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On Writing Trans Characters


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#1 Bird

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 03:10 PM

People have a fascination with trans people's bodies; it's an unhealthy fascination, and one that often results in them writing one-dimensional trans characters who are focused only on transition. How they cannot have any other goals outside of completing their transition. Perhaps it is a way for cisgender people to better understand us, but no matter the motivation, it is aggravating to find yet another story that makes the trans character only about their gender identity. It is possible to write a trans person as a complex human being with flaws, strengths, complex motivations, and interesting storylines that may or may not relate to their gender identity. It just takes research and a willingness to approach this topic with care and respect. The following information may help you on this journey, and over time, I will try my best to provide more research in follow-up posts in this thread.

Note: cisgender means a person whose gender identity aligns with the gender assigned at birth. It's essentially a non-trans person, and a term coined to make it easier to discuss trans issues within the larger frame of our society.

This explains the problems with "the gender novel:" http://thewalrus.ca/...e-gender-novel/

Suggested reading of stories by trans authors: http://thewalrus.ca/no-heroes/

A Great Primer on the basics: The Gender Book

Inclusion's importance: http://www.themarysu...gton-inclusion/


The biggest takeaway I can give you is that transition has no end point. Transition is a process not a procedure. No matter what surgeries that trans people decide is best for them, that is not the only component to a transition, and it's only steps in the process. Another important point is that trans people will always be on hormones for the rest of their lives.
 

Also, take into account that we live in a highly transphobic culture. Examples of this include numerous states across the US recently put forth bills making it harder for trans people to pee in public. Where trans people's care often isn't covered by insurance. Where numerous employment, housing, and every day life discrimination is often rampant. Where our society doesn't bat an eyelash when trans women are  murdered, and their attackers are often let off with a light (if any) sentence. All this discrimination and hostility has a heavy impact on our health and mental well being; it's why trans people have the highest rate of suicide of any group: 41%. Keep this in mind if you set your characters on present day Earth.

A trans person's life is complex as any human being. It is full of ups and downs. Although yes, for a lot of trans people it can be full of great hardship, but it is also riddled with beauty and joy. We have goals and dreams outside of transition (for those of us that can afford and want to transition). And we try to strive for those goals and dreams. We are not one-dimensional stick figures; our bodies are not to be gawked at by the public, and our identities are just as legitimate and important as any cisgender person.

So when you write a trans character, stop and consider the above. Did you make their storyline only about their gender identity? If so, consider revising. Give them more nuances. Give them goals and motivations that extend beyond their gender identity. In fact, why not write a story where their gender identity isn't the central focus. Let us do more than just transition in your stories.  Don't make us into a spectacle to challenge or disturb readers. We aren't speculative fiction; we exist and we are fully realized, multi-dimensional people with all the flaws, strengths, goals, motivations that come with being human. Write us with depth and nuance, with complexities.

If you have questions, feel free to ask. (Just remember, to stay respectful. If trans people cannot answer your detailed question about their body or any surgeries they may or may not have done, respect that. Discussing transition is a hard and difficult topic, and my body and all other trans people's bodies are not in the public domain.)

 

Do you still feel like you can't write trans people? Then challenge yourself to try to do it anyway. Research is often a necessary component to writing anything well, and so do your research. Read about trans people's experiences from them, ask questions respectfully, read the above links, and try your best to create a multi-dimensional character that is full of flaws and strengths just like any other character you would write. It is possible to write a trans person well; it just takes effort and dedication to writing them well. Also, adding in more diverse characters into your story will help improve your story arcs, for it adds interesting complexities that may influence character interactions, plot lines, and climaxes.


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Taken from If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland (used only the first (and sometimes second) lines of each point to simplify list):

If you want to write:
1. Know that you have talent, are original and have something important to say.
2. Know that it is good to work. Work with love and think of liking it when you do it.
3. Write freely, recklessly, in first drafts.
4. Tackle anything you want to.
5. Don't be afraid of writing bad stories. To discover what is wrong with a story write two new ones and then go back to it.
6. Don't fret or be ashamed of what you have written in the past.
7. Try to discover your true, honest, untheoretical self.
8. Think of yourself as an incandescent power, illuminated perhaps...
9. If you are never satisfied with what you write, that is a good sign. It means your vision can see so far that it is hard to come up to it.
10. When discouraged remember what Van Gogh said: "If you hear a voice inside of you saying: you are no painter, then paint by all means, lad, and that voice will be silenced, but only by working."
11. Don't be afraid of yourself when you write.
12. Don't always be appraising yourself, wondering if you are better or worse than other writers.


#2 brian-fatah-steele

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Posted 23 March 2015 - 11:31 AM

I'm guessing a lot of these authors are seeing a transgender character as a plot-point first and as an actual human character second. Which sucks. They would never do that with a minority character or a gay character.  Or maybe they would, and they're just a horrible human being... gah. 

 

Regardless, important post!!! As a "cis" who's had a trans friend, I feel ya. 


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#3 Pelwrath

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Posted 23 March 2015 - 05:16 PM

I agree, Bird, this is a very good post. It could also be seen as a plot/theme then they don't enough or proper research before writing.
Maybe not an intent to sterotype or misrepresent but the effect might come off as the same.

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#4 EquinoxSolstice92

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Posted 23 March 2015 - 10:16 PM

This is why it's hard to write characters who are transgender. A lot of people are having problems writing characters who has a different nationality as they have, gay/lesbian/bisexual characters, and gay/lesbian/bisexual minorities. I'm gonna say this: it's best to avoid topics and if you're planning to write a trans character, then proceed with caution. Even researching online isn't enough, you have to actually talk to them.

 

Do you still feel like you can't write trans people? Then challenge yourself to try to do it anyway.

Bird, as much as I like writing challenges, I'd rather not touch this topic because if I do, I'm gonna offend trans people if I write a character who is one. Certain topics I can touch but this one, it's too difficult for me.


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#5 Pelwrath

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 03:10 PM

I did challenge myself on this a while back and well got a rather emphatic rejection of the story and, rightfully, a verbal beat down from the editor.

"Illegitimi non carborundum"
 
"Doctrina lux mentis"
 
"What you learn in life is important; those you help learn are more."
 

 
 
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#6 Bird

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 10:27 PM

And this is why we don't get representation, because people either don't remember we exist or won't touch us with a ten foot poll. And if they do, they only focus on our transition as if that's the only defining element that's worthwhile, and once that's over, the story is finished. Such stories fail to present this character as an actual human being. This isn't offensive. This is hurtful and degrading. Representation is incredibly important, and this thread is a way to help you grow and learn how to write more diverse characters. Yes, writing diverse characters can be hard, but that's part of being a writer. Writing can sometimes be hard to do; it can be thrilling, exciting or frustrating, terrifying or joyfilled. That's all part of the art of writing.

If you want to write a trans character, write them as a human being first. Why is this so hard to do? Don't make the story only about their gender identity. Do not write a story that focuses only on their transition and uses surgery as the end result of their journey (as if nothing else mattered, and that this "one" surgery now fixes everything about their lives). As long as you present us as human beings with flaws and strengths, that go on interesting journeys and epic quests with fun times and bad times, then you should be okay.

And when you receive criticism, you listen. You stay quiet and listen to what they say. Then you write a few more new stories to try new ways of writing characters that are not like yourself. You can't learn until you try, and if you read through my advice, that I'm giving as a trans person, and read through the links that were written by trans people, then you should have a good idea on how to start. Because us trans people are trying to give you advice on how to write us better. Listen to us.

Just please, for the love of everything, do not write a story about our transition and make that be all we are. Because that's not. As long as you avoid that and write about us as human beings, then you will learn more about how to write characters not like yourself, and you'll learn what to do and what not to do. But you do that by writing. By talking with those who are not like yourself -- by talking to people like me, and trying your best to write us well.

By giving up and saying you can't because you might offend someone?

When a trans character is badly portrayed, I can guarantee that people don't respond negatively because they are offended. They are upset because it was hurtful. Learn from their words. By listening to others and really trying hard to be open to other people's experiences, you learn how to write better and more multi-dimensional and diverse characters. Be willing to take risks so you can learn how to better create your characters to be more multi-dimensional. You do this by writing.

Do you have to write diverse characters? No, but by writing diverse characters, you can grow as a writer and as a person.


Edit: Saw your post, Brian, and thanks!


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Taken from If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland (used only the first (and sometimes second) lines of each point to simplify list):

If you want to write:
1. Know that you have talent, are original and have something important to say.
2. Know that it is good to work. Work with love and think of liking it when you do it.
3. Write freely, recklessly, in first drafts.
4. Tackle anything you want to.
5. Don't be afraid of writing bad stories. To discover what is wrong with a story write two new ones and then go back to it.
6. Don't fret or be ashamed of what you have written in the past.
7. Try to discover your true, honest, untheoretical self.
8. Think of yourself as an incandescent power, illuminated perhaps...
9. If you are never satisfied with what you write, that is a good sign. It means your vision can see so far that it is hard to come up to it.
10. When discouraged remember what Van Gogh said: "If you hear a voice inside of you saying: you are no painter, then paint by all means, lad, and that voice will be silenced, but only by working."
11. Don't be afraid of yourself when you write.
12. Don't always be appraising yourself, wondering if you are better or worse than other writers.


#7 Pelwrath

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 11:51 PM

Based upon your po the time and my total lack of understanding at the time, I'll permanently delete that story.  I obviously did offend when that was the farthest from my mind.  I owe that editor an apology.


"Illegitimi non carborundum"
 
"Doctrina lux mentis"
 
"What you learn in life is important; those you help learn are more."
 

 
 
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Dandelion Dreams:  11-23-15 @ www.flashfictionpress.org
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#8 Antonia Woodville

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 01:11 PM

the big thing is, transgender people should come into the story naturally, not make it the be all and end all, as you say. I know a transgender person, she is a brilliant (I mean that) writer who gets into the mind of any character she writes and her situation never comes into it. She is. That's how it should be. Just - is. No explanations, no need to refer to it unless it is essentially a part of the story. Like, not referring to someone's colour unless that is an integral part of the storyline. There are occasions when it isn't even necessary to make it clear someone is male or female. They just - are. People. Humans. Walking talking blobs of flesh held up by bones and with a mind that wants to think and direct.  No?


Edited by Antonia Woodville, 25 March 2015 - 01:12 PM.

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#9 ScintillaPurpose

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 07:32 PM

Okay, I'm even nervous writing characters who belong to groups I'm part of myself (such as Americans of color), let alone groups I'm not part of. But I think I'll try to make a character in my planned LeFiWriMo story transgender. 

 

He won't be a major character, and I think I'll only mention his being a trans man once when introducing him, maybe calling him "a man but in body" since my story takes place in a secondary world that probably wouldn't have a word for 'transgender,' and maybe having the protagonist mention that he has a higher voice than most men or something. Other than that, his being trans wouldn't come up, most details about his character would have to do with other things, and his role in the plot would have nothing to do with his gender.

 

Does that sound okay? Would it seem like I just slapped on the fact he was trans for representation, since it wouldn't affect much else?


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#10 Dreaming of the Mists

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 08:31 PM

I once dealt with this online magazine. The rules banned gay and alternative lifestyle characters. The justification was that if the story was not about those topics it didn't need those characters. That mindset results in stupid. Even though I rarely have gay or alternative lifestyle characters, I refused to submit anything to that publication.

 

The most complicated character I ever created was bi. Except he didn't consider himself bi. He loved a man. But beyond that experience, he considered himself straight. So did the other man. He didn't talk about it because the other man wouldn't publicly admit to the relationship. Their sexuality wasn't the storyline but it showed itself.

 

I don't think I would create a trans character for the same reason I doubt I'd publish that story series. I wouldn't want to offend. No matter how valid I considered the concept.


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#11 Bird

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 09:51 PM

Does that sound okay? Would it seem like I just slapped on the fact he was trans for representation, since it wouldn't affect much else?

That sounds fine to me, and the fact that you asked that question shows how badly trans representation is needed. We exist. And we do complicated and interesting things that don't always relate to our gender. By showing us in your plot doing things that don't relate to our gender isn't you slapping it on, but showing us as people. And that's how you write trans characters well. Show us as people; show us doing things.


The fact that people ask the question you're asking shows just how crucial this is. Because you're still asking if the trans character should even exist since his gender doesn't affect the plot. That's the problem. Making their gender crucial to the plot, where they become only about their gender is problematic and disheartening. But by doing the opposite and writing the character as trans, but letting them evolve and be complex people goes beyond their gender, it shows us as human and interesting characters and that's exactly what we need more of. If we had more of this, then people wouldn't even be asking your question and we wouldn't be viewed so negatively and badly by society in general. People would see us as human first and not treat us as freaks (or worse). 

 

Think about it this way, you wouldn't ask that question if your character was cisgender (and straight); so why do you ask that when they are trans (and any of the possible sexualities)? If cisgender and straight people can have plot lines where their gender or sexuality isn't crucial to the plot, then why not trans? This same point can be applied to race as well. Something to think about.

So thank you for giving it a go. Keep writing and good luck!


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Taken from If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland (used only the first (and sometimes second) lines of each point to simplify list):

If you want to write:
1. Know that you have talent, are original and have something important to say.
2. Know that it is good to work. Work with love and think of liking it when you do it.
3. Write freely, recklessly, in first drafts.
4. Tackle anything you want to.
5. Don't be afraid of writing bad stories. To discover what is wrong with a story write two new ones and then go back to it.
6. Don't fret or be ashamed of what you have written in the past.
7. Try to discover your true, honest, untheoretical self.
8. Think of yourself as an incandescent power, illuminated perhaps...
9. If you are never satisfied with what you write, that is a good sign. It means your vision can see so far that it is hard to come up to it.
10. When discouraged remember what Van Gogh said: "If you hear a voice inside of you saying: you are no painter, then paint by all means, lad, and that voice will be silenced, but only by working."
11. Don't be afraid of yourself when you write.
12. Don't always be appraising yourself, wondering if you are better or worse than other writers.


#12 Alatariel

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 05:28 PM

It seems just as challenging as writing any other type of character. Every character needs depth, not just one defining characteristic or one personal conflict or one anything. I feel as though I would be perfectly comfortable writing a LGBTQ (other letters in the acronym included, I apologize for those I missed. What's the most recent acronym being used?) because they're another character I need to spend time developing. I think it would be odd for any group of people to be portrayed in one way. That's how we get misrepresentation and stereotypes, right? Just write a well-rounded three-dimensional character who happens to be transgender, gay, bisexual, or straight. It's just another piece to their identity but isn;t their complete identity. My attraction to men is not the most important thing about me. In fact, it's probably on the list of least important things. I'd rather you know my my love for animals and my passion for writing and my addiction to sweets. And yea, I happen to identify with the gender assigned at birth and be considered "Straight" by today's standards, but that's low on the list of important attributes.

 

Anyway, I think I'm rambling. I'll take your challenge. I feel like one of my characters I just started developing for a soon-to-be novel is transgender. The more I get to know him, the more I realize this is true. 


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#13 Bird

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Posted 27 March 2015 - 12:40 PM

Thanks all of you for the comments and for those of you taking up the challenge!

If you need any insight or further research, let me know. I have tons of other links I can add to this, and I may over time. I can also provide perspective about what it's like being trans, though I'd rather it not be the focal point of your character.  For the most part, it sounds like most of you get this, which is quite a relief.


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Spoiler


Taken from If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland (used only the first (and sometimes second) lines of each point to simplify list):

If you want to write:
1. Know that you have talent, are original and have something important to say.
2. Know that it is good to work. Work with love and think of liking it when you do it.
3. Write freely, recklessly, in first drafts.
4. Tackle anything you want to.
5. Don't be afraid of writing bad stories. To discover what is wrong with a story write two new ones and then go back to it.
6. Don't fret or be ashamed of what you have written in the past.
7. Try to discover your true, honest, untheoretical self.
8. Think of yourself as an incandescent power, illuminated perhaps...
9. If you are never satisfied with what you write, that is a good sign. It means your vision can see so far that it is hard to come up to it.
10. When discouraged remember what Van Gogh said: "If you hear a voice inside of you saying: you are no painter, then paint by all means, lad, and that voice will be silenced, but only by working."
11. Don't be afraid of yourself when you write.
12. Don't always be appraising yourself, wondering if you are better or worse than other writers.


#14 EquinoxSolstice92

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 11:08 PM

This is a helpful advice from Kat Blaque:

 


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#15 Bird

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 10:01 PM

That's pretty good video! Thank you Equinox! I think I've made a thread on this before as well. Might consider merging the two if I have time.

Also, I thought I'd expand a bit on the video. The societies in your novels do not have to have binary genders. Multiple genders do exist -- far more than just two. And not all trans people want to transition to "the opposite" gender. Sometimes they may want to transition to neutral/non-binary/genderqueer. Or maybe they don't want to physically transition. Maybe they'd rather socially transition. 
 
There is a lot of variance and diversity within the trans community. The biggest suggestion I have for people, is really just read stories by trans folks. Sit for a bit in their shoes and try to understand their experience. Don't treat us like an exotic other. Try to just be us for a bit.
 
Here is an exercise to help you imagine what it may be like as a trans person. Caveat: Recognize this is based partly on my experience and partly on the statistics of the trans community within the US. Not all trans people experience it this way, so be cognizant of the fact trans people have diverse experiences and journeys on how they come to understand themselves and live their lives as themselves.

You'd have to grapple with confusion about your gender, and a sense of wrongness like something is off key or not right, and it is just this constant buzz in your mind that you can't erase. This "buzz" (for lack of a better word) can even seem incredibly painful at times. It leaves you feeling upset and sometimes even depressed. Then you need to think about how you may find yourself upset with how you look, how the way your body developed, and it may feel painful to see your body this way, to know it should look differently but you aren't sure yet how it should look. Then consider how this pain and sense of 'wrongness' may become more and more intrusive in your thoughts until you find it hard to go about your day. You start to notice every little thing people do in regards to gender, and how people classify you with a moment's glance, ignoring you and just putting you into this gendered box expecting you to act in very specific ways. You start feeling upset and hurt because no one is seeing you or recognizing you, and you start to despair that your life will pass you by, and you will never feel safe or right in your own skin.

Then sit and consider how society may treat you if you try to be yourself and live outside the gendered box society has thrust upon you. Consider how, in American culture where I am, you may be beaten up, assaulted, raped, harassed verbally, how you may lose your job, or may not find a job that's willing to hire you. How you may lose your housing. How your parents may reject you or actively seek ways to force you back into that box. How it feels like everywhere you go and everything you do, you are devalued, seen as a deviant, a freak, or a token sideshow. Think about how it might feel to have someone recognize you as you are, using the correct pronouns, and avoiding hurtful slurs -- how that will make you feel not only valued but actually loved for once. Some cultures may not be as vicious as what I describe here -- but I can really only speak for American culture as that is what I have personally experienced.
 
What I wrote above is a way to get you started, but recognize that what I wrote above is not representative of all trans experiences. Not all trans people will experience this the same way. That's why you should go out of your way and read the stories of trans folks. Hear from their own words about how they experience being trans. All of us have a different way of experiencing it, and none are all the same. It will help you better put on our shoes and walk for a bit in them. Yes, it takes a bit of research, but it can help you create more rich and diverse characters. (And it might give you ideas for other characters or new plot lines or even interesting new societies within your worlds.)

Once you have a better idea of what the experience of being trans is like within our shared culture, now, step out of it and consider how the society within your book may change that. How we navigate through our society in order to live our lives has an influence on people -- for those who are from oppressed groups (those who experience heavy discrimination in nearly all arenas of their life, who are often killed for being who they are, who struggle to survive financially and/or emotionally and/or physically), navigating culture can be significantly harder than those who are more privileged and have access to better services and opportunities. All societies have different layers of opportunity for folks depending upon certain identities and socioeconomic groups and other factors, so understanding that about your world can help you better understand how your characters navigate it.

Some questions to keep in mind:

  • How many genders does your society have? (Some cultures on Earth have up to five genders. In fact, biology is showing more and more that even humanity is not as simplistic as having just two sexes. Think of gender as your identity that is within your brain. Your sex is related to your biological make-up such as secondary sex characteristics or chromosomes. Also, there is some evidence that one person could technically have cells with very different chromosomes. The point here is to show that even gender can be incredibly diverse.)
  •  How does your society treat each gender? Is one considered "better" or "stronger" or "more intelligent" or "more simplistic" than the other? How is gender perceived and experienced within your culture?
  • What rules and/or expectations does your society enforce for various genders? (When you think about rules, think about socialization. This can be a complex topic, so reading sociological theory on socialization may be useful. Think of it this way. You know how we are socialized to think pink is feminine and blue is masculine? At the end of the 1800s and early 1900s, blue was actually considered feminine. Things like this can change depending on time period and culture. Also, think about how guys are supposed to be tough and show little emotion -- that is also dependent upon culture. In some societies on Earth, the masculine person is expected to show more emotion than the feminine person. Also, think about how masculinity in the US is often associated with power and/or violence. Now, think about how femininity is often associated with being overly emotional, not smart enough, weak, or bossy. These have an impact on how people are perceived and treated. And all of what I've discussed thus far? That's all learned behaviors and perceptions. I bring this up because I want people who write speculative fiction, especially, to think outside the box. To not like what you've had socialized into you from a young age color your world-building.)
  • Now that you know the backdrop of your world in regards to gender, think about your character and how they inhabit that space. (Kat Blaque spoke a bit about this as well.) Ask yourself how do they navigate your society? How do they get through a day? Do they encounter discrimination? How do they deal with discrimination?) This will help you better understand your character and the space around them, so when you write, you can include little details that reveal that their experience of gender may differ from other characters. By understanding the environment, space, and person that is your character, it will help you focus on the story and hopefully help you avoid the stereotype of making the story only about them being trans. There is always more to a person than just their gender identity.

 
 
If you have specific questions about trans folks, I am open to answering via PM for those not comfortable asking here. And remember, this is a resource thread. Not a debate forum. Enjoy and if you have questions about the video or what I wrote in this post and don't mind sharing it with the rest of us, feel free to post and I'll do what I can to find answers (or share my experience with the question's topic).


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Spoiler


Taken from If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland (used only the first (and sometimes second) lines of each point to simplify list):

If you want to write:
1. Know that you have talent, are original and have something important to say.
2. Know that it is good to work. Work with love and think of liking it when you do it.
3. Write freely, recklessly, in first drafts.
4. Tackle anything you want to.
5. Don't be afraid of writing bad stories. To discover what is wrong with a story write two new ones and then go back to it.
6. Don't fret or be ashamed of what you have written in the past.
7. Try to discover your true, honest, untheoretical self.
8. Think of yourself as an incandescent power, illuminated perhaps...
9. If you are never satisfied with what you write, that is a good sign. It means your vision can see so far that it is hard to come up to it.
10. When discouraged remember what Van Gogh said: "If you hear a voice inside of you saying: you are no painter, then paint by all means, lad, and that voice will be silenced, but only by working."
11. Don't be afraid of yourself when you write.
12. Don't always be appraising yourself, wondering if you are better or worse than other writers.


#16 EquinoxSolstice92

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 04:09 AM

Even though there are a lot of useful information online, Bird, it's still better to talk to transgender people face to face in person. Sometimes, research isn't enough because otherwise, it's not gonna feel authentic. 


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#17 Jib-Jib

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 12:02 AM

Thank you for posting this. I second the notion that, if you want to know trans people, you probably should speak with and interact with trans people. Making friends is a good idea. But, I also agree with Bird in that research is vitally important. Trans people themselves often do considerable research to even figure out where they stand. Online resources are not a bad place to start if you are looking to learn about trans identities.

 

When writing any sort of LGBTAQ+ character, though, I'd suggest steering away from gritty YA novels focused around "coming out" or the tragic star-crossed lovers sort of narrative. These topics have typically been overdone. Not that there isn't a place for them, just be sure that your work is truly adding something new.

 

For the casual writer, I would suggest a different track. Just treat your trans characters as any other normal human being. Speaking from my own experiences, what a lot of people want so desperately is just normalcy. They don't want to be treated as a perpetual victim, some "freak", or some "other". So what I say is: Create fully fleshed out characters with hopes and dreams, strengths and weaknesses, that just so happen to also be trans, gay, asexual etc.

 

That is all. :)


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#18 Bird

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 07:39 PM

I created a primer to help folks write trans characters -- mostly to get them generating ideas, tips on how to do research, resources to read and explore, and other fun stuff: https://reshapingrea...ans-characters/


My Author's Blog: Reshaping Reality


jW5s6ND.png?35oInUQc.png?2  long-6.pngNaPo17.png


Spoiler


Taken from If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland (used only the first (and sometimes second) lines of each point to simplify list):

If you want to write:
1. Know that you have talent, are original and have something important to say.
2. Know that it is good to work. Work with love and think of liking it when you do it.
3. Write freely, recklessly, in first drafts.
4. Tackle anything you want to.
5. Don't be afraid of writing bad stories. To discover what is wrong with a story write two new ones and then go back to it.
6. Don't fret or be ashamed of what you have written in the past.
7. Try to discover your true, honest, untheoretical self.
8. Think of yourself as an incandescent power, illuminated perhaps...
9. If you are never satisfied with what you write, that is a good sign. It means your vision can see so far that it is hard to come up to it.
10. When discouraged remember what Van Gogh said: "If you hear a voice inside of you saying: you are no painter, then paint by all means, lad, and that voice will be silenced, but only by working."
11. Don't be afraid of yourself when you write.
12. Don't always be appraising yourself, wondering if you are better or worse than other writers.


#19 Daxx

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 09:01 PM

That was wonderful! Transgender are people who want to be seen as such just like you and me. Their sexuality is small part of who they are. They should be represented in stories with the same value and importance as anyone.

 

This post made my day!


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#20 Zoey141

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 06:58 AM

huh.png Sorry but I don't understand why there should be a separate way of treating or writing a transgender character?sleep.png  They are as good as any character and a good writer is one who can create a strong character irrespective of the character's gender! I'm a woman, but that doesn't stop me from creating male characters. Likewise, why should anything stop me from doing the same while writing about a transgender (grrrr! I dislike this whole categorizing business!) character? 






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