"1993" by S. L. Dixon provides an unintended lesson in subtlety. It tells of a young boy in rural Ontario who is a closeted Canadiens fan. In Leafs country.
Did you catch that "closeted" there? If you usually associate such a word with gay people who are fearful of revealing their true selves, rest assured that the connotation was intended.
Very early in the story I was feeling good that Dixon's story could be a metaphor, especially with the hockey cover story; the message may be felt in the athletic community, where I have heard, it is even harder for young people to be themselves.
But then all subtlety is lost.
Why couldn't he love like everyone else did? Why did he have to feel such a way about something everyone else saw as wrong?
Just a little later
Nicholas couldn't understand all of the hatred, as it wasn't a choice he made, but it was who he was.
Loving the Canadiens was no longer a taboo issue and Nicholas could be free to love without ridicule or torment.
I don't know. I guess to me those lines stuck out like sore thumbs, more relevant to the metaphor than the actual surface story. As if readers might be to dumb to pick up on the connection otherwise. Also, the tone of the story, despite the "message," comes across as lighthearted and comparing a boy and his Habs sweater to a gay person who wants to be himself without fear of repercussions seems to trivialize the latter if you ask you me.