1. afrodite7
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    afrodite7 Senior Member

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    character sexuality

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by afrodite7, Jun 23, 2011.

    - i've got a character in my story, one of the lead characters who is bisexual.
    here's the problem: its a guy.he's a biracial , bisexual and while it isn't his only defining trait,i want to know how would readers react to this? does him being an alien make that much of difference in people's opinions about it? he's also had a history with the MC (female) and somewhat has feelings for her.does his obvious attraction to a female character significant?

    - i really need to know because the story isn't particularly centered around his sexuality,but a relationship between her current boyfriend,her feelings for him,how he feels about her and the obvious tension between him and her current boyfriend

    And it seems like its okay for chicks to be bi but appearantly its a problem when a guy is...especialy if he's non-white(well,he's half white and half black)

    .:confused: so,help?
     
  2. katica
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    katica Senior Member

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    A lot of readers wouldn't care. I certainly wouldn't. I'm very accepting of gays/bisexuals/transsexuals. My two best friends are dating each other (both females) and one of my best friends is intersexed. I also have other lesbian friends and an ex who is bisexual (a guy) and I knew about it while I was dating him. A lot of people in my social circle are LGBT (and I am bi myself), although I don't think about it much unless someone else brings it up.

    Anyway, the problem lies with the fact that I've heard it's harder (not impossible and I'm not trying to discourage you) to get publishers to accept novels with LGBT themes in them. But its also a minor part and you really shouldn't care what your reader's think. If you believe its a good thing to write about, then write about it. The more controversial your novel is, the more free advertising its going to get if it ever gets to that point. It's actually a good thing.

    And remember, LGBT stuff is something our culture is trying to accept and deal with, just like they struggled to know how to handle the civil rights movement in the past. Great and controversial novels were written during the time of slavery and the civil rights movement about the events happening in the culture at the time. It's normal and natural for us to write about controversial subjects that our culture is struggling to handle.

    I have a novel actually where I write subtly about racism (although it takes place in a fantasy world), slavery, and why groups of people wind up hating one another. I don't believe slavery is okay AT ALL, but in my story, I don't sympathize 100% with the slaves. I can see people being offended by it, but I'm honestly not going to take it out unless a publisher asks me to.

    And remember, its impossible to appeal to everyone, so even if you shied away from anything controversial, you'd still find people offended by your writing anyway.
     
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  3. Aeschylus
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    Aeschylus Contributing Member

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    I don't think characters will have a big reaction as long as you don't try hard to showcase the fact (and it sounds like you're avoiding that). I mean most readers don't get offended by that sort of thing, even though some might if you have a bunch of really graphic gay sex scenes or something. No matter what, you shouldn't compromise your story or your characters for the sake of the few people that might have a problem with it. It's your story, not theirs!

    The fact that he's an alien makes it, in some ways, more ok in a sense--he's not human, so there's no biological reason he'd be more attracted to women than men, and it makes sense. However, he must be a pretty human-ish alien or he wouldn't be attracted to humans at all--I mean, it would imply a) that his species has males and females and b) they're close enough anatomically and mentally that there would be a mutual attraction. But in the end it's all about how you put it. It might make it easier for you in some ways.

    As for the fact that he's multiracial (then again usually half-black half-white people are just categorized as black since those traits tend to show through more), this is the 21st century--no one's going to make a big deal over his race. And if they do, well, they're not worth your time. You're not going to get the KKK rioting outside of your house or anything.
     
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  4. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    My MC lived her entire life (she's now in her 30s) all alone, and when she meets another woman with the same fate, they are... very close, to put it like that. But I won't call them lesbians as much as two people desperate for being loved and wanted. Still, this is just a tiny part of the story.

    My point is I don't mind stuff like homosexual characters, lesbians, bisexuals or anything like that, and inter-racial (white person dating a black person etc) isn't a problem at all. I'm a white guy, but I wouldn't have any problem dating a black woman or an asian woman. I care a lot more about the woman than the color of her skin. Why should that be different for the character in a book? All I'm asking is that the sexual-stuff doesn't take front seat. The story should always be the most important part.
     
  5. Domino
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    Domino Active Member

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    Meh. Jack Harkness will snog anything with lips, but he's a great character and entertaining to watch regardless of that.

    I don't think that kind of thing matters as long as it's not, "Oh, woe is me, I'm trying to figure out all these mixed confused feelings, blah-blah, yawn-yawn." Those kind of characters are usually just dull and boring. And as has already been said, don't shove it in your readers' faces.
     
  6. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    What do you mean he is an alien? Does that have something to do with his sexuality?

    Anyway, I personally don't see anything wrong with him being bisexual unless you are trying to use his bisexuality as a way to draw the reader's attention to him. HEY LOOK! THIS GUY IS BI!! HE FINDS GUYS ATTRACTIVE!!!

    I'm just saying don't overplay his sexuality if it doesn't have a direct tie into the story. Most people will accept a person being gay or bi, but if that person starts using it to make themselves an attentionwhore, then people start to get annoyed.
     
  7. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    This is not an issue at all in literature today. You can find any number of books with both men and women who are gay, bi-sexual, transgendered, or just about any other sexual inclination you can come up with. You will always have individuals who will care about this, but just about any aspect of a book can be grounds for turning some people off the work. On the whole, this is a non-issue imo.
     
  8. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    As everyone has said, it's not an issue unless if you want it to be one. Nowadays, most people won't care - and even if they do, they won't bother with your book in the first place, so don't sweat about it. However...

    This is very important. Even if this character's story revolved around the fact that he was bi (i.e. he's trying to struggle with what it means to be bi or discrimination or whatever), DON'T make it the only thing that defines him. A person can be bi and witty and easy-going, or stern and quiet, or nervous and easily enraged, etc. etc. etc. Just because a character is bi, or gay, or is black, or has eleven fingers, or lived through World War I, or is a vampire, doesn't mean you have to define them just through that. I think you can imagine a lot of characters who are defined solely by one lousy trait - oh, he's not a character, he's just a black guy; oh, she's not a really deep person, the only thing that defines her is the fact that she likes BSDM. Make sure your character is, like all good characters, deep and multi-dimensional, and make sure you show how they interact with their bi-ness in a believable and multi-dimensional way, instead of just letting it define them.
     
  9. afrodite7
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    afrodite7 Senior Member

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    -well,as an alien,he is somewhat humanoid; he was living on earth as one.only real physical difference is glowing ,strangely colored eyes and wings on his head(their small and they help channel energy through the body) (also eyes and ethnicity have no relation to each other). thank you for the advice.i did not want to do much changing,but i don't necessarily want to alter him.i tried writing him as straight once and it just seemed fake... and then there's the fact i don't want his sexuality to take from him as a person.its my first time writing a novel (which is near completion),and i don't really know how these things work .again,thank you :)
     
  10. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    Oh Jack. One of my favorite TV characters ever. :D

    Having gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender characters in a story doesn't bother me, and I don't see why it should. I actually think in some stories it adds another layer to them. As long as they're not Bella Swan-type Mary Sues whining about their feelings and, like said above, all woe-is-me, which is annoying no matter if the character is gay or straight.
     
  11. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    If he's an alien, it seems to me that there's no assurance that his planet would have two sexes, as opposed to one or three or more, or that it would be easy to identify the sexes as male or female, or that the sex of an individual wouldn't change once a year, or, in general, that sexual identity would have any appreciable resemblance to that of humans.
     
  12. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    ^So maybe he could be omnisexual.
     
  13. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    YES! I was thinking sort of along those same lines as the previous few commenters. If this guy is an alien, perhaps his sexual tendancies are the norm for his world and, since he would think nothing of it on his world, why would he think otherwise here? And, again, unless it's an 'in your face' kind of treatment of this character's sexual proclivities there should not be any problems.

    And, yehh. Jack Harkness is totally the bomb no matter who he is dancing with!
     
  14. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    If he's an alien, I take it he's not human? So how does he see us? Are we 'equal' to him or like, say, monkeys?
     
  15. Ashrynn
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    Ashrynn Active Member

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    Well the short story I have posted in the romance reviews section and my blog involves a lesbian couple and the next story I am writing will also.

    L-Romance is awesome ^^

    That said, may not be everyone's flavor, but if it's how you like it than that's what you'll write the best of...or somethin like that!
     
  16. Word Dancer
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    Word Dancer Member

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    I guess it depends on your audience.
    But in this day and age I don't think it will be any kind of problem.
     

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