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Saturday, July 31, 2010

LGBT in fiction: breaking down stereotypes to write about the reality in the fantasy

It's no secret that in addition to "traditional" romance and erotica, I write about women falling in love and/or having sex in addition to men doing the same. One thing I have always stressed and advised others on is that beyond researching the physical mechanics for realism (especially if you're writing about the opposite sex!) the thing to do is to remember you are writing about people. It's really that people. Two people falling in love. Two people who are attracted to each other. Two people who are finding each other in a crazy, crazy world.

I believe in this strongly. I myself am a self-described "peoplesexual", and while I fit into the so-called "B" spectrum on the LBGT scale as a bisexual I don't feel that the term itself describes my sexuality accurately. I'm not attracted to gender, I don't "crave" one gender if I'm with someone else, and I also don't feel that the binary scale when it comes to gender is all that reflective of reality when it comes to what the culture perceives as gender versus what is.

Then there are the stereotypes about bisexuals, which anger me because they not only come from heterosexuals but our own LGBT community. We all cheat, "need" the other gender if we're with someone else, or we're declared to be nonexistent all together, just a bunch of gays in denial or straight people who are "experimenting." Even in fiction bisexuality is frequently done with someone in both a gay and a straight relationship or they're "not really bi." As a monogamous bisexual, this irks me, and this is why I'll often make references to past experiences with lovers of either gender regardless of who they are devoted to at present. It spells it out: if we're bisexual, we can be in a gay relationship or a straight one. It doesn't make us no longer bisexual; we're still capable of being attracted to someone regardless of gender. While there are indeed bisexuals who are polyamorous, they do not make up all of bisexuals.

Because of my own sexuality and friends of mine who are all over the LGBT spectrum, I am a strong supporter of marriage rights and label said rights as they should be labeled: civil rights. People have the right to fall in love. Consenting adults have the right to be together with their chosen and preferred. And nobody has the right to say otherwise. It sickens me to think of how prejudiced people are with such little basis or understanding.

As a writer, I do my best to contribute to causes I feel strongly about--such as this Blogathon, for instance. :) But also when I write, I do my best to portray what I feel to be important and what I want to leave people with. People in my books are very fluid sexually, are often of minority faiths and backgrounds, and have often have reasons to be labeled as "alt".

I contributed to an anthology called To Love and To Cherish, which is a collection of stories about women marrying women. Note that I don't use the term "lesbian" as I feel it excludes the segment of women who are bisexual but wind up in a monogamous gay relationship. My own story, "My Big Fat Greek Pagan Lesbian Wedding" is about two women who are Greek polytheists, one who is a devotee of Hera and the other Aphrodite, and the trials and tribulations that unfold for them as they plan their wedding. Between friends and family who try to mean well but sometimes miss the mark and miscommunications between them, I take snapshots of it all. LGBT couples go through the same sorts of issue we all do regardless of our backgrounds, and that was more or less the point of my story.

Proceeds from To Love and To Cherish are donated towards Marriage Equality in order to fight for civil rights.

You can find my story in the anthology in ebook, Kindle, or print format on and other retailers online.

Love & Magic,

Please Note: I am blogging on behalf of the Boston Rape Crisis Center, and if you wish to sponsor me in any dollar amount--none is too small, every bit counts!--please go here: then email me your receipt at so I can keep a running total. If you don't know what to put down for the donation, just put "Adrianne Brennan - Blogathon".


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