There is SO MUCH to be said about the Gay Girl in Damascus furore – and the other one – neither of which I’m providing links for here because I don’t think they need any more publicity. So much to be said about how damn colonising, paternalistic, proprietary, arrogant, life-grabbing etc etc these men have been.
About how, conversely, I’d welcome more representations of lesbian and bisexual women in fiction, in drama, I’d welcome so many that we stop getting upset that they’re caricatured, that they’re lifeless, that they’re fake, and start simply to see them as characters, as PEOPLE. I’d love that writers everywhere stopped worrying is it ok for me to write black if I’m white, to write gay or bi if I’m straight, to write women if I’m male (and vice versa for all of the above), and tried simply to write a more full and engaged world in their work, instead of only and always showing gay (or black/asian/anything but white, or women) characters as different or outside or other. I’d really welcome that. Yes, of course, people would make mistakes, but we do that all the time in creating fiction, we make characters that don’t quite work, that maybe don’t fill the page/screen/stage in every way quite as well as they should – the more mistakes we make the more likely we are to get it ‘right’ eventually.
What I do not welcome is some blokes pretending to be gay women in order to make it better for the little ladies. Chaps, my father is dead, I do not need another one.
Marvellously though, here’s another white bloke putting them right. (That’s not sarcasm, I think he’s got it spot on.)