As a form of protest of their archaic, discriminatory policies I re-read this story while waiting to donate blood to the Red Cross. And because no one would know what I was reading on my Kindle, I also wore my HRC “Love Conquers Hate” t-shirt.

This story is fantasy, not in the traditional literary sense, but in that its events seem contrived and not a great amount of effort is made to justify the coincidences. You can use elements of the tale to draw conclusions about the opinions of the author if you really want to, but the fact that the main character never analyzes the story events makes it feel as though the reader is being actively discouraged from doing so. Which is not, I must admit, my preferred way to digest art. I like to at least have someone play devil’s advocate and openly challenge the status quo.

Or did you not get that from the opening paragraph?

“One” by T. Hitman, Best Gay Romance 2013 (Cleis Press). Edited by R. D. Cochrane and Timothy J. Lambert.

The main character is odd man out at the factory where he is employed, the result of a co-worker correctly interpreting the meaning behind the bear cub paw print sticker adorning the bumper of his truck. He is being actively harassed by some, merely shunned by others, but none of it seems to have much emotional effect on him. The only reason he seems to care at all is because it has put further distance between him and the supervisor on whom he has a secret crush. Shortly after the start of the story a personal crisis causes the removal of the supervisor from the workplace, and gives the main character an excuse to connect with him in a different setting… As I said it all seems very coincidental, but it was nonetheless entertaining.