A Common Myth About LGBT Characters

Zombie on a Couch
September 23, 2018
Adorable Zombies & Their Killers: The Top 10
September 28, 2018

One of the most common misconceptions about LGBT representation in literature is that including a gay, bi, or trans character in a book automatically means that the story has to involve sex. Nope! That’s a myth borne out of the false hyper-sexualization of the LGBT community. Just because a character is gay doesn’t automatically mean that they’re going to have gay sex somewhere in their story, just like the inclusion of a heterosexual character doesn’t automatically mean that their story will involve straight sex. There’s so much more to a person’s identity than their sexuality, so even if a novel or short story involves a gay character, that doesn’t mean that the author is going to choose to focus in on their sexuality as the focal point of the plot.

In fact, the inclusion of gay characters in literature can be quite humanizing. Many straight, cisgender people don’t consciously think very much about the nuances and humanity of the LGBT community. They might hold some well-meant, but ultimately untrue misconceptions about what it means to be gay, a lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. They might even assume that being gay automatically equates to being more promiscuous than being straight. Reading books, watching TV shows, and seeing movies with LGBT characters can be a really eye-opening experience for them, and help them realize that gay people are defined by more than their sexuality—their personalities, thoughts, and actions are really what matters most.

I grew up in a small town called Rose Hill, a suburb of Wichita, Kansas. I was a teenager of the 1980s and coming out gay was not a trend in those times, especially in rural area of Kansas. I never dated in high school and people just thought I was shy I suppose - but I wouldn't fully come out gay and accepting of myself until my early 30s. When I look back at those days, I recall reading tons of movies and reading even more books, but I cannot remember reading about a gay hero who saved the day. Gay people, I think for the most part, were cast in a shadow. When I started writing, as I continue to write, my goal has to be write about LGBT characters for a wide audience and I really never have intended to write towards a niche LGBT audience. It is my goal in life, to one day, complete a piece of work with a diverse range of characters that is of great entertainment to all spectrums of sexual orientations and genders.

Comments are closed.