Where Are All The LGBT Characters?

Where Are All The LGBT Characters?

Can anyone tell me a blockbuster famous novel they have read with a main character that was either gay or lesbian? Don’t worry, I’ll wait whilst you scratch your head to think… still haven’t thought of one? No. Me neither. Anyone else got an issue with that? Because I really do.

Statistics vary, but it is said that the LGBT population is anywhere from 6-10% of the population. So why, doesn’t LGBT fiction make up 6-10% of mainstream fiction or even 6-10% of mainstream characters? Just where are all the LGBT characters in mainstream books?

The first time I read about a gay character was in Bookends, by Jane Green. She’s a fantastic chick flick writer, but the character was a minor character (a gay male) and cliched, in a bad way. He had HIV. Ugh. Really? Come on, aren’t we over that stereotype by now?

Too Late I Love You by Kiki ArcherDon’t get me wrong, there are some extraordinarily talented writers that are writing about LGBT characters, I have featured a couple on here: James Howell, and I wrote about that book, over on Ula’s blog the other day. There’s also the critically acclaimed V.G LeeMichael Harwood, and recently featured Anne Goodwin, then there’s also Kiki Archer, who is obscenely funny (I’ve seen her read an excerpt from her book Too Late… I Love You) and Paul Burston who wrote The Gay Divorcee and also happens to run an amazing Polari literary group in London for LGBT authors.  All these authors are successful in my eyes with bags of talent and genuinely brilliant novels and more importantly make money from their books.

Gays_the_Word_Bookshop_295Maybe I am being a little facetious. I did just give you an awesome list of books, and the quantity of LGBT books being published is beginning to grow exponentially.

There is a rather exciting bookshop in Kings Cross, called Gays the Word. If you’re ever in Kings Cross with a few minutes to spare, check it out, and feast your eyes upon an entire bookshop FULL of LGBT fiction. It ONLY sells LGBT fiction. My jaw about hit the floor when I discovered it. If you haven’t read an LGBT book before then it’s a must do pit stop. But really, must all the LGBT books in the world be huddled in one book shop? I struggle to find anything other than tipping the velvet in a waterstones or WHsmiths.

Despite all the books I just listed. LGBT fiction is not mainstream, ok maybe Sarah Waters’ Tipping The Velvet is. But one book does not make an entire genre mainstream.

More to the point, most of what you can find without searching hard, is erotica. *foreheadslap* I mean, really? No one actually scissors people, and honestly, some of us actually like reading ‘STORIES’ you know the ones with conflict, plot twists and a little character depth that’s more involved than whose lips are whose and I don’t mean the ones on your face! *sigh* I’m ranting, I know.

Ash by Malinda LoBut the reason I am talking about this is because I want to write a middle-ish grade LGBT novel. Think Jacqueline Wilson Girls In Love – that kind of age group, but with all LGBT characters. It got me thinking about how little blockbuster famous LGBT fiction there is out there, and even less for younger teens. I know of a handful, most notably I read Ash and Huntress by Malinda Lo, both of which, actually, were fantasy, another surprise because it’s nigh on impossible to find any LGBT fantasy, and definitely no LGBT YA fantasy.

If you’re about to say, well you’re a lesbian, you write the YA fantasy LGBT stuff. I know. I could. I’d love to in fact. Except that…I can’t… You know how stories and characters ‘come to you’ in moments of inspiration? Well apparently my muse does not wear a rainbow tutu. That or, she is preoccupied being a Diva.

So what is it that stops LGBT fiction becoming blockbuster hits like the Hunger games? Is there something stopping writers crafting gay characters? Fear? the unknown? terminology? and if writers are writing LGBT fiction, then what’s stopping it from becoming mainstream?

Believe me, life isn’t that different. Someone still has to do the washing up, someone still gets up in the middle of the night when the baby wakes up, trash still gets taken out, clothes get washed, food shops get done. I mean, to be honest, other than the distinct lack of a male appendage I don’t see much difference in this relationship than any of my previous ones. So seriously, TELL ME? Why? What am I missing? 

This is part 1 of a two part post. Next week, I give you my list of  The Top Ten Things You Need To Know When Crafting A Lesbian Character.

97 comments

  1. What bothers me is that LGBT is considered genre fiction. There are heterosexual relationships in all kinds of fiction.

    My MC is bi and I have been going back and forth between whether or not to keep that part. Bisexuality is often perceived as someone ‘being confused’ or ‘experimenting’ especially when that person ends up with someone of the opposite sex in the end.

    It’s great that you bring this up.

    1. I agree with others. LGBT characters are in movies and TV programs. I saw this list today: thoughtcatalog.com/madison-moore/2015/11/11-gay-movies-you-can-watch-on-netflix-right-now/

      1. I love Netflix’s list of gay movies. Agree that there are lots of TV shows etc and films coming out with LGBT characters but I think there are less mainstream books doing the same. Maybe I’m wrong? Someone mentioned the girl with the dragon tattoo – id forgotten about that. I’m certain it’s not mainstream in literature though…?!

    2. Hi Ula thanks for such a lovely comment.

      I agree I hadn’t considered the fact that it IS a genre of fiction to be a bad thing, but actually u are right.

      Well I think like films and TV we are probably on the cusp of it all changing and becoming much more mainstream. At least that’s my hope. It feels like that because so many books are starting to get released – it’s slow progress. Maybe yours can be the first to go big. Someone’s needs to be.

  2. It does seem an odd thing that various substantial parts of the community are under-represented in literature… perhaps it has something to do with the old fashioned attitudes of feeding the mainstream market by publishers. Really, the only one I can think of that made a global splash is a long time ago… The Naked Civil Servant.

    1. Hi Sue, it’s a good point that – that publishers could be quashing the publication of it. I should have thought of that! Grr. At least this post got conversation going!

      I agree that it’s not just LGBT minorities most minorities are underrepresented in fiction. I’m not sure I have the answer though… I just know it needs to change

      1. I wonder how much we are simply fed an ‘ideal’ to satisfy our escapist needs? Bearing in mind we are only then fed the ideal of the publisher who wants an assured turnover by targeting the majority market…

  3. It may have something to do with the fact that so much of what we write is subconciously absorbed from what we read. Obviously, I don’t mean that we read Wuthering Heights and then go away and rewrite it, it’s far more subtle than that. It’s the complex interplay of characters and situations and there will naturally be a lot of differences between traditional fiction and LGBT fiction in this respect. This would then mean that it would take a while for a number of books to appear on the market with LGBT characters, but once it does start, then it should accelerate.
    When I re-read this, I wasn’t certain that I’m getting across what I’m trying to say, but I’ll post anyway and hope that I have!

    1. Interesting, I hadnt considered that we write based on what we read. I do agree that it will take a long time before we see books with LGBT characters becoming mainstream, its like evolution I guess, slow but steady until something mutates and boom a whole new species – or in our case genre!

  4. Yep… did not recall any book. Had Brokeback Mountain in mind, but don’t know if that was a book too. Great you bring that up. Perhaps I have some time around June 11! 🙂

  5. I have been seeing more books out there with LGBT characters, but you’re right. They’re not in the limelight. I guess this is just another reason to say “we need more diverse books.”

  6. Its not just LGBT, its all minorities, and its not because writers arent writing them. Its because publishers wont publish them if the protagonists arent, white, youthful, beautiful, straight, perfectly formed, intelligent, athletic etc etc etc. Mass market appeal and maximum potential financial gain, thats what its about. And people will only read what they can find. What’s easy to find.

  7. The reality, Sacha, is that it will come. Look outside the literary world and consider the world at large. I have a gay friend in his 90s. For him, his sexuality was actually illegal for most of his life. Even after the law changed, it took many years before individuals were prepared to even publicly admit they were gay. And there are a lot of people of an older generation who – because of the views they were brought up around – still think it’s abnormal.

    I am neither defending nor attacking that, just recognising it is there. But what it does mean is that mainstream media – TV and film, as well as books – are really only relatively recently beginning to incorporate LGBT as part of their range. And, like all “new developments”, they’ve been doing it gradually. The recent inclusion of transgender actors playing transgender roles on TV is another step in the right direction.

    You have also, indirectly, highlighted the flip side of the discussion by pointing out that 6%-10% of the population are LGBT. That means that at least 90% aren’t. Most writers tend to write about what they know. There’s always a risk when writing about stuff you don’t know about that you’ll get it wrong – and you’re already taking a risk in putting your words out there for people to read, so why take more of a risk?

    And, as has already been pointed out in other comments here, similar issues arise for other segments of the population.

    The main thing we can all take heart from is that change is happening. It may be moving more slowly than some of us would like, but at least it’s moving.

    1. I agree on so many points, especially the “write what you know” and the fact that writing and publishing anything is already a risk.

      I’d be afraid to misrepresent a situation and disrespect anybody out there. I’m a minority, and I often see representations of Mexicans that make me pause – like, there are no Mexican lawyers, or Mexican doctors, or anything in the mainstream media. The only time Mexicans are seen is as cooks, waitresses, bussers, dishwashers, gardeners, housekeepers, and gang members. I can’t recall when I last saw a Mexican techie, or a Mexican writer or a Mexican painter (with the exclusion of Frida Kahlo or someone like that) in anything.

      It’s a problem, and it’s slowly shifting, but it’s *very* slow to shift.

      The same goes for LGBT characters who aren’t a complete stereotype.

      1. You make an excellent point and one I should have highlighted – it’s not just LGBT minorities that are underrepresented. ALL minorities are. It’s an outrage really when u think that when u club all the minorities together we probably make up more than the rest of the world!

    2. Lovely comment Graeme. Totally agree about those thankfully still with us but of an older generation. But how wonderful that they are seeing changes that they are here long enough to see a world where LGBT people are becoming accepted.

      I get that it all takes time. But realistically given the evolved society we are, I don’t think it should even be a thing. I think fiction for (any minority not just LGBT) should be widely accessible. It’s kind of frustrating that we have made so many other steps – like it being on TV now. But I always thought books came before TV/film. Guess I’m just surprised media has managed to evolve quicker than literature. That makes me a little sad. 😢

    1. That, Icy, is a very good question. Was he? I know it was alluded to, I don’t recall if she ever actually confirmed it? You’re right though – totally missed opportunity there. Sigh.

  8. I think you’ll find that all the LGBT characters are over in television and movie land at the moment, Sacha. As we all know, it took a very long for Gay characters to start appearing on mainstream TV here in the UK. I know you don’t watch the soaps but most of them now have at least one gay character. Then we have reality TV shows where some of the judges are gay, as well as shows like Dragons Den where the main presenter is gay. There are many other examples, but fifteen years ago there were very few.

    I think Graeme has a valid point about authors writing about what they know. One of my short stories involves a woman in her sixties going back in time to the night of her wedding. I found it really difficult writing the sex scene and have never attempted to write anything like that since then. I may one day republish the story on my blog to get more comments, especially now I have more followers who are published (or upcoming) authors.

    You’ve asked a great question and written a very interesting post around it.

    1. It’s a good point you make Hugh. I mentioned this to Graeme too; I guess what surprises me is that books don’t seem to have caught up with media. Traditionally a book gets written then once it’s famous turned into a film/TV show – right? So how come TV and films seem to have been able to evolve so so so much quicker than books? I’m gutted for the book world to be honest.

  9. They may be underrepresented in literature, but they are definitely not missing from TV and the movies. It seems this is the latest trend in Hollywood, so keep an eye out! I just hope the representation is fair and honest.

  10. I can think of Alan Hollinghurst – Line of Beauty (won the Man Booker in 1994), Janette Winterson – Oranges are Not the Only fruit Whitbread prize and Armistead Maupin Tales of the City that was made into a great TV series a few years back but the books are a hoot. All of these are brilliant reads, with LGBT leads and not blockbusters but literary/commercial fiction. I suppose in a sense the fact that being an adult Gay in a relationship has only been legal (for men) since 1967 has constrained the field in time terms. But overall your point is well made. The inherent racism that prevented minorities from ethnic backgrounds from starring in the 60s has been replaced now na way you do not yet se with LGBT. The Beeb were thought to be brave when Torchwood starred Jack Harkness a gay/bi male lead (though of course he was an alien!)

    1. Jeanette wintersons book is on my TBR like I actually own the book too. That is quite the famous one.

      Another famous one is the dragon tattoo series. Someone else mentioned that.

      I understand the timing issue but I’m not sure my understanding it makes the fact any less frustrating. more so now that the TV has managed to incorporate LGBT characters everywhere. It’s like damn literary world – once we were the forefront of progression, now we’re behind the times

      1. that’s true; I wasn’t trying to excuse merely there’s only been a short time when that sort of fiction was going to be written. But yes there should be more; ditto

  11. I had a discussion about this topic with my daughter who is studying English Lit and also writes. We came up with a very interesting idea for a story plot, with a main LBGT character but somehow the idea hasn’t gone past the discussion stage yet….

  12. I agree, they are remarkably rare, but I have come across a few. Check out Lynn Flewelling. I particularly enjoyed the bone doll’s twin which is fantasy and can be interpreted as having a transgender storyline that is at times heartbreaking.

  13. Hi there. This is a great post. I am a transgender/gender nonconforming author and my last two novels feature LGBT characters in the main cast. One (Secrets & Lies), is about a trans woman of color dealing with her transition while trying to hold on to the love of her life. The other, (Torn), is about a feminine male unjustly accused of a crime and the psychological issues he has to face at being locked up with a variety of unpredictable strangers.

    Most of my readers are mainstream, but the struggle for me has been trying to gain the interest of the LGBT community.

    1. Hey Tracy, thanks so much for your comment and for stopping in to read my post.

      That’s fascinating that your audience is mainstream yet you can’t break into the LGBT reading community. I wonder why?

      Are you UK based? You should try and get your books in the bookshop I mentioned in the post.

      What are your thoughts on why you haven’t as yet been able to break into the LGBT community?

      1. Hi Sacha. I’m actually in Dallas, Texas (USA). I socialize a lot in the mainstream community, but I have tried to connect with the LGBT through facebook and other social media without much luck. I have no idea why I am not making that connection, but I am still trying. I’m also marketing my books for film.

        1. Well I hope you do make the connection – shame you’re not here that book shop does wonders for LGBT authors there’s also a literary session where authors of LGBT fiction read their work – it tours the country too. It’s fantastic I wonder if there is anything like that on your side of the pond

          1. I really have no idea. I recently had a lecture book signing at my hometown library. (Yesterday). The event was promoted on several pages and post, including my page and 2 library pages. The turn out was really nice, but not a single person was LGBT. This continues to baffle me because I am openly LGBT.

          2. It’s interesting. Have you polled your LGBT friends? I’m wondering what type of fiction they read. Of all my LGBT friends I can only think of 1 that actually reads LGBT fiction regularly.

  14. Lizbeth Salander of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series was bi-sexual however she’s the only one I can think of. Course that’s not exactly a YA book! I don’t write YA but I imagine one of the problems is keeping the story line well clear of erotica.

    1. YES YES YES. How did I not think of the dragon tattoo series I LOVED IT. Brilliant thinking.

      Yeah agreed on the erotica front I will have to give that some thought *scratches head*

  15. I have been toying with making my main character a lesbian which would generate additional conflict. Now I think I will do it because I want my grandchildren to be accepting of all people. I will keep you posted. Great thoughts and I totally agree with you! <3

    1. Awwwww Colleen this has really cheered me up. I’m thrilled to hear that you’re going to do it. Hope you’re not snowed in by the way!? Defo keep me in the loop can’t wait to hear about your story 😍

  16. Hey Sach. Good point, but I’m going to wager a guess that within the next year or so, writers will be producing more books with LGBT characters because thanks to the media press for gay rights, trans-genders coming out more (think Caitlyn) it somehow stimulates the public thinking that guess what, we’re all people. Almost like there’s a new entitlement, that it’s ok to write in these characters, and of course knowing there’s a whole market of readers out there who would love to identify with such characters. I think it will be the next wave of writing, like when 50 Shades came out and brought on an onslaught of books in Erotica (good and bad). Like you said, hey, we’re writers, let’s jump on the bandwagon and get in the new wave and write books with these characters, but we don’t all ‘have a muse that comes to us in a rainbow tutu.’ So kudos to the authors who do because they will be publishing in a welcomed niche. 🙂 #mytwocents

    1. Haha I loved your two cents for what it’s worth. It’s a lovely thought that they will be the next big thing. I’m not convinced but I certainly think in the next ten years or so we will have an explosion of it.

      Just wish my subconscious would conjure up a bloody character so I could join in the fun and games!!

      Agreed about Caitlyn – also the media and TV shows like orange is the new black. I just find it frustrating that media is so far ahead of books in this respect – there was once a time when books were the forefront of progression – they determined it’s direction. Now it’s TV…. Tut. 🙄

  17. I think it all comes down to money, prejudice and reluctance to change. Mainstream publishers don’t like to do anything different. They are biased toward stories about white straight people, so much so that there was a twitter hashtag devoted to diversity in books. There’s a belief that books about white people sell well. A couple of years ago, there was a big controversy about the book Liar, which is about a young black girl, but publishers put a white girl on the cover, because they believed that would sell better. Until publishers get over their own issues and reluctance to change (which generally happens when they believe there is money to be made), not a lot will change in publishing. Self-publishing has been great, because it gives voices to stories that normally wouldn’t find a home. It also shows that these are stories people enjoy and are profitable. As the mainstream publishers see the profitability of these tales, they’ll be more likely to want to support them themselves. So, authors keep writing, readers keep buying and keep demanding more, and more will come.

    1. Couldnt agree more – Lots of people have commented about this being partly the publishers fault and I am inclined to agree.

      I didn’t know about that Liar book thats horrific.

      You are absolutely right though, a lot needs to change, it isn’t just LGBT people that lack a market its all minorities. Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

  18. I really enjoyed this post, and thank you for posting about Sarah Waters’s book. I read it years ago and loved it. I couldn’t remember its title or author, so thank you for directing me to more by her.

    I replied to someone else’s comments with my thoughts about the topic at hand. I like that you mentioned “it’s all the same,” because it made me think about what situations an LGBT character could be in as far as writing. I have several lesbian friends, and I often forget about their sexual orientation, because, well, they’re just my friends when we get together. But we do talk often about our relationships and their relationship issues are a lot like my relationship issues. My friends have gotten divorced, one just recently married, another of my friends has been with her partner for a long time…it varies. Just as the experience of any heterosexual person varies, the experience of an LGBT person varies. It’s all just the human experience.

    I wouldn’t really know how to write a sex scene in that genre (I’m new to writing, in general, and am incredibly nervous about a novel I have on the back burner specifically because I’m nervous about writing the sex scenes I want to write), but I think that your post has given me some ideas for including a wider array of characters than I’d previously thought I could include. Thanks for that. 🙂

    I’m hopeful that the tide will turn. Lately, I’ve been pretty discouraged by the world at large with all that’s been going on in the world. (I see so much hatred, prejudice, and such, and it just feels overwhelming, particularly on social media – the immigration issue, racism, terrorist attacks, xenophobia, Islamophobia, the gamut.) But if nothing else, I’d like to think that we can keep hope alive and the tide *will* turn.

    1. Lovely comment Juana, thank you. I agree there is a lot of hate in the world at the moment, its a very sad state of affairs, and i think literature bringing salient issues to the fore is so essential in playing a role in getting rid of such hate. But its slow progress, I just hope I see it happen in my life time.

        1. Ah so a classic – interesting. Never read it though and not sure it constitutes mainstream for us today? It’s a good point though I’ll have to have a think about whether any other classics have LGBT characters

  19. Great post, Sacha, and all solid points. It does seem strange that LGBT character driven novels are seen as niche, are sold in specialised stores and don’t seem to have the market breakout of other books. I don’t know if it is a publishing thing, a fear of presenting something that might be seen as ‘different.’ Which is madness, as you say, especially when you are talking about such a large proportion of the population. Perhaps you will be the breakout author who makes this change? Although I totally get what you say about the characters not appearing for you – mine are still surprising me with some of their relationships as well 🙂

    1. Thanks Helen. Its well frustrating when i want to write an LGBT story but just can’t!! But yeah, I agree, obviously, its total madness that the publishing industry refuses to acknowledge such a large part of society but then, like so many other have said, they only publish what will sell. sigh.

  20. Interesting questions and a great discussion, Sacha. I think it’s just starting and there’s going to be a surge in LGBT books, inevitably expanding into YA lit. I see more and more in fantasy and sci-fi, though mostly in secondary characters. My writers group produced an anthology and one story has a bi MC, and it’s a great story, by the way. An interesting thing that’s happening in my genres is that the integration is often complete, so LGBT is nothing new or remarkable – just regular people going about the things that regular people do – fight with swords, mind control, fly dragons, and time travel – stuff like that. 🙂

    1. Thank you 🙂 I really really hope you are right about that. I would love to see a surge in YA LGBT books. Maybe I just need to try and bite the bullet and write one of my own. Thats amazing to hear, if you come across any books you think I would enjoy reading you must let me know 🙂

  21. Don’t forget Dumbledore was gay although only hinted at in the books. Two of my books main characters are gay. Having them gay has worked very well for the plot as one of them does things he thinks are wrong but does it out of love for the other. I did include sex scene between the two but will probably cut it as it’s not very good.

    1. Thanks Eric, sorry for the delayed response. Life is so hectic right now. I heard whisperings about Dumbledore too. Was never sure if it was confirmed though. Im so glad you are using LGBT characters. You could always interview friends on gay sex scenes – I think its important to include anything that would make it realistic, if you felt at the time thats where the story went you should stick with it – research always helps though if you feel it could be improved.

  22. First thing I thought of after reading this is The Birdcage. But you’re right. Most of the books I’ve read and movies I’ve seen have the MC with a gay roommate or some other minor (or somewhat not-so-minor–like Willow in BtVS) character. Also, they’re often trying to figure out who they are or something. Those books by Malinda Lo look interesting. We tend to like the same books. I’ll check those out.
    You know what I’m thinking would be really cool (and what I think you’re saying here) is if they just WERE. The end. Like in Fargo. Great flick. And Frances McDormand played a police chief. A woman police chief. A PREGNANT woman police chief. And you know what she did (besides win a shitload of awards?) She did her police chief job. O_o Imagine that. She didn’t rub her belly and freak out over the violence and talk about what kind of world she was bringing her baby into and the movie didn’t end with a big birth scene. She was a (really good) police chief who just happened to be a pregnant woman. So why can’t the MC of a mainstream book just happen to be gay without it being the POINT of the book. It’s a book about…whatever. A good story. Well-written. A great read. ???

    1. YES – how could I forget about Willow – she was probably the first of the mainstream TV characters I can think of – I am sure there were others, but she really rings home to me as it was my era and the first I can recall thinking W.O.A.H

      yeah go for it – they are ok, not my fave ever books but defo worth the read for the characters – VERY fantasy and beautiful world building. a little slow in places though.

      YES exactly that… EXACTLY that. I actually couldn’t have said it better. It just needs to be. Because it is. Not because being gay is the main thing about their life. because it isn’t. its one tiny piece of a huge puzzle, like playing golf or being a painter – its just one piece, and just IS. The end.

  23. You make a very interesting point there Sacha. although we are now seeing more LGBT characters on our screens they are still sadly lacking in books. My daughter who is 12, loves reading the Jacqueline Wilson books that you mentioned. I would love it if someone like yourself were to write something for her age group with a LGBT character as its protagonist. Most of us learn so much from the books that we read when young and rather than this group be portrayed as the negative stereotypes they normally are, wouldn’t it be great if my daughter were to read a book where the LGBT character was actually ‘normal’, facing the challenges that she could relate to. (As a side note, she has Asperger’s which is also underrepresented in books)!

    1. Hi Judy,

      Agreed – It’s just such a shame they are lacking in books. Thats good to know you have a daughter of the right age range – if I pull my finger out a write it I will have someone to read / soft test it 😀

      Agreed about Aspergers – I only know of one book that covers anything close to it – curious incident of the dog in the night.

    1. That’s interesting to know you don’t read best sellers – I didn’t know that – you’re so prolific too.

      I haven’t heard or read his books so off I trot to look at your review – I have yours in my TBR pile too :D.

      1. Well, because I prefer literary fiction, I might end up reading some popular books within that genre, but they rarely achieve bestsellerdom in the way that commercial novels do. And I’m very much looking forward to your verdict on my own novel.

  24. Hi Sacha. The first one that popped into my head was The Color Purple. The love between Celie and Shug. There is also Fried Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café with the love between Idgie and Ruth. It’s interesting to note that both these movies were originally novels. Both novels delved a lot deeper into the love relationship between the women. It was almost non-existent in the movies compared to the depth of the original written words. This has really made me think Sacha! I loved these movies. Adored these books. But I was racking my brain trying to think of mainstream movies with LGBT characters. I suppose you could throw in Sharon Stone’s character, Catherine from Basic Instinct … even though she was a psychotic killer! I just asked my partner and she said the two I first mentioned! Great post girl … I’m going to keep trying to think of some!

  25. I am late to this post, sorry! What you wish for would be nice, but I wouldn’t want a bevy of 2-dimensional characters to fill that out for me. Our LGBT characters should have the same range of possible characteristics as any other, and not simply veer between tropes like ‘evil freak’ or ‘helpless immaculate victim’. Right? And maybe if they were one or the other, it should be plain that anyone might be so, regardless of their identity. I realise that the genre might sometimes determine how nuanced characters may or may not be, but I find complex characters more engaging. Token LGBT would feel just as empty to me as none at all.

    1. oh god no. I wouldn’t want 2D or clichéd characters either, that would be not the point at all. And yes, of course, any character, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race etc etc would have a range of characteristics like any other character, I guess the point I was making is that, like any sector in society, we all have our own quirks.

      For example, say I wrote a book about black slavery – there would be tropes I needed to use, and include that would be unique to their experiences otherwise the story would have no authenticity. The same can be said for LGBT characters, and I would love to see more books and more genres include LGBT characters, but certainly not token ones.

      Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment.

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