Writing for Representation

As I sit down again okay and start writing, I begin to wonder what provokes me to do this every day. I have talked about this before to some extent about writing as a kid, about helping people with my stories, and on some level it’s because I am not horrible at it. But ‘why’ is a hard question to answer, and one that can provoke a similar question of ‘why’. Today, I want to see if I can add another layer to this question.

I was on Facebook earlier, and was reading my friends thread about a spoilerific conversation of the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It was interesting seeing how deep the film was, even though it did not seem that way. It has people of color as protagonists, it has women leading the charge, and it has a good story that subverts expectations. The one thing it doesn’t have is LGBT representations (concretely, I’m still FinnxPoe 110% but we haven’t seen it on screen). I know this is one of the reasons I write.

As a kid, I spent a lot of time online role playing. At first, I played a lot of heterosexual or bisexual characters. Back in the day, I told people I was bisexual which was just me not coming to terms with my sexuality. I played these characters because like myself, I did not feel comfortable being myself or playing characters like that. I thought it would make me weird, different, or just get people to make fun of me. So, I played characters young men who were into young women. It was not until I met my friend, Joel, that I really began to come out of my shell and start writing characters that I wanted to write.

To me, he has always seemed a lot more sure of himself. I am not sure if that’s because of where he grew up, or because he just has a better sense of self than I do. He wanted to play a gay character so he played it. I played a bisexual, because even then I still did not want to step fully into a gay identity.

It’s funny, looking back at the person I used to be. I did not want to use the word ‘fabulous’. I never saw myself as coming out. Heck, I never saw myself living in a city. But, here I am. This may sound like a long explanation but this is one of the reasons I write. I want to write characters that I would have wanted to see and experience as a kid.

I don’t remember what writer said it, but the idea stuck with me. “Write the story you want to read”. I want to read a story with representation. I want to write a story where gay people get happy endings. I want to write a story that promotes optimism in a seemingly pessimistic society. I want to give hope to people. It may seem like a pipe dream, but I get one step closer each day. I hope that in the future kids like I was don’t have to worry about finding themselves in stories, I hope the stories are just there with heroes they can look up to. And I wan to be part of that solution.

8 thoughts on “Writing for Representation

  1. Alex

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  3. Alex

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    1. wouldbewanderer

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