as i’ve been browsing the LGBTQ shelf, one thing i figured is that it’s practically full of trending stories that are in reality nothing more than ripoffs of the original story that consists of a hetero relationship. in other words, the original plot has been written to revolve around a straight couple, then the author decided to make an identical copy of that entire story only to change the love interest’s gender and slap the “LGBTQ” label on it (many times regardless of what the original story’s main genre is). there will occasionally also be small but hilariously noticeable typos and phrases the author forgot to convert to fit the “LGBTQ” narrative of the alternative version. just serves as proof of how much they really care about inclusion, no?
this feels cheap and inauthentic as hell and really isn’t what i (and i believe several other queer folks) look for when i browse the LGBTQ shelf. what i wish and expect to find there are genuine LGBTQ stories that amplify LGBTQ voices in a realistic manner and address the community’s unique problematics. stories that are preferably written by actual queer authors or those knowledgeable enough to really know what they’re writing about. these stories feel like they have no flavor or personality to them, no actual purpose but to sell and bait more readers with their faux “inclusion”. no sincere regard for the LGBTQ community. it’s identical to reading a plain cishet story where there’s no concrete consideration for the characters’ identities and sexual orientations (and yes, it matters, because when you’ve grown up and still live in a heteronormative world, you want and seek to consume media that explicitly addresses and represents you as a queer individual in said heteronormative world and doesn’t exist just as an alternative/secondary option, a mere ripoff of an existing cishet plot).
the reason i’m addressing this isn’t to diminish any author’s efforts in their attempts to make their works more inclusive, it’s just to say and clarify that this isn’t the way to go. if you really want and care to include the LGBTQ community, why not only write an LGBTQ story and make it an actual standalone with proper regard to queer folk?
if anyone has any actual LGBTQ story recommendations that are not just cheap, flavorless conversions from their hetero counterparts, feel free to drop them!
this is so depressing, i’m shaking my head. disappointing. there are authors out there trying, yet the featured & trending stories in this genre don’t represent us at all. that’s not how it should be. why even have a lgbtqia+ if it isn’t even a lgbtqia+ story?
here’s one i love by licorice, where the mc is non binary. give it some love:
exactly, there are just so many faux LGBTQ stories that crowd the LGBTQ shelf when they really have no place to be there (or anywhere, really). thanks for the recommendation, i’ll be sure to check it out!
Yeah I really don’t want to hurt authors but in one ep the MC and the LI sleep together and after a few weeks the MC becomes moody if you chose to be interested in guys the MC starts being worried for being pregnant if you chose to be with a woman the MC thinks she got an infection . I mean I appriciate the effort but even tho I only read it with a female li it was so obvious that is was written for guy li.
i think it’s very lazy, but more than that, it’s just straight up careless. i’d rather you just say you don’t want to write an LGBTQ story because you’re straight/it ain’t your cup of tea/you don’t know enough about the topic than do this
damn, okay… because a sudden infection from a woman having sex with another woman sounds very plausible
I totally agree with you. I can see why some authors might want to rewrite their story with a male LI with a female LI to be inclusive, I can appreciate that even though I don’t like it very much (although I doubt that is the motivation most of the time). But, I do think It’s lazy. Queer folk have very different experiences and dynamics in relationships and it just seems careless to me to throw in a female LI or rewrite a story for the sake of appearing inclusive, because it’s not really inclusive at all. It doesnt give a voice to actual LGBT people because its written from the POV of a straight relationship. Authors can achieve this same amount of diversity and inclusivity by adding LGBT characters to their story and actually give them a queer storyline, even if its little, it annoys me because it really does feel like theyre wanting more reads on their already popular story.
basically what i was getting at. queer people and relationships do naturally have a different dynamic to them, and of course not just because they’re (still) the minority. this dynamic is what makes us, us, and those stories can’t deliver that.
Most of them really just the blond white pure female MC and her black (sorry for writing it like that) gay friend who is just the living background. I dunno if thats fit in this topic I just really wanted to point it out for a long time
if you mean the stereotypical flamboyant gay male character with an exaggeratedly obnoxious personality (or lack thereof) and an unhealthy obsession with d*cks, then yeah, this one is overused to no end. whenever i come across such a character nowadays, i tend to click right out. this isn’t inclusion/representation.
I mean I’d probably prefer if straight authors didnt write them at all, like when the MC and LI are the main part of the story anyways. I just think that LGBT authors are gonna be better at it and also writing an LGBT story as a straight person just seems weird to me like pls give the voice to the queer people.
But in terms of writing those relationships within a story I think you really have to acknowledge that LGBT people are a minority, and homophobia is a huge things that everyone experiences. It really depends on the character, like if theyve been out for years and are very good at ignoring that stuff it would be written differently than a character whos going on their first date with someone of the same sex. Establishing where a character is in their life in terms of being comfortable in their sexualiy is important because that can shape the whole story. I think talking to queer people is a great idea, avoid tropes like the gay best friend, the fem and butch lesbian couple, its overrused and so annoying. Also, don’t use slurs like for the love of god your characters might be allowed to use them but you are not lmaooo. i feel like a lot of authors overdo they gayness of a gay character, like gay people are still people with lives and not everything is about being gay, although that doesnt mean that it should be ignored outside of the gay relationship. its a balance. Also, its NOT WEIRD to ask someone if theyre gay, idk about other people but almost all of my friends are gay and its very normal for us to ask new people that question. but in the grand scheme of things the relationship itself isnt all that different, just write it a woman is talking to you not a man, it shouldnt be as difficult as people seem to find it when rewriting a story.
to add to all of this, the prospect of internalized homophobia/transphobia (within a queer character). that’s another thing i’m sure many of us go through or have gone through due to either a strict/conservative upbringing, first-hand (or even second-hand) experiences with homophobia/transphobia, or just by being surrounded by nothing other than cishet couples and consuming cishet media all our lives. being unsure whether we’re really queer or just imagining it, forcing ourselves to fit a cishet narrative for the sake of others, our safety (or any other reason) while ignoring our actual attraction and sense of self (masking, if you will). and just having no damn clue what our sexuality and/or gender identity really is.
at 23, i still can’t decide whether i’m bisexual or wholly gay since i genuinely don’t know due to a variety of factors and experiences (or lack thereof) lmao.
LOL i was like that for the longest time, everyday it was like am I gay or am I bi?
again to add, a lot of people don’t like labels period, they just say gay, some people love having a label on their sexuality. so having an idea what you want in terms of this for a character is good too. its very common to unsure of your exact sexuality for years
yeah, ugh… but also, gender identity and sexuality can be fluid. perhaps you were bi in the past and are gay now (or vice versa – just an example). it’s sometimes really hard to pin down, especially when you’re confused and have plenty of other unresolved issues that directly impact the formation and quality of your relationships. but this is already going off-topic. basically, for writing queer characters, it’s primarily important to know why and how they’re queer. they don’t have to know themselves, only you as the author do.