theowlsperch asked: There was a post you put up within the past couple of days in which you say that heterosexual writers can write stories about LGBT+ characters, as long as it wasn't the stereotype and they knew about the issues they face. Are there any books or articles you would recommend to such authors so that they can avoid misrepresentation?
There really is no one stop shopping for this. There is no one article or book called “How to not write shitty queer characters for dummies”. Authors need to dig in and do A LOT of research.
Tumblr is a great resource. Writing about… lets just pick bisexual trans men? Some of them have tumblrs so follow 20 or 30 or 50 of them. Fill your dash with their voices.
Writing about a particular time period? There are lots of queer history books out there from working class lesbian bars to biographies of famous and powerful people. You will have to hit those books.
Writing about a particular place? Find queer people who live there. Talk to them IRL or online. Ask them what their lives are like.
Make sure you seek out voices of queer people of color. Queer media often excludes their POV so don’t fall into the trap of thinking that queer issues present the same for people of all races.
Read novels and stories written by queer people. Notice how different it seems when we talk about ourselves vs when others talk about us.
Read queer news sites and not just the big ones like The Advocate. You can follow tons of queer sites on facebook and tumblr so they will deliver content right to you. On tumblr I’m a big fan of projectqueer because they post news that is actually for all of us, not just cis white gay and lesbians.
You need to be willing to dig in deep and to do so independently. You should also bring your draft to queer people you know and ask them for honest feedback once your piece is done.
What it all boils down to is that you need to be willing to give this the time and respect we deserve. It’s not easy. If it were, everyone would already be doing it.
speaking as a queer person and as an author who writes outside my own experience, you can also literally just ask
people want representation and want to help people who care about getting it right. if you put out a request, you will find that people come out of the woodwork to volunteer their time and knowledge. so ask!
but remember to be humble and respectful and thankful for their time and effort, to listen to what they have to say, to read carefully any links or resources they give you, to take their critique gracefully, etc.
but seriously. people are sooo helpful if you put yourself out there!
Just keep in mind nobody OWES you access to their experience: focus on people who are willing to let you ask them questions and ACCEPT WHEN THEY SAY NO.
Seriously, that’s the fastest way to get labelled a dick. Treat asking for help with this (and similar experiences you don’t have) the same way you would approaching a doctor or lawyer or other professional who has knowledge you don’t, and you will get much more acceptance than if you act like we should be grateful you’re deigning to write about our experiences.
You may feel you’re doing us a favour, but remember that you’re actually just correcting a long-term problem in the industry. You are doing good, but you’re not going above-and-beyond decency - you’re finally bringing literature up to meet it.
Dissecting a character to fit a heteronormative box is sloppy and irresponsible. Bisexuals deserve to be represented in media too — not erased or straight-washed. If NBC can’t handle portraying a bisexual male character, then perhaps the network shouldn’t take on John Constantine.
Sexuality is always a part of a character — however minimal — but some sort of romantic or sexual relationship is usually a significant plot point in superhero stories. A bisexual male superhero would disrupt the hetero male template of, “hero saves damsel in distress” that we see consistently in iconic stories like Superman, Spiderman, and Captain America. But it’s 2014, and sometimes men need saving too.
There’s something particularly elusive about bisexual male characters. There is a deeply ingrained misconception that a man can’t be romantically involved with another man and still be interested in women as well. It’s centered on the idea that masculinity requires a wanting, and “getting” of women, and not men. But the depiction of Constantine in Hellblazer proves that is a false assumption.— NBC’s Straight-Washing of John Constantine is Bi Erasure | Eliel Cruz for the Advocate (via gaywrites)
Straight haired person: Just comb it!
Curly haired person:
Okay, this is a longer quote but let me clarify because, as a white curly haired person, nobody explained this to me forever:
Curly hair dries naturally into tidy curls after a shower.
If you brush dry curly hair, you break up the tidy curls it was in.
This results in the giant bushy frizz effect.
So don’t brush dry curly hair. Brush it in the shower, wet, with conditioner if need be, and preferably with a wide-toothed comb.
You will have much nicer hair.
If I had to write a Literary Analysis 101 paper on [Once Upon a Time], I’d go crazy with all the queer theory I could infer from this tangled mess of a show. But the thing is that you and I both know that my gay feminist reading is not at all the intention of its creators and that what’s actually happening on the screen is a lot less friendly to an LGBTQ audience.
The thing is, representation matters, and one of the worst things that this kind of narrative does is that it expects an LGBTQ audience to be satisfied with the bare minimum. When this bare minimum is not met with automatic praise and thanks, the audience is punished in any number of ways, from a producer’s social media snarkery to claims by the mainstream media that the darned homosexuals just aren’t grateful enough. Even the smallest amount of negative reaction is cited as reason enough to not bother with such a storyline in the future.—
"And They Lived Heterosexually Ever After: Why I’m Not Recapping Once Upon A Time Anymore” on AutoStraddle (x)
I used several quotes from this essay in the Homoerotic Subtext panel and it is FABULOUS even if you don’t care at all about Once Upon A Time.