Friday 7 July 2017

Rant: The "Token Gay" Character

You may or may not have noticed this, but in most YA and definitely most romances, there is always the "token gay" character. The character placed specifically in the book to be a quirky side character or to show how open-minded the characters are. Usually, the token gay doesn't have much substance, pretty much all the author gives them is the fact that they are gay.

I'm honestly just pissed off because LGBTQ people should not be used as plot devices. Something to just add a little variety to the story. This has in fact happened in books that I do love, but this happens so often that it's become another trope that I can't stand.

Some authors do a great job with their LGBTQ characters such as Cassandra Clare who has about as many gay characters as she does straight. They all have their own plot lines and tragic back stories that will rival any of the straight characters and it feels very natural. She didn't just throw in one gay character and then call it a day. It might have seemed that way in City of Bones, but the lack of gay characters did tie into a plot line, so I forgive her.

It has become a trend not only in books, but in movies for there to be the gay best friend, *cough cough* GBF (it's on Netflix) that movie is great by the way, totally calls the gay best friend trope out. The gay best friend is just here to spur on the main character who isn't sure about hooking up with the hot popular guy who's totally in love with her and then he goes and does his own thing and we don't hear much else from them. The gay best friend always just seems so one dimensional and overall just bubbly.

This "trend" has gotten a lot better within the past couple years with a lot more representation and character depth, but there are still those few books with the "token gay" that just make me resent the book as a whole.

It's not as much of a problem recently, but please, if you are writing a book, try not to have a "token gay" because they honestly don't feel like people anymore.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

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1 comment:

  1. heyy, could you give examples of some such books which resort to token gay characters, if possible? actually a friend of mine is writing an essay on the topic and we aren't able to find many examples of the same in novels/fiction books...