How to tackle LGBTQ themes

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LGBTQ characters have been pouring into the literary market recently. If you're thinking of writing a LGBTQ character but don't know where to start, here is a helpful tip.

One of the main points made by people supporting LGBTQ rights is that they're no different from straight people. Love is love, so it's unfair to discriminate against them for who they are. But when a story goes on and on about it with a LGBTQ character, it's doing the complete opposite and bringing so much attention to the topic, we end up alienating LGBTQ people even more. Your character can definitely have pride in being in whatever sexual orientation or gender identity they are, but labeling them as such only separates them from others even more, which is highly counterproductive.

LGBTQ characters definitely should be confident in themselves, but being LGBTQ is not the only defining trait of such a character. There's so much to a person, and their sexual orientation is just a small fraction of it, just like with straight individuals.

In short, assimilate sexual orientation naturally into the story, and give your LGBTQ characters a life and personality beyond their sexual orientation. By treating your LGBTQ characters and their romances exactly as you would a straight character, the romance feels more realistic and believable. You don't go around flaunting that your character is straight. You shouldn't do it for non-straight characters, either.

What are your thoughts on the current treatment of LGBTQ characters in literature today? Have you read any books where the character isn't just the "token gay character"? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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