216 posts in this topic

Thank you for the book recommendations, those who took the time to make them. A lot of the time I and many others like me are stuck with reading fanfics to get to read the kind of relationships that I can relate to. So thank you @Karger, @RShara, @robardin, @AonEne

Thank you those of you who stated their support & understanding for my frustrations, all of you @Bliev, @AonEne, @The Awakened Salad, @Koloss17, @Nuatoma, @Renarin Kholin, @The Dude That Wore White

Edited by Dreamer
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6 minutes ago, Honorless said:

A lot of the time I and many others like me are stuck with reading fanfics to get to read the kind of relationships that I can relate to. 

Thank you those of you who stated their support & understanding for my frustrations 

At least you usually have fanfics... *cries in ace* :P 

Happy to! Thank you for bringing me into this, I probably wouldn’t have seen it otherwise. 

Edit: did you happen to see my question on the last page? 

Edited by AonEne
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I think a lot of you might have issue with what I'm about to say here, but here goes:

You are lucky to be straight. It's not a great feeling to be gay. Anyone you think might be beautiful could turn out to find the very idea that you think they are beautiful disgusting.

Even the most positive thing that could happen to you, is that some people might get together and put in their votes on whether or not you deserve equal Human Rights, to love, to marry, to have kids. Understand this and be kind. I'm sorry if it looks like I'm being an chull from your perspective but trust me when I tell you this, you have no idea how this feels.

People seem to have moved on from debates regarding these kinds of issues now a days, citing how heated they get. This one did get heated, thank you to those of you who still showed up and spoke

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@king of nowhere, going by what a lot of what you and others here said, but you are the one who put that tag on it, so I'm addressing this to you, why does it seem like I'm shoe-horning an agenda to you?

 

3 hours ago, Koloss17 said:

@Honorless, you need a hug. *hug*. Hugs make people feel better

Thank you

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3 minutes ago, AonEne said:

At least you usually have fanfics... *cries in ace* :P 

Here, I wrote an ace smut fanfic just now for you:

Spoiler

Kaladin stopped at an inn after a long day of travelling. He was tired and ready for a night of rest.

As he walked in, he suddenly noticed somebody he didn't expect to be there...

"Shallan!?!?"

"Bridgeboy!?!?!?"

"What are you doing here storming lady?"

"That's classified."

"I have the same level of clearance as you."

"That doesn't matter. Look, let's just get our rooms and pretend like we don't know each other, alright?"

"Fine by me."

They both went up to the innkeeper and asked for the room. The innkeeper got real awkward and apologetic.

"Um, sir, brightness, I'm sorry but I'm afraid we only have one room left. It only has one bed."

"Oh," Kaladin said, "That's fine. I can just sleep on the floor. I have lots of experience in less comfortable conditions, so that's fine."

"Yeah," Shallan agreed, "There's literally no possible reason this could be a problem in real life. The only reason it would be is if we were in a world created specifically to shoehorn sexual activity into already created characters. Luckily since neither of us are the slightest bit interested in sex, it's fine."

And it was. The end!

(sorry to kind of intrude on this serious conversation with a joke, but honestly I think that's an important thing to do sometimes. Hugs for everybody! *hugs*)

(also I'm probably gonna make a serious post at some point, but like I said, there's a lot to unpack here)

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52 minutes ago, Honorless said:

Are you only judging by certain criteria? Plot relevance?

Just plot relevance. I don't count elantris and warbreaker because I consider it a hook more than a plot. SA is out because none of the stories would be fundamentally different without the relationship. I really just disagree with the term "backbone" in this situation. But this is pretty small, agree to disagree?

Edit: no hard feelings right, @Honorless?

Edited by Elsecaller_17.5
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Regarding the representation of Ranette and Drehy, my issues are:

Them being gay has, so far, only been shown in how it affects other characters

We don't see Drehy being gay, not even once, and sexuality is very much an integral part of people, it's not added in, it's part of the whole. We don't see Ranette being gay either, just how her being gay, and thus unattainable, affects Wayne. A part of her character is dedicated to fleshing out the character development of another character. Drehy being gay comes out in a context which just serves to show how the other characters are cool with it. We are told they are gay, we don't even get to see it. It may not seem important to you, but it is to us.

Some of you even said that you didn't even realize that Ranette was gay? Is that good representation? 

That even after all these books, all these characters, these two are the only canon gay representation. That there's no indication that homosexuality even exists outside of these two characters.

We get the information that we have from WoBs, we don't see any Vorin gay couples in the background scenes. We don't see any conflict arising due to the differences in opinion between Pathism and Survivorism.

We get two points of light, and all I'm saying is I would like them to shine brighter, not just to illuminate other things, and that other motes of light join them

 

@AonEne, @Bliev

I found something:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1roLOB8OZm34XjzVyDmH5fyWiPKGYy8i9EzRuhBMZauo/htmlview#gid=0

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Just to clarify, has anybody actually contested the point that Brandon's books should have more and better LGBTQ+ representation?

I was just going to post that but I have more to say. Books in general should always have LGBTQ+ rep, but in particular I think Brandon's books are an especially important example. And I think this because of one fact: Brandon is LDS, and a significant portion of his readership is LDS. I think that's a fact that makes it even more important for Brandon to have representation than normal, because I can say from experience that a very large percentage of the LDS community is homophobic to one extent or another. That's not to say I have anything against LDS people in general, to be clear. But my parents used to be LDS and come from a big family, and I talk with my cousins a lot, so I can say from experience that it does happen. I've had many conversations with casual homophobia, including but not limited to:

  • Posters in school promoting LGTBQ+ anything are annoying.
  • They decided to stop watching Flash because of LGTB main characters.
  • 'It's funny when they try to correct you that their pronoun is actually he and then you're just like OK... she.'
  • 'I have a friend that wants to be a guy, but it's like, God made you a girl, just accept that.'
  • Numerous other things that I can't remember right now.
  • LGBTQ+ rep is just unnecessary. They 'don't have any problem with the people but I don't want to read about it'

(that last one also use to be me, along with a couple of the rest of these, cause I had basically no exposure to any of that. I didn't know what being gay was until 5th grade and I was confused about a genderfluid character cause I didn't understand how their genitals transitioned like that.)

But regardless, that's kind of the problem. My cousins have literally no idea what's going on in the slightest and that doesn't change because they avoid media that might cause them to change. But since Brandon is an LDS author I think that is something that would help a lot of people understand this.

Another thing I'd like to note is that I don't think it's necessarily fair to say that trans people were always whatever gender, for a couple reasons. For one gender is fake so does that even make sense as a thing to say? Actually I guess that's my main point. Honestly this is mostly nitpicking.

Also @Honorless has anyone ever recommended Homestuck (homestuck.com) to you? Warning on significant language and discussion of sexual topics. Also romance isn't really relevant for a really long time so the LGBTQ+ status of characters isn't discussed at first. That being said it's a really good webcomic in general and at this point it and discussion with other fans is the primary way I become more knowledgeable about LGBTQ+ topics. If you have more questions about it feel free to PM me. Or just ask in here, it's up to you.

Edited by Kidpen
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2 hours ago, Honorless said:

I think a lot of you might have issue with what I'm about to say here, but here goes:

You are lucky to be straight. It's not a great feeling to be gay. Anyone you think might be beautiful could turn out to find the very idea that you think they are beautiful disgusting.

Even the most positive thing that could happen to you, is that some people might get together and put in their votes on whether or not you deserve equal Human Rights, to love, to marry, to have kids. Understand this and be kind. I'm sorry if it looks like I'm being an chull from your perspective but trust me when I tell you this, you have no idea how this feels.

People seem to have moved on from debates regarding these kinds of issues now a days, citing how heated they get. This one did get heated, thank you to those of you who still showed up and spoke

*also hugs* I’m so sorry you have to deal with that, that anyone has to deal with that. You’re definitely not being a chull. 

Just shows that we do still have to talk about this, because some people haven’t caught the drift yet that people have rights. :( 

2 hours ago, Kidpen said:

Here, I wrote an ace smut fanfic just now for you:

  Hide contents

Kaladin stopped at an inn after a long day of travelling. He was tired and ready for a night of rest.

As he walked in, he suddenly noticed somebody he didn't expect to be there...

"Shallan!?!?"

"Bridgeboy!?!?!?"

"What are you doing here storming lady?"

"That's classified."

"I have the same level of clearance as you."

"That doesn't matter. Look, let's just get our rooms and pretend like we don't know each other, alright?"

"Fine by me."

They both went up to the innkeeper and asked for the room. The innkeeper got real awkward and apologetic.

"Um, sir, brightness, I'm sorry but I'm afraid we only have one room left. It only has one bed."

"Oh," Kaladin said, "That's fine. I can just sleep on the floor. I have lots of experience in less comfortable conditions, so that's fine."

"Yeah," Shallan agreed, "There's literally no possible reason this could be a problem in real life. The only reason it would be is if we were in a world created specifically to shoehorn sexual activity into already created characters. Luckily since neither of us are the slightest bit interested in sex, it's fine."

And it was. The end!

(sorry to kind of intrude on this serious conversation with a joke, but honestly I think that's an important thing to do sometimes. Hugs for everybody! *hugs*) 

Kidpen, you’re amazing, I love you :P 

38 minutes ago, Kidpen said:

...I was confused about a genderfluid character cause I didn't understand how their genitals transitioned like that.)

But regardless, that's kind of the problem. My cousins have literally no idea what's going on in the slightest and that doesn't change because they avoid media that might cause them to change. But since Brandon is an LDS author I think that is something that would help a lot of people understand this.

Another thing I'd like to note is that I don't think it's necessarily fair to say that trans people were always whatever gender, for a couple reasons. For one gender is fake so does that even make sense as a thing to say? Actually I guess that's my main point. Honestly this is mostly nitpicking. 

I don’t suppose it’s Alex? :ph34r: 

Exactly, education and exposure can help lessen homophobia. Sometimes people are too close-minded, but it works other times. 

I just meant that most always feel the way they do, that it doesn’t usually drastically change. Gender is a complicated subject. 

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9 minutes ago, AonEne said:

Kidpen, you’re amazing, I love you :P 

I don’t suppose it’s Alex? :ph34r: 

I just meant that most always feel the way they do, that it doesn’t usually drastically change. Gender is a complicated subject. 

Thanks. :) 

Yep :ph34r:

Yeah, definitely. If there's one thing I know, it's that gender is heckin complicated.

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11 hours ago, Honorless said:

Regarding the representation of Ranette and Drehy, my issues are:

Them being gay has, so far, only been shown in how it affects other characters

We don't see Drehy being gay, not even once, and sexuality is very much an integral part of people, it's not added in, it's part of the whole. We don't see Ranette being gay either, just how her being gay, and thus unattainable, affects Wayne. A part of her character is dedicated to fleshing out the character development of another character. Drehy being gay comes out in a context which just serves to show how the other characters are cool with it. We are told they are gay, we don't even get to see it. It may not seem important to you, but it is to us.

Some of you even said that you didn't even realize that Ranette was gay? Is that good representation? 

That even after all these books, all these characters, these two are the only canon gay representation. That there's no indication that homosexuality even exists outside of these two characters.

We get the information that we have from WoBs, we don't see any Vorin gay couples in the background scenes. We don't see any conflict arising due to the differences in opinion between Pathism and Survivorism.

We get two points of light, and all I'm saying is I would like them to shine brighter, not just to illuminate other things, and that other motes of light join them

 

@AonEne, @Bliev

I found something:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1roLOB8OZm34XjzVyDmH5fyWiPKGYy8i9EzRuhBMZauo/htmlview#gid=0

*applause*

First off, thanks for the link--I will be scrolling through that for sure!

Second, you make a wonderful point about how others' identities become a point used for the growth of other characters and not something that stands alone, and I think that's exactly right. Being gay *is* part of who someone is. We are all collections of identities--personal and social--that make us who we are. Some are more salient in some spaces than in others, and just because you don't always see yourself as centrally "heterosexual" because it's not salient to you in every space doesn't mean it's not central to who you are. Shallan's heterosexuality is critical for her character because it defines her attraction to Adolin and her entire arc toward self awareness. Vin and Elend's heterosexuality is also highlighted. Ranette is only a Lesbian as a foil to Wayne's heterosexuality, not to help us understand her better so her own character can grow. And how many people list Kal and Bridge 4's reaction to Drehy as evidence of how "cool" they are but fail to discuss what it must be like to be Drehy? I think Brandon has opportunities for growth and because I think he's an excellent writer with a good heart, I hold him to a high standard.

I also don't think it's fair to say "you can't force someone to write XYZ". Of course not. Verbalizing our concerns is not forcing--it's pressure, sure, but we can't *make* him do anything. What we can do is say, "here's what I expect from an author who values people like me, and if he/she doesn't do this, then maybe I won't read anymore because they aren't made for me." You can find that to be "forcing" but I see that as exercising our own self care and autonomy. (not to say that Honorless or anyone else is threatening to stop reading, but just generally speaking.)

It's like me starting Dresden Files and being annoyed with all the "hormones" and "heaving chests" that he talks about. So juvenile "male". He's not written for me. And I don't see myself in him. And that's okay. And if I cared about the author, I might have spoken my mind on it. But I don't, so I just don't read them. Or when we talk about tropes of female characters in video games or comics as being unrealistic and not fully fleshed out women--but rather mechanisms for male growth (i.e., women in fridges). 

Oh, and thanks for everyone for the lit recs. I am stoked!

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Whichever mod took the time to join up the double-posts, thank you, was it you, Greywatch or Comatose or LadyLameness?

Bliev, my personal rec goes for Arcane Ascension, the author did a terrific job of handling a main protagonist who ticks multiple check boxes, and in a subgenre which is currently seen as being on the low end in terms of quality within the fantasy genre.

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1 minute ago, Honorless said:

Whichever mod took the time to join up the double-posts, thank you, was it you, Greywatch or Comatose or LadyLameness?

Bliev, my personal rec goes for Arcane Ascension, the author did a terrific job of handling a main protagonist who ticks multiple check boxes, and in a subgenre which is currently seen as being on the low end in terms of quality within the fantasy genre.

Plus one to this rec! It's really good.

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I just want to elaborate on what I said earlier: "I think a character should be a well-developed character first, and LGBT second." What I don't mean is that their gender identity or sexuality should be a glossed over part of their character. Being LGBT should be a defining part of their character, just not the first defining thing about them.

In my experience as an aspiring author, the thing readers will remember most about a character is the first thing to break their imagined norm. In the book I am currently working on, the main character's grandpa is introduced in chapter 2, and the first dialogue he has is the greeting "Ho." I wrote that just as a passing line of dialogue, trying to give him a unique way of speaking. But my alpha readers interpreted him as a chipper old man because of this line, when I actually intended for him to be a very serious character. Now that is the primary way that they remember him.

In our culture, the natural assumption of most readers when picking up a book is that the characters are hetero. If the first thing to break the reader's assumptions is that a character is LGBT, that will be the primary way the character is remembered. If you want heterosexual readers to remember the character as anything but "the gay one," then you have to break their assumptions in another way first.

Let's use Dalinar as an example. The first thing that breaks our assumptions about him is his visions from the Almighty. If he was gay, but it was revealed after that, readers would remember him first as the guy who had visions from the Almighty, and second as gay.

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2 hours ago, Honorless said:

Whichever mod took the time to join up the double-posts, thank you, was it you, Greywatch or Comatose or LadyLameness?

Ha, it was me. I promise it is possible to edit in a quote - it's not super obvious, but the way I do it is to write what I want in the box at the bottom of the page, but instead of pressing send to create a new post, I copy it and paste it when editing the post I want to add it to. The formatting should stay.

Interesting rec list! It does seem to be a big list of everything without much commentary on how that representation might appear, but i imagine that is the purpose. I might not go to game of thrones for rep, but there are some excellent things on there at first scan. Apparently there's a sff book coming out this year, Bonds of Brass, that I've been told is an excellent mlm story. I'm looking forward to it!

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11 hours ago, Bliev said:

Shallan's heterosexuality is critical for her character because it defines her attraction to Adolin and her entire arc toward self awareness.

This is minor, but if ever there was a thread that would appreciate it.

Quote

Silverstars

Every time Shallan thinks about Jasnah it's so gay which is #relatable, @BrandSanderson did you realize how bi you wrote her?? Either way, thank you.

Brandon Sanderson

This wasn't directly on my mind while writing, but looking back, I think it was in my subconscious. I'm flattered to hear it.

General Twitter 2016 (Sept. 26, 2016)

Not dissing on anyone for not knowing as its never in the books.

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I’m continuing this tangent here out of a hope for clarification - Shallan being bi is still technically in the realm of headcanon, right? I keep seeing that WoB brought up, but it’s not exactly a confirmation; it’s Brandon saying it might’ve been in his subconscious and that he’s flattered someone read the character as being bi relatably. I’m definitely in support of Shallan being bisexual, but as much evidence as there is, it’s not actually canon yet. (If it was, it would be more commonly talked about in threads like this, I think. One more datapoint of Brandon writing a LGBTQ+ character - and doing it very well, hitting all the points previously discussed here on how to do it well, imo.) 

Edit: I don’t know why it decided to post this three times, but I hid both of the others. 

Edited by AonEne
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9 hours ago, Greywatch said:

Interesting rec list! It does seem to be a big list of everything without much commentary on how that representation might appear, but i imagine that is the purpose. I might not go to game of thrones for rep, but there are some excellent things on there at first scan. Apparently there's a sff book coming out this year, Bonds of Brass, that I've been told is an excellent mlm story. I'm looking forward to it!

Yeah, sadly the place where I found it was like "see, you have enough gay literature to make a list", apparently unaware of exactly what they were saying. *sigh* and this list even includes minor characters, and even so it's so small.

I guess the danger of a single story is hard to see when you're part of the narrative.

Oh and gay men, don't worry, the list is clean of fetishized gay romances, I checked

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Ahhh this thread moves fast. Sorry this is kind of a late reply.

On 2/19/2020 at 1:18 PM, Honorless said:

Thank you those of you who stated their support & understanding for my frustrations, all of you

Anytime! I don't really like getting into heated debates, especially online where everything can fall apart so quickly, but this is a topic that's important to me. 

On 2/19/2020 at 1:24 PM, AonEne said:

At least you usually have fanfics... *cries in ace* :P 

I feel your pain *cries too*.

On 2/19/2020 at 1:29 PM, Honorless said:

You are lucky to be straight. It's not a great feeling to be gay. Anyone you think might be beautiful could turn out to find the very idea that you think they are beautiful disgusting.

Even the most positive thing that could happen to you, is that some people might get together and put in their votes on whether or not you deserve equal Human Rights, to love, to marry, to have kids. Understand this and be kind. I'm sorry if it looks like I'm being an chull from your perspective but trust me when I tell you this, you have no idea how this feels.

I'm sorry, I honestly don't know what to say. I don't know what words would make it better, of even if those words exist. I have no idea what that must be like, but you're most definitely not being a chull. 

But we're with you. You don't have to fight this battle alone. *sends hugs*

On 2/19/2020 at 1:37 PM, Kidpen said:

Here, I wrote an ace smut fanfic just now for you:

  Reveal hidden contents

Kaladin stopped at an inn after a long day of travelling. He was tired and ready for a night of rest.

As he walked in, he suddenly noticed somebody he didn't expect to be there...

"Shallan!?!?"

"Bridgeboy!?!?!?"

"What are you doing here storming lady?"

"That's classified."

"I have the same level of clearance as you."

"That doesn't matter. Look, let's just get our rooms and pretend like we don't know each other, alright?"

"Fine by me."

They both went up to the innkeeper and asked for the room. The innkeeper got real awkward and apologetic.

"Um, sir, brightness, I'm sorry but I'm afraid we only have one room left. It only has one bed."

"Oh," Kaladin said, "That's fine. I can just sleep on the floor. I have lots of experience in less comfortable conditions, so that's fine."

"Yeah," Shallan agreed, "There's literally no possible reason this could be a problem in real life. The only reason it would be is if we were in a world created specifically to shoehorn sexual activity into already created characters. Luckily since neither of us are the slightest bit interested in sex, it's fine."

And it was. The end!

(sorry to kind of intrude on this serious conversation with a joke, but honestly I think that's an important thing to do sometimes. Hugs for everybody! *hugs*)

This made my day! :D If only more fanfics were like this. 

2 hours ago, AonEne said:

I’m continuing this tangent here out of a hope for clarification - Shallan being bi is still technically in the realm of headcanon, right? I keep seeing that WoB brought up, but it’s not exactly a confirmation; it’s Brandon saying it might’ve been in his subconscious and that he’s flattered someone read the character as being bi relatably. I’m definitely in support of Shallan being bisexual, but as much evidence as there is, it’s not actually canon yet. (If it was, it would be more commonly talked about in threads like this, I think. One more datapoint of Brandon writing a LGBTQ+ character - and doing it very well, hitting all the points previously discussed here on how to do it well, imo.) 

Yeah, I don't recall it ever being confirmed in the books. And did Brandon actually say Shallan was bi, or that he was flattered that someone read her as bi? Because those are two different things. 

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I don't think an author confirming some one as LGBT outside of the canon should count.

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2 hours ago, twenty second of the sun said:

I don't think an author confirming some one as LGBT outside of the canon should count.

If he actually confirmed her then it would be inside the canon, since what Brandon says is canon. Word of Brandon and all that. Happens all the time, and we accept it. However, if he confirms her outside of the text, then he needs to confirm it inside too. Not everyone reads extra content; if any causal reader would miss it, it’s not representation. 

20 hours ago, The Awakened Salad said:

I feel your pain *cries too* 

Oh hey, are you also ace? 

Edit: @Dreamer, did you see my question about whether you’d seen my question? :P 

Edited by AonEne
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What I mean is, in general (not specifically counting Brandon) if the character is NOT actually LGBT in the source material then it shouldn't count as actual representation. If there is no actual effort on the author's part then that's because they didn't write a LGBT character .

I mean not to offend but if it needs to be said outside of the actual source material then it isn't really real .

Edited by twenty second of the sun
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@AonEne, yes pan is part of the acronym now. The idea behind the acronym is to educate, familiarise and create a support network. So that people of different gender identity or sexual orientation can help one another feel more accepted and eventually become more accepted: be they ace or bi, nonbinary or genderfluid. Basically, so that people don't pick and choose but support the entire LGBTQIAP+ community and something like a gay person being transphobic doesn't happen, it sadly does still happen but using an umbrella term really helps people reconsider

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51 minutes ago, AonEne said:

Oh hey, are you also ace? 

Yeah, I am ^_^.

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