Question about tagging LBGT for story

Hiya! I had a question about tagging and making sure my story is LBGT friendly? My story is a not so serious mob romance between a man and a woman (Lancet/Rose), but there are secondary characters - two male family members that are bi and another male character that’s gay?

Ok, I decided I’m going to put spoilers because it’s hard to explain without them. Spoilers onward! :muscle:

So the two bi-characters are actually the two deceased mob bosses of rival families. The two MCs (Rose and Lancet) that inherit the families are unaware of what caused their two families to be at odds in the first place. Later on in the big reveal, Rose finally discovered what caused a 22 year beef between the families. Turns out when the mob bosses before them were alive and younger, they were lovers. However, Rose’s father was concerned about having a “legitimate” heir, in part because he was not doing a great job keeping his family financially stable and also others were trying to “take the throne” from him. So he married Rose’s mother, and had Rose instead of staying with his male lover (Gervassio). The boss to the other family, Gervassio, continued to help support the other family in spite of being betrayed and their “friendship” strained.

The last straw is when Rose’s mother becomes ill and her father has sunk them so far into the financial hole, that he tries to ask Gervassio for money AGAIN for surgery. Gervassio finally decides enough is enough, and cuts ties. Rose’s mother passes away a few weeks later, and never gets the surgery as a result. The two families had beef ever since.

The gay character, Cross, his sexuality isn’t focused on. In fact, you don’t even know what his orientation is until several chapters deep, they have “escorts” keeping them company, and his is male. Rose just passes through the lobby and sees Cross with said company.

I am a straight, Hispanic woman and while I’ve known people from the LGBT community, I also want to make sure I don’t accidentally offend in some way? Aside from the big reveal about the two deceased mob bosses, the story doesn’t focus or I guess “show off” everyone’s sexual orientations? It’s more like, I tried to make it such a natural part of the story, that it’s not something people should be like GASP!

I had a mentor and co-worker at a job I was working at for 4 years, and when he mentioned having a partner, and I knew he was gay - it had no effect on my perspective of him. To me, he was still my mentor, I still respected him, and his preferences didn’t change anything. I feel like that’s how it should be in general? Like it should be a normal thing for people to say they have a family of two wives/two husband/whatever the case? Just like people don’t make a big deal when a man/woman are dating, holding hands, married etc. it should be the same for all? (Also if you feel differently and want to get into politics, don’t do that here. I’m not here for a debate. My mama always said if you don’t have nothing nice to say, you know the rest. :wink:)

Anyway, if that’s an ignorant way of thinking, let me know? I’d like to add the LGBT tag to my story on WattPad, but I want to make sure it’s appropriate. Thanks in advance to anyone who shares their thoughts. :sunflower:

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If people see the tag LGBT, they expect the main characters to be one of the letters. Not the secondary characters, even if they are crucial.

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Gotcha. I thought so too. That’s why I hesitated in using the tag. :thinking:

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I tag as lgbt-support-cast when it’s not the main characters. If someone notices something that rubs them the wrong way about your portrayal of a minority take it seriously and see how you can correct things. I am reluctant to say sensitivity reader, because that’s one opinion only, so while you will be learning from them you might inadvertently get a skewed perspective (for example, I had read polar opposite wishes from gay men on how they want male gay sexuality presented—it’s natural, since everyone has different opinion). To me, minority rep starts with more than one character being there, and them being multifaceted, living and breathing character.

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I agree with @NotARussianBot

Honestly, if I find a story that was tagged as lgbtq and the main characters were straight, i’d feel clickbaited.

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That’s true. Everyone has their own opinions and I can’t please them all. I will take feedback about certain groups seriously of course within reason. But that’s a good tag. I didn’t know about that one. That seems like a better fit to use. Thanks! :+1:

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Ok, I’ll definitely avoid that then.

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Good thread.

In my current project, one of my important side characters is pan and it’s something that’s mentioned a couple of times but isn’t the point of the story. I don’t tag the story pan since it’s not relevant to the plot but I hope that having it casually mentioned helps normalize the queer presence.

Bigger issue I have with my slow-burn but clearly bxb story. I initially didn’t tag it as such because it felt weird, I wished I didn’t have to announce that the story was casually gay, but then I did because:

  • so people that have a problem with it can stay away, I’m really not interested in their readership,
  • so people looking for casually gay stories can find them.

I think the line between should you advertise it or not lies in how important the queer representation is to the main story.

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Don’t tag it lgbt—if I click on a story with an lgbt tag and it’s a straight romance, I’m gonna feel kinda cheated. Great that you’re including queer characters!! But if you’re not focusing on that in your story, you probably shouldn’t stick it in the tags, either.

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That’s a good point. A part of me doesn’t care if someone comes across those characters in my story and has a problem with them solely because of their sexual orientation/identity. It’s just as you said, I don’t want their readership anyway, but at the same time, I would want to avoid random jerks saying sh*tty things just because of their perspectives. I think I might add the tag that was suggested about their being side characters, and while only 2 of those characters are important, they’re not the focus of the story either. At least so people can know going in that these themes exist. It’ll be up to them whether they want to read or not. :woman_shrugging:

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This is the reason I add the lgbt-support-characters tag, because while in two of my stories the lgbtq characters are side characters rather than the main couple, they/the relationships are important and very obviously described as a romantic couple. In some countries it is still against the law to read it, sadly, or can be interpreted as corrupting youth, so it’s not just hateful readers I want to avoid, but I keep in mind these unfortunate considerations as well. Particularly because most of my books are straight romances, so there is no account-wide expectation that I write same-sex relationships.

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This makes me so mad.

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Me too, and gives me a lot of other negative emotions. That’s why I keep writing lgbtq couples, main or support… hopefully, one day, there won’t be need for any tags at all save for romance.

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Wow, it is? What countries are these so I can never visit them? :grimacing: Will have to google that. That sucks. Sounds very George Orwell 1984 to me. And yes, I agree. It’s important to write things where there is a diversity amongst people, whether racial or romantic preference. The only exceptions I can think of are places where diversity/romantic preferences are limited.

Like if you’re writing about Japan, I assume (and I can be wrong) that most of the population are Japanese and depending on where in Japan, the number of “foreigners” are small/non-existent. So if you’re writing a story that takes place in rural Japan, it’s very possible that everyone in that area is all Japanese. So it’s not that it isn’t realistic due to lack of diversity, but in reality, there really isn’t diversity there to write about.

Or for places where certain romantic preferences are not accepted. Writing a story about straight romances as if those are the only kinds of romances that exist in those places may make sense due to the restrictions (whether legal wise or just culturally). Even so, even in places where stuff like that is illegal/culturally frowned upon, even if it’s in secret, those things still exist. So when writing (based on the real world anyway), and where the story takes place, that’s something to consider.

I randomly ranted! :laughing: Either way, I didn’t consider that using that tag might help where it’s illegal to read about certain things. I’m definitely adding it in case.

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I am writing my current story story with a Russian lgbt lead because I disagree with the current policies there and there is nothing else I can do or have a moral right to do as an immigrant.

Every area has some diversity, has movement, even if it is not immediately noticeable to the outsider. Diversity is inherent to human nature. We move. Or at least a part of us always moves, always trades, always mixes…

Lol, I also randomly ranted!

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Anyway, if that’s an ignorant way of thinking, let me know?

Not at all. I’m gay and I think there should be more people who think like you in this world. As for your interrogation, I think, unless the LGBT+ character of your story is important [not necessarily as main] or is a [small] part of the intrigue, it shouldn’t be tagged as LGBT+!

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Me reading not reading the comments: If the main characters are not LBGTQ its not one of our stories. Main characters are driving forces so not secondary’s and they don’t need to be in a same sex romance to be counted since your sexuality isn’t who you’re dating but it is what makes it a that story. I personally would be peeved if I expected it and just saw filler but thats me.

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