Borderline: The Mainstream Book of Scottish Gay Writing
The recent renaissance in Scottish fiction, throughout the '90s, was accompanied by an equally prolific rise in the profile of Scottish gay writing. Not only has there been a growth in new and exciting Scottish authors being published by gay publishers -Martin Foreman, Graeme Wollaston, Jack Dickson and Sebastian Beaumont, to name a few - but for the first time Scottish gay writers, freed from the shackles of machismo and chauvinism, are exposing readers to an entirely different aspect of Scottish life through more recognized channels and publishing companies. At the same time, the diversity of Scottish cultural experience has been celebrated in the work of the new, younger generation of - predominantly heterosexual - Scottish writers. From Irvine Welsh's depiction of a young man's chances of scoring in a gay disco versus a straight one, to a Janice Galloway character's anxieties over a bisexual boyfriend, and to Gordon Legge's portrayal of a young gay boy's homosexuality, post-Boy George/Bronski Beat, amid an oppressive heterosexual environment, the continued attempts by these writers to redress the balance of cultural representation away from stereo types of hard-men and down-trodden women has done much to highlight the value, rather than negativity of, difference. This anthology also includes material from Scotland's more established writers - quite often with unexpected results. The older writers here are equally determined to present a different view of Scottish life, in all its diversity: Edwin Morgan writes of a searing, brief encounter on a bus; Toni Davidson describes a similar event on a train; Alistair Gray's lesbian S&M fantasy ''Something Leather'' is a wonderfully celebratory piece of writing. As this collection shows, through a range of voices and experiences, there is no definitive outlook for any author/gender/sexuality/race these days - just one massive melting-pot called Scotland.