Queer characters are one of my favourite characters – and just things in general – in books. I love how they’re trying to figure themselves out, life wise, personality wise, sexuality wise. I don’t always recognise myself in them, but they make me feel like I’m not alone in the way I tried to figure myself out.
What I love even more is queer couples. The whole process of getting to know eachother and making it work despite all the challenges they face in life, or just for being attracted to someone other than the opposite gender (even though they can be in a relationship with the opposite gender, it doesn’t erase their queerness, more on this in tomorrows post).
Books often stop before a couple actually forms. The meet cute or slowly developing feelings for a different character often seems more important than showing the reader what the relationship will look like. I think this is also why I love Heartstopper by Alice Oseman so much. Nick and Charlie meet at the start of the novel and they pretty much fall head over heels for eachother. And then the novel continues. Because just meeting eachother and falling for eachother isn’t the end of their story. It’s the beginning.
I have to be honest and say that queer couples are likely to make a better story than straight couples. When your sexuality isn’t as widely accepted as the ‘default’, you struggle. Whether you’re in a relationship or not. When you have a contemporary novel and you have a straight girl and a straight guy, you can pretty much spell out the story. They fall for eachother, separate because something happened, and then get back together to face their happily ever after, together. And I don’t want to diminish straight couples, because I love those books aswell. I just want more. I want them to have real challenges.. more like real life.
Anyway, I really think it’s incredibly important to feature queer couples in books. It’s different than couples with two straight people, and let’s be fair, there are people that know they aren’t straight from a young age, will never be in a ‘default’ relationship, that could greatly benefit reading about a relationship that they might someday be in. Especially when those stories involve sex, since LGBTQ+ sex education is still lacking in a lot of countries.
I know my blog won’t have any impact on the stories that are written. I just hope that my one voice will add to other voices that think alike which will eventually lead to a change in queer relationships in novels. However small that change may be. What’s your take on this?