Nick Carraway is queer. Good bye.
Pretty sure Nick fucks a dude from that awful party at the beginning of the book. Literally the only way that scene makes sense.
So yes. Nick Carraway is totally queer.
I love readings of this book that reject the white hetero-ness that people think has to be canon.
Nick’s queer reading makes so much sense if you think about how he rejects the majority of West Egg (or whatever egg it is) but still holds Gatsby up on a pedestal. He calls everyone there selfish but thinks Gatsby (who I’ll argue is still rather selfish) represents this amazing sense of hope and perseverance.
The “Gatsby is Black” reading is so damn good and makes the entire book so much more interesting. Along with Queer!Nick, they make the book a far more enriching read.
Like, the Great Gatsby is a book about classism and the unattainability of the American Dream for the marginalized and the disillusionment of the young in the years just before the great depression.
Reading all the characters as white straight people misses a huge opportunity to explore those themes within a wider and more meaningful context.
also to add I have articles discussing the whole “Nick is queer” thing:
Talking about Gatsby possibly being black and Nick possibly being queer and all the implications and innuendos in this book that people NEVER TALK ABOUT makes me happy because honestly all of this makes this really great book even more interesting to talk about.
Like, if nothing else, Gatsby being black really makes his romance with Daisy much more interesting (And the fact that Tom, Daisy’s husband, is SUPER SUPER SUPER RACIST already.)
And if the Green Light across the bay is Gatsby’s longing for acceptance within upper class society and the unattainable fulfillment of the American dream and being with Daisy, then think of what it all represents to Nick.
Nick who stands in the back and watches Gatsby pining, who watches Gatsby failing, Nick who is the only person to go to Gatsby’s funeral. Nick, who in the wake of Gatsby’s death, reflects that what preyed on Gatsby “temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.” Because Nick goes to West Egg to try and find himself, finds Gatsby and loses him, and then goes back out west, leaving it all behind.
The opening line of the book is Nick’s father saying that not all people have had the same privileges as Nick has had. Now, I’m not saying this to deny his sexuality but to emphasize how much the book talks about privilege and what happens when you don’t belong to the white, straight, upper class privileged group.
So Nick losing Gatsby to a world where all this unchecked privilege exists (everyone drives drunk and crashes their cars, then acts like it’s no big deal) is disheartening for him on many accounts: that racism and classism preyed on Gatsby, that this privilege destroyed the man he loved, and that he could never articulate that because the privileged are so deeply heteronormative (and I am SURE Tom Buchanan is a raging homophobe, considering he abuses women and is a huge racist).
Well, Tom is already super racist and classist. Wouldn’t be surprising to see him be homophobic as well.
But yes. Nick is so incredibly well aware of the own privilege that surrounds him and this lifestyle, and is disgusted by most of it. He is fundamentally unhappy most of the time, except when he’s around Gatsby. And then he sees Gatsby killed because he failed to fit into the broken society that he so desperately wanted to be a part of, and Nick gives up and the whole thing.
Also, just saying, page 1: “I was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men. Most of the confidences were unsought-frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon; for the intimate revelations of young men, or at least the terms in which they express them, are usually plagiaristic and marred by obvious suppressions.”
There is something rather smirk worthy about Nick talking about learning the “secret griefs of wild men” with “intimate revelations” “quivering” and coupled with “obvious suppressions.” Just sayin’.