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Writing LGBTQ+ Characters

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Noma Galway, Dec 9, 2015.

  1. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    I do agree with TheKillerBs and X Equestris; LGBT characters are just people, so they can be good, bad, heroes, villains, antiheroes...

    However, the question always arises: If, as X said, "Their orientation or gender identity doesn't matter there," then why make any given character LGBT?

    There are two issues.

    First is the relative rarity of LGBT people. Nowadays it seems as if the number has exploded in our world—I attribute that impression to the fact that LGBT individuals are just far more open about their orientation/identity now—but, still, as a % of the total population, the numbers are pretty small. So if you take a random sampling of 100 people and then choose randomly one of those people, odds are significantly against that person being LGBT.

    Second is the authorial intent. Or, let us say, choosing out of, say, 50 characters in a novel (including secondary, tertiary, side characters, redshirts...etc.) a villain (so 1/50) and then saying, aha, that villain also happens to be LGBT....well, the question might arise, "What are the odds?" That's some coincidence! But the reader will know it's not a coincidence; the author specifically chose this. But, why?

    I'm not arguing that that is bad, but only that the issue's not as simple as saying that LGBT characters are just people like everyone else so the decision to make a particular character LGBT is ... random, incidental, unimportant. It is significant, as all author choices should be. So something might be signified. I think the trick is to make sure that readers don't read the wrong signals or are not left to imagine their own.
     
  2. Velka

    Velka Sage

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    That is readers criticizing underrepresentation, not the author failing to explore the hows, whys, and whats of their cisgender heterosexual character's sexuality or gender identification.
     
  3. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Funny you should say that. I'm part of a group of six close friends who do a lot of roleplaying on Skype and such, and we recently realized that 4/6 of us are asexual (including one who is also agender), one is demisexual, and one is bi and trans. So we're all LGBT. I get that it's not the sample of 100 you were referencing, but it still strikes me as interesting. We didn't even come together as friends because of our orientations, like via a support group or anything. One of us didn't even know she was ace until quite recently.
     
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    That's a sort of "othering," isn't it? Vis a vis non-LGBT characters, that is. I have a straight white male character in my story. Presumably, I'm under no obligation to explain to the reader why I chose to make him a straight white male. If I feel that I am obligated to provide reasons for having an LGBT character, that signals that they are other and aren't sufficient in their own right to warrant a place as a character, but rather need some justification that my straight white male does not need. That's not the way I view my story or world.

    Also, in dealing with a fantasy world, the real world percentages aren't significant to the story.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
  5. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    I give you a standing ovation for the first paragraph it is simply dead on.

    The last line has me stroking my chin a bit and wondering. If one varies greatly from real world norms in a fantasy story, should not one do so for a reason. For instance if your fantasy world is 30% LGBT is that not an implicit or explicit statement about that world, and thus a reflection on ours? Once one, as a writer, makes a choice, is not the reader entitled to ponder why that choice was made and what its ramifications are?
     
  6. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Should not representation be a sufficient choice in and of itself?
     
  7. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    You could just as easily argue that this means that LGBT people are attracted to Skype roleplaying games. I actually know a couple LGBT people through Skype.
    I do agree with you that technology and communications have some kind of causal relationship with the apparent increase of LGBT people. I say "apparent" since you could argue that LGBT population hasn't increased but has just become more widely identified.

    I think context is important here.
    If a Chinese person - living in China - wrote a Chinese book where most characters were apparently Han Chinese with the exception of one character who was a white man, I think some explaining may be expected.

    I know it sucks for a lot people that there is a norm that states that heterosexual white men are "average" or "default" but I think we do need to accept that that is the norm (whether or not this norm is fair, moral or sensible is a whole other discussion).
    You are not under an obligation to justify your choice because it fits into the norm.
    LGBT are not the norm (that's why, relating to my earlier posts, most writers only include them when they intend to make a statement) which is why writers are under obligation to justify their existence.

    If an artists wants to challenge the norm, that's great but I think they need to be a little more clever than just shoving an LGBT character in a story and saying "LGBT people exist" and leave it at that.
    I was, as I mentioned earlier, in a position where I was asked to defend my choice in including an LGBT character. Do you know what I did? I defended my choice in including an LGBT character using in-universe logic and explaining the thematic importance.
    Someday down the line, I'm sure, we'll get to the point where LGBT characters in fiction aren't going to raise any eyebrows but we just aren't at that point yet.

    Also, I know this is a sensitive topic and I'm saying some harsh things but I want to stress I don't mean any offense and all this is just my opinion and understanding of a subject that I could be completely wrong about.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Yeah, I reject this line of thinking, particularly as it applies to a fantasy world. I don't think it is a particularly compelling argument for real-world stories, given that there are enough LGBT people, and a small enough cast of characters in most stories, that no matter what the specific percentages are there shouldn't be any problem having an LGBT character in a story without having to justify their existence artificially. I find it even less compelling with respect to a fantasy world, where I might have dragons, or demons, or wraiths, or selkies, or shapeshifters running around without delving into the evolution, ecology, or natural history of the same, but as soon as a lesbian character pops up a reader is supposedly going to say "Wait, what's this?!" Those readers are welcome to read other stories :)
     
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  9. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    Yeah, well, I embrace that line of thinking.
    So, take that!

    But seriously: I think you may have misunderstood what I was trying to say so I'll try phrasing it differently.

    I think all characters are, by default, asexual. They are not people, they're ideas. They only have traits when the writer chooses to give them traits.
    If you're going to give them major traits (race, religion, sexuality, beliefs, etc.), there should be a reason behind it. More often then not, it seems like most writers include LGBT characters just for the sake of having LGBT characters. I feel this is a wasted opportunity and kind of lazy characterization because delving into a character gender identity or sexuality can make for a good character/story. Saying LGBT are just like cis/straights and live exactly the same way kind of denies their unique perspective from really being shown in genre fiction.

    Basically, I've read good fantasy stories about straight people exploring their romances and sexuality. I've also read good fantasy stories about men learning what it means to be a man or what masculinity means. And I've read good fantasy stories about members of a particular race living as a minority (the first fantasy novel I ever wrote was about that).
    I would like more fantasy stories that are actually about LGBT characters instead of characters who, by the way, are LGBT.

    I'm not saying it's unusual to have lesbians in a fantasy story.
    Playing along with your post: I would hate to read a story about Bob and Eric going on adventures, having their own respective love interests and reminiscing about growing-up in a simple rural community before making a name for themselves...and the writer just glosses over the fact that Eric's a dragon.
    If you were writing a dragon character, you would have them live the life of a dragon. Not living as a human farmer who just happens to be a dragon.

    By the way, I know that there's a bad implication of comparing lesbians to dragons but y'know, this is all for the sake of discussion.
     
  10. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    What I find strange is the assumption that LGBT orientation/identity makes absolutely no difference at all. So I'm returned to my question: Why create an LGBT character? Or to put it another way: If an LGBT character is essentially identical to a straight white male character, there's no point in choosing to have a character be one or the other. Throw the choices in a hat and pick randomly.

    But that's not how it works. An author chooses one or another. In choosing to have the villain be LGBT, the author can raise questions from some readers about that choice. This is not to say that such a choice is always a bad decision; I think I pretty much said as much already, although perhaps it was overlooked.

    On the issue of otherness....

    There was a time when racial identity was handled the same way. African-Americans, Latinos, Whites, Asians....Everyone's essentially identical, no big difference, and that's how individuals from different races should be handled on television, in movies, etc. Or perhaps more accurately stated, people of different ethnicities. To do so was to make a political statement. But then came the understanding that differences should be celebrated rather than eliminated–i.e., not eliminated as if those differences were bad.

    Other is not bad.
     
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  11. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    Perhaps my comment was unclear. When you suggested that real world percentages are not relevant to a fantasy world, I think agree with you.

    But the real world exists, as it does, whether the author likes it or not. A fantasy world where gender varies greatly from the real world is the result of a choice of the author, and I think the reader is entitled to ponder that choice and the quality author should be able to defend it or at least explain it.

    If you are saying "I don't have to explain or justify the use of some LGBT characters in my narrative" than I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    But if the fantasy world varies greatly from our world in a broader sense, I think that area is one that merits discussion and consideration.
     
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  12. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    I am a gay man, and there was a decade or so when most of my friends and acquaintances were gay or bisexual—although, not at my workplace. I'm a little fascinated by that now in hindsight, especially because I have one project in which the five primary characters, both male and female, are either gay/lesbian or bi. In an epic fantasy, no less. But they don't come together in the way that I ended up having mostly LGBT friends.
     
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  13. TheKillerBs

    TheKillerBs Inkling

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    This is exactly what I was trying to say.
     
  14. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    okay folks, I'm having a rough night, and I wanted to come here and ask some more questions. Hope this isn't beating a dead horse, but I just got home from what is usually a nice night out, and instead of being relaxed, I'm super anxious and tense, after discussing writing took a turn for LBGTQ characters, and I angered a person who has some sensitivity on the issue.

    Okay, so here's the summary of the discussion:

    She mentioned the modern criticism there is for writers of POC and LBGTQ characters, and I agreed that it's a hot button topic right for writers. I mentioned the steampunk story I told you guys about, with the airship. I said I've been really torn about the work because I really like the concepts of the characters, but I am trying to gain more knowledge so I can do the story justice without bringing up a negative debate of why I chose to make the characters who they are. I asked whether it's enough to simply use a world where POC are the norm and everyone's a shade of brown, and not discuss race. Also, if it's expected that if some characters are gay, whether I must show that character's sexuality as part of the story, because it wasn't my intent to ever discuss it.

    She replied that because we as readers live in the real world, where race plays a part of our socialization, and our sexuality has a greater effect on us socially than a mere mention, yes, I should definitely expect to discuss the characters' traits in an open way (in the story), because I made the choice to have a gay character, and why else would I have chosen it to be that way, if I didn't want to write a work that greater explores the implications of race and sexuality, if not to discuss it?

    Wha...?

    I asked whether that meant she believed I should just write him as a straight white man instead (none of this was disrespectful, BTW, just a question of whether she thought it was the right solution), and she said that I should if I don't want to open myself up to ridicule, because since I cannot understand what it means to be those things, I shouldn't feel I have the right to write it without justification for the choices I made.

    Which is in stark contrast to the feedback I received from our members a few days ago.

    What am I missing, here? Can I not write characters that are POC just the way I'd write a character who's white? She found the very concept disrespectful to "marginalized persons". But I don't understand why. I've struggled with this for years, now, and I don't want to feel like I'm stupid beyond hope, but I don't get it. I don't get why I can't write a character any way I'd like, as long as I'm taking into consideration how the character will reflect on people who might sympathize more closely with his situation than I personally do.

    Anyways, this conversation lasted more than an hour, and she was visibly agitated as I asked the same questions repeatedly, but she kept answering me in a roundabout way, saying things like, "But we live in the real world, where things like sexual orientation and race have bigger meanings than 'it is what it is'." Which I understand, but my point I kept trying to make was that if I am conscientious of how a character acts and is portrayed, being respectful to whatever traits he and real world people share, can I not write a story in which those traits aren't the major focus of the story?

    But every response was seemingly fueled by her feeling I was marginalizing the traits themselves. That I was somehow saying, "straight, gay, black, white, it's all the same difference and none of it's a big deal." Which I have to admit, in my own mind, I kinda do feel that way, like I don't see why it'd be disrespectful to POC to see an airship captain who's a POC, going on an adventure, but not exploring what it means to him to have dark skin, because in my world, all people have some shade of brown skin. But my point wasn't even taken in the slightest. I'm wondering whether I just ran into a person who is up in arms and doesn't even know why anymore, or whether there was something inherently disrespectful in the nature of how I dared to write these characters, when I'm not personally similar to them.

    Like, doesn't that defeat the attitude of diversity we're so trying to foster?

    I'm sorry this thread has gone off course, but I am desperately seeking some answers, because I really want to feel like I understand, and right now, I'm so bummed out by how heated this person got, that i'm questioning why I care to put myself out there at all. The little voice my head is just mumbling with a confused tone, "this can't be right..."

    I think she got really angry with me when I said, "Can't a gay character go on an adventure without thinking about his sexuality?" and she sort of took a deep breath like I do when my kids say something really dumb.

    I felt bad. I guess maybe it was a dumb thing to say? But I meant that I don't think of my sexuality in a lot of situations, and I didn't think I should feel like I have to play it up more for the character, just because he's gay. Like, I've written loads of straight characters who never think of their own sexuality when they're doing redundant things. Why should it be any different for a character with another sexual preference? Am I supposed to use the lens constantly? Because that seems tedious to me, but I thin she felt it was more of a constant "on" sort of lens? Is that right? I can't imagine why it would be, but perhaps that's why she felt I was being insensitive?

    Can anyone help me to understand whether my personal POV and motivation is disrespectful? Because I'm not trying to be, but she has me feeling like my honest attempts to have a civil conversation and learn more about the subject was just ludicrously insensitive, and I feel like I'm doing my very best to fully grasp this concept of writing real people, but showing the diversity I see in my own life. I have gay friends I love dearly, and I would want them to feel like my writing is an example of LBGTQ characterization that they find appealing, though the issues are not the primary focus of the stories.
     
  15. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    I have no idea how that friend thought you were being disrespectful. If something is normal for a character, whether it be their skin color or their orientation, of course it's not going to come up often if they're busy thinking about other things. It might come up in description, like "her deeply suntanned skin was still many shades lighter than his" or "the whale's mournful calling reminded Captain X of the husband he'd left three months ago to go on this adventure" (crappy examples, I know), but if you don't want to discuss it at length, then don't. Just drop a few hints here and there, if you like, and leave it at that.
     
  16. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    You know, Ireth, that's exactly how I see it, too, but as I've encountered this sort of hostile attitude more than once, I'm just questioning WHY I'm seen as insensitive, when I try so hard to be open to everyone's opinion on the matter. But this conversation left me feeling horrible, because I know I upset her, but I can't for the life of me figure out why. That's why I ran right here, to our friendly forum, to ask you folks what you think.

    I'm in that same position, "If it isn't relevant, don't go into detail," like, if a character's hair color isn't important, mention it once or something, and move on, just like her skin color. I think the statement, "I just don't think about my skin color," is YES, how I feel, but i can understand how when writing a POC character, superimposing my personal attitude on them and their life, isn't the best method. Readers might see that as insensitive to POC who feel they've been marginalized in their lives by a prevailing attitude or a general consent by society to treat them as "different" or whatever. But in a fantasy novel set in a world where there is no negativity over shade of coloration? I know there are negative portrayals, but I'm just writing stories, and I don't want to limit the scope of my characters by making them by default similar to my own traits.

    I'm happy to show all skin tones in a positive light, because I'm the kind of writer who mentions beauty when characters notice it, but I won't be describing every tertiary character and passerby with regard to their coloration, because it's silly. To me, that's just harping on the thing I just said doesn't matter, right? Like, if I said, "The stranger in the corner exuded an air of danger, his mouth a tight line and his arms crossed" do I have to mention his coloration, or can a reader envision what they'd like to? I don't think every character needs a definitive description. They can be open to interpretation, and I don't think everything needs to be spelled out for a reader. In fact, I very rarely mention skin color in any of my works. I believe wholly that a POC could read most of my novels (except perhaps the one based in fake Venice) and fill in the skin shade they'd most aptly relate to, because I rarely mention coloration. I'm much more likely to write about a character's disposition and demeanor, than I am to describe their physical features any way that would suggest a race. I guess it's in my nature to do that, not because I assume every person in my novels is white, but because I think it's so much more important to know they are sporting a sly grin, than that their hair is like polished bronze, or that their skin has a warm, sun kissed glow.

    And same goes for sexuality. I liked your example, because it's the exact way I see it. Mention a past love he regrets leaving, but don't go into the details of why he's attracted to men (or gods forbid) try to justify his current attitude in some way, linking his sexuality to former abuse or psychological torment in his youth, or some other suggestion that would negatively impact readers who feel perfectly comfortable with their own sexuality. My goal is not to write a gay character who is made uncomfortable or identified for his sexuality, but to celebrate a freeness that maybe some folks don't experience in our real world?

    Why can't I idealize some things? BY that I mean, why can't I write a world where people have never been made to experience shame or anxiety over the way they are? We do it all the time as writers, picking those things in history that suit our needs, but abandoning those concepts that are dated and don't fit our modern aesthetics for how we want our worlds to work. We often find it distasteful to write about certain subjects that would hit too close to home for certain readers, and I fully support the concept of trimming the ugly bits out of historical-inspired stories if they don't serve a greater purpose. Few modern people understand the extent of the ugliness of feudalism, so we write a better version of it that just has classes of rich and poor, not the wanton slaughter of peasants. Or we portray a young woman as free to decide the course of her own life, rather than lean on the historical reality of her being the property of her father. History had a lot of shitty concepts, and I love that we can make things up for the sake of compelling story-telling, but I wonder why it would be insensitive to portray a gay character as just a man. I mean...isn't he just a man?

    Where does the "difference" come in? When he's deciding where the crew will go? When he's ordering drinks and playing cards in the tavern? When a shop keep greets him and asks what he's looking for? When the female mechanic is missing her parents? When the orphan boy is talking to him as a son would his father? I mean, where in all this am I supposed to make him "more" relatable to LBGTQ persons in our real world? Aren't LBGTQ persons exactly the same as anyone else? Don't they know what loneliness feels like when you're far from home? Don't they have families they love, or long to be mothers and fathers? Don't they fight the same urge to drown their sorrows, or internalize their fears? That's what I write about, and it makes me really uneasy to think I need to somehow explain their traits as more important than the immediate elements of the story. This is what I find ludicrous in the scope of the discussion we were having tonight. It's just so confusing to me, I can't stand it. I feel like there exists a secret, and I'm not being let in on it, or something. Like, "you can't understand what it's like, so don't try to write it, because it'll just result in a negative portrayal, because you can't relate." How unfair! What's the password to get into the club, already? I want to get in.

    All I want to do is write a perfectly normal character, not direct attention to how he differs from me, in a way that makes it appear he's in any way abnormal or less than awesome because of his sexual preference or the color of his skin. I want to do justice to any character I write, regardless of whether they're like me or not. In fact, on the outside, people might assume a fair amount of incorrect things about me, too. I certainly know how unfair that feels, being judged by my appearance. I write a fair amount of, "wow, you're not what I thought you were," kinds of moments into my stories, but I try to pick things with which I'm intimately familiar, like parental conflicts, family issues, coming of age things, or love and friendship.

    Anyways, I do apologize to everyone here who feels this subject has already been exhausted. I sympathize, fully. I felt really confused a couple years ago, when I was first called insensitive about racial issues, and I've taken it very personally, though in my heart, I feel like I don't want to relate to the attitudes present in our society. I realized that my idealistic attitude was perhaps too naive, and I've since, given great consideration to how people other than me feel about the subject. I'm deeply saddened that people are discriminated against in this society, because it only hurts us all when we do it.

    I hope I can contribute to the cure for such small-mindedness, but I sure can't do it if i'm unwittingly perpetuating a negative portrayal of people who have been wounded by discrimination in the past. And like I said, when I publish my novels, I want to be sure that I've done my very best job to consider all the potential pitfalls of stepping outside of my race, gender, and sexual preference, and display characters who are representative of what I wish the world was like. I hope that idealism isn't what people are offended by, because honestly, I just don't know how to solve that problem, and the last thing I want to do is end up embittered by my own acceptance of attitudes with which I don't agree.
     
  17. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    As long as the character's existence in the story serves some meaningful purpose then it shouldn't matter what their race, religion, sexual preference or gender are.

    I may very well have homosexual characters because it pertains to certain cultures and would shed light on their beliefs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2015
  18. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    I'll bet any money Caged Maiden that your friend was touching on Discourse Theory, but going about it with no concrete knowledge and with the wrong attitude.

    Basically there is a theory within marketing that states that intention is only one small part of an adverts final meaning within society. As someone views it they bring their own opinions and beliefs, their own discourse, to the table. Subsequently they'll probably describe the advert to a friend or work colleague in a biased way coloured by their opinion of it. That friend now does not see the advert with fresh eyes and instead adds their own discourse to their friends initial opinions. On and on over time the advert gathers in this way extra meaning and definition based in what society as a whole has decided about it.

    Eventually even the creator has no control over the discussions her advert starts.

    Basically you may intend to write a book about lgbtq characters that doesn't discuss those things, but inevitably people are going to want to talk about that anyway. It's a process over which you have limited control unless you then engage in the discussion yourself. I think you've got to be ready to defend regardless. Which is a bit sad really...

    Thankfully the solution is simple, we should all write the characters we want as long as we're mindful of others (which shouldn't be that difficult for most people, right?). I'm not going to stop writing about my lesbian wizard mc just because I'm a guy and "shouldn't". I'm still going try and mitigate possible issues even though they aren't what the book is about but it'll gather the discourse it does at the end of the day. Just have to hope for the best. The world isn't fix just yet...
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2015
  19. Nimue

    Nimue Auror

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    I can't speak for this other person, but I think that there can be some negative implications to this opinion:

    "I'm colorblind, so I'm going to treat this character exactly as though they were white, and nobody will care that they aren't." This can imply belief that minorities aren't treated differently in real life, or that if the issues that are visible and obvious to you are solved, then racism is over, regardless of what POC are saying. That is, colorblindness can double as a way to ignore real issues.

    There are problems with the extreme of the other stance as well--"Every story about a gay person needs to be about Gay Issues and let's shelve it under Special Alternative Literature in the bookstore" but I'll try and focus on your side because this other person isn't here to discuss their opinions.

    The other issue with a "colorblind" stance assumes that what seems like neutral ground to you is completely objective, and can't possibly contain unintentional stereotypes or negative attitudes. Racism isn't always people purposefully setting out with hate in their hearts; it can be unconsciously regurgitating what society's taught you. Not being racist or homophobic is an active process, unless you were born on the moon. Research is your friend; reading opinions from or asking questions of people who belong to the group you're trying to write within is the best idea. The Internet is a wonderful resource in that regard.

    Moreover, there is a difference between approaching it like "I want this character to have a story arc and development as deep and varied as any other, about adventure rather than gay/black issues" and "I want to write this character as though they were white and straight, with absolutely no difference to their background or culture." The latter strikes me as a reason to evade research. Even if prejudice against him doesn't exist in the sense that it does today, doesn't he have roots? How does he feel, living in a majority white/straight culture? (Assuming that is where the story's set.) There are other aspects to a minority experience than fear of violence or discrimination: isolation, marginalization, the search for community and self-affirmation.

    The thing is that your approach to this seems so passive. You have two choices: you can write what you want and set it out there, and people will form their own opinions. (And I really think you shouldn't base your expectations about hypothetical backlash on how angry people get while arguing on the Internet, but that's something for another thread). This choice seems to be the one you want to take, but you're fretting and worrying so much about it that I'll give you another choice: take an active stance. Put what you want people to get out of your book in your book. I'm not saying that you need to make the plot revolve around Issues, or that you need to make the story world hate your character to make it clear that you think real-world discrimination matters. This isn't all or nothing.

    Have one of the airship crew say stolidly "He's my captain. Doesn't matter to me." Have other characters react with even keels to mentions of his past lovers. Have him quip when someone asks "where he's from, really." Have someone derisively mention a foreign country where they don't let black people vote. Wild examples, but without knowing more of your story I'm just sort of swinging here.

    Bottom line is, if you're worried people might take this character as a message, put in another black character who's completely different from him. Put in white alcoholics. Put in a well-adjusted gay woman. I'm not saying that you need to turn your main cast into doppelgängers, just put other people in the world somewhere. Turn a side character into a foil. Give him old friends who are also gay, give him family. It's just a straightforward way to make it clear that you're not trying to connect his background to his flaws.

    I hope this doesn't come across as though I'm attacking your approach or anything. I'm just trying to honestly answer your questions from the limited point of view that I have.
     
  20. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    Oh Caged Maiden I'm so sorry that happened to you :(

    This is where writing is really, really hard. I in a similar place right now. Remember my pirate story I was going to send you my outline too? Yeah. Not even started. I have literally done NO writing in the past few weeks. Nothing. I'm in a weird mental place right now. Too worked up about too many stupid things, like this.

    Anyway, back to the topic:

    The other night I was talking to my parents about a movie they just watched called "This is Where I Leave You". At the end of the movie the mother comes out as a lesbian and it is all funny, ha haha ha. Whatever. This sort of thing does not bother me at all, infact, I'm glad to see homosexuality, or any sexuality, portrayed in the media in order to 'normalize it.' And the reason I want to normalize it because my parent's response to the film was "Well, why do they have to throw gays in all the time, now?"

    Yes. Yes, my parents are a bit homophobic. They would have been totally fine if the mother claimed she had a new boyfriend. But a girl friend? Noooooooo! Too weird for them.

    Whether it is explicit (In Jessica Jones, the lawyer is divorcing her wife to marry her sexy secretary and this does play a large part of the characterization) or implicit (Did you know Dumbledore was gay? Well, did you?) it doesn't matter.

    What I do have a problem with is insert token lesbian/gay/transgendered person here so that your story looks like it is modern and trendy. I do sort of have a problem with that.

    In "The Imitation Game" they tied the MC's sexuality into the struggles that he faced as a person. I thought that it was done very well, and it added a lot of sympathy to the character. I think that if Dumbledore would have come out at Hogwarts not everyone would have been all sunshine and rainbows about it. It hasn't been touched on in Jessica Jones, but there is a biracial relationship, and the guy does question her, when she is being aloof: "Is it racial?….I'm kidding. But is it?"

    I don't know. I'm rambling. All I'm saying is that, when I write a LGTB character I do allow that character to have relationships, thoughts, struggles, passions, just like any other character. However, I identify as Bisexual, and hypersexual, so I have no problems writing about a woman pirate remembering her lost lover, and the smell of her hair and the taste of her sweat. If I'm writing an adult story I don't make them live in a sexual vacuum.

    Geez. I have no clue what I'm even talking about anymore.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
    Caged Maiden likes this.
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