- While I am not a person who identifies as LGBTQ+, I do identify as an ally. I’m very passionate about LGBTQ+ rights, and read and think about these issues a great deal.
- I have friends who are LGBTQ+. I fully love and support every one of them.
As a Reader
As an avid reader, I crave good stories and interesting characters. I read widely, and find myself drawn to books about teens or adults who happen to be gay. While some of the books I read have romantic subplots, I read for the cool characters and their adventures. (Okay, you got me: I also read for the relationships and the romance.)
But really, without characters who are, well, different than me there would be no story. Hear me out: I don’t mean queer people in general. I mean monster hunters and magicians. I’m so not a monster hunter, or someone who can do magic. None of us Muggles are. That’s why I read, so I can meet new characters, and to hopefully add them to my list of favorites.
Some of them are straight, like me. Some of them have cis bodies, like me. Some of them–like the book I’m reading about right now–don’t agree with their assigned gender at birth. Some of them happen to be guys, and some of these guys happen to be gay. Or some of them are girls, who happen to like other girls. They all have one thing in common: they are all cool people who I’d want to hang out and grab coffee with.
As a Writer
As a writer, I’ve lately written outside my comfort zone. I’ve taken to writing about characters who are male, and who happen to be gay. Although I’ve written male leads before, adding a different sexuality is new territory for me. While my main character’s sexuality is part of the plot, I put my characters first. It doesn’t matter that my characters happen to be gay. I try and treat it like it’s the norm, because it should be. What I hope my readers focus on is the mystical aspects of my work: the magic and the Alien language used in my first sci-fi book. I also want to write stories with happy endings, especially with my gay leads, because I want to break the stereotype that some–not all–gay stories end in tragedy.
A Better Tomorrow
I love my characters, and while I do occasionally put them in danger or harm’s way, I don’t want them to suffer. Suffering isn’t my thing when it comes to writing.
My most recent character, Jude, is a prince dealing with trauma from a past relationship. While he does dwell on the past, he also finds tranquility and happiness with his new boyfriend, who is the opposite of his abusive ex. His current boyfriend is good for him, and that’s how I want it to be. I want my fictional characters to be happy, just like the fictional characters I read about.
I know you’re supposed to write what you know, but if I did, then my fictional universes would seem boring to me. For example, I don’t want to write about Earth as it is right now, I want to write about a parallel universe where Aliens are good humanoids who come from space to help us.
The ally in me wants to create a world where it’s normal and okay that your kid happens to be growing up gay. We need more narratives showing that it doesn’t matter who you love, but rather why you love this person in your life.
I’ve seen this scenario played out in the TV show Looking, which is about three gay friends living in San Francisco.When one of the main characters decides to get married, he opens up to his good friend, explaining that his boyfriend is someone he wants to grow old with. He basically says that he can’t think of a life without that person in his life. This is what I feel is needed in today’s world: positive stories about LGBTQ+ people. I know of some good writers who use their work to create positive and affirming queer stories, which is wonderful.
I hope that writers can continue to elevate and tell positive, life-affirming stories about kids and adults who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. I hope that readers can find more stories like these in bookstores, coffee shops, and Target.
As a positive person, I’ll keep using my writing and reading abilities to find good stories out there, ones that help celebrate and elevate people’s differences.
Thank you for reading,