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Personally, I've received nothing but praise for having a very low heat level in my young adult LGBT fantasy novel (Of course, the MC is a young teenager, so I would hope people didn't expect anything more than kissing/hand-holding when they picked the novel up). My book is still in the gay cats ( LGBT > Fantasy) and yeah, it seems a little out of place surrounded by all the overly-sexual paranormal romance covers, but my sales haven't suffered and I don't think I've received any negative reviews due to there being no sex. Like I said, a lot of people have been happy about it. :)
 

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JRTomlin said:
Maybe read more widely then. Gay main characters have never HAD to go through a struggle related to being gay and many haven't. From the days of Joseph Hanson's excellent mystery series written in the 80s that has not been the case or in Nava's award winning mystery series. There is At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill, Pulitzer prize winning novel The Color Purple by Alice Walker, and Breakfast on Pluto by Patrick McCabel or any of Mary Renault's novels and many, many others. However, dealing with the abuse that is often associated with sexuality that is not part of the heteronormative spectrum is certainly worth writing and reading about since it often involves intense conflict. When it isn't the main conflict, it is often one of the conflicts as it is in The Color Purple for example.
Agreed. I think my thinking was more along the lines of "if being gay was not the main focus, or the struggle of being gay wasn't the main focus" I don't want the book limited to only those who read gay fiction. A good mystery, fantasy, etc is simply a good mystery, fantasy, etc regardless of if the main characater is gay. That's why I tend to not put a story without the aforementioned struggles in LGBT but do use keywords for searching so people who specifically want gay MC's can find it. In the first place, we don't categorize "straight" fiction, so in a way I see labeling fiction which isn't specifically about being gay and the struggless as limiting when it shouldn't be. There is no right or wrong way to do this for an author. You have to go with what you think makes the most sense. Personally, I want ALL people to be comfortable with gay characters. Will they be? Nope. The ones that aren't are not my readers. They know it after one book, since my books all have gay side or main characters. It's important to me, just like having an artist somewhere in every book is important to me. Two of my "things".
 

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elizabethsade said:
I think this really depends, though? I mean, someone who identifies on the LGBTQ spectrum who grows up in a supportive, inclusive environment /with other LGBTQ youth/ is going to have a different sort of wound than someone who grows up the only LGBTQ person they know. It's possible in future worlds/fantasy worlds/whatever that being LGBTQ would be so normative that that wound isn't there. Or hell, even in some very progressive places in the next ten years. (Hopefully.)

It may not be an overt wound, and some people may not even be really aware of it, but it does influence what some people do and how they react to certain events.
This is THE reason I write in fantasy instead of some other genre: so I could build a world without heteronormativity or our current load of gender bias, and see what effect that has on the society. SF would also work for this. The freedom to play around with social forces and see what happens is a big reason why I like SF/F.

But yeah, basically you have to know the surroundings in which your character grew up and lives, and adjust the type and duration of angst accordingly.
 

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I have a friend who writes LGBT urban fantasy, and from her I understand there's a real pent-up demand for books with LGBT characters that aren't about sex or LGBT issues, but where the characters just happen to be LGBT and the story is about something else.

She refuses to sell on Amazon, but here's her Smashwords page if anyone is interested: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/prysmcat (two books right now, more in the pipeline; I beta read Yin-Yang and it's a good read!)
 

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Colorwheel said:
This is THE reason I write in fantasy instead of some other genre: so I could build a world without heteronormativity or our current load of gender bias, and see what effect that has on the society. SF would also work for this. The freedom to play around with social forces and see what happens is a big reason why I like SF/F.

But yeah, basically you have to know the surroundings in which your character grew up and lives, and adjust the type and duration of angst accordingly.
Yup. I'm writing LGBT urban fantasy romances and the world is different enough that there's no discrimination based on sexuality - but plenty of discrimination based on other things. ;D That's probably my favorite thing about fantasy/sci-fi, is being able to fiddle with that stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Colorwheel said:
Which, personally, makes me happy. I feel strongly about representation in all types of stories, like others on this thread have said.

And after your capsule description I'm gonna go buy some of your books. BRB.
I'd love it if my partner and I could help add just a little more diversity.

And I did see a sale or two after you posted here! Thanks if that was you! We're much obliged :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Shiriluna Nott said:
Personally, I've received nothing but praise for having a very low heat level in my young adult LGBT fantasy novel (Of course, the MC is a young teenager, so I would hope people didn't expect anything more than kissing/hand-holding when they picked the novel up). My book is still in the gay cats ( LGBT > Fantasy) and yeah, it seems a little out of place surrounded by all the overly-sexual paranormal romance covers, but my sales haven't suffered and I don't think I've received any negative reviews due to there being no sex. Like I said, a lot of people have been happy about it. :)
I saw your book a lot when I started researching genres/categories. I've always been glad your cover is fully-clad, even MORE glad now that I know someone's age! You're high on the lists, so that's awesome. :)

Caddy said:
Agreed. I think my thinking was more along the lines of "if being gay was not the main focus, or the struggle of being gay wasn't the main focus" I don't want the book limited to only those who read gay fiction. A good mystery, fantasy, etc is simply a good mystery, fantasy, etc regardless of if the main characater is gay.
Very true. I also would hope that a MC is allowed to grow out of potential struggles in regards to his sexuality. The MC in the book I'm worrying about started off particularly bitter about his circumstance but later realizes he was being manipulated. In later books, his sexuality is less off an issue and rarely comes up. I'd hope that too many readers dont' want to read inner 'I've got the gays' drama for three books in a row, especially when by the end of it someone's 50 years old!

Kyra Halland said:
I have a friend who writes LGBT urban fantasy, and from her I understand there's a real pent-up demand for books with LGBT characters that aren't about sex or LGBT issues, but where the characters just happen to be LGBT and the story is about something else.

She refuses to sell on Amazon, but here's her Smashwords page if anyone is interested: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/prysmcat (two books right now, more in the pipeline; I beta read Yin-Yang and it's a good read!)
I'll check her out. This is looking more hopeful than I'd thought when I made this thread! Thank you!

(hopefully no one will be offended by 'the gays' comment. I'm gay, it was meant lightly. :) )
 

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Kyra Halland said:
I have a friend who writes LGBT urban fantasy, and from her I understand there's a real pent-up demand for books with LGBT characters that aren't about sex or LGBT issues, but where the characters just happen to be LGBT and the story is about something else.

She refuses to sell on Amazon, but here's her Smashwords page if anyone is interested: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/prysmcat (two books right now, more in the pipeline; I beta read Yin-Yang and it's a good read!)
This is my friend and I's goal, eventually - books with characters who just happen to be LGBT, going on adventures/whatever (a lot of fantasy/sci-fi of various blends). I'll throw in some urban fantasy romances (because I like urban fantasy and I like character-driven relationship conflict), but very little of the conflicts in them will have to do with the couples being same-sex because I create worlds where that doesn't matter (but where other conflicts matter).
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Arshness said:
I made a big post that ended up taking about this same topic a lot a while back.
Generally, it came down to people telling me the same thing people are telling you here. Write what the story needs.
The rest sorts itself out.

And I'm so with ElizabethSade. +1 additional friend who holds that same goal. ;)
Thanks! We'll always only ever write what the characters tell us are going on. I'm just working out what categories it should be put into.
 
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