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How to write a gay/bisexual character:

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1 NickTheSwing13th Oct 2010 10:33:05 PM from Ya really wanna know? , Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
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specifically Kincadis. How do I write a character who is gay/bi, and not have it be full of stereotypes?
Banned
Straight Gay

Or talk to someone who is bi / gay... (Points to self)
[[User Banned]]_ My Pm box ix still open though, I think?
Moronic, pretentious fan
By giving them an individual personality and characterization, just like any other character, with the added fact that they're not straight.

Why should their sexuality make a difference to their characterization unless you want to stereotype them?
Because I choose to.
4 NickTheSwing13th Oct 2010 11:48:29 PM from Ya really wanna know? , Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
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I was just wondering if their sexuality should influence the character.

After all, this book takes place in a middle ages-like time period.
Moronic, pretentious fan
Doesn't change the core character themselves, but it might change the way people react to them (and how they react to some people) - if there's widespread homophobia, they'll have to be guarded and secretive or otherwise persecuted and ostracized.

edited 14th Oct '10 12:10:12 AM by AsTheAnointed

Because I choose to.
As Anointed said, if you have to asking how to write a gay character is a bit ridiculous unless you're actually stereotyping them, subconsciously or not.

I'm gay, I'm a human just like everyone else. Being gay doesn't change my personality, my hobbies, my interests or my talents. It's just one little facet of person (except of course, the flamboyant gay guys who ironically enforce homophobic stereotypes on themselves).

You shouldn't be writing a 'gay character, per se. I know you don't mean to be offensive, but you wouldn't go asking how to write a 'black person'. You should just be writing about a person who happens to be gay and this trait will inevitably lead to issues just as if they were colour blind, ethnic in a racist world, physically handicapped etc etc. I hope that helps with the perspective on things.
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7 A_H_R14th Oct 2010 02:34:28 AM from Crevice of your Mind
Resistance is Futile
This reminds me of the first time I met a gay person. After a couple weeks of knowing him, I discovered he was a bit of an annoying buggerhead since he could not tell a joke to save his life but insisted on doing so anyway.

I said, fully aware of the implications 'It's like he has a personality outside of being gay!'

Anecdote aside, personality first, sexual preferences later.
Almost all of my characters are bi, now that I think about it. Anyways I just write them like, you know, regular people. Their sexuality is rarely mentioned. Just construct your character as a character.

In the Middle Ages though...what Anointed said. Their core would be the same, but maybe they'll react to situations differently depending how homosexuality is viewed.
we are not the same
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10 NickTheSwing14th Oct 2010 02:11:44 PM from Ya really wanna know? , Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
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yeah, alright, thanks for the advice guys.
One thing to remember is that the Middle Ages is a long time (from 300-1300 AD, meaning 1000 years), and different eras had different views. I haven't researched homosexuality in medieval times, but since so many other things changed quite a lot in that time, views of homosexuality undoubtedly did as well.

Another thing to remember is that medieval times were different from the Victorian era. You've probably heard about how sexually repressed Victorian-era people were, with girls on their wedding nights having no clue what sex was, etc, etc - well, medieval people weren't like that. They weren't obsessed with sexual freedom, either, but they had lewd songs, and several of the Canterbury tales had overt sexual themes. Regarding homosexuality, I know that they've found love letters written by men towards other men, so they weren't all totally closeted.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
12 NickTheSwing14th Oct 2010 05:44:21 PM from Ya really wanna know? , Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
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yeah, one event that nearly rips the alliance the characters are making against an empire apart is Kincadis' love letter to Johnson. Poor Communication Kills follows.
Polite smartass.
Just treat them like any other one of your characters. When a male writer starts thinking of a female character as a woman instead of a character, the realism of her portrayal weakens.
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14 Leradny16th Oct 2010 11:38:34 AM from Berkeley, CA
^Exaxtly. There is no difference between writing a well-rounded character who is straight and one who is bi/gay. It's just one more piece of information that differs from the other characters.
15 NickTheSwing16th Oct 2010 05:42:54 PM from Ya really wanna know? , Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
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alright, thanks for the advice, everyone.
16 TParadox16th Oct 2010 10:52:57 PM , Relationship Status: Seeking boyfriend-free girl
I've got this short comedy screenplay (warning: PDF) and I've been wondering how well/poorly I handled Michael being gay.

edited 16th Oct '10 10:55:58 PM by TParadox

17 Madrugada17th Oct 2010 01:02:22 PM , Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
^ That's fine. I mean, he's a person first, who happens to be gay. The scene would play out the same way if it was Larry with Michael's sister and Michael with Larry's sister, rather than Larry's brother.
...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
18 TParadox18th Oct 2010 12:04:56 AM , Relationship Status: Seeking boyfriend-free girl
I mean, overall, he's just a person first. The reveal is kind of late, and it's ambiguous as to whether or not Larry knows or cares that Michael is gay. He has some shock finding out his brother is, but that's natural.

The gay reveal (which s being played as a joke) is going to have to stay, but I was really just concerned with how I handled the aftermath.
19 Madrugada18th Oct 2010 01:02:53 AM , Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
From Larry's response I assumed that he already knew Michael was gay. I think you handled it quite well. It isn't shoehorned in and you didn't make a big to-do about it. It fits.
...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
I'm thinking of taking part in National Novel Writing month this November and I'm currently developing my plotlines for it. In one of them I was planning to include a young bisexual teen. My question is should she be comfortable about her sexuality or not, and if she isn't is this a stereotype
21 Teraus23rd Jan 2012 06:40:43 AM from The Origin of Dreams
Awesome Lightning Mantra
Just make sure that he is not defined by his sexualty.
"You cannot judge a system if your judgement is determined by the system."
22 ohsointocats23rd Jan 2012 06:46:03 AM from The Sand Wastes , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
I was having some trouble with The Disappearance of Alexander Vang because the MC ends up figuring out her father is dating another man (her mother's been dead for several years) and he's been hiding it from her.

Advice would be helpful.

edited 23rd Jan '12 6:46:30 AM by ohsointocats

The first thing, and probably the single most important one to remember, is please, please don't have his sexuality define his character. It detracts from him and the story as a whole.

His sexuality should be just one aspect of him, even an incidental part. I have met people in real life who are walking gay/lesbian/bisexual stereotypes, and each time, it was downright disturbing. Please don't try to emulate that.

[up]@Ohsointocats: Advice on what specifically? How to reveal her father's sexuality? How he treats it? How she treats it? A bit more info would be of great help in giving advice. smile

edited 23rd Jan '12 7:57:28 AM by punkreader

24 ohsointocats23rd Jan 2012 08:38:01 AM from The Sand Wastes , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
How he treats it and how she treats it (particularly how she treats it) would be helpful. Especially because the way she finds out is entirely by surprise, her coming to the house at 3 in the morning and his boyfriend answers the door. (He wasn't answering his phone and he had told the boyfriend not to pick up).

I don't know. The father's character is very complicated, and not just because of bisexuality/whatever. In fact that's probably the least complicated part of him...
punkreader What stereotypes are there for gay/lesbian/bisexual characters.

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