In honor of US LGBT Pride Month and Christopher Street Liberation Day.
First, apologies dear Readers for lack of a mid-week post. I am afraid that the mid-week posts may be a bit erratic for the next couple of months as I am working feverishly on my Dissertation. However, Sunday posts will still be as regular as possible.
This week, in honor of Pride Week, I thought I’d talk a little about some of my LGBT characters. Out of my three novels in various stages of completion, two center around LGBT characters. Sioned’s Tale tells the story of a girl who wants her lover and her rightful inheritance, and will go to any means to get it. The story plays with themes of gender, and to some extent is focused around trans-issues, all while being set in a fantasy world and told through the eyes of a dragon. Through Brass Goggles is a little different. Zona’s sexuality is not particularly central to the plot, although her love affair with a certain high-born lady is. While her sexuality is important to the plot, and the character, it is not the entirety of who she is, or what her story is about. It also deals with gender roles a little, subverting some, particularly with respect to Steampunk.
Writing about characters with a variety of sexual orientations can be a little scary. Will I alienate my readers by introducing them to lifestyles they’re not ready to cope with? Will people begin to question my own sexuality, assuming that every main character is a stand-in for the Author herself? Will introducing a LGBT character into my story automatically relegate it to “fringe” status? Some combination of these fears periodically intrudes itself into my consciousness. I only need one answer to move beyond it though: Who cares? I will not let fear of prejudice dictate who my characters are. Some of my characters are gay, some are straight, and some aren’t even human.
Writing about LGBT characters has undoubtedly expanded my horizons in ways which are profound. In order to treat my characters in the sensitive and empathic light which they deserve, I’ve had to do some research. Reading blogs, talking to people who lead a variety of lifestyles, and reading books with LGBT characters certainly matured my understanding. This sort of Author growth isn’t unique to the realm of sexuality, of course, but if I were to expand on all the ways writing has helped me to grow, that would be an autobiography, not a blog post.
So, happy Pride Week.
Thought for the Week: “Let it forever be remembered that here—on this spot—men and women stood proud, they stood fast, so that we may be who we are, we may work where we will, live where we choose and love whom our hearts desire.” John Berry at the dedication of the Christopher Street National Historic Landmark.
Currently Reading: Modern Arabic Short Stories edited by Ronak Husni and Daniel L. Newman