🌈 LGBT+ OCs discussion thread

Posted 4 months, 5 days ago (Edited 3 months, 11 days ago) by Judas-la-Carotte

Hi! Following some discussion in the "TH pet peeves" thread, I've decided to create a discussion thread specifically dedicated to discussion around LGBT+ OCs. This is not a "show me..." thread (I'm sure there's plenty of these in Character Discussion already), it's a thread where you can share your thoughts or ask for advice!

Share your thoughts: Ramble about your experience with LGBT+ OCs, share some tropes you like/dislike, give ideas and tips to other OCs creators!

Ask for advice: Share your character ideas or profiles and ask for feedback! Or just ask a more specific question about something you're unsure about!

I hope this kind of thread is allowed and that you will like it! Tell me if anything needs to be added in the OP. Have fun, and please keep things civil ♥

TheStrayCat

Oh cool! I'm very familiar with LGBT+, I'm gay and my mom's a lesbian, so if anyone has any questions or anything, feel free to ping or PM me! I'm really chill and don't get offended easily so I don't mind helping out people who are unsure c: 

celestiials

Oh cool, I think this thread's a good idea! Currently I don't have bios that need feedback, but I'll come back when I do!

Almondlover

ah, very nice thread! im a lesbian, but that doesnt mean i can speak for the other lgbt identities, so i appreciate having a space to ask about stuff like this. ^^

one question i have is how everyone feels about lgbt villain/anti-heros/morally grey characters.

For example, I have Amali, a trans male who turned bitter and hostile to the world after feeling ostracized by his peers, not just because he was trans, but that was a contributing factor. His bitterness eventually causes his downfall, but thats spoilers so, yeah. There are other lgbt characters in his story, even other trans characters, who are better people. He's not awful because he's trans and he's not trans because he's awful, but I wanted to know about how others feel about the topic. I know a common trope is making male villains seem effeminate and gay-coded, which is not positive portrayal, and I try to avoid that trope.


zinnia

Almondlover

i feel like thats a pretty common thing people worry about, but really imo it's not that deep unless the only lgbt character is the villain, if that makes sense?


Shyads

Oh heyo this is a great idea! I've been wanting to make something similar to talk about trans characters for a while now tbh but could never think of a good time to do so. I'd really love to like, dispel some of the anxiety that people tend to have around trans characters and other lgbt identities, cos I absolutely feel people who stay away from writing about things they have no personal experience with, but also there's something fun about learning and trying new things

I just think it would be really great if this fear some people have of screwing up and pissing people off could be replaced with curiosity, yanno? Cos honestly, every person is different, so every lgbt person is different, no one will never be able to please everyone. People make mistakes, and it's okay, we can learn from them and gain a really rich new view of the world, and translate that into new and exciting works of fiction! I'm a trans dude, I'm ace and pan, I've got a lot of experiences that come from these things, but I'm by no means the end-all be-all voice of reason in how you should write these topics, nor is anyone for that matter. I'd love to be a part of the discussion though, if someone is looking to get some feedback

The general rule of thumb I've found is that if you're not trying to hurt people, you can't do wrong, as any mistakes you make will have been genuine, and you can apologise, learn and move on. Positive learning environment, yo, lets stop being scared of making mistakes and accept that they'll happen! Lets learn from stuff and grow \o/

CanineKing

Ohh what a neat thread :>

In my experience with the LGBT+ OCs I've seen so far, it's been all lovely with OCs in various relationships or identifying outside the general gender binary! It's all very cute lol

I have a lot to say about this kind of topic but maybe later lmao, I do have an opinion I'd like to share to folks writing about LBGT+ folks; or really any kind of diversity :V

If you are the person that experiences it, then you can be the person that can write about it.

If you're LGBT+ then you can write an LGBT+ that's about being LGBT+. For example, I can write a story of a character who's a bi trans guy and his experiences being bi+trans because I'm also a bi trans guy that has real life experience. Sure I can write about characters with different sexuality/ genders in a different kind of story, but it just feels sorta wrong to write about the ones that I'm not. I'm not stating that it SHOULD be done this way, so you can do plenty of research on the internet or wherever, but you should ALSO ASK about it to actual people are LGBT+ (of course, if they're willing) to have a better idea about it. (Again, I just want to clarify that I mean stories that is focused on LGBT+ stuff, so like being in the closet or the feeling of dysphoria, that kind of stuff :V) It's just hard to write about things that's you've never gone through, and easy enough to make mistakes that can potentially hurt others. Plus it's better if it can get LGBT+ creators noticed! 

A good example I can think of is TAZ where they had a trans girls character. She was created by a bunch of cishet dudes, still had other characteristics in her, and they avoided trying to write about "being a tragic transgirl". Still had great representation to the LBGT+ community, and that was it.

Milkweed

Almondlover

Ahh I hate to say this, but since you're asking in good faith I will answer honestly. I'm really not a fan of that trope [of trans people becoming bitter due to transphobia] I've read a lot of stories like that, and the only one I've ever liked was Fierce Femmes and Fabulous Liars, which is an extremely weird, niche story by a trans person from Montreal. (Highly reccommend, everyone should read it.) Even that was extremely difficult and kinda emotionally painful to get through, and it only really worked because of the degree of compasison and love extended towards that character. (Also the cast is 99% trans people, that helps.)

Anyway, I'm definitely not saying people shouldn't write stories like that! Some trans people like them. But I get the impression that a lot of cis people legitimately aren't aware that it's a common trope. TBH it's kind of hard to find offline stories about trans people who aren't bitter. I think it would be kind of unfair to you not to let you know that. Of course I don't speak for anyone other than myself, and as Shyads said a postive learning environment is super important. It's 100% fine to play around with stories and tropes to see what works or doesn't work for you. Your story could be fantastic, and the fact that there are multiple trans people in it is definitely a good sign!

Also, on a different but similar note, even as a trans person I sometimes get nervous about writing trans characters! There are so many different experiences, which are dependant on so many different factors. (I'm less nervous about the lgb part of the acronym, for various reasons.) I'm writing a story right now about a trans kid and his brother, and I'm like ?? what do I know about transitioning in high school? Hardly anything. I have to do so much research for a demographic that I'm technically a part of. There's also a Toyhouse-specific issue where the characters we show are usually divorced form their stories, so something that's fine in context might seem weird when it's presented on its own. 

Edited for clarity whoops I just realized I never named the trope that bothered me. fgkfd 

Pyatiugolnik

building off something i saw in the pet peeves thread (not intending to attack! just explain my perspective:)

i'm a pre-op trans man who struggles to pass because i have a huge chest and hips. i can't wear a binder because i already have breathing + back problems, and my chest is too large to completely bind. i put in effort to pass the best i can manage but obviously this can't work out perfectly, since yknow, chest is sitting right there wheezes

i have a lot of pre-op trans men with visible hips/chest because of that! it helps my dysphoria to see feminine-presenting men be accepted as men without question or concern, and to have their pronouns used without an argument. it's nice to dive into that escapism every once in a while, and not all of my trans men characters are like that, but a few still are. i also have cis men who dress feminine and are merely GNC that blend in with the feminine trans men, so it's not like they're completely singled out!

my ocs are just basically my primary escapism of the world, so a lot of them are intended to comfort in ways like that! their universe is also a one where no lgbt+ discrimination exists, so it's definitely not supposed to be a true mirror of our world. (i just find it personally exhausting to have to relive misgendering/judgements that have been levied on me in fiction, hence i chose to not write about it).

anyway i brought this up because i noticed a few people concerned about that particular kind of trans oc, so i wanted to offer a perspective from someone who has a few!

physics

Almondlover trans dude here! if anything i feel a little weird about the "lashed out/attacked people due to misgendering and went too far sometimes" thing, since its still suuuuper common for people to joke about trans people getting offended and intolerable over "did you just assume my gender" stuff.... a lot of people have thanked me for being a "chill trans person" who isnt. idk. like that? which is so stupid because i havent met any trans people who ARE like that (seriously, who wants to risk that kind of potentially dangerous interaction w a cis person, everyone i know just kinda quietly doesnt mention it, or only does very gently). but everyone insists a friend of a friend of theirs has had some horrible interaction with an Evil Trans Person who tore into them for getting pronouns wrong... so im not sure about perpetuating that kinda thing

but i dont think writing trans characters who are bad people in general is a no-go zone! like zinnia said, as long as you have other trans characters who arent nasty (and not just because no ones ever been mean about their transness or whatever, since people can suffer meanness without becoming cruel themselves), i dont think it inherently has bad implications. you just gotta consider the finer points of what implications might be etc.

Almondlover

physics

the lashing out part isnt so much as that AWFUL ""joke"" (i agree, its a terrible stereotype and i hate it) but its more that they would intentionally do it to harass him and mock him, and he was just tired of that bs so he eventually just snapped and lashed out at them. he was always bitter because he had no family and felt alone and scared, so he chose fight over flight.  but thanks for your input ^^

Beefy

Almondlover

I would add what you just told physics to his profile! Coming from the perspective of a transdude who also has a transmasc character as one of the main villains in one of my storylines, I don't think it can't be done/it's bad to do but there's a difference between being a bad trans guy and being a bad guy who's trans. As your ocs profile currently stands it sounds like he doesn't have a reason to be a villain beyond being misgendered/bullied (and it also kinda sounds like he antagonized people first)? This isn't a horrible reason in and of itself but it's not the most developed considering 1. out of EVERYONE i've ever met who's trans I don't think i've ever met anyone who actually aggressively corrects people on their pronouns (99% of the time we don't say anything or we correct it quietly) and 2. not everyone who is bullied gets physically reproachful about it. I think you just need to give more information on the personality? Mention that he's always been aggressive/malicious (if that is a case) make it clear that his motivation for being a villain is not "people misgendered me and now I have realized everyone sucks" but something deeper? What made him truly turn his back on the rest of the world? Is it really just being bullied? Why; not everyone who is bullied becomes a villian (infact most don't)? Think about his motivations for a character, you can mention he also got back lash for being trans but being bullied for being trans shouldn't be the only/main reason he hates others!

cyantrashcan

just gonna drop my two cents here! this is a cool thread :^)

whenever it comes to writing lgbt+ characters (and characters of any minority, for that matter), research always matters. do as much research as possible! within that research, you should also delve into things said by members of the lgbt community/any other minority. while textbook definitions/studies/etc. are valuable when it comes to research, real testimonies by real people are just as valuable when it comes to writing and fleshing out your characters. using insight from real people makes your ocs much more believable and interesting.

also, i have a question myself. when i first created chris (i was like, 10/11 at the time), he was originally straight. he used to be a very flat mlp oc with no memorable traits besides having a girlfriend who was roughly based off of myself. as i was projecting my own issues onto chris (while learning about my bisexuality at the same time), he became more human as i started drawing his "humanized" version more. i got a little bit older (emphasis on "a little bit", this was like one/two years later? all these changes were kinda gradual) and pulled him away from mlp:fim as i grew out of my pony phase. i also eventually made him an adult changed his sexuality to be gay. remember how i mentioned him having a girlfriend? i created an au w/ a "genderbent" version of her (yes, i know now that genderbends are lowkey cursed. i was 13) but chris stayed the same. and you know what? i liked it. his "previous" s/o became nathan. this change, along with all the other changes i made as i projected more of my traits onto chris, made me much more attached to the both of them! now, what i'm asking about is the implications of this decision that i made in the past to make chris gay instead of straight. personally, i feel like it was a huge step towards developing him as a character, as it gave me room to use my experiences as a wlw (that wlw/mlm solidarity tho) and it made me a lot more attached to him and nate!! what i fear is other people judging me for this decision in the future (i want jensen to at least become a well-known story once i write it,,, somehow) and making a big-ass reach about how offensive it might be?? like people somehow claiming that i fetishize mlm?? cancel culture on the internet (gotta love the year of our lord, 2018™) makes this likely in my eyes. :/

sorry for rambling lol

Angry-Moth-Noises

Slightly off topic, but kinda related: People should be aware of the 'Bury your gays" trope. It is also heavily linked with villians being LGBT+ and how Villians can be overly flamboyant as an attempt to make LGBT+ people look bad (and no I am not going to go full SJW). I don't really like to fully express my identity LGBT+ identity because well... I don't want to and I don't have to (and that doesn't make my opinion any less valid), but personally, I find nothing wrong with LGBT+ villains. The point is to treat them still as people and as characters. And one major problem I have with most trans characters is the hyper focus people have on trans characters being trans. Boiling them down to just their gender and the trans struggle. Yes, being trans will very much affect one's life in some way, but it isn't the only think they are about.

Caine

I really feel like the silence of this thread is a testament to how dead the Creator's corner is and how little people use it, because otherwise I feel like this discussion thread would already have multiple pages going on :'/ 

cyantrashcan I don't think there is anything wrong with this? Like it's only natural characters change and shape from their initial concept; I also have a lot of characters that originally stared out as straight or as different gender from what they're now, and I don't think in and itself there is anything problematic with that at all? I think it always just comes down to how you actually write these characters, and imo as long as you write them as people first and foremost there shouldn't be anything legitimate to fear about. 

If people want to "cancel" someone they will find a way to do it no matter what you have or haven't done anyway, which is why I genuinely hate this whole canceling/callout culture 

Kirbygal

oof hi sry to disrupt y'all conversation but I have a q: Say I have an oc that's not interested in romance/ relationships, dating, sex, etc., what kind of orientation should that be called/ labeled? ;; Currently I have him listed as a straight ace but... I dunno ;; It feels like there should be something more specific.  (Sry if the answer is something super obvious, I actually don't know a ton about this kind of thing ;O; but thankies for any help)