May 28, 2017, 01:18:05 PM

Author Topic: LGBT Fantasy?  (Read 26584 times)

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #135 on: May 11, 2016, 06:54:21 PM »
Really weird.
I tried checking his twitter, but the only mention is last week, when he says:
"Having fun writing an article on which characters could easily have been LGBT without the story changing one bit."
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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #136 on: May 11, 2016, 09:19:33 PM »
It was definitely there this morning. Luckily I got to read the full article before it was . . . Erm . .  . Swallowed by the Internet.

Offline Nighteyes

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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #137 on: May 11, 2016, 10:00:08 PM »
It was definitely there this morning. Luckily I got to read the full article before it was . . . Erm . .  . Swallowed by the Internet.

Are you cereal? That is weird. Wonder what the story is.
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #138 on: May 12, 2016, 08:15:39 AM »
And it's back!

http://fantasy-faction.com/2016/harry-potter-should-have-kissed-some-boys-an-argument-for-queer-characters-in-main-stream-fantasy

I wonder if I should copy it here, in case it's a 'dawn article' (it only appears between 6 and 10 in the morning, hehe)
Or maybe people complained - I don't think I've seen an article so down-voted ::) (and now the voting isn't working for me)
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Offline Mr.J

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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #139 on: May 12, 2016, 11:15:37 AM »
And it's back!

http://fantasy-faction.com/2016/harry-potter-should-have-kissed-some-boys-an-argument-for-queer-characters-in-main-stream-fantasy

I wonder if I should copy it here, in case it's a 'dawn article' (it only appears between 6 and 10 in the morning, hehe)
Or maybe people complained - I don't think I've seen an article so down-voted ::) (and now the voting isn't working for me)
Great article. MASSIVE FUCKING SIGH.

If you downvoted it, what's wrong with you? Grow the fuck up, nerds.


Online Eclipse

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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #140 on: May 12, 2016, 12:02:07 PM »
I don't think anyone down voted here, yep great article.
I'm Saloninus, by the way. And I tell lies, from time to time. Which goes to prove the old rule; never entirely trust a man who talks about himself in the third person.

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Offline Lady_Ty

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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #141 on: May 13, 2016, 02:02:39 AM »
I down voted that article and have written a comment on main page to explain why, I will include it here in sp*. Please understand I actively campaign for inclusion and diversity, but am acutely aware of how much intolerance is still around certainly in my country.  If you think my last sentence is ridiculous, believe me it would be pounced on and hit the Oz media. Happy to discuss this further with you here.

*Think I didn't pass the moderator which is fair enough, probably because I couldn't edit the last sentence,which you will see was awkward at first.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Completely understand and fully support the need for inclusion of diversity in fantasy writing, but this article but is trying to force the issue to extremes. Writers must be able to write as they see their worlds and characters, reflecting what they know, which may or may not include diverse characters yet. Many already do so, more are following, but a writer cannot be forced to conform to everyone’s expectations.

Just imagine sitting down to write a fantastic story you have in your head and then-

“Hang on, I must include characters of several nationalities and colours, a strong female lead who may or may not be LGBTQI, and a male who may or may not be LGBTQI , or if they are both heterosexual there must be at least LGBTQI sidekicks and if one or more is G better make sure there are T and B and can’t set this in a patriarchy, unless they are cruel and dominating, but do I dare make a matriarchy cruel as well………………..?”

LGBTQI people are not able to be themselves in many parts of the world. They can be put imprisoned, tortured and persecuted, as we all know. The writer is lucky to be living in a comparatively tolerant country and time, but Harry Potter is not a good example to use for diversification.

HP was outstandingly successful in schools when it first came out in 2001, as it encouraged kids to read like nothing before. Parents joined in and read it at home with the kids and it grew in mature content as the kids themselves grew. Even so it would have run across trouble if it had included gender diversity at that time and certainly have been banned in many school and even public libraries or countries, and viciously attacked in many places.
HP is now translated into 68 languages and so many kids can enjoy it, but many of those countries would still have it on a banned list. So many countries still persecute homosexuality with imprisonment or even a death sentence.

Even in Australia, that celebrates a glorious Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras every year, an excellent school programme to teach kids about diversity acceptance in schools and to stop bullying, has caused an outrageous, but very powerful, political storm of nonsense. It has been withdrawn and modified. This year 2016. Can you imagine how they could crucify Harry Potter if adapted as you suggest? Any tiny hint of Dumbledore/ Harry Dumbledore talking to Harry about a relationship would immediately be labelled grooming for paedophilia.

* corrected a few errors and typos I couldn't n main page
« Last Edit: May 13, 2016, 05:29:32 AM by Lady_Ty »
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Offline Justan Henner

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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #142 on: May 13, 2016, 02:26:09 AM »
I didn't downvote, but I do disagree to an extent.

It's the moral imperative argument that gets me; the implication that authors are obligated to present LGBT characters, whether or not it is something of interest to them. Yes, representation is good, and I encourage everyone to be inclusive, but this idea that everyone is indebted to this cause or that cause (whether it be LGBT inclusion, or something else), it's just a bit tiresome. Let people who want to write about LGBT characters write about LGBT characters. Let people who want to write about what they are familiar with, write about what they're familiar with. It shouldn't be an obligation. It shouldn't be a 'guideline' that's in actuality an ultimatum, as it so often seems to be of late. Let people enjoy what they enjoy and express their interests in the way that's natural to them.

I see writing as a medium of self-expression and personal reflection. If we place a set of expectations and standards upon an author, aren't we undermining the purpose?
« Last Edit: May 13, 2016, 02:41:44 AM by Justan Henner »

Offline Jmack

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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #143 on: May 13, 2016, 03:17:49 AM »
I didnt read the article in question, so my following comments are general and respond to the few just previous psts.

I am very happily going to my 78 year old Mom's weddiing with her partner of 25 years, Eva, in July. My best friend is gay. My three uncles are all gay. I'm very glad of inclusive writing when I see it, and have done some myself.

But there is no way in which I would pressure writers represent every possible group. The quest for fairness becomes the enforcement of conformity all too quickly.

I would, however, feel free to criticize as unrealistic (and in the extremis as unfair or wrong) a story that misrepresents (or denigrates) people in the LTGBQI community. This extends, by the way, to misrepresentation by somehow always making these folks good and only heteros bad.
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #144 on: May 13, 2016, 08:31:45 AM »
I don't think anyone was supporting the idea of forcing the authors to write anyone and everyone into their books, just to be a little more open to the reality of the world, maybe don't go with the first instinctive idea.
And sometimes they may even be surprised.

I'm remembering something that Jen Williams said in an interview recently, about when writing Copper Promise the character of Holley, the Secret Keeper, was initially a man but that wasn't really working - once she wrote her as a woman the plot became much clearer and interesting, and she got more ideas for her.
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Offline Mr.J

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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #145 on: May 13, 2016, 11:54:08 AM »
There is no 'obligation', nor is there 'enforcement of conformity'.

The fact that it riles people so much at the mere suggestion authors could perhaps take more effort to include a mixture of characters than having an entirely wide ranging cast all be straight is telling just how much we need to champion those who do write this way in books and the problems we face with representation in our media.

To me, the idea anyone can say authors are being forced by some sort of gay mafia to write LGBT characters for the sake of diversity or, that good old catchphrase 'political correctness', is hilarious.

It's also interesting many are happy to see equality or fairness for LGBT people without actually taking any steps to do so, or have a distorted view of what 'fairness' is in the first place - there's one gay side character in a book/tv show/film - therefore it's fair so stop being so mean to us poor ostracized straight people, we're so cruelly underrepresented!

This is why I don't go anywhere near the LGBT threads here. Fruitless debate on something that shouldn't need to be debated.

Should probably move this to one of those threads rather than leave it in this one.




Offline Peat

Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #146 on: May 13, 2016, 01:31:12 PM »
Personally I felt that article far exceeded suggestion and fell under 'Obligation'. I'm not saying that's the way the author meant it to come across but personally, that is how it did. I didn't put a vote on the article but if I had, it wouldn't have been a great one.

Is it a good point that authors should stop and have a think about their character choices? Yes. But I completely never got that from the article.


Finally - on the Dumbledore thing not mattering - I don't agree.

Leaving aside just how happy and excited it made some people  - which in itself makes it matter - it gave me a real "Ohhhhhh" moment about him and Grindlewald and it doesn't half explain a fair bit about his character. He loved once and terrified himself with what he did and never loved again. It explores and adds depth to Dumbledore's relationship with power - his fear of abusing it was so great he cut himself from all romantic relationships*. Which, incidentally, would be ruined if references to other boyfriends were made.

Would it have been cooler to have it in the book? Yeah, although in retrospect, how everyone didn't guess is beyond me even allowing for heteronormative thinking. I mean, come on, a guy with no romantic attachments, but once had a really really strong friendship with another guy that went south in a horrific way when younger... But it was still cool.


Finally finally** - A quick search shows that Leo Cristea has another 3 articles (at least) dealing with these sort of themes here. The votes for them are 9.9, 8.6 and 9.1. There is clearly no innate hostility to the author or the topic here which suggests that those complaining about the downvoting might wish to consider another reason why this one has achieved 4.4.


*There is an absolutely fascinating article waiting to be written about magic users and power with particular reference to Dumbledore and Granny Weatherwax. 
** It's possible I don't really understand the meaning of the word finally.
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Offline Justan Henner

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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #147 on: May 13, 2016, 02:36:16 PM »
Quote
Many authors would benefit from going back through their work and seeing how heteronormative their work is. If there’s no queer inclusion: change it. This kind of method is more and more expected of authors, screenwriters and game developers in regards to making sure women are present alongside men, and that the default character, however minor, isn’t just White Male A. This needs to be done with queer inclusion as well.

That is the implication of a moral imperative. It doesn't say, "consider changing it," it says "Change it". You're right, most of the article is a plea for authors to consider including more diversity, but this part doesn't read as a simply a suggestion, it reads as a standard. If that isn't how Leo meant it to come across, I apologize, but that is how it comes across.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2016, 02:45:33 PM by Justan Henner »

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #148 on: May 13, 2016, 02:49:49 PM »
Ok, I get it.
I think sometimes people get a different meaning for the same words, regardless of how the author intended, just due to personal experience and direct involvement in the issue.
Leo's not on the forums so we can't invite him here, so thanks all, and let's all 'agree to disagree' on the article intention and move on? Maybe?


(is it very obvious I'm a conflict avoider?)
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Offline cupiscent

Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #149 on: May 14, 2016, 01:22:31 AM »
Obviously and of course, writers can and should do whatever they like.

But as a reader, I - and the article's author - get to say, "I want to read books with more xyz and I think more authors should actively think about why they're leaving it out." Especially when the books are for younger readers and xyz is something that a lot of those readers will be dealing with directly or indirectly. I mean, it's not just a case of queer teens reading books that include queer characters in main roles - it's queer teens knowing that their peers are reading books that include queer characters in main roles. The inclusion of xyz (queer characters, female character, characters of diverse ethnic origins, whatever) helps to normalise the idea of those traits. No child is born a bigot, but we all react strongly to something we've never encountered before, especially if everything about our lives has underlined that we are normal and people with other traits are not. And you can tell children that it's ok to be gay / female / brown-skinned until you're blue in the face, but it won't stick if what they're being shown is that people who are gay / female / brown-skinned aren't the hero of regular stories.

So yes, I agree, writers can do whatever they want with their stories. But I think they should include more diversity (of all types). And I think if they aren't comfortable doing that they should stretch themselves to become comfortable doing it. I think that stretching is just part of being a writer - of being someone who aspires to tell stories of humanity. If all a writer wants to do is tell stories about their own experience, then that's their prerogative, but I'm not really interested in reading them (especially when that experience is the one that has dominated media for the last hundred years and more) and - I gotta be honest - I'm going to think less of them as a writer for it.

Yes, writing is hard, and this makes it a little harder. But life is hard, and being consistently excluded from the central narrative makes it harder. I weigh other people's lives as slightly more important than my art.

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