I’m reading Half a Crown by Jo Walton, which is dystopian alternate reality rather than romance, but does feature a queer relationship. (At least one. I have some suspicions about a second.) In the chapter I just read, the main character Carmichael has taken his “manservant” to what we would now call a gay bar — the only place they can be reasonably safe in public. It’s really not Carmichael’s scene, but he puts up with it to make his lover happy. At the end of the evening, we discover that it’s their anniversary.
Such a sad chapter. The series is a chilling one, but nothing terrible happens here; for Carmichael it’s just boring. As a high ranking member of what’s basically the English Gestapo — working with an underground to rescue Jews when he can — his life is filled with excruciating compromises. Not being able to take his lover out for a nice dinner is probably one of the smallest. But it’s not unimportant.