As a writer, I know that having gay heroes or heroines brings about a certain audience and it also alienates a certain audience. A lot of people are afraid to consider doing a gay main character because it will hurt sales or will automatically throw the homophobic audience into the Do Not Want category and I will admit that I've tossed that idea around a couple of times myself. I've also thought about my current story I'm working with and how I could incorporate a gay couple or character or whatever dynamic works best into it and I've wondered if trying to do that in a fantasy type of genre is just over reaching--seeing as fantasy automatically narrows your fanbase and then throwing gay in there might just throw the whole thing to the moon, so to speak.
Most of my friends list is homo friendly so you'll all be like "WTF you talkin' bout, Willis" but it is something that we have to consider seriously as writers (not of fanfiction, of course) because regardless of how progressive our country has gotten, there are still people stuck in the dark ages that would hear "Oh there's a gay character in so-and-so book, I'm not reading that bullshit" and there's a loss of a sale right away.
But I think you all know how important representation of the gay community is to me and it's not just in fanfiction but in life in general. My grandmother and my mother and I were talking yesterday about falling in love and changing your ideals and they said "Oh honey, once it happens, you'll see that you'll change your mind about things" and the first thing that always pops into my mind is my support for gay people and how any guy who ever wants to date me will be OK with that or it's not gonna work out (so far that has proven true) so it's important not only in my family and in my friendships but also any relationships I might have in the future. I haven't actually been friends with many gay people (just because I haven't really come across them where I live), but I have been very good friends with some women who identified as bisexual so I've always been immersed in the culture even if it wasn't something I saw in my friends every day so it's always, always been important to me to represent the world as a whole from all walks of life in all things that I do and write and read and I think it's really important that I represent the gay community in my fiction as well as the straight community.
My first story I'm working on has a female lead that is straight, but I am tossing around some ideas for either a male gay couple or a male gay friend or a female friend who has not said that she is gay and falls in love with the heroine. That's all up in the air, of course, as I pile together different characters in my head but I'm definitely interested in including that in the fantasy novel and I'm also interested in writing something about my experiences in the military and how that might be for someone who is closeted (obviously since you can't be open) and I've even considered what might happen to me if they were to snoop into my stuff and find all the gay contraband and think that I am gay or some such stuff. Anyway, the military's stand on homosexuality is one of the things I cringe when I think about and I'm actually hoping I'll get some sort of chance when I join to be apart of trying to change Don't Ask, Don't Tell and it is definitely something I'd like to explore in a story when I'm done with my first one.
I need to get to bed here soon but I really felt like I needed to write something down about all this so I have. I love all of you for being so wonderful and supportive of both the gay community and its representation in literature as you are all inspirations to me and the rest of the world.