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Friday, June 18, 2010

Having a Gay Character

Another option that was chosen in the poll for your biggest concern as a writer was having a gay character. I was really glad that someone did in fact pick this one, because I was looking forward to giving my two cents on this topic.


A lot of books are criticized because the have a gay character - which I really don’t understand. One book in particular stands out in my mind which angered me. When Jackson Pearce’s As You Wish was released, (which is an AMAZING book) a lot of people reviewed it and praised it. But then they would say something like “But I can’t give this to my daughter to read because there’s a gay character and the f-bomb is dropped.” *one f-bomb in the whole book…Vampire Academy??*

I agree with Jackson Pearce’s statement that basically said that it’s realistic and it most likely isn’t the first time a teenager has heard the word or met someone that is gay. I know that there are some people at my school that are gay - and I most definitely hear the f-bomb on my bus and in the hallways. It’s not the first time I’ve been exposed to such things, and like I said, it’s realistic.

Honestly, I don’t understand how someone can bash a book for having a gay character. Gay people are real - they’re not some made-up creature. They’re real people and there’s nothing wrong with them. I think too many people are homophobic and don’t want to believe that their children could be reading about or even going to school with someone that is homosexual.

Now, I will say that As You Wish has no “gay-action” in it. Viola’s best friend/ ex-boyfriend just happens to be gay.

There’s nothing wrong with having a gay character in your novel - especially if you’re writing about a teen facing the issues that we all face. But even a novel in general - there’s nothing wrong with it. You might want to prepare yourself for comments that might come your way, but if you feel that it’s a good story with the character, don’t let anyone persuade you otherwise.

EDIT:  This video does a really good job of explaining how people are unaccepting.  Click HERE

God Bless,
Hanna

p.s. I wish for no comments on the fact that my love, Robert Pattinson, plays Salvador Dali in Little Ashes


Lyrics | Adam Lambert lyrics - Music Again lyrics

9 comments:

jpereztheargus said...

As a gay writer, it hurts my heart to see books get challenged or banned from libraries because of gay characters or content.

If your interested in banned books click here: http://www.abffe.com/bbw-booklist-detailed.htm

Furthermore, it also sad that there aren't many books with gay protagonists in the young adult genre. Its pushed out of the mainstream so that gay kids, teenagers and even closeted adults have very few opposing viewpoints that teaches them to love themselves--as is!

There is this great interview with Ellen Degenerous and Chely Wright, who is a country music singer who recently came out as a lesbian. She told Ellen that when she was watching The Ellen Show with her father and sister, her dad said, "that is disgusting." And Chely said that comment nearly killed her.

Link is here if u wanna see it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-V6-_Ovnz8

Anyways, I could go on, but I'll leave it there.

Again, great post!

Hanna said...

I have a few family memembers who are very much...disgusted by gay ppl. I get very angry - although I'm not gay, I still say "What if I were gay? Would you hate me?" It's like that line in P!nk's song "Dear Mr. President" "what kind of father would hate his own daughter if she were gay". But, I showed them the video that I posted the link to in this post and I think they both realize more how much hurt and hatred they were projecting.

jpereztheargus said...

Yeah, I don't think people realize how their words can hurt someone. Many gay teenagers have commited suicide because of this kind of bullying.

Lol, I also find it hilarious that you have a picture of Adam Lambert under the headline "Having a Gay Character."

Hanna said...

I just couldn't resist that...lol. I do love Adam Lambert though.

*sings* I wanna see ya strut, strut, strut. C'mon walk for me...

Jessica said...

While I have never written with a gay character myself I don't think it's right for people to be so horrid about it all. My family is very 'anti-gay' and it hurts me so terribly. I've always had such an open heart for anyone that is a person...trust me, I feel empathy for monsters all over the world. I always think about people as a single thing, like me but still not me. I imagine them with a family and feelings(unless they are psychopaths then they have no feelings). I think about what their childhood was like and what they desire more then anything in the world. When they become real people to me I can't hate them, because they have become a part of who I am. I learn from their mistakes and wonder what they could have been if perhaps one factor in their life experiences was different. But all of this is beside the point really... I guess what I'm trying to say is that writting or reading about gay characters doesn't really effect me, only when the people around me make a big fuss about it, that is when it affects me. It hurts that not everyone can be seen as people, even when that is all they are.
Sorry... my mind wanders.

jpereztheargus said...

Jess, I'm happy to hear that your family's prejudices haven't stopped you from seeing complete people.

However, I would be elated if you didn't see the LGBT community as "monsters" who have your empathy.
Gay men and women do not want your tolerance, they want your love and acceptance. :)

good luck with your writing. :)

Jessica said...

Oh dear... That's not what I meant at all. I am so sorry... I meant that I just have the type of personality that feels empathy for EVERYONE. That doesn't necessarily make them monsters... I am SO sorry for that. Now I think I shall hide under a rock with embarrassment.

CharlieYaFiction said...

When she said Monsters I am sure she meant to say that she felt empathy for everyone - even monsters, and horrid people. I guess she was trying to express HOW much empathy she has for EVERYONE.

Jessica said...

Yes, that is EXACTLY what I meant...