Hello. This thread is for anyone looking to create properly represented characters within the LGBTQ+ community. So without further ado, here are some tips and bits of information that I hope will be helpful. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.
The acronym itself:
LGBTQ+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning/Queer (both have been used in the acronym, but keep in mind that queer has also been used as slur), and the plus is used encompass all other sexualities and gender identities, like non-binary and pansexual. The acronym can also be extended to include them.
Here are some terms you may come across:
Sexual Orientation - A person’s sexual identity in relation to the gender they are attracted to
Gender Identity - A person’s perspective of their gender, irregardless of what they were assigned at birth
AFAB - Assigned Female At Birth
AMAB - Assigned Male At Birth
Queerbaiting - Hinting at a same-sex relationship, but never depicting it.
Coming out [of the closet] - The process in which an LGBTQ+ individual discloses their sexual orientation/gender identity
Outing - Contrary to coming out, outing is when an individual’s sexuality or gender identity is disclosed without their consent
Homophobia/Transphobia/Biphobia - A prejudice against someone based off of their sexual orientation (homophobia/biphobia) or gender identity (transphobia)
Beard - When a gay man or woman dates a member of the opposite sex to conceal their sexuality
Here are some stereotypes that you may or may not have encountered before
- The Gay Best Friend - This one can be funny when used properly, but is so overused, it’s everyone’s go to when they want to add LGBTQ+ representation
- The Slutty Bi - Not as common, but can still be seen. The bisexual person who is non-commital and couldn’t keep a relationship to save their life. On the other end of this is the idea that bisexual people are attracted to every single person they come across.
- The Confused Bi - When not depicted as promiscuous, bisexuals are often pictured as if they’re confused, not sure whether they’re gay or straight and are under the impression that they have to choose one, which becomes the main focus of their story
While some religions tend to frown upon being gay, trans, etc., it is still possible to belong to that religion and be LGBT. Some of us have a good relationship with religion, and some don’t. It all depends on the person and their experiences.
Some things to keep in mind:
I don’t want to make this a ‘what not to do’ since some of these do apply to members of the community and can be used appropriately, I just want to bring attention to them.
- Not all gay men are flamboyant and feminine
- Same goes for lesbians, not all lesbians are butch
- Not everyone knows exactly how they want to identify right off the bat
- Non-binary people don’t all have to look like a mix of both genders. You can look like a guy and still be enby or look like a girl and still be enby