Are LGBTQA characters important for every story

I’m an straight person and I’ve never met a gay person in my life. I’ve seen several gay characters in stores. But since I’ve never met one, I really don’t know anything about them. So to not portray them wrongly, I simply decided to not have any gay characters in my story.
Are LGBTQA characters really important for a story? Although I highly respect them , just to not make any mistake I decided to not create them.
Am I wrong?

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Hey lovely, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s your story and you can decide, don’t feel obliged to! :kissing_smiling_eyes:

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Thank you. You are so sweet :revolving_hearts:. I was really feeling down about it. But thank you for your kind words.

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Of course, anytime. You really made my day, tysm! :black_heart:

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You could always do research if you really wanted to include LGBTQ+ characters in your story. There are lots of helpful resources on the internet that can help you learn more about anything related to the LGBTQ+ community. And there are many users on here who would be willing to help you out.

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This is better than portraying them in a negative way. Try to educate yourself and meet new people who can help you, but don’t feel pressured :((

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I think lots of people can agree with me that diversity in a story is important.
Like the lovely users before me said, educate yourself! You can search on the Internet or ask the Episode community, we are willing to help :blush:

Good luck with your story :purple_heart:

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It is your story, so it’s not crucial :slight_smile:
Yet it would be nice. Besides they’re just like everyone else. Although research is important on what everything means and the differences between each…You probably might have met someone and didn’t know it.

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There is so much more than “gay” when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community. You could do a little research on gender identities and sexualities, I’m sure you’d be surprised at what you’d find. You don’t have to be strictly gay, bi or transsexual to identity as apart of the LGBTQ+.

I’ll give some examples: a character can be hetero/straight as well as a demisexual or demiromantic. A biologically female character can identify with he/him pronouns. A MTF transsexual can be attracted to men and identity as straight.

Of course, it’s still your story and you can add or not add whatever you wish too, but I do think a little research would pleasantly surprise you and might even make you more open to writing LGBTQ+ characters. Though I do understand your reluctance to add something you don’t know much about, I really do, diversity is always a nice thing to see in stories and research and help from others can always aid you in your writing if you choose to write characters that don’t fit your own identity or sexuality so don’t be afraid to reach out to the community if you ever choose that path.

Not saying you have to add such characters. It’s your choice, your story. But it is always a bonus to see diverse characters that are written accurately.

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I think it’s important for an author to write what they want to write about, the beauty of it being your story, your choices, your characters.
So write what you’d like to regardless of what others think.

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A few things. First, if you can’t write things you haven’t experienced, what’s stopping you? Being a good author is all about writing things you never experienced. You think Stephen King watched a girl kill her entire school after she got drenched with pig blood? No. Writing is incredible because we can write things that have happened, have never happened, and may happen someday. It’s incredibly powerful and relies on both imagination, research, and being able to put yourself in the shoes of an a character. If you can’t do that, then you need to start at step one and practice before you get ahead of yourself and write a whole story.

Secondly. Can we stop referring to being being gay as a “lifestyle” as if we have any choice in existing as queer people?

Lastly, it’s a complete lie that you can’t write queer characters without throwing obvious signs in the reader’s face that they’re LGBTQA+. Any author claiming otherwise is lying to you.

It’s absolutely possible because queer people’s lives are different from cishet people. Not just in discrimination, but in goals, dreams, ambitions, their past, who they’re friends with, what kind of future they want to have for themselves, what issues matter to them, etc. I could go on and on about it.

For example, you can easily mention their sexuality through small dialogue details. For example, mentioning exes or current partners, mentioning crushes, talking about queer creators or artists they enjoy, Or maybe events that they go to, people they made friends with, or hobbies that they like. All of these things can be brought back to their sexuality in one way or another.

No, obviously you can’t write a “blanket” queer person, the same way you can’t write a “blanket” anything. Every single person is different and how they experience their queerness differs from person to person. Your job as an author is write one (or more if you have several characters) ways of experiencing queerness. One way of living as an LGBTQA+ person. One way someone expresses their gender, sexuality, romantic interests, or lack of. You will never write a good character of any kind that ticks all of the “boxes” because it will never feel realistic, authentic, or make anyone connect to your character on any sort of deeper level. You need to write the experience of character, and you need to do it well.

On a related note, a trope I see often is that there’s one gay or trans person in a group of 5 cishet people, when in reality queer people usually surround themselves with other queer people. Please don’t write token characters for the sake of it, it’s absolutely obvious to any queer person reading it.

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I just choose not to write them in my story. :woman_shrugging: my choice.

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And I actually thought transgender was a lifestyle choice… I don’t think being gay is, you can’t really control how you feel about anyone regardless of gender, I probably should’ve specified lifestyle in the sense of transgender not blanket it over the entire LGBTQ+ community, for that I apologize.

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I don’t understand why this would be an issue, how does what anybody else likes, or sexually attracted to affects you, if such a person reveal themselves to you, just say “not interested” and let it be that! It is not a chosen life style, some people are just built that way, but again why does it MATTER?

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Review groups don’t rate background characters in terms of diversity, unless I’m greatly mistaken? They look for diversity within the main cast. So I don’t see the point of this argument.

Personally, I don’t care if cishet people don’t want to include queer characters in their story because I know by and large even if they do, they’re not doing it for me or for other queer people. They’re just doing it to mark off a box on their diversity checklist.

Even the framing of the OPs question makes it clear they don’t ever read or listen to or watch lgbtq content created by lgbtq people. And I’m not singling them out specifically since most people in a privileged position only want to consume stories and content about people who are just like them. If you’re regularly consuming content about people who aren’t like you because you understand that those stories are worth telling and listening to -inherently and not out of a sense of obligation- then a lot of the questions about if it’s okay to not include certain types of characters or about how to portray characters who have completely different experiences or identities than you do become irrelevant. Because you’d already know where to start.

I don’t need cis straight people to justify why they don’t want to include lgbtq characters because we know what the reasons are lmao. Homophobia and transphobia aren’t just violent personal attacks against individual people. They’re cultural norms that are ingrained and often function in very coded ways, though of course those of us on the receiving end understand how to decipher that code.

Semi-relatedly, people often write “lgbtq characters” and mean cis white gays, as if that’s the singular experience of the entire community. No one is going to try and take away your right to not include lgbtq characters - or any other marginalized identities or intersecting group of identities - but if people don’t want to read it or engage with it because they aren’t interested in reading the same narratives over and over again, well then that’s that, I guess.

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I don’t think it’d bad for you not to include any LGBT+ characters in your story, especially since your reason is better than adding them and portraying it badly. However, as others have said, research could easily help this. Even easier than that, there’s most likely many threads on it on these forums that you can read.

Plus, LGBT+ people are not so different to everyone else so there’s no one way to be LGBT+ because it encompasses many different people and identities. Ultimately, it’s your choice though (:

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No, you are not. :wink: I am straight, too. So, I understand where you are coming from. But like @Lilistar said it right: You can search on the Internet or ask the Episode community. I never met a gay character/person in real life, but I made some good friends in the Episode community. My best friend over here is gay, my story (For HIS Sake) is actually a gift for him. (I blurred it, because it’s self-promotion :clown_face: in a sneaky way.)
Diversity in the story is important, but if you are not sure if your story is diverse enough, ask…
@schittwriter is right, too :point_right: There is soo much more than ‘gay’ in the LGBTQ+ community. If you really want to know more → ask the members in this community who are part of the LGBTQ+ community.

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We are just like any other person, we just aren’t attracted to the opposite sex.

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Transgender and transsexual people don’t choose to have dysphoria.

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