Writing a homosexual character. · 7:42pm
So, you're writing a homosexual character, great. Now, the question is, 'how do I write said character without him/her appearing trite, stereotypical, or just plain offensive'?
The answer to that is obvious, right? I mean, how hard can it possibly be to write such a character?
Very hard. Many professional, published, famous authors have extreme difficulty when it comes to writing a typical homosexual character. There can be many reasons behind this, the most prominent being the fact that there is no such thing as a typical homosexual character. You see, homosexuality isn't a personality trait, sexual orientation has no bearing on how a character, how a person, outwardly acts. Hollywood would have us believe that all gays are flamboyantly so, and the average Joe should have no difficulty telling a heterosexual individual from a homosexual one. But, except for in rare cases, this is not so. I, myself, am pan-sexual, and unless I was to make that fact clear, none would be the wiser. That's because my sexual orientation doesn't define me. How masculine a female character is, or how feminine a male character is, has no bearing on their sexuality. A good example of this is any straight, male brony, otherwise known as the majority of our fandom. They watch a show about magical, talking, pastel-colored, horses. Does that automatically make them gay? No, of course not.
So portraying a gay male as overly feminine, or a gay female as overly masculine, is not the way to go about displaying their sexuality. If anything, it makes a writer look extremely close-minded.
A gay character needs to have a personality. If you, as a writer, are unable to introduce a homosexual character without explicitly stating the fact that they are gay, outside of dialogue, then you should seriously reconsider writing that character at all.
So what are some ways of introducing a character's sexuality?
1. Internal monologue. If a character is indeed homosexual, that fact is bound to come up at some point during the character's thought processes. But only when relevant to the situation at hand.
2. External dialogue. Through character interactions, one's sexuality may become known, mentioned either in passing, or as the subject of a conversation. The success of this method typically depends on the manner in which it is handled by the writer.
3. Introducing a character's significant other. Rather self-explanatory, this. A simple 'Applejack lived comfortably with her marefriend, Rainbow Dash.' Would be enough to explain the sexual orientations of both characters, without the need for great detail.
In closing, the only difference between a homosexual character, and a heterosexual character, is who they choose to lie with at night. They shouldn't be treated as two drastically different things, because they really aren't. They're both characters with personalities and features that make them unique, and homosexuality shouldn't be used as a means to set them apart, and should only be brought up if it is relevant to the plot.
A character's sexuality isn't important, their personality is.