I think the biggest complaints people get about their fiction these days is, “Why aren’t there more LGBTQ characters in it?”
And you’re probably trying your best. Maybe you’ve made every main character and every secondary character LGBTQ and the only straight character left is the villain (who is closeted gay), but it still just doesn’t feel inclusive enough.
Well, I’m here to help with tips to cram even more LGBTQ characters into your story. I mean, the last thing you want to hear is some reader say, “There are only eight gay people in this story? What is this? Victorian England?” before chucking your book into the fire. But you won’t have to worry about that if you follow my advice.
HOW TO ADD MORE LGBTQ CHARACTERS TO YOUR FICTION
Fill any empty space. The easiest way to add more LGBTQ characters to your story is to simply add more characters. You might say, “But my story can’t really use any more characters.” Well, if you’re putting your story above inclusivity, you’re part of the problem.
For instance, maybe you have the protagonist being chased through an empty warehouse by the killer. Sorry, but that’s just not going to do; that’s a wasted opportunity. Instead, fill that warehouse full of people who are all LGBTQ. That will change the mood of the scene a bit, but it’s what’s needed.
Now, the challenge is quickly establishing all the people in the background are LGBTQ. If you just write, “He ran through a crowd of people in the warehouse,” for all your readers know, those could be straight people. No one wants that. So you’re going to have to go through and describe each person and make it quickly clear they’re LGBTQ. And you’re going to have to be careful here not to rely on stereotypes. And you probably can’t just have everyone making out; maybe some could be wearing various flag shirts to make it clear what they are. Also, a character or two could shout something out like, “I love being a bisexual!” (this was similar to the method used in the 1990 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to make it clear the main characters were turtles).
Other things than people can be LGBTQ. So you’ve got every scene in your story chock full of LGBTQ people, but it still feels you can do better. Well, what about any animals mentioned in the story? Can’t they be LGBTQ as well? Like if you mentioned a squirrel running through a park or fly buzzing by — you can make them LGBTQ as well. It’s a bit harder to quickly establish an animal is LGBTQ, though, since they can’t shout out, “I love being bisexual!” — except for parrots. Actually, that’s probably the best solution there: Have lots of talking parrots flying around.
And what if you have a chapter where you describe a tree, can the tree be trans? I’m not sure how that would work, but it’s worth considering. There are usually lots of plants around everywhere, and if it can all be LGBTQ, the better.
And what about inanimate objects? Can buildings, rocks, and fire hydrants be LGBTQ? I’m not sure how, but if you can crack that you’ll have great fiction.
Make your words LGBTQ. Okay, so now you’ve made absolutely everything mentioned in your story LGBTQ. It starts with a dark and stormy night, and you made it clear the dark is a lesbian, the night is bisexual, and the storm is non-binary. Still, it feels you can do more. Well, how about making the words you write be LGBTQ.
This is trickier. You could just say, “Well, could I use a gayer word than this one?” — though I won’t go into specifics there. But here’s another option: When I was a kid, we often used the word “bad” to actually mean “good.” That’s basically a trans-word — a negative word identifying as a positive word. Use lots of words like that; it might make your prose confusing, but again, think of what you gain in inclusivity.
And there you have it. Follow all that advice, and your story will be so inclusive that people’s eyes will melt and progressives will cancel themselves in shame compared to your glory. You might have to jettison some plot and coherency for all this, but that isn’t what today’s audiences want anyway.
Sarah here: You guys might want to check out Frank’s Superego Betrayal, now in audio!
Terrorists. A ruthless criminal syndicate. A warmongering dictatorship. And those are just Rico’s allies.
With the civilized universe conquered, it’s up to the uncivilized to fight back. Rico prefers working alone, but this time, he’s leading an army against his two greatest enemies, who both have one thing in common: Rico’s own DNA.
Fighting a personal battle on a galactic scale, Rico enlists thieves, murderers, and malcontents (plus one space princess) to help him save the universe from tyranny.
And considering Rico’s new associates, it’s not a question of whether he’ll be betrayed, but when, and by whom.
STILL SARAH SPEAKING: Also, I want to thank Frank for finally making me understand why the left hated my book A Few Good Men (the title is a nod to the world building. Never mind) and kept claiming it wasn’t gay. Before I reissue it, I shall add lots of gay parrots. Will need to be lots of them, because Nat Remy will shoot them down as soon as they open beak. you know it, and I know it.