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For Writers: Do LGBTIQ Characters Make a Fantasy “Gay”?

Gay Fantasy

Today’s writer topic comes from QSFer Amos Cassidy:

Why can’t we have LGBTIQ storylines and characters in “mainstream” fantasy? Until recently we categorised our fiction as Dark Urban fantasy, but its becoming clearer and clearer that we may be swimming in the wrong pool.

Does having LGBTIQ main characters as part of your fantasy cast automatically make your fiction queer sci fi? And if so is it better to just leave the “mainstream” pond behind completely?

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1 thought on “For Writers: Do LGBTIQ Characters Make a Fantasy “Gay”?”

  1. If you define fantasy as a story in which magic is the solution and/or problem, and SF as a story in which science is the solution and/or problem, then having a LGBTIQ character, is simply fantasy or SF with a LGBTIQ character. MHO. If being LGBTIQ is a major part of the story line, then that adds another dimension, plot line, whatever. If the story hinges on the fact that the character is LGBTIQ, well, as they say, that’s another story :).

    That said I admit to being infuriated by a review I read recently (not for anything I wrote) where the reviewer declared themselves to be a cis-gendered male and stated that homosexual relationships had no place in fantasy, the author had picked the wrong genre (and he was *really* cranky about it). That says to me the reviewer hasn’t read much or widely in the fantasy field, and that’s a crying shame. SF/fantasy used to be ‘ghettos’, maybe they still are in terms of literary work, faring even more poorly at the hands of the literati than detective novels. So I find it both interesting and sad, if I am correct about your inference, that “mainstream” equals straight characters (I’m happy to stand corrected). I read plenty of fantasy (I don’t read much SF these days) with diverse characters.
    SF and fantasy once upon a time were about breaking boundaries, not adhering to them, and I hope that’s also the current trend and future of both genres.

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