In the world of writing, characters often fit the mold of being straight and having no issues with their gender identity. However, in real life, there are many people who do not fit this stereotype. People can be bisexual, gay, lesbian, asexual, or transgender, and it can be difficult to create and write about a character who has a different gender or sexual identity than you. However, it is possible to complete the task successfully and create a complete character to star in your story.
Method 1 of 4: Write Right
Step 1. Create a character, not just "a lesbian" or "a trans guy."
Before deciding on your character's sexuality, identity, and relationship status, determine the basics of your character. What is his name and how old is he? How it looks? What is your role in history? Keep in mind that your character defines his identity; identity does not define it.
You should have a personality that is as nuanced as the personalities of straight and cisgender characters
Step 2. Read about the community you want to represent
How are their lives? What are your struggles, goals, and things for which you are grateful? Which characters say they are doing well and why? What stereotypes do you hate? What advice do they have for you? If you take the time to listen to the community, you will be able to understand better.
- Send a message asking for advice on social media. You could get very good suggestions!
- If you don't feel comfortable asking people in the LGBT + community about their experiences, look for public figures in the LGBT + community who have shared their stories.
Step 3. Carefully consider the development of the character arc
What lesson do you learn? What is your biggest flaw and how do you overcome it (if you can)? If there is a main character, facing the problem directly will mark the climax of the story. This may or may not be related to your identity. For instance:
- Pedro was bullied as a child and his father died in a traumatic car accident. He is afraid of opening up to anyone. With the help of their boyfriend, they begin to share more. The climax is when he finally agrees to sing karaoke at a party, but forgets the lyrics. Learn that failing is okay and that people can be more forgiving than you think.
- Lucas lives life according to social norms, working hard and studying medicine as his mother wishes. Slowly, you learn to listen to your own desires, and accepting yourself as asexual is part of it. The climax is when he announces to his mother that he will go to the state university to study engineering, not to the medical university, because it is what he wants.
- Laura is trans and bisexual, but this is not the important part of the story. Your character arc is all about accepting yourself as an autistic person and learning to ask for help.
While self-acceptance, coming out, and transition are common plots for LGBT + characters, the story doesn't need to revolve around these things. Many LGBT + readers enjoy seeing characters who are sure of their identity and do things that are unrelated to it.
Step 4. Trace your character's strengths and weaknesses
Entire characters, like real people, have a mix of positive and negative traits that influence their behavior and how the plot unfolds.
- What are they good at? What positive contributions do they make to the plot? How do they help others? Give your character some real strengths, and readers will remember that LGBT + people are talented and worth having around.
- What is your character fighting against? What flaws might the efforts undermine and how does this impact the plot? When do you need to ask for help? (This does not need to be related to your identity.) Flaws humanize a character and can show their development and weaknesses.
Step 5. Remember the diversity of characters under the LGBT + framework
Everyone is unique and different people have different experiences. Adapt your character's past and present to the demands of his story and personality. There are thousands of ways to be bisexual, gay, or transgender, and none are negative or bad.
- Each identity within the framework has its own unique experiences. Gay people have different experiences than bisexual people, who have different experiences from non-binary people, and so on.
- Don't forget to take intersectionality into account. There are LGBT + people of all ages who are people of color, disabled, overweight, with different religious (or non-religious) backgrounds, of different socioeconomic levels, etc. Intersectionality can affect many aspects of an LGBT + person's life.
Method 2 of 4: Write About Characters of Different Sexualities
Step 1. Understand sexuality
Before writing about a character who has a different sexual orientation than you, make sure you understand sexual orientation and how one sexuality differs from another. For example, asexuality is not celibacy, but a lack of sexual attraction, and asexual people can have romantic relationships. Do some research on the sexuality you want your character to have.
Sexuality is a spectrum, and it is not black and white or 50-50. For example, a gay man may have a platonic crush on a woman, a bisexual or pansexual person may have a gender preference, and an asexual may be willing to have sex
Step 2. Decide on the sexuality of your character
Many people are not simply "gay" or "straight"; there are many gray areas. Decide on your character's sexual orientation and, if you like, her romantic orientation (the people she is romantically attracted to).
- Characters straight They are not LGBT +, as they are exclusively attracted to the opposite gender. For example, a woman dating a cisgender and transgender man would be heterosexual.
- Characters gay or lesbians they are attracted only to people of the same gender identity. Gay men are attracted to men and lesbian women are attracted to women. (The word "gay" can be used to describe a girl, but the term "lesbian" cannot be used for a boy).
- Characters bisexual or pansexual they are attracted to two or more genders. The difference between bisexual and pansexual people depends on the individual definition of their sexuality. Some people identify as "bisexual" and "pansexual," although others identify more with one term than another.
- Characters asexual they have no sexual attraction. Some asexual people may simply not see people as "sexy" and may be ambivalent towards sex, while others may be repulsed by sex. There is also a "gray-asexual" meaning, that is, people who occasionally experience sexual attraction; and “demisexual”, where they can only feel sexual attraction towards people with whom they have a strong bond.
- Characters aromatic they have no romantic attraction. They may find other characters sexually attractive, but they don't want a romantic relationship.
Sexual or Romantic Orientation: What's the Difference?
Sexual orientation is based on the gender that a person finds attractive (that is, who they consider sexy). Romantic orientation is based on people you have romantic feelings for, such as crushes or people you want to date or marry. It is possible to have different romantic and sexual orientations, or to experience one type of attraction and not the other.
Step 3. Consider the story
Has it come out of the closet? If so, with whom? Have you faced intolerance? How have people reacted? What is your attitude towards your sexuality? Determining what you have faced and how you have adjusted is important to understanding who you are today.
Step 4. Decide how open you are about your sexuality
People come out throughout their lives, not just in some instances. However, some prefer to share their sexuality more than others. Does your character prefer to be open about his sexuality, keep it relatively hidden, or somewhere in between?
Your story plays an important role in how open you are. For example, someone who has been bullied or abused who has grown up in a homophobic environment might be more reserved about their sexuality than a character raised in a supportive environment and has not been harassed
Step 5. Learn about misconceptions related to sexuality
Some myths about sexuality can negatively influence a character if you are not aware of them. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- It's not always obvious. Being quirky or having certain traits doesn't mean someone is gay (or any other orientation), and not having these traits doesn't mean they aren't.
- People do not "convert" to a sexuality. A person does not "go gay" because of a negative heterosexual relationship or traumatic experience, and it is not possible to make someone heterosexual. While some victims of abuse may avoid relationships or avoid sex due to trauma, this is not the same as being aromatic or asexual.
- There is no "man" and "woman" in same-gender relationships.. In healthy relationships, couples see each other as equals, and responsibilities are generally based on what each person is good at and enjoys.
- Bisexual and pansexual people don't fall in love with everyone they meet. They are also not more willing to be polyamorous or cheat.
- Asexuality and aromanticism are real. While some people develop late, it is entirely possible for someone to go through their entire life without experiencing a romantic or sexual attraction.
- Not all asexual people are repulsed by sex. Some people are indifferent to him, prefer to deal with his needs on their own or have sex with a partner. It all depends on each person.
Step 6. Take into account the conflicts you have faced
Characters with different sexualities may experience conflicts related to their orientation, which can affect their feelings about themselves. How do you deal with hostility? How have past interactions affected them? Has it affected your relationship with others or your ability to trust people? Here are some things they may have faced or experienced:
- confusion related to being attracted to someone or not
- lack of understanding of why relationships don't feel right
- feeling of pressure to act heterosexual or have sexual interest
- lack of resources in healthy relationships and safe sex
- harassment or fetishization
- homophobia, biphobia, panphobia or aphobia
- heteronormativity (people who assume they are heterosexual)
Method 3 of 4: Write About Characters of Different Gender Identity
Step 1. Understand gender identity
Gender identity is often confused with assigned sex, but they are different things. Assigned sex (sometimes incorrectly known as biological sex) represents the sexual organs a person is born with, while gender identity is the gender with which the person identifies and wishes to be addressed.
- Gender identity and sexuality are different things, and they do not correspond. Trans people can be straight, gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, or any other sexual orientation. They are not straight or gay by default.
- Gender expression (eg, clothing, hairstyles, or makeup) does not necessarily indicate a character's gender identity. A boy can wear a skirt and have long hair, and identify as a boy, while a girl can bandage her chest and wear "boy's" clothes, and still identify as a girl. While gender expression is usually a very important part of a trans or non-binary person's self-expression, someone's gender is defined by their identity, not by gender expression.
Step 2. Decide on the gender identity of your character
Your character's gender identity may or may not be important to the story. However, if you write about a character with a different gender identity, you will have to choose it.
- Cisgender (often abbreviated as "cis") means that a character identifies with a gender that corresponds to their assigned sex. In other words, someone whose assigned sex is female identifies as a girl and could be cisgender.
- Transgender (often abbreviated as "trans") is not an LGBT + identity; Rather, it means that a character identifies with a gender that does not correspond to his assigned sex. For example, a person with a male assigned gender who identifies as female would be a transgender girl and could be referred to as a girl.
- Not binary is a general term that refers to any person whose gender identity is not exclusively male or female. The blanket term transgender encompasses non-binary people, but not all of them personally identify as transgender.
- Characters gender they do not have gender or a neutral gender identity. They could choose non-gender pronouns, such as "elle" or gender pronouns (eg, he / she).
- Biggenus it is not limited to men and women. For example, a character can feel like a boy and without any gender at the same time. You could choose to use different pronouns, including those that indicate gender (like he or she) or without gender (like elle).
- Someone who is gender fluid you can switch between any genre within the genre spectrum. You can use different pronouns, including those that indicate gender (for example, he or she) or those without gender (such as elle).
- The demi-boys and the demgirls they only partially identify as boys or girls.
- There are also more rare identities that you can investigate.
Step 3. Design your character
Unlike sexuality, sex and gender often play an important role in life from an early age. A trans character may have a difficult time socializing in gendered ways or growing up with the wrong gender and, if he or she has gone through puberty, may have traits that do not match social beauty standards or are self-conscious about.
- Think about how you choose to present your gender. Do you want to appear more masculine, feminine, androgynous, or deliberately ambiguous? How do you do it? Does it affect your style or behavior?
- Is being "shallow" important to him? Some trans people don't want other people to know they are trans unless necessary, while others are very open about it. This can also be a problem for non-binary people whose gender leans more towards masculine or feminine.
- Consider whether she can access hormones and other treatments. A 20-year-old who started taking estrogen two months ago will look different than a 20-year-old who has transitioned to age five and had puberty blockers.
- Without puberty blockers, puberty can be quite traumatic for trans people. As much as you've taken hormones since then and you look great, you probably have bad memories.
Step 4. Decide if and to what extent your character will experience dysphoria
Gender dysphoria is when someone experiences a disparity between their actual gender and their expected gender or behavior. Dysphoria is different for each person, either in its severity or how it affects. Does your character experience dysphoria, and if so, what triggers it?
- Some transgender people experience moderate to severe dysphoria and struggle without coping mechanisms. Other people may experience minimal or no dysphoria at all. Most trans people also experience "gender high" or a positive feeling when their actual gender is validated.
- Non-binary people can also experience gender dysphoria or euphoria.
- Dysphoria can affect different parts of the body and aspects of life. For example, a trans man might feel dysphoria about how he is perceived socially, and about his height and voice, but not his breasts or genitals.
dysphoria isn't always extremely distressing, and it might not even be very obvious. While some trans people experience extreme distress if they view their genitals, others may only feel discomfort or annoyance if they are referred to or presented as the wrong gender. There are a lot of nuances.
Step 5. Understand common misconceptions
There are many misconceptions related to transgender people that cisgender people can come up with. These are some common ones to rule out:
- It is not a phase. It is very rare for people to reverse transition or change.
- Not everyone knows right away. Some people know their gender from a young age, but others may not notice it until they reach puberty or adulthood. It is also possible to find out earlier, but not come out due to lack of knowledge on the subject, internalized transphobia, or living in an unacceptable environment.
- Trans people are not "just gay". They may be gay, but gender identity and sexual orientation do not correlate.
- Non-binary identities are real. Genders like bgender, aggender, gender fluid, and more are legitimate. Gender identity is a spectrum, not a binary.
- Not everyone takes hormones or has surgery. Many transgender people are not comfortable with the idea of having surgery or taking hormones. As comfortable as they are, other factors can make these treatments impossible, such as health problems, financial difficulties, or an unsafe or unsympathetic environment.
Step 6. Evaluate how it has adapted
Living in a ciscentric world is difficult for a trans person, especially depending on how accepting the environment is. What tricks have you developed to stay safe? How do you deal with the situation? What have you been through in the past and how has it affected your ability to trust others or feel safe? Here are some common problems you might have faced:
- Safety in public restrooms.
- Choice of "male" or "female" in documents.
- Street harassment.
- Effort to look "presentable enough" to avoid discrimination. For example when? How many? Are you a bad person for doing it?
- Cruel family members.
- Mental health problems, suicidal thoughts.
Method 4 of 4: Avoid Out-of-Date Typing
The representation of the LGBT + community in fiction often falls into the same hackneyed plots and stereotypes. Here's how to avoid them and write something more interesting and creative.
Step 1. Recognize the stereotypes that exist
The LGBT + community is very diverse, and people who share your sexuality or gender identity could be very different from each other. Beware of stereotypes, as they can undermine your ability to write a three-dimensional character. Here are some common tropes:
- Female gay man. It is about a man who only serves to be a friend of a girl.
- Male lesbian.
- A gay couple whose only wish is to have a child.
- A promiscuous, mischievous and confused bisexual person.
- A frigid or mean asexual person.
- A transgender person who is deceptive or a weirdo.
- Striking or "effeminate" characters from the LGBT + community.
Step 2. Remember the difference between sexuality and gender expression
Just because someone likes men doesn't mean they're feminine, and just because they like women doesn't mean they're masculine. The fiction is full of gay men who love to shop and loathe soccer, and tough lesbians who play tough sports. Recognize stereotypes and work to make your character original.
Of course, there are some female gay men and some male lesbians. If you want to write about one of these characters, be sure to give it unique, multi-layered features so that it is more than a cartoon
Step 3. Choose your words carefully
Some terms have been used in degrading and dehumanizing ways, and it can be very painful and alienating to LGBT + readers. They can also suggest to unfamiliar readers that it is okay to use these words to describe others. Be compassionate when choosing your words and be aware of how they affect the message you send to your readers.
- Always make the narrative refer to the transgender person by their correct gender (the gender they want to be addressed with), even if others misuse the gender with the character.
- If a character uses these words, make it clear in the narrative that their intention is to be harmful. For example, if someone calls Laura "tortill * ra", show how it bothers her and have someone stand up for her.
watch out for the word "queer". Some LGBT + people have claimed it and could identify with it, but others consider it an insult. If your character identifies with the term, use it as an adjective instead of a noun, don't make non-LGBT + characters use it casually, and don't use "queer" as a synonym for "LGBT +" or an identity. specific.
Step 4. Make your LGBT + character a character in his own right
Some writers use LGBT + characters as one-dimensional plot devices, to further the development of a heterosexual or cis character, or to serve as minions for them. However, it is disappointing for LGBT + readers who want to see how LGBT + characters push the plot towards themselves.
This doesn't mean that your LGBT + character shouldn't teach other characters anything, but rather that there should be more to them
Step 5. Avoid "queer bait."
Queer bait occurs when characters are heavily implicated as LGBT +, sometimes to the point of engaging in romantic or sexual activity together, only to not give them LGBT + identities and never get together (and sometimes be pressured into a relationship heterosexual or revealing that it was "just a phase"). This is disappointing for many LGBT + readers who want to see characters with LGBT + identities, canons and relationships. Instead, give characters clear LGBT + identities and relationships.
- Explain the wishes and identities of the characters. Does the main character want to kiss a boy in the class because he is curious about what it will be like and then notices that he is gay or bisexual? Does the "boy" desperately try to grow his hair out to a more ambiguous length and admire the girls' clothing designs, and admit to his friends that he thinks he is bgender? Does a girl tell her best friend that she would marry her if no boy did, and secretly is she really sorry?
- Avoid characters who "don't like labels." Doing so will make it seem like you don't want to admit that your character is LGBT +. Give them an identity, even if it's just "I'm not straight or cis, but I don't know what I am."
some behaviors and stereotypes are based on queer bait, such as two girls kissing to look sexy or get a guy's attention. Remove this content from your story or have the characters point it out when it happens.
Step 6. Recognize that same-gender couples are, on average, as sexual as different-gender couples
You don't need to focus on sex (unless you're writing something erotic) or avoid showing the characters doing more than holding hands.
If couples of different genders kiss when the bells ring for New Years, have couples of the same gender kiss as well. They can have the same romantic opportunities
Step 7. Avoid killing your LGBT + character
Killing a gay, bisexual, transgender character, etc. it's an old plot that's often used to show that the character is "too good for this sinful planet" and that other characters should have treated him better. However, this pattern can send an unfortunate message to LGBT + readers, which is that they are not as valuable or important as people who are not part of the LGBT + community, or that suicide is a more common and sensitive option.
If your story requires you to kill an LGBT + character, make sure there are other LGBT + characters who survive and have a bright future ahead of them
Step 8. Name the sexuality or gender identity
Tell the readers that Laura is bisexual, she is not confused, and Ricardo is asexual, he is not damaged. Tagging identity can help readers who share your identity feel validated, and help readers who have not learned that identity to have more empathy. It is possible that even a reader or two will notice that they have such an identity thanks to your story.
- When creating a character, consider whether he needs to be cis or straight to diversify the cast.
- Develop your character as you would any other character. A character defines his gender or sexuality. His gender or sexuality does not define the character.
- Look for stories about people of the gender or sexuality you want to write about, and look for informational blogs or websites about their gender or sexuality. However, beware of judgmental web pages.
- It may be a good idea to speak politely with an LGBT + friend or family member to answer any questions you have about relationships and sexuality rather than relying on the internet for answers.
- Stories can be an ideal way to break stereotypes related to LGBT + people. Consider adding a character with an intersectional identity (such as disabled, belonging to a religious minority (or lack of religion)). Just remember to do your research.
- Creating more than one LGBT + character can take the pressure off a character to represent all people with their identity and shows that LGBT + people are diverse.