An interactive internet site called Ranker has produced a list of what it calls the best homosexual authors (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) and invites viewers to vote on the rankings. It’s not clear to your correspondent how the ranking system works, but at present Waugh is ranked #18. If you click on the entry, it will explain the ranking in terms of how people have voted. Here’s the explanation of the list, which is credited to KRon34:
List includes known gay authors, living or dead—can be novelists, short story or film writers, poets, etc. Vote on the merits of their work.
Who are the most famous gay writers in history? This list contains over 200 of the most notable gay writers ever, with photos where available. Some of the literary world’s best talent has come from gay writers. The best gay authors may or may not choose to speak openly about their sexuality and tackle it as a theme in their writing or in their books…Some on the list may not be considered “gay” by modern terms as cultures have changed throughout the centuries. Others were out and proud and used their unique experience to create some of the best gay literature of all time. That said, regardless of their era in antiquity, these gay authors have all expressed interest in same-sex relations.
Waugh does considerably better in this group of writers than he did when Time magazine erroneously placed him on a list of women writers, where he ranked #96. Other writers of Waugh’s generation ranking above him on this list are E.M. Forster (#4), Virginia Woolf (#5), T.S. Eliot (#9), D.H. Lawrence (#10), Christopher Isherwood (#12), and W.H. Auden (#15), of whom the eligibility of Woolf, Eliot and Lawrence seem somewhat questionable. Just below Waugh is openly gay poet Allen Ginsburg (#19) and further down are Noel Coward (who was pretty well “out”) and Somerset Maugham (who was somewhat less so). Waugh had homosexual affairs in his undergraduate days, as described in his Diaries, but later in life tended toward the homophobic. There were few openly gay characters in his books, although Ambrose Silk and Anthony Blanche would probably qualify, as well as, in the opinions of many, would Charles Ryder and Sebastian Flyte.