tbh i don't even understand how people end up with all straight characters in books where lots of people have romantic subplots like... the pairings in your book all MAGICALLY ended up all hetero... CONVENIENTLY every match up that's perfect for each other HAPPENS to be a boy and a girl... everyone is SOMEHOW only ever attracted to the "opposite" gender... wtf how do you even do that (i know how) (you don't even consider queerness as an option)
Presenting a universe in which LGBTQIAP+ people do not exist is heteronormative and queerphobic. Every time. It is a problem.
It is a flaw.
Okay, no it is not. I have written stories where my characters never encounter any LGBTQIAP characters, and it’s usually because of the time period or because there is absolutely no fucking reason for it. My two major stories do have it, but it’s only once in one, and that’s because it takes place in the late Victorian era, when it was severely frowned upon to be homosexual in public. Sometimes there is no reason where the characters have to interact with them, or simply it’s because the author can’t grasp how to write a character like that. I’m wary about writing because I myself am not any those things. It is not a flaw. I’m sorry, didn’t Hunger Games not have any LGBTQIAP characters in it and people still gush about how great it was? What about Lord of the Rings? It is not flawed if it doesn’t have what you fucking want in it, authors will write what they want. Stop pressuring them to put things in their writing they don’t want too. If they don’t want to write characters that aren’t homosexual or transsexual or anything in between, then let them. If you don’t like it, then fuck you.
It’s still a flaw.
Hunger Games is a great series- but it is flawed. LOtR is a great series- but it is flawed.
LGBTQIAP+ people don’t need a REASON to exist. We simply DO exist. We have always existed, everywhere in all time periods and places. We exist, and to deliberately act as though your precious little universe is 100% cishet is a flaw.
Sometimes there is no reason where the characters have to interact with them, or simply it’s because the author can’t grasp how to write a character like that. I’m wary about writing because I myself am not any those things. It is not a flaw.
This argument seems willfully obtuse. ”I, as a writer, don’t know how to do this thing that would make my fiction more realistic, relatable, and representative. I am unwilling to do this thing because I am scared I’ll screw it up. but that’s not a weakness or a flaw in my writing! It’s just how my writing is.”
Like, I’m really bad at action scenes. I’m not good at conveying the spacial relationships between characters and I don’t know enough about how bodies work to be realistic about what they’re doing. That is a FLAW in my work.
And it’s a FLAW in your work if you don’t know how to write LGBTQIAP+ characters. If you ‘can’t grasp how to write a character like that,’ it means it’s something you need to work on, and get better at.
No writer is born perfect, and if you can identify a weakness of yours, it doesn’t mean you’re condemned to being a terrible writer forever. But if you identify your weaknesses and look at them and say “I guess that’s something that just doesn’t belong in my stories,” you’re screwing it up. And if the weakness you’ve identified is ‘I can’t figure out how to relate to people outside my group of privilege,’ and that’s not the TOP OF YOUR LIST of things to improve in your writing skillset, you’re an asshat.
“Empathy isn’t just something that happens to us — a meteor shower of synapses firing across the brain — it’s also a choice we make: to pay attention, to extend ourselves. It’s made of exertion, that dowdier cousin of impulse. Sometimes we care for another because we know we should, or because it’s asked for, but this doesn’t make our caring hollow. The act of choosing simply means we’ve committed ourselves to a set of behaviors greater than the sum of our individual inclinations: I will listen to his sadness, even when I’m deep in my own. To say ‘going through the motions’ — this isn’t reduction so much as acknowledgment of the effort — the labor, the motions, the dance — of getting inside another person’s state of heart or mind.
This confession of effort chafes against the notion that empathy should always arise unbidden, that genuine means the same thing as unwilled, that intentionality is the enemy of love. But I believe in intention and I believe in work. I believe in waking up in the middle of the night and packing our bags and leaving our worst selves for our better ones.”—Leslie Jamison, from “The Empathy Exams” (via weissewiese)
“It seems to me that on one page I recognized a portion of an old diary of mine which mysteriously disappeared shortly after my marriage, and, also, scraps of letters which, though considerably edited, sound to me vaguely familiar. In fact, Mr. Fitzgerald (I believe that is how he spells his name) seems to believe that plagiarism begins at home.”—
—Zelda Fitzgerald, in a review of her husband’s book in 1922 (via trishahaddad)
Reminder that F. Scott Fitzgerald stole his wife’s writing, many times, while suppressing her works. See “Save Me the Waltz”, which he forced her to revise so that he could use parts of it in his own book “Tender Is the Night”. And which author do we study in school?
Yep. All true. Learned about his trifling ass studying creative writing and English lit. at CSU. Didn’t read ONE of her books on high school, yet we’re taught how amazing and talented he was. Makes me sick. xBx
There are very, very few African-American astrophysics PhDs. That’s for a reason. I was doing something people of my skin color were not supposed to do.
I was stopped and questioned seven times by University police on my way into the physics building,” he explained. “Seven times. Zero times was I stopped going into the gym — and I went to the gym a lot. That says all you need to know about how welcome I felt at Texas.
You find yourself in a group of people standing next to a cliff.
Suddenly, someone pushes another person, sending them over the edge. Thankfully, the victim is able to hold on to the edge rather than fall to their death, but nobody makes a move to help them or stop the perpetrator. Everyone, including yourself, simply stands there watching.
Angry that they’ve been pushed, angry that nobody is helping them as they struggle not to fall, the victim screams, ‘Is anybody going to fucking help me??’
That gets everyone’s attention. ‘Why are you mad at me?’ one person asks. ‘I didn’t push you.’
'Nobody is going to want to help you with an attitude like that.'
'You're just as bad as him.'
Nobody makes a move to help.
The victim screams in frustration, their fingers slipping. ‘You’ve got to be fucking joking!’ they shout as they lose their grip.
'You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.' You say as you walk away.
In fact, if Steve goes back to his old neighbourhood in Brooklyn, one of the things he might miss the most is the loss of the working class gay community. The hipstery character of the area today is not just non-working-class, but not nearly as queer and fabulous as it would’ve been in Steve’s day.
EVERYONE GO READ THIS, IT’S WHAT META DREAMS ARE MADE OF.