Question about Sexuality/Race/Culture

I have a very important question I would like to ask anyone who could answer. If you know me, you know I’m white as hell, like ginger white. ISOPALE. And while I like to think I have quite a multicultural family and set of friends (weird flex but ok) I never want to incorrectly portray any culture or race. And when I write characters that are from varying backgrounds I don’t tend to use their race or culture as a big factor in their development. That being said, I feel like that can lead to 1. Me coming off as ignorant, and 2. Possibly very 2-dimensional characters. Which neither of those I want to happen. I recently received a message from someone who read my story and said that I was coming off as ignorant for my lack of portrayal of certain races backgrounds, and pointed out my lack of mentioning sexuality and representation of different cultures. And honestly, I agree that I’ve been ignorant about those subjects because while I like to think I’m very aware of many things and educated. LIKE I’M SO WOKE. GUYS. I just really will never be able to completely and truly understand what it’s like to be in some people’s shoes no matter how hard I try to. So when I write stories and write characters; I end up basing a lot of it on the people and relationships in my life and their sexuality or their race or culture has never been a huge factor in our relationship. BUT that doesn’t mean I was blind to it. And for that I’m sorry if I have come off as blind to it, I never meant to and I can see where that can make my intentions to not make them bigger factors for my characters come off as ignorant. So after all that I guess I would just like some guidance about where to go from here. I know it was only one person who messaged me that and maybe I shouldn’t sweat it, but because I feel so strongly about being sensitive to those specific topics; I would just like to get some opinions on how I could portray things such as race and sexuality in a better way? I have a good bunch of characters with different sexualities and different races and aside from them showing attraction for certain people or showing same-sex relationships, I haven’t exclusively mentioned their sexuality or factored in their race as a part of their development.

This is a tricky question, chief. First off I don’t know how you were portraying sexuality and race in the first place so I couldn’t begin to tell you how to do it better. I think this is a question you should be asking whoever sent you the original message, did they explain why they felt this way, or how you could improve?

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I think that would really depend on the person and how they take it to be honest some people are more sensitive than others. However, if it’s strictly rave or sexuality and you have a question you could always research. Or ask individuals of the race or sexuality you are talking about. I hope that helps! But kudos for to you for taking those things into consideration :blush:


I did reach out to them but they ignored it lol But in the message they said that obviously they could tell that some of my characters were pansexual or gay but I brushed passed bringing up any difficulty they might have had being said sexuality. It’s a fantasy story about gods/demi gods and at one point the m/c can ask what they’re the gods of, such as goddess of the moon or god of animals. And then they get a little cinematic where they can see how these characters got their speciality. And the one story about the one god shows his parents meeting and their two woman and then they fall in love, etc. And then the goddess of fertility comes and takes a strand of hair from both of them and a child is created. Which is a normal thing in a lot of mythology for a god to either take a part of their body or someone else’s body and creating a child from it. And they said that It can be taken as ignorant for using them being a fantasy character as a cop-out for not addressing anyones sexuality in the story. The M/C herself can choose to be with either gender. I guess I just haven’t brought up sexuality as a specific plot point. In regards to race they said that normalizing race, as in not bringing up the adversity that certain races face shows that I’m ignoring the adversity that they face. Which I do get that, and I feel like I have enough of an understanding of that subject that I could write about it, but I just don’t 100% feel comfortable telling that story because its not mine to tell if that makes sense? Part of me thinks maybe that their claims are a bit subjective, but there’s also a part of me that’s like “BUT WHAT IF I’M DOING THIS WRONG?” and that part of me just wants clarity and they won’t give me that clarity so I was hoping someone else might be able to lol. I just don’t want to ever come off as insensitive in the end, and I just want to do what I can to correct myself If I am being unknowingly insensitive. I’m like a fairly new author so maybe I’m the one just being sensitive lmao I don’t know.

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I’m sorry I don’t really feel like reading that whole paragraph… Can you sum it it up and I can give you advice

Me personally, I would just put in your intro that it’s fantasy. Have someone make you a splash and give warning so you don’t have to worry about it again.

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Ah see that’s smart. I do have it in the fantasy genre but just to be transparent I can make a point of it being fantasy in the intro before every episode. Thank you for the advice, I appreciate it :slight_smile:

Of course :blush: anytime dear!

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Yeah sorry, I tend to blab. :grimacing: Basically they were upset that I hadn’t mentioned the adversity certain races and sexualities face. And that I was using it being fantasy as a cop-out to not bring those subjects up. I just wanted some clarity as to how I could go about it a different way or if I should bring it up more if me not factoring in characters race or sexuality was seen as me being insensitive to those subjects.

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