5 Things I Learned Writing My First Bisexual Character

 

bisexual flag

 

I’m a lesbian author, and my Lesbian Light Reads series features stories that are deliberately low-drama and filled with beautiful women meeting and falling in love. I’m dedicated to diversity in this series. I’ve included women of various races, ethnicities, physical ability, and age. (BTW: I take requests.)

When I started writing Stop and Go, Lesbian Light Reads 11, it quickly became clear that Yancy Douglas, the love interest, was bisexual. I’d never written a bisexual character before, and here is what I learned:

  1. I’m used to writing a wide array of characters who are not like me. It’s important to avoid or, at least, negotiate stereotypes. The stereotypes about bisexuals are pernicious. This made them especially important to avoid.
  2. I didn’t need to dwell on Yancy’s bisexuality. The Lesbian Light Reads series doesn’t deal with identity or coming out. My characters start out the stories as lesbians, and they end the stories as lesbians. In Yancy’s case, she started out the story bisexual and ended it as bisexual. I didn’t want to participate in bi-erasure, which can be as nasty as the bisexual stereotypes, but it also seemed completely unnecesary to mention the fact that Yancy was bisexual more than a handful of times.
  3. There’s still not a need for a lot of men in the Lesbian Light Reads series. I do have male characters in the stories. They are all secondary or bit characters. That was still true even with a bisexual main character.
  4. When in doubt, bring in a sensitivity reader. Yancy is a serial monogamist who starts out the story having just left a three-way relationship with a man and a woman. She ends the story in a relationship with a woman. I didn’t want the story to make Yancy seem a “greedy bisexual,” but I also didn’t want to react to that stereotype and make her chaste. A sensitivity reader gave me wise and excellent counsel. BTW: There’s nothing wrong with being promiscious or chaste or anything in between.
  5. Diversity and representation are so important. I intend to continuously broaden the types of characters in the Lesbian Light Reads series and my other books. I hope you like Yancy. I like her. I may bring her back in another story. She’s a lot of fun.

    Light skinned black woman with natural hair. She's smiling.
    Stop and Go, Lesbian Light Reads 11

 

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