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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

Representation and Streaming Media: Why Gay Characters Matter in Netflix Originals

Briefly outline and analyze Netflix original series that have garnered both positive and negative attention from the online LGBT community. Discuss why some series disappointed gay and queer fans, like Voltron: Legendary Defenders and Kiss Me First, and others delighted them, like She-Ra: Princesses of Power, Sens8, and Black Mirror. Potentially discuss whether other streaming services have "hopped on the bandwagon" with gay-friendly shows or have yet to catch up.


    LGBTQ Characters in Anime

    Which anime series or films have been successful at accurately portraying characters who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or part of any group in the LGBTQ community? Which ones have failed? Give multiple examples and explain why.

    • I think this is a great topic, although, it would probably have to be almost exclusively focused on the "failure" end of the spectrum. Aside from a few major exceptions (Yuri on Ice, the Kaze to Ki no Uta OVA), a lot of anime either hasn't done a great job in portraying LGBTQ characters or, notably, have just avoided the topic altogether. Manga is certainly more inclusive in that respect. – tjtheemperor 6 years ago
    • It's a great idea but the problem is that LGBT doesn't usually get much visibility IRL in Japan let alone any explicit recognition in anime and manga. Yaoi and yuri aside, I feel that in order for inclusion of any LGBT characters into mainstream anime/ manga, they usually have to be a) not-explicitly stated as LGBT or b) be ridiculously misrepresented. – Hann 6 years ago
    • I plan to submit my paper to this topic! – nbenn057 6 years ago

    LGBT Stereotyping in TV

    Analyze the use of LGBT stereotypes in TV, asking whether they serve to help the LGBT community by raising awareness, or do more damage by perpetuating stereotypes. Ideas: the "Gay Best Friend", the "Butch" lesbian, etc.

    • LGBT stereotyping in anime also seems like an interesting topic to tackle. – smarrie 8 years ago
    • Definitely a good one to do. I broached that a little on my site ( with regards to Bi Stereotyping. Popular entertainment has so much power with this I think. Anime/Manga is no different to Western entertainment in that respect. – mattdoylemedia 8 years ago
    • This is a good topic. Just like any other stereotype (i.e. the "dumb blond," "the nerd"), LGTB stereotyping can be overused and make a character seem bland. Having a character be the "gay best friend" may be a good foundation for a character, but the character must be written to have a unique personality, otherwise he or she will just be a bland character that doesn't help raise awareness for the LGTB community. – valiantreader 8 years ago

    Coming out: big deal or nbd ?

    From what I believe, this year, 2015, has the most youtube stars coming out of the closet and inspiring other LGBT youth to boost their confidence of coming out as well. While coming out is a big deal to the LGBT persons themselves, how does the audience or their peers view it as? What are your thoughts?

    • Youtubers coming out of the closet shows gradual and welcomed change in our society. We sadly do live in a world where people are still discriminated agents for being LBGTQ+. So when our favorite Youtube stars do come out as LBGTQ+, it is inspirational, and it gives a positive message for the LBGTQ+ community moving forward. – Aaron Hatch 8 years ago
    • With more and more celebrities coming out, they have voiced to others that it is okay to show exactly who you are. Role models expressing their support has given a lot of young people the courage to face the truth about themselves. – sabrinar 8 years ago
    • As a member of the LGBTQ community I often find myself asking this question. It's great to have the support of role models who are coming out and straight allies, but I sometimes worry that getting too hyped up about whose gay or an ally continues to marginalize the group as "the other," thereby making "coming out" a sign of difference in that it is not natural. I think an interesting question to explore along with this is: Is this potentially harmful to the end goal? – snufflemuggin 8 years ago
    • Sadly, like the majority of things that are valid and serious, such as rape, find its way into the media where it is then turned into pure entertainment and people forget the significance and reality of things. This is a great topic, but should be focused on in a serious matter where entertainment doesn't outshine true matters such as discrimination against sexual orientation or preference. – arielsilkett 8 years ago