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Fantasy and Sexual Orientation

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Today’s topic comes from QSFer Elizabeth Barrette:

“Fantasy is most prone to hardwired polarity issues. How do you feel about settings where people “must” be in a specific type of sexual pairing because other kinds tangle up the power flows? Or magical artifacts attuned to a specific sex/gender? And then how do people cope with those parameters? Do they simply accept that, or do they try to change it? Do those efforts cause problems or open up whole new fields of magic?

“I just did a poem where an artifact responded to a trans character’s innate identity rather than physical sex. Seidh is particular to women and gay men because it’s a receptive style of magic — imagine trying to explain to super-macho Vikings that taking it up the ass could improve their power flow. *Twang* goes the plot tension!”

So as a writer, how do you handle the intersection between fantasy, magic, and sexual orientation? And as a reader, have you read anything that does this well (or badly)?

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