How to Write Better Queer Characters
Welcome to Queering the Narrative!
I’ve had this blog for a while now, and realized that I’ve never really defined just what I want it to be. So, this week I’m going to explain my reasons for making this blog, the intention behind my posts, and the audience I’m trying to reach with it.
All that said, though, I want to continue to acknowledge the ongoing fight for justice and dignity for Black Americans. I still stand in solidarity with the leaders and demonstrators who are leading the Black Lives Matter movement and advocating for reforms our country so desperately needs. Check out organizations like Black Lives Matter, Color of Change, and the NAACP to hear from them what can be done to help this movement.
The core focus of this blog is to help authors and content creators write better queer characters. There is a desperate shortage of queer literature and media in the world. It is growing extremely rapidly, and I’m happy for that, but the amount of queer fiction still cannot hope to match up to the amount of hetero/cis fiction in the world. This means that queer folk, both young and old, have far less of a chance to see themselves reflected in the media they consume, to understand that there are people out there like them and that it is okay to be who they are.
It also, though, hurts straight and cis people by limiting their perception of the immense variety that exists among humans. This limits their understanding of those around them, and can lead to confusion, fear, and malice when confronted with something they do not understand. If they saw more queerness in media, and if that queerness was normalized and celebrated, then more non-queer folks would be able to understand and connect with the queer community.
The single best way to increase queer representation is by allowing queer folks to write queer stories. If folks like me are given the space and voice to create content that features LGBTQIA+ characters, then we can tell our own authentic stories to a wider audience. This blog, however, is NOT just for #OwnVoices writers.
Queer characters can and should exist in all forms of media, not just those led by queer voices. It is completely possible to write an engaging, authentic, and respectful queer character even if you yourself are not queer.
Queer folks need more representation in media, but many of the people who make media are not themselves queer. This does not mean that these people cannot write queer characters, but they should careful in how they do it, so that they do not stumble into harmful tropes. And that’s what this blog is for. This is a space where someone can go if they want to include, for example, a bisexual character in their narrative, but do not know how to introduce that character, how to authentically represent their experience, or what tropes to avoid when writing them. The point of this blog is to give authors the tools to write better queer characters.
However, that is not to say that only straight, cis folks can benefit from reading this blog! The queer community is chock full of folks who think, because they identify themselves as one variety of queer, they understand the experience of the entrie queer community. I myself have fallen into this trap! But, each lovely letter and individual identity in the queer community is a unique experience, with its own joys, struggles, and tropes. Plenty of problematic portrayals of queerness have come form queer folks writing outside their own identities and not realizing they were being problematic!
So, really, that’s what this blog is about: giving authors the resources to expand the sort of characters they include in their narratives by helping them write better queer characters. The LGBTQIA+ community is expansive, diverse, and sometimes intimidating to learn about. I want this blog to act as a touchstone for content creators who are stuck, intimidated, or confused. Everyone should be able to utilize queer characters in their narrative!
If you have any specific questions that haven’t been covered in my previous posts, or have a request for a particular topic or identity for me to cover, please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com. You can also subscribe to Queering the Narrative here to get email updates whenever I post new content!
And, once again, remember to support the Black Lives Matter movement and the fight for justice, dignity and equality for Black Americans. Say their names and stand in solidarity. Black lives matter.