Today’s writer topic comes from QSFer Thianna Durston:
Thianna and I discussed this topic, and wanted to come at it in a way that doesn’t inflame too much passion but engenders a good discussion instead.
In Romance, it’s typically fairly obvious that your characters are gay, or bi, or lesbian, or transgender or gender fluid, or ace, etc, based on the relationships they pursue and the way they express themselves in the story.
But when you’re writing speculative fiction that’s not romance, it can seem a bit trickier, especially to new authors, to portray a character’s orientation, gender (or lack thereof) or identity without making the story about those things.
So… as experienced hands at this, how do you guys go about showing a character’s sexual orientation, gender, or identity in non-romance speculative fiction (where there might not even be a queer relationship)? Do you do it in a subtle but clearly recognizable way that doesn’t leave you open to charges of queer-baiting because you weren’t clear enough?
And do you do it without relying on stereotypes?