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 Post subject: Gay characters in fantasy fiction.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:14 am 
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Here is the short of it: i suddenly fell in love with an NPC of mine in a sword and sorcery campaign i just finished DMing, and i have started writing down his story as a novel. People who read it found it fascinating and i myself cannot stop writing. Now, the character happens to be gay (the "straight gay" kind of guy for Tv tropers). Apart from YAFGC i haven't found any other example of gay males in fantasy and though there is no chance i am abandoning it or changing the character, i wondered how fantasy readers perceive this kind of thing. I mean, i am bi and it feels unfamiliar even to me, even if the narration runs completely smoothly so far. Any opinions and/or suggestions?

PS I did read this amazing rant, as well.
http://curiosityquills.com/limyaaels-ra ... haracters/

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 Post subject: Re: Gay characters in fantasy fiction.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:26 pm 
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I'd say you can find the place for that sort of characters you're looking for, in your rant, in science fiction, in Lois McMaster Bujold books. Thinking about it, as you complained, the story doesnt have a lot of dealing with same sex relationships, which is what you want, but it shapes the characters, their histories and why they find each other.

While each planet has it's own culture, there is one in particular, that Cordelia comes from, that has no prohibitions about sexual orientation, and the culture is particularly adamant about training young folks in how to deal with sex and sexuality. Not required, but highly encouraged, socially. It's not something gone over great detail, the novels aren't about sex, just there as a bit of background.

Another planet has lots of prohibitions, and are slowly dragging themselves out of 19th century Russian hangups and into more modern thinking, on issues of gender as well as everything else.

There are no main characters that have same gender relationships in the story, but one "was bisexual, now he's monogamous" as the spouse puts it, showing not a change in orientation, but in finding the right person to make a lifelong mate. Since the character is monogomous, it doesn't come up directly more than once or twice, but the story, told from the point of view of members of his family, is sometimes effected by it. It's dealt with efficiently and openly, when Cordelia is involved, and another character completely misses the hints as they aren't important to his story.

There is a side character in most novels, a 'tween', basically a genetically modified version of hermaphrodite. I'd say what relationships are formed are formed fairly normally for the sort of romantic tales of fiction. There is also a gender switch at one point with another character in one novel, but the character was straight in both sexes.

These don't disprove your point, but I was thinking that if the writer happens to have homosexual main character some day, it might be the sort your looking for. Or maybe not, as there is a sly, fashion conscious man who may or may not be homosexual, but we'll see.

I'm curious to see your story, when you have it ready.


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 Post subject: Re: Gay characters in fantasy fiction.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:20 am 
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Thanks M'reen. The complaints in the rant were not my complaints actually, as i haven't read anything with non straight characters in fantasy! I remember someone writing a letter to Wizards of the Coast and complaining about the lack of homosexual characters in the DnD universe and it was like a revelation: fantasy just doesn't have those. Strange.

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 Post subject: Re: Gay characters in fantasy fiction.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:55 pm 
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hmm. I don't think much about sexual orientation of characters, usually just recall the good character moments, but trying to remember a fantasy story with one .. does seem there is a gap. Well, there is the Captain Shakespeare in the Stardust movie, a closeted gay cross dresser. I've read the book, but they are so completely different stories that I don't remember at all if that was part of the novel.


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 Post subject: Re: Gay characters in fantasy fiction.
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:48 pm 
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Game of Thrones? I have neither read the books nor seen the show, but a gifset from GoT was making its way across Tumblr that showed two guys in a steamy makeout session. No idea of the context, though.

I'm pretty sure that at least a couple of Guy Gavriel Kay's novels have queer characters, but they're alternate history/low level magic/magical realism rather than high fantasy (except for the Fionavarr Tapestry).

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