Is Jake Chambers An LGBTQ Character?

Every time I’ve read this series, viewing things through the narrow lens of a straight white male, I’ve always assumed that Jake is also a straight white male. This time around, back when I was still reading The Gunslinger, I considered for the first time that Jake—while definitely being white and male—might not be straight. I wanted to wait until I got to Wolves of the Calla before exploring the idea further, so I could reexamine his relationship with Benny Slightman the Younger a little more closely. Are they just friends, or is there more going on there? Since I began this installment in the series I’ve been waiting for the right week to devote to the subject of Jake’s sexuality. Now, as ka would have it, reading the chapter in which Jake literally hides in a closet just happens to coincide with Pride month, so here we go…