She names Magic's Pawn as a book with an excellent gay character? I always felt like Vanyel was mostly gay to be exciting for the girlie readers.
Before we get into things, I'd like to make a point about something. This lens is called "writing gay characters", but it would more accurately be called "writing non-straight characters". But since that take s a lot more typing, and frankly sounds clunky, I refer to it as "gay characters". I could say queer, but for me, that word has always meant "strange", and I have a hard time constantly referring to LGBT people as such.
Why don't you include trans people in this lens?
Because trans is not a sexuality. You can be trans and gay, trans and straight, trans and bi. Trans people have some similar issues, but enough differences to warrant Writing Trans Characters be its own lens.
There is also the fact that since I can't even speak for the whole community I am part of, it's even harder to speak for a community I am not part of.
When I do a similar lens for Writing Trans Characters, I will have some guest writers helping me along. But it's not something I can put together myself.
The plot centres on a character called Wrobik, a member of the Culture in exile on another planet, who has undergone a female-to-male transformation but is still attracted to men. He is offered the chance to save his male lover from kid-nappers and pay off gambling debts by committing an act of terrorism.
I always thought the Keith and David relationship in Six Feet Under was great
Gedris: I cannot speak for the entire gay community when I say this, but as far as I am concerned, as long as you write with the best intentions, and truly seek to educate yourself and try writing gay characters well, then you're doing alright. Take constructive criticism into account, but ultimately know that you will never be able to please everyone (in any genre).
eatyourcellularphone: No, it will just be the usual tactic employed by women activists who are stuck in a 70s/80s mode of narrow, joyless, middle-class, overly-academic political thought: throwing a condescending, prissy, hectoring conniption fit and hoping that I'll be so mortified at having offended a LADY by ignoring her 'guidelines' that I'll immediately slash open my belly with the nearest sharp object and smear 'SORRY FOR BEING SUCH A PHALLOCRAT' on the wall in my own blood, before dying like the oppressor dog I am.
But sadly for you, now that I finally have your permission to express myself, I'll be unleashing a tidal-wave of politically retrograde fiction about baby-eating dykes, bleached-blond sadistic SS fags, and trannies who strangle fashion models with their own upmarket lingerie. Look out for all this and more on a slush pile near you!
Do I have to give my gay characters a girlfriend/boyfriend?
Not if you don't want to, and again, refer to the "as often as straight characters" rule of thumb. Having a story with all the straight people in happy couples, and the gay person alone, is a bit unfair, and readers will get frustrated. (emphasis added)
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