Thursday, August 4, 2011

To Boldly Go

Writing, and art in general, is supposed to be one thing and one thing alone--a means by which to push the boundaries of what is deemed socially normal.

Okay, that might be taking things a little bit far. Writing is about a lot of other things, but it's such a good vessel to explore beyond the confines of normalcy because it reaches people that, in general, tend to be more open. This is especially true of speculative fiction (See? We're totally awesome!). Spec fic readers are more willing to accept those things that aren't mainstream, because speculative fiction isn't "real" literature anyway (That was sarcastic, by the by.).

So, I'm going to touch on a subject that's still largely ignored in speculative fiction, for some reason.

Alternate sexuality.

Okay, I hate that term. I mean gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters in fantasy and science fiction. Now, unless I'm just totally oblivious, that isn't represented outside of speculative fiction erotica. Am I just oblivious? I'd like to think not.

I don't know why this has been ignored to this point. Statistically, one in every ten people is gay/lesbian, and that number rockets up when you include bisexuality. Doesn't it make sense that somewhere there must be someone in fantasy and sci-fi. To me, it seems like some kind of twisted, puritan morality leaking in and that shouldn't be allowed. The puritans aren't in control here for a reason--I won't start a religious debate here, but suffice it to say there's a reason they aren't supposed to be in control anymore.

Why, then, is it still so taboo to have GLBT characters in speculative fiction? I'm making a public appeal to publishers--get over it. We're here and we're queer--you might as well start dealing with it. LGBT shouldn't be confined to thinly veiled literary porn and supermarket romance side-characters.

I've said my piece,
Happy writing,
Voss

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