Noah, I’m guessing your mixed feelings on your first read of Left Hand of Darkness had something to do with the fact that the male protagonist and his androgynous companion never consummate their relationship. Setting aside the fact that the book was written in 1968, I think it would have been weaker if they had “done the deed” and possibly lived happily ever after. The fact that the protagonist is left to live with his regrets makes it all the more realistic, and, for me anyway, that much more powerful.
This is part of the Gay Utopia project, originally published in 2007. A map of the Gay Utopia is here.