I blame the Violet Quill.
During the early 1980s, there was very little gay fiction available, even at gay themed bookstores like Wilde and Stein in Houston and A Different Light in West Hollywood. You could get a few classics, like Remembrance of Things Past, The Immoralist, The City and the Pillar, and Berlin Stories, but contemporary gay literature was dominated by novels published by the Violet Quill.
The seven novels that constituted Gay Literature:
1. Dancer from the Dance (Andrew Holleran, 1978). Sophisticated, indolent young hedonists divide their time between the Village and Fire Island, having lots of meaningless sex with strangers, and eventually die.
2. Nocturnes for the King of Naples (Edmund White, 1978): A stream-of-consciousness tale of lost love while having lots of meaningless sex with strangers. Don't be fooled: it's set in the Village, not Naples.
3. The Confessions of Danny Slocum (George Whitmore, 1980). His confessions involve lots of meaningless sex with strangers while searching for love in the Village.
5. A Boy's Own Story (Edmund White, 1982): the boy lives in the Village, but goes back home to come out to his wealthy relatives, who are shocked.
6. Nights in Aruba (Andrew Holleran, 1983). Don't be fooled: the boy lives in the Village, but goes back home to come out to his wealthy relatives, who are shocked.
7. The Family of Max Desir (Robert Ferro, 1983). Max lives in the Village, but goes back home to try to reconcile with his wealthy relatives, who disowned him when he came out.
And very, very insular. No one working class or poor, few racial minorities, and no one who doesn't live in the Village or on Fire Island.
Gay people simply do not exist elsewhere.
Later in the 1980s, Gay Literature became dominated by novels about gay men dying of AIDS. Strangely, they were no more depressing than the endless sex-drugs-and-alienation of the Violet Quill.
See also: Dancer from the Dance; Frank O'Hara