This is the part where I get upset and rant about things, followed by the part where I try to fix them myself.
I found this post over at Literary Reflections thanks to someone's retweet. It's all about books (mostly YA) where there's at least one female character who's definitely or ambiguously other than straight. It's a depressingly short list. Yes, I know it's not an exhaustive list, but still.
I would like to know what the fuck is going on here. It's 2015. I know characters' sexuality isn't always relevant to a story, but why is it still so damn rare to see LGBT+ characters in fiction? Any fiction? In other words, why do I even have reason to rant about this?
I know there's not one specific reason, and I'm not looking for one, but . . . gah. And I know the world isn't as accepting of all things LGBT+ as I'd like it to be, but I'm not going to get into that here. It just bugs the hell out of me that so many people can conceive of easy interplanetary travel, impossibly dramatic interpersonal relations, bizarre magical creatures, worlds that are incredibly different from Earth, so on and so forth, but the idea that not everyone has to be straight is either beyond them or never occurs to them.
I don't get it. I just don't.
Speaking from my own experience, I know readers can accept a character's sexuality, even if it changes over the course of the story. In an online series I wrote many years ago, one of the characters dates a guy and a girl at different points. I got some questions about it, but no hate, no complaints, no threats to stop reading the series if I "made [the character] gay". So why is this a big deal? Why doesn't this happen more often?
Part of why I don't get this is that I've known people across the entire Kinsey scale spectrum. (An old friend from college is asexual, and she thought it was hilarious when I said she's where Kinsey divided by zero.) So the idea that fiction should be populated entirely by straight people makes no sense to me.
So I figured, the best way to work on this problem is to practice what I preach.
I've talked before about how I want to have three plots ready to write before I start writing another book. As of this past Sunday, I have the second one nearly ready; I've got it in a state I can consider finished and just need to let it sit for a while so I can go over it later. The first plot I finished with this goal in mind, the new Shiloh & Alexi story, is ready and has been for quite a while.
To be completely honest, I always knew I'd be writing the S&A book first. I don't think I'd fool anyone if I said otherwise, least of all myself. ^_^
I know that I can't change the world alone, let alone change what other people write and who they put in their stories. But if I can (finally) get Shiloh & Alexi's story out there, then at least I can be a good example. I really like the idea of someone looking for a fantasy novel with two heroines who are also a couple, and finding my work that way. No, this isn't the only reason I want to write this book and get it out there - all the usual reasons still apply, and how - but I think it's a good one.
No idea when I'll start; I still have another book to plot, and I won't announce it when I start writing anyway. But wish me luck. I want this to work more than anything else.