No, I don't think they're gay. 1942 was a different time with a different mindset. But the story is also written from the perspective of a later time, and it absolutely does explore homophobia. You can see more of my findings about this novel specifically at Wohlsi's blog:
COMMON CORE STANDARDS REQUIRE, AND I BELIEVE, THAT HIGH SCHOOL KIDS MUST LEARN THE ART OF CLOSE READING. My close reading study guides are not designed to be handed out to every student in one big stack. Imagine having intensely close-reading study questions for every chapter, for just about every scene of the story, with background discussion and thematic notes provided. Imagine being able to select parts of the story to explore closely and parts of it to cover much more quickly.
You can use my study guides to get kids reading, yes. But you can also use them to direct group work, frame various other classroom activities, and even provide yourself some notes for formal lectures (during those times you deem them appropriate), for virtually anything contained in the entire novel or play.
I have designed these study guides to provoke interest and provide a springboard to discussion. You will often find that the questions are not an end at all, but a beginning for fostering a growth of interest and intelligent analysis.
Before purchasing my close reading study guides, you will want to know how I use them. You can then adapt them in any way you like. This zip file contains an eight-page document and a five-page example that explain the madness and methods of extremely intense, close reading study guides.
Please search for my study guide titles and download some samples.
Alternatively titled, "Assuming the Fearful Task of Close Reading."
Study Guides: Reading Fearfully Close (Are Gene and Finny Gay?) by Gene Wohlsdorf is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License