“a central character in a story, movie, or drama who lacks conventional heroic attributes.”
In practice, this often means a character who is the purported “hero” of the story – the protagonist who carries the arc of the plot – but is often deeply flawed or does bad things.
My classic go-to for this one is Thomas Covenant from Stephen Donaldson’s The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever – a man with leprosy from our world who is transported to a fantasy world where he is suddenly healed, and, because he doesn’t believe it can be real – nerves can’t be regenerated – rapes a young woman, setting off a series of other events.
So how can we apply this device to LGBT sci fi, fantasy, and paranormal stories? Can it be used to shed light on our struggles in society? And has it already been (I want titles and authors)? :)