There are, of course, two different approaches in comparing theses texts; mostly similar with some differences, or mostly different with some similarities. At first I thought these two novels were obviously very different, the main issue being that Boy meets Boy was about the sexual orientation of the protagonist, and Luna is about gender identity, two very different things, thus making it difficult to compare their experiences. The stories differ further in that Paul is already ‘out’ to all his friends and family and it’s not really a coming out narrative for Paul, whereas Luna is in nearly the exact opposite situation. For a while during the free write i couldn’t get past the fact that i couldn’t find nearly any substantial similarities between Paul and Luna, so i moved on to thinking about comparing the stories in other ways.
Though it wasn’t quite as present in the plot of Boy meets Boy, Tony’s parents don’t understand or approve of who he is, similarly to the way Liam and Reagan’s dad can’t grasp what is going on with Liam, though each character deals with their parents in different ways, the concept is still there. Another similarity I think is noteworthy, is the parallel between Reagan and Paul as the narrators. Though Reagan is a young, straight girl and Paul is a gay boy, they are both comfortable and confident in their sexualities. In both stories, the narrators are both pursuing someone and there is drama surrounding that, but more importantly, each narrator is helping people close to them with their coming out process.
I also see similarities in the relationship between Reagan and Liam, and Paul and Tony; Reagan is what Liam wants to be- a girl. Similarly, Tony is jealous of Paul’s life in which he gets to live as himself and have his boyfriends over to his house. Paul and Reagan both have something that Tony and Liam desire, and Paul and Reagan are helping them to achieve it.
3 thoughts on “mostly different, but some similarities”
Boy Meets Boy still exhibits a struggle with sexuality in the case of Infinite Darlene. Although she is presented in the novel as a drag queen, there is no indication if whether she is a cis man presenting as a woman or actually transgender. This failure to clearly present this is a bit irritating, but is not actually central to the story. Infinite Darlene may be transgender, because the community of drag queens failed to accept her because of superficial issues, which could be due to several reasons. Drag culture as a whole has a tendency to overshadow trans identities and present them in an unrealistic way. This peripheral character also resonates with Luna, and how she was forced to present a certain gender because of the inability of her community to accept her.
I agree that Paul and Regan both represent, in some respect, what Tony and Liam “want”–in both cases, the protagonists have the freedom to express who they are without much fear of retribution, while Tony and Liam struggle to find acceptance. However, I disagree that we are unable to compare Boy Meets Boy and Luna based on topical discrepancies. While Paul is gay and Luna is transgender, both novels focus on the difficulties of identifying as a member of a “deviant” group–something other than cisgender and heterosexual. This common theme, I think, readily places both texts in the same conversation.
I find your similarity between the two texts very interesting, I had not thought of that before I read your blog! I like how you brought up the idea that Paul and Reagan have something Tony and Liam desire, which is the ability to be them true-selves. Paul and Reagan want the person they love to be ability to live their life happy and truly and I think they are amazing for doing that.
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