taking advantage of skaa males, then never killing them. A lifelong concubine of sorts. With the relatively flagrant lives they led, this may have even become a status symbol. Of course for the skaa males, living in a patriarchal society, this might have become some of their worst nightmares. I my mind this would have led to incredible homophobia and fear post-ascension, as people would have associated it with the nobles. It may have of course switched the other way where the populous were just happy to be free of their rule, and sympathetic to the men who were taken.
Edit: I totally forgot about Ranette. Post-ascension, and no-one seems to mind, although i thought I would mention once again that this is a patriarchal society, and maybe people would care less about lesbianism in general.
Nalthis is probably my favourite cosmere world; I love the tropics! In my mind it would most likely be the most accepting world. In a place where everyone worships the Returned, lazy gods who walk around in next to nothing, I can see the general populace being lenient about almost anything. Hell, I think Lightsong himself pings highly on my gaydar.
Roshar, and mostly Alethkar, I am also on the fence about. In TWoK, it is mentioned that there are tent brothels in the tent city just outside the Shattered Plains (correct me if I'm wrong), and so men would have "relief" so to speak close at hand. Also there would be a lot of manly bravado on the plains, what with the dueling and such, and being gay might seem a non-manly thing. But I think it should be mentioned this this is a 10 (or so) year siege! And there are basically only men everywhere! And they are often huddled in huts together for up to a couple of days! I mean come on Benioff, Achilles and Patroclus weren't cousins for heavens sake Who do you think you're kidding? hahaha
So yeah those are my thoughts and conjectures. I didn't really delve into female homosexuality but that could be a whole separate thread methinks, and I did not mean to talk about specific characters but feel free to yourselves. Also I didn't talk much about amorous feelings, as I was, once again, talking about cultural feelings around the topic! This is only really meant to be a discussion maker, so please no one take it too seriously. What do you all think?
Edit: I totally forgot the wonderful Ranette. Oh Wayne, clueless forever.
Edited by Falvaen, 17 June 2012 - 02:54 AM.