I’ve written gay, trans, and non-binary characters regularly as part of my fiction very nearly since the beginning. The protagonist of my first piece of published speculative fiction, “Kion Dio Farus?” (2010), is a man in a somewhat unhappy marriage with a child who is mourning the passing of a male friend. Although it’s not quite explicitly stated, it was meant to be clear that these two men were lovers and part of his challenge is the difficulty in concealing how devastated he really is. Several years later, I wrote “Krepusko sub Fago” (2016), which received an Honorable Mention in the international Belartaj Konkursoj and has an ace, non-binary protagonist — they are never referred to with a pronoun and so their gender is unknowable from the story.
My first published story in English, The Third Time’s the Charm from Water Dragon Publishing, has a trans protagonist. He lives in world where woman are second class citizens and same-sex relationships are not generally accepted. He began cross dressing at least in part, simply to receive opportunities not available to women. But when he’s asked whether he’s a woman pretending to be a man or a man in a woman’s body, he doesn’t know. He has never had the question put to him that way before. But that moment, when he’s met a gay man who accepts him as he is and who encourages him to be true to himself, ends up being the factor, more than any other, that changes the direction of his life.
This story and its sequels have now been serialized as Revin’s Heart. I’ve already written 4 sequels with 3 or 4 more planned. In these stories, Revin’s gender is sometimes a plot element, but the stories are not meant to be about his gender: he’s just living his best life, trying to navigate the challenges before him.
I also have an unpublished novella in which the love interest of the main character is trans. Did she have to trans? Well, no. But the story didn’t need to have a mind-reading tree either. But it does.
So, why? Why do I write about LGBTQIA+ characters? I will provide some background in a subsequent post. And provide an answer in the last.