I'm human, I make mistakes. I may even make mistakes in this post (but I'm damn well gonna try my best not to.)
But, I don't want people to be afraid of reading and reviewing books with LGBTQ+ characters.
So I figured I'd give you some tips which seem common sense, but, as you may have seen this week, clearly need to be spelt out.
So listen up my nerdlets, hopefully this will be helpful (and feel free to correct me if I do make a mistake,):
1. Neither sexuality nor gender are a lifestyle or a preference.
Would you refer to a straight person as having a heterosexual lifestyle? I doubt it.
I know that a lot of the time, referring to LGBTQ+ people as living a certain lifestyle, or having a certain preference, is well-intended.
I may even have done so in the past myself.
Some LGBTQ+ people may not have a problem with it; a lot do.
It gives the wrong impression.
To a lot of LGBTQ+ people, it is offensive. It feeds into the idea that this is something that people could 'choose' not to be - which is just wrong.
It can also give the impression that you find their sexuality too disgusting to even talk about in the open - which is hurtful.
Sexuality is not a lifestyle or a preference. Gender is not a lifestyle or a preference.
I know that what language is acceptable, and what is not, has changed a lot over the course of the 20th, and even 21st, centuries.
(And I will never get elderly relatives to understand that times have changed *face palms.*)
But please understand that a heck of a lot of people do not like it when people refer to their sexuality that way. It's a misconception at best.
2. Sexuality does not require a content warning.
Sexuality is not the same as a sexual act. Sexuality is not in any way explicit or pornographic.
I am sexually fluid - but haven't had sex, with anyone; that doesn't change the fact that I'm sexually fluid (I'm ok with the term queer too, by the by.)
(I know, if a dragon comes I'm going to be the one with my a*s tied to a rock as sacrifice.
But I have too much respect for myself to be with someone who I'm not in love with, and I simply haven't found that person yet. #DealWithIt.)
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