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Gay/ Lesbian Protagonist/ Antagonist???

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by phoenixwings, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. phoenixwings

    phoenixwings Scribe

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    Hello.

    My main character is a teenager, just turning thirteen in my fantasy novel and has had thoughts about relationships with other girls.

    This is the plot line. Episkopos, a community of Satanics, rule the City of Dandelion Simes. Their rules forbid others to have relationships with people of the same sex, if broken the punishment consists of torture, amputation and then murdered.

    My main character also believs in God as she is a Christian.

    Do you think that this could work in the fantasy genre? What are your thoughts?
     
  2. danr62

    danr62 Sage

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    Sounds more like satire to me.
     
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I think you run into trouble having satanists involved, because even though satanist beliefs vary, from what I've read they all more or less agree on the idea that the individual can (and in fact should) pursue any of their physical desires in a vigorous way. Satanists having rules against sex with others of the same sex doesn't make a great deal of sense to me, and then when you have the gay or lesbian character as a Christian (a faith in which many do actively oppose same-sex relationships), danr62 is right - it starts to look a lot more like a satire where you are turning everything on its head. I'm not sure of the purpose behind setting it up that way.
     
  4. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    I agree with both Steerpike and danr62, leave mainstream religion out of it and you've got yourself a very interesting character with a cool storyline. Dandelion Simes law about homosexuality sounds eerily similar to Uganda's don't you think? And they're backed by many "Christian" organizations.
     
  5. Nothing wrong with having LGBT characters, although it will make some subset of readers uncomfortable. (Frankly, screw them.)
     
    Dreamhand likes this.
  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I don't interpret what people have said here as objecting to LGBT characters. I agree with you in that regard, and this has been done before in fantasy works. I think what is problematic is the specific society (and its religious disposition) proposed by the OP. It doesn't work for me; others may differ.
     
  7. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    I have absolutely no objections to LGBT characters, my main point was to leave out any mainstream religion--unless that conflict is the focal point of the story.
     
  8. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    Steerpike brought up most of my thoughts already. If the protagonist is homosexual and you want that to cause conflict within the story, you'd do better to have a different group in charge. I think it would be more interesting if the 'satanist' group was just find with homosexuality, but the main character was raised in the underground Christian cult, and then her homosexuality causes problems with them.
     
  9. Elder the Dwarf

    Elder the Dwarf Maester

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    Another thought: I think it would be more acceptable to the general public (ok, I know this is sexist, but I also think it is true) to have a lesbian/ bi character than a male character who is gay/bi. It can still be done, but for some reason there is (or maybe just seems to be) less of a problem with a female gay character.
     
  10. phoenixwings

    phoenixwings Scribe

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    Thanks for replying.

    I thought satire was related to Erotica (which is something i don't intend to write) :S.

    The religion could be scrapped, just recently i've done an overhaul and have questioned many, many times whether it would benefit more by not having her believe in God.

    I'm really not sure how to go on from here. Any ideas on how i could turn this idea into more of a fantasy?
     
  11. Masronyx

    Masronyx Minstrel

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    I agree here. I think you should take the mainstream religion out of it and maybe come up with 2 opposing beliefs/religions: the ruling denomination with the iron fist and the underground cult rebelling against and causing havoc on the ruling party. Otherwise, I think it's a good idea.
     
  12. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    You could have the world be a polytheistic one. That way your MC has more options as far as religions go, especially given the fact that you can create religions that value individuality and self-love. As far as everything else, are there mythical/ unusual creatures, animals, beings? Magic? Not that any of these things are necessary(as many of these other threads clearly demonstrate). Just let your heart and mind connect and see where it leads you.
     
  13. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    You think so? Interesting, I would definitely suggest the opposite. I'm interested in what others reading the thread think on the subject.
     
  14. Elder the Dwarf

    Elder the Dwarf Maester

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    To be clear, I am not in any way anti-gay. Just thought I should put that out there before someone gets offended or starts labeling me as a backwards southerner. Anyways...

    Maybe I'm wrong, but in my personal experience guys are more freaked out (perhaps not the best way of saying that) by guys being intimate than girls are of the reverse (if that makes any sense). Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  15. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I think you are probably right, Elder, at least among men. For many men, the idea of lesbian (or, preferably from their perspective, bisexual) women is enticing, whereas those same individuals may be very much put off by the idea of gay men. Women seem to have less strong feelings on the matter, though that is just my experience so it is anecdotal evidence only.
     
  16. phoenixwings

    phoenixwings Scribe

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    Polytheistic. Nice word, Reaver.

    There are mythical creatures that appear along with magical human beings who have outstanding powers, such as shapeshifting, telepathy and quite possibly time travel. The idea that i have been having for some time is that each of my major characters take on the role and form of a God/ Goddess of Ancient Greece.

    Just an idea really. :)

    Elder, i agree with you. I know most of my female friends think guys being in a same sex relationship is pretty hot. The same goes with my male friends.
     
  17. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    I think Elder's right about most readers (guys, especially) being more comfortable with lesbians than with gay men. Maybe Elaine from Seinfeld best explains it:
    I tend to see imagery vividly when I read, so this^ is relevant for a reader like me.

    Your MC could work, assuming she's a lesbian lesbian and not a "lipstick lesbian." (Despite how my visualization comment may have come across, I'm not a pig!) The lesbian could believe in God, and there could be an evil force against God and against homosexuals. (Think Nazis.) Like Reaver said, you may have to keep traditional religions out of the story to pull this off. You could have a vaguely Judeo-Christian religion--your story focuses more on the angels and other mythical creatures, but simply acknowledges the creator is "God." Or you could make up a goddess-based and/or polytheistic religion.


    EDIT- Hopefully, the start of my post doesn't rub anyone the wrong way. My wife and I have homosexual friends. But in order to answer the OP's question, I wanted to be honest about comfort levels.

    That said, Benjamin's post is spot on. Tell your story. If you worry about comfort levels of total strangers, your writing won't be honest. (Let the editor worry about that.) There is definitely a market for stories with homosexual protagonists. It's politicized, I suppose, but that would mean for every reader who would boycott your story due to strong feelings about homosexuality, another reader is a potential customer for that same reason.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  18. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    I must have been interpreting his original statement wrong. I thought he was saying that most readers (and characters in the story, for that matter) would have less of a problem with male homosexuality than female homosexuality.

    It's true that while some readers may be turned off by a strong theme of homosexuality in a book, others will be attracted by that same theme (not necessarily for prurient reasons). Also, you might want to think about how you approach it. Either her being a lesbian/bisexual is a big part of the story, or it is in the background.
     
  19. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    This makes me realize, once again, how different my Fantasy actually is from the Fantasy that most people here in Mythic Scribes create and write: You are discussing human sexuality here, while in my stories there are no humans at all... In their species there is only one male for every seven females (the men are called guardians and they are 3.7m tall and weigh 720kg) so the females sometimes engage in same-sex romantic relationships, and that is perfectly normal =)

    Talking now about what the readers would feel about gay protagonists or antagonists in a fantasy story, in my opinion many readers would really like to see that!! It would be quite original...
     
  20. phoenixwings

    phoenixwings Scribe

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    My MC is a lesbian and the girl she falls in love with is a bisexual.

    The girl being one of many antagonists, the others being the force against homosexuals, holds the key to the plot of my novel so i think their sexuality wouldn't do it justice without it.

    About what people would say, i have condisdered that most people would steer clear of it because of the sexuality issue, but that there are many, many bookreaders curious or otherwise that would be interested.

    Fantasy is exactly that. Different. What i think fantasy is will be different to the next person's thoughts. That's what makes fantasy so exciting and intriguing. You never know what you're going to get. :)
     
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