Pride month couldn’t just be filled with book recommendations, spots to read, or talking about authors who are part of the LGBTQIA community. Bookstr has decided to bring its readers a fun activity – reimagining classics with gay heroes. Letting our imagination run wild and playing matchmakers, here are five classic books reimagined for Pride month, with a funny bonus at the end.
1. Bromeo and Julian
First things first, everyone saw this one coming. This classic has been in the mouths of every single critic alive, and with good reason. It is speculated – by some – that Shakespeare was actually homosexual despite being married to a woman. Therefore, knowing this, you’ll be able to look at Romeo and Juliet, differently. The story was never about two rival families, but yes about two individuals who fell for each other in a society that considered homosexuality a taboo. However, let’s spice things up a bit and let our imagination run wild. Enter the reckless-anger-issued Bromeo, son of Montagne, who decided to sneak into a party of what seemed to be a very wealthy family that had just arrived at Verona. Apparently, Montagne and Capulet went a long way back, and not in a good way.
Going against his father’s wishes, Bromeo manages to drag Benvolio and their friend Mercutio to the banquet with the intuition of simply looking around and getting an insight into the rival family. Curiosity killed the cat, and Bromeo was a curious little thing by heart. Blending in, the three young men walked around unnoticed, casually eating, and making small talk with people they never dreamed about talking to. However, something caught Bromeo’s eye, and that was the jewelry necklace across Capulet’s wife. He knew he shouldn’t even think about stealing it, but how would they know it was him, if they didn’t even know Bromeo in the first place?
As the feast ended, Bromeo fell behind with Benvolio and Mercutio walked up front, slightly tipsy from the amazing red wine that had been served. Without wasting any more time, Bromeo, sneaked around the manor and jumps over an orchard wall, climbing up into a window he only hoped would be the Capulet’s chamber. However, as soon as he entered the window, he was met with the most beautiful creature he had ever met, who he would soon learn, was the first born of the Capulet, Julian. Thrown off guard, Bromeo had only half a mind to jump in and cover Julian’s mouth with his hand to prevent him from calling out whoever could be outside his door.
Making up a stupid excuse like the smart man Bromeo was, he told Julian that the wine was the best he had ever tasted, so he wanted to sneak in and take some with him. After being scolded by an angry Julian, Bromeo left with a heavy heart, for Bromeo had fallen in love at first sight with a man. And so, the love story began, with a fool in love and a caged young man who couldn’t stand him. Throw in some enemies to lovers, stupid ideologies and star-crossed lovers, and this classic has more than potential to become a beautiful, gay novel.
2. The Great Gatsbi
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Gatsby? More like Gatsbi. Daisy is horrible – there, I’ve said it. If you like Daisy, sweetie, be honest with yourself. Not only was she a cheater, but she was also a liar and a presumptuous rich girl. Gatsby did everything he could and couldn’t just for her – the idea he had of her, blinded by his heart and unaware of the dark shadows that loomed around the bay. For this one, let’s follow the original plot line from the beginning. Nick Carraway arrives at West Egg and makes himself at home, always unsure of his mysterious neighbor. He hears so much about him, Gatsby he soon learned he was called, the one who throws lavish parties with unstopping alcohol, amazing music and dancers, anyone could show up at his house apparently.
One summer day, Nick received an invitation from Gatsby himself to attend his party, but no one is ever invited to the parties, so why him? The mystery is soon unveiled, as he attends the party and everyone knows how it goes. But who is Gatsby? No one is able to give him a proper answer, everyone has this idea of him, and everyone hears rumors, but who is he, truly? When they do meet, the mystery starts falling into place, things still don’t add up, but Nick understands Gatsby’s fascination and adoration for his cousin Daisy.
As both parties plot for a steady reunion, Gabtsy finds himself feeling somewhat bothered and warm-hearted when he’s next to Nick, but quickly disregards his own feelings because the one he worked so hard for, was Daisy. And the story continues its own normal path until Gatsby realizes Daisy doesn’t love him as he loves her since she is unable to leave her cheating husband and come live a happy life alongside Gatsby. As he begins to realize that not everything is as bright as he painted them to be, Gatsby embraces the feelings he had for Nick, something daring, new, and exciting.
As Gatsby ends up falling for Nick, the readers are happy. Why? Because Daisy didn’t hit Myrtle with the car, didn’t blame it on Gatsby, and Gatsby isn’t murdered by Myrtle’s husband. Moral of the story: be gay so you don’t get killed.
The classic of all Gothic classics. Dracula with a twist, let’s imagine this classic set in the modern world. Mina Murray, a girl with a feverish attraction to vampires and every sort of knowledge that comes along with it, has set on a journey of self-discovery, and what better place to do so, than in TRANSylvania. Without knowing the reason why she feels so dragged towards the gothic, the horror tales, or that place in itself, she feels like she owes it to herself to figure it out. One night during her stay, she receives a curious invitation alongside a ball gown. Castle Dracula was hosting a ball, the first one in thousands of years. Mina didn’t even know someone was still running the place, she thought it was simply a mere attraction for tourists due to the legends that surround it.
With little care for her well-being, and being a curious creature by heart, Mina dressed herself up with the gown she had been given, and made her way to the dimly lit castle. As she arrived, countless people swam around the gates, eagerly making their way through the grand, open doors. Careful with each step she took, Mina found herself looking around the entrance, her eyes following the shiny chandeliers and the way they reflected in the spacious mirrors stuck to the walls. Suddenly, a shiver ran down her spine and her blood turned cold. Her eyes met her reflection, but the girl looking at her through the mirror – was as much like her as it wasn’t. A bit younger, skin somewhat paler, eyes brighter and blood covering the expanse of her hands.
She didn’t have time to think it through or even understand if what she saw was real, for a figure stood behind her like a shadow, looming over her with a presence as cold as ice. ”You came.” The voice sounded so cold, distant, yet so close, so warm. Mina turned to the sound of the voice, and found herself face to face with a tall man dressed as a woman. He bore long hair that cascaded down his shoulders, drawn eyebrows a bit too far up than they should be, makeup as flashing as a shooting star in the night sky, bright eyeshadow contrasting with the dark, feminine gown he wore.
Without taking her eyes off that person, Mina let herself assess his features, so angelic yet so devilish like, so feminine yet so masculine. ”Were you the one who invited me?” She dared herself to ask. ”Yes,” was the short reply. Mina, thirsty for information as she was, continued her questions. ”Who are you?”, to which the man replied, ‘‘I am whoever you wish me to be, but for tonight, you may call me Dragula.” Mina found the pun amusing and somewhat fitting to the occasion, so she indulged herself in a conversation with the host.
For little did she know, that Dragula was truly who he claimed to be, and that he had crossed oceans of time to find her, and finally their story would be rewritten.
4. Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hide
Robert Louis Stevenson
In the high British Society, among prestigious gentlemen, a respected doctor held a secret. By day, Dr. Jekyll was well known across London, respected, humble and kind, just like any other. But by night, Jekyll was not so respected after all. For he held a deep longing inside his heart, which was to become a woman. Now, during the 19th century, it was extremely taboo to like the same gender, much less change into another. So, Jekyll decided to clench his thirst by making an experiment on himself that would change him into a woman.
However, something went terribly wrong. Jekyll woke up in the same male body, but he bore a bloody dress on his body with no recollection of what had happened the previous night alongside a ring on his finger that only prostitutes wore. Burning up the dress, he ought to get rid of any evidence of what he could have probably done that night, whilst trying to understand what that experiment did to him. Cue Utterson, a cop assigned to the murder of a prostitute who had been slashed across the throat. Crimes were nothing new to the city, but the murder of a prostitute was. Being new in town, he brought the body to Dr. Jekyll’s clinic for an autopsy.
As soon as he is to examine the body, Jekyll realizes that it must have been him to commit the crime. Something in the experiment must have gone wrong, and he awakened something inside of him he never knew. As the nights continued to pass, more bodies were found with the same deep cut across the throat, Jekyll grew restless, and Utterson grew frustrated with not a single lead, until the cop decided to go out into the night by himself, and loom around the prostitutes to have some sort of clue. He began asking questions to random women, warning them about how dangerous it was and how they should leave, but a lonely, mysterious ginger prostitute caught his eye.
At the end of the wall, there she stood, calm, unwavering and smoking her cigarette. Utterson walked up to her and began having the same conversation, but his eyes lingered longer across her face, her scent was intoxicating, and something inside of him awakened. For the nights to come, Utterson found himself talking to the same girl every night, Mrs.Hide, he then knew, he had found comfort in talking to her, and with that comfort, something else began to grow.
One night, both let their love consume them and they head to Utterson’s house and sleep together. However, when Utterson wakes up and plans on waking up his lover with kisses, he finds himself face to face with a sleeping Jekyll. Confused and angry, Utterson bursts from the bed with angry shouting, causing Jekyll to awake – but Jekyll hasn’t been Jekyll for a long time. Mrs. Hide had begun to slowly infiltrate his mind and take over the poor man’s body, and as the secret was on the verge of coming out, Mrs. Hide decided to put an end to it.
As Mrs. Hide gets up from bed inside Jekyll’s body, she sighs and stretches like any normal day. They (Mrs. Hide and Jekyll) begin a terrifying tale with the sweetest tone to the ear. They talk about the experiment, how wrong it had gone, and how it transformed Jekyll’s body into a woman during the night. Mrs. Hide decided to murder the prostitutes due to how lowly they were living their life, because women were majestic, divine creatures, and they were letting men use them like garbage. So, she struck them across the throat, because like that, the prostitutes could tell no lies and bring shame upon the feminine gender. She ends up murdering the man she fell for, Utterson, and continues her life, waiting for the one who will notice and bring her peace.
5. Pride, Prejudice, and Closets
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single woman in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. Okay, yes, of course, Mr. Darcy is so lovely and charming. But have you seen Charlotte? Elizabeth Bennet didn’t have it all, she had a family, a home, but no lover. And things were especially hard for her because she didn’t like men. She was expected to marry one, due to needing a home and stable finances, but who actually needs a man?
If Jane Austen believed she didn’t need a man, her characters don’t need one also. Forget the story, and focus on her friendship with her older friend, Charlotte. If society wasn’t so bad at the time, Charlotte and Elizabeth would have had a great love story. They’ve been friends for so long, got along well, and most of all, they actually knew each other.
Just like Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley (sorry Jane), no one can tell me that they wouldn’t be a fitting couple. If there was no Elizabeth around, or no Jane, these two fine young men would have certainly fallen in love. Imagine these two fortunes mixed together, imagine Lady Catherine’s face once she learned about the whole ordeal.
I hope you had a nice time reading this article just as much as I enjoyed writing it. I mean no offense by my writing or opinion, it is all just for fun and giggles.
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