This question: Is Renly's Rainbow Guard an overt gay reference? is framed in a fairly non-inflamatory manner, but isn't well recieved.

It currently has 3 downvotes, with no explaination.

Does this community not appreciate questions about themes, or sexuality?

  • They're on topic, but the reception of them can be pretty difficult to predict. Jul 22 '14 at 19:26
  • Just concerning the question of sex being taboo, note how many references there are to Larry Niven's famous essay "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" and how well related questions have been received. What every is wrong with 63485, it isn't as simple as "sex". Jul 26 '14 at 2:25
  • That particular question says it's not a gay reference according to the author. So the OP already knows the answer! Then why ask the question?
    – Mr Lister
    Jul 26 '14 at 9:07
  • @MrLister I was looking for a more canonical answer. A link to an interview perhaps. A paragraph on a wiki doesn't cut it.
    – dwjohnston
    Jul 26 '14 at 11:01
  • My remark here was about the downvotes; you complained about the lack of explanation, I wrote down what I thought when I read the question. Now I wasn't able to give an answer that wasn't already there, and of course I cannot vouch for the credibility of a wiki page, but I don't believe the wiki's author made that up.
    – Mr Lister
    Jul 26 '14 at 13:53

I don’t think that a question is off-topic simply because it discusses or mentions sexuality.

It still has to be within the realm of sci-fi and fantasy, but the two topics certainly aren’t mutually exclusive.

As for this particular question, I think what may have irked people was this line:

I can't see how this isn't a gay reference

It sounds a bit like you have a bit of an agenda asking the question, something like “This is a gay reference, isn’t it? Prove that GRRM is lying”, which isn’t constructive or useful. That may not be your intention, but it’s how it could come across.

A better question might ask why the Rainbow Guard is named as such in the books. You could mention the fact that you think it might be a gay reference, but it doesn’t need to dominate the entire question.

  • 1
    Pretty much. As written, the question is just making an assumption without anything to back it up. It's like seeing an album cover and asking, "Is Pink Floyd gay?" (Which, funnily enough, is almost a more apt question because the rainbow in that album cover is using the LGBT colors instead of a regular rainbow. Indigo is missing... But the album was first)
    – Izkata
    Jul 23 '14 at 1:18
  • @Izkata FYI, the LGBT rainbow is more accurate. There is no distinct indigo in a rainbow any more than a distinct yellow-orange or blue-green So that's an alternative reason. (I hope offtopic asides in the comments are not considered bad here in meta.)
    – trlkly
    Jul 28 '14 at 6:31
  • Stonewall Riots were July 1969. The LGBT Pride flag was invented for the first Pride Parade the following year. And, @Izkata, they were originally intended to be seven colours, but were cut down to six to eliminate the most expensive dye.
    – TRiG
    Aug 4 '14 at 2:41
  • @TRiG The flag did not appear until 1978, not 1970, and the original design was actually 8 colors, but lasted the least amount of time
    – Izkata
    Aug 4 '14 at 3:29

I don't think questions about sexuality are off-topic, and I can't speak for the downvoters, but I think the question should probably be closed as Primarily Opinion-based. If Martin says it's not a gay reference, I don't see how any other evidence really has any bearing on it.

  • Agreed. Going in with an opinion suggests that the questioner has a prior agenda or is simply looking to have a discussion about their pre-conceived notions. Neither is appropriate for SE.
    – Valorum
    Jul 22 '14 at 23:46

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