It’s … interesting?
It’s interesting, to me at least, how much sexuality comes up as a writer. Recently, while talking about characters with a friend, she asked me “how many straight characters I had.” While applying to both the Room of Her Own foundation and the Lambda Literary Foundation, I found myself writing about how as a bisexual writer, my characters are often actively excluded from the conversation by publishers. You’d be amazed (or maybe you wouldn’t) at how many places post, in their submission guidelines, “No bisexual characters.” In applying to NBC’s Diverse Writers Initiative, again, my sexuality as a concept of diversity was part of the conversation. I know there are more and more LGBT characters on TV, but it’s not there yet. We’re still something separate, something we have to bang on the door about. It’s interesting how often I find myself saying a character of mine is gay when really, they’re bi. How my own internalized biphobia sparks up when I start to open my mouth and say something about the situation in Hollywood or in publishing.
What amazes me the most is that I still have to have conversations like this with fellow writers:
You’d think that the networks would want to reach out to populations that are untapped and milk those advertising dollars for all they are worth. Instead we have to talk about beating the doors down. It bothers me because I’d hope by now the doors would be wide open and we’d all be working together to tell real stories of real lives – gay, lesbian, bi, trans, straight, or whathaveyou. We all have stories, and isn’t that the point of story telling?
Instead, I’m sitting at my desk, thinking “it’s interesting.” When really, I mean “it’s depressing.”