I'm a soon-to-be college graduate who was recently recommended this site! I'm twenty-four years old and am passionate about literature, anime and other forms of media.

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    Latest Topics


    Queer Representation: Why Straight People Should Write LGBT Protagonists

    To consider certain qualities like sexuality in a protagonist as being off limits just because you’re not in the community is a restrictive mindset but a very real reality for some creators. For instance, Toshimichi Mori, a video game creator, is just one example of someone who nearly placed a gay couple at the forefront of their work but changed their mind at the last second out of fear of backlash.

    Allison Burnett is another example of this, but one where he wrote a gay protagonist, anyway: as a straight man, he was afraid to let anyone know about his heterosexuality out of fear of criticism because of his novel Christopher about a gay man. "Burnett’s editor was under the impression that he was working with an important, new gay writer from the get-go. Burnett was advised by his agency not to correct him. For the better part of a year, Burnett ‘hid in the straight closet’ and let audiences invent their own image of him in their minds." ((link) This hesitance is unfortunate in the sense that it promotes gatekeeping. You don’t need to be a part of a minority to spread awareness about it or represent it in a story.

    As long as the straight writer is self-aware and respectful, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to write LGBT characters. Rainbow Rowell is a perfect example of a successful woman who’s written about gay men while also being married to a man.

    • Thank you all for the helpful feedback-- looking back, I wish I put more thought into it from the get-go but merely saw submitting a topic as a stepping stone to publishing my own article so I didn't think much of it. I changed the topic to be broader and written in the third person and with a stronger positon. – emmywrites98 2 years ago
    • Focusing on intersections creates layers within literature and hence boosts the story narrative. – Koshyamal 2 years ago
    • I think there is something else important to look at here. LGBTQ+ authors have only recently gained popularity for the sake of being LGBTQ+ and writing those stories. We are only just now beginning to be accepted. This means that not all publishing companies will be very willing to publish numerous LGBTQ+ stories. Once they've checked their diversity box, they don't need to do any more. So, as a result, if straight/cis authors write stories about an experience they do not understand, their stories could be pushed to the forefront while gay/trans writers, who do have a better ability to tell their story, will be left behind (once that box is filled). Write whatever you want- no one can stop you. Personally, though, as a queer woman, I don't want to read a story about a queer woman written by a straight person. It just won't resonate the right way. – emmalarking 2 years ago

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    Latest Comments

    Fanfiction is a post-modernist genre that’s becoming more and more well-known as a great creative outlet. That being said, I agree that what AO3 allows on its platform is HIGHLY problematic; I was waiting to see if you would address this in your article and wasn’t disappointed. Nice job!

    Fanfiction and LGBT+ Representation

    As a lucid dreamer, I absolutely adored Inception and found it’s open-ending to add to its appeal, but I know not all people think the same. Nevertheless, I appreciate you delving deep into this controversial ending. Well done!

    Inception: Anticlimactic or Satisfyingly Open-Ended?

    Although I’m unfamiliar with the comic book characters, I appreciated your article and the interesting juxtaposition of Edward, Rochester, Darcy, Dally and Grey. I think you could’ve gone into more depth with Jacob for the reason that you didn’t mention the scene where he kisses Bella by force and how he continues to be romanticized despite this with him being all but promised Bella’s daughter’s hand in marriage.

    I also believe there’s a difference in writing complex, flawed characters and writing for the female gaze. When it’s the male gaze, women are weak damsels in distress, so I think that having men being perceived as ridiculously strong, dangerous and overpoweringly dominant like Christian Grey and Edward Cullen are solid examples of the problematic way in which some women portray masculinity. The other books you mentioned I personally find have less of a message about dissing the male gender when considering their overarching themes.

    However, I wouldn’t go so far as to include Frankenstein, the first science fiction novel and one of the best Gothic novels of all time and single out the fact that Shelley was a woman. She had to deal with this while she was alive with people believing Percy wrote her masterpiece, so why feel the need to bring up her sex today? Frankenstein was about more than masculinity– it was a work of art about (according to my interpretation of it, whereas some might see it as about fatherhood) playing God. Something that stood out to me was the line: “It seems worth noting that the Monster is male as well, and although he develops eloquence and strong argument skills, he is driven by a primal urge toward vengeance against those who have mistreated him. Shelley seems to argue that this destructive behavior is a natural instinct of life itself, at least for male life.” This, I believe, is a little far BUT in order to properly write about gender, ruffling a few feathers and being opinionated is a must. So while I don’t agree with you entirely, I will say that I admire the amount of thought and time it took for you to write this up.

    Men Written by Women: Dreamboats or Brutes?