Why I Only Write Queer Characters

A rainbow spectrum of light over a laptop keyboard.

Sometime last year I stopped writing cishet characters and focused all my writing on queer ones.

It was definitely a conscious decision.

I was writing less and less cishet characters anyway, maybe subconsciously, I’m not sure. More femslash, more non-binary characters. I can’t really remember the last time I wrote a cishet character and had to look it up. July 2018 I wrote some cishet m/f. Before that it was July 2017. Nothing since, all queer characters since then.

That wasn’t a conscious decision I don’t think, I was just less and less interested in writing anyone who was queer. Of course, there are background characters who are probably straight, I don’t know, I once wrote 50,000 words of an unfinished novel where every single character was bisexual and I much prefer doing that.

Importantly, all the main characters I write, good and bad, are queer.

I suppose it was an unconscious decision that became a bit of a mission statement for me a writer and a queer person.

There are several reasons for it.

I’m just not interested in cishet characters anymore.

I don’t know what it is, but aside from a couple of characters in fandom, I’m just not interested in cishet characters. There’s so many of them, there’s all the same. I swear every cishet leading man looks the same. Maybe I’m just old but every film poster looks the same. It’s boring.

Queer people are interesting.

a moodboard for my story Escaping Reality.
Escaping Reality features bisexual and lesbian fairies.

It’s not an insult to straight people, but after 37 years there’s only so much of the same faces, the same people you can see everywhere in entertainment. It’s boring.

Queer people aren’t just interesting because they’re queer, but there is definitely something about being queer that makes a person more interesting. Queer people rarely have an easy go of it, an easy life. There is always something and someone that’s questioned our existence, treated us badly purely for our sexual orientation or gender. There is always some suffering and that gives a person personality. When people say being queer isn’t a personality trait, I disagree. There is a wealth of experience that comes from being queer alone that cishet people just don’t have.

I think – I hope – in years to come, that it won’t be quite like this. That society will be less heteronormative and cisnormative and not only will queer people not suffer on their way out but they’ll be a better ratio is queer characters in mainstream media (and fewer stereotypes).

I want to see more people like me.

A moodboard for my current WIP a queer lady in the lake story.
My current WIP main character is a non-binary pansexual.

In the same vein, I am basically writing the books I want to read. It’s quite simple. Mostly I want to read about these characters so I write about them. You’ll find hundreds of queer writers doing the same – writing the representation they want to see. I read a lot of queer fiction already – whether in fanfiction or original fiction. I read as much as my depression reduced concentration will allow at least. I go through phases but that’s not the point.

I want people to grow up with queer characters in books, in all the books, for shelves to be lined up with them.

I don’t think I read any queer fiction until I was well into my twenties. Fanfiction not included.

I really like women

I love femslash. What can I say? So I write what I enjoy. It’s why I write very little male slash. I have been known to foray into it, mostly as a challenge or cause I’ve got this idea that my brain cannot let go of (and once just to piss some shippers off), but mostly, I like writing about women. I don’t particularly like men. Not like I like women. Basically, my bisexuality covers pretty much all women, a whole bunch of non-binary people and three men. And one of those men is a video game character.

Not a lie.

I am really queer.

The pride flag but slightly toned down colours.

I’m getting queerer as I get older, I’ve said this to my wife a few times over the past year or so. I’m sort of embracing the queer mum vibe I’ve got going on seeing as I am both old enough to be a mum and am actually am a mum.

Either, I’m getting queerer or more vocal about it.

But then, I’m getting more vocal about a lot of stuff. Since leaving my ex (long story, but he didn’t like that I am bi), I basically felt like I could be bisexual, be genderfluid, be this person. So I am this person in all aspect of my life, from my interactions with other people to the way I raise my kid to the things I write.

As time goes on I get more and more confident in who I am and what I write.

I’m not saying I’ll never write a cishet main character again and for full disclosure, I know I will read cishet characters, but this is where I stand with my writing at the moment.

And, if nothing else, don’t they say write what you know?


7 Replies to “Why I Only Write Queer Characters

  1. I’ve found myself only writing queer characters too. Though, less consciously? I just realize later that everyone is gay and I’m like “I see no problem with this.”

  2. I think I can most likely be said for all of us – that we write what we want to read. It makes sense doesn’t it? I always try to write how I feel for sure, I find it the best way for the words to flow. You will always get your best results that way I think #KCACOLS

  3. Firstly (but not particulary relevent to this post) I tried to use CISHET in conversation the other day but said CISHAT (and was not politely corrected) and now see my error and quite possibly the explanation for the slighty confused look on the other persons face. ha!
    Secondly, I think like the Asian actors protest at the moment, we need all characters and their importance to the plot not be their gender/race/sexuality, but it just be there, in the same way hetro and binary are there. So if other people aren’t writing it enough, you should. #KCACOLS

  4. I can totally see why you would want to write your characters in this way and understand why. It is great that more people are being represented in books as opposed to the standard characters we are used to. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

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