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Old 12-23-2012, 01:31 AM   #1
SamanthaLehane
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LGBT SF Set In the Future

I'm writing a story right now that takes place roughly five hundred years in the future wherein being LGBT is unremarkable and there is generally little stigma. The society has more issues with classism and xenophobia. That seems to work for this tale but that got me wondering how others conceptualized sexual identity in their world building.

How do you guys deal with sexual identity when writing about a future society?
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Old 12-23-2012, 01:45 AM   #2
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Not a big deal really. If someone is gay someone is gay, I think I treat sexual identity as very much a non-issue... but GENDER identity is no the same thing
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:06 AM   #3
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Sounds good to me. It's definitely no that different than how Gene Roddenberry approached Uhura's character in the original Star Trek.
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:10 AM   #4
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Yeah, in futuristic stuff I treat it as a complete non-issue. People have relationships with whomever and the narrative doesn't even blink at it.

It's how I wish the world would be . . .
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
GENDER identity is no the same thing
Very true, depending on the cultural influences on the future society.

Quote:
Sounds good to me.
Thanks.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:10 PM   #6
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My entire book is like that.

Except it takes place 50 years instead of 5000 years in the future.

>.>

Call me an optimist, I guess.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:10 AM   #7
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Ha, I figure in my story's universe that it didn't take 500 years to decrease homophobia so I guess I'm an optimist too.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:06 PM   #8
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Mine doesn't take place in the future, but it's an urban fantasy in a world where vampires and werewolves have been known about and hanging around humans for the past seventy years or so.

Which is kinda fun, because since I have a few QUILTBAG characters I get to explore how human attitudes are different thanks to the other races being around (IE, they're a little more relaxed than in reality because dating a supernatural is far more scandalous). Plus I get to explore what the attitude of the supernatural races is towards sexual identity.

In my world vampires (who are actually the antagonist race, though there are good ones), are completely blase about it, since they don't reproduce sexually or have the same family units that any other race does. So whoever floats their boats is all good. Whereas werewolves are more old school. Since they do have families, and the survival of the pack is their big focus, they are much more into traditional family units, and gay members are frowned on for not continuing the pack.

The whole book focuses on outcast characters who are far from packs and homes and all, so all this is touched on just as part of the background. But I found it kind of fun to go through and determine who would think what. Also interesting that the werewolves are mostly the good guys in my story, and the vampires are mostly bad. Because even good people can have outdated and wrong ideas about sexuality, and even bad guys can be openminded.

(Sorry for the ramble. I'm at the point in this draft when I'm really excited to talk about the novel. )
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:13 PM   #9
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Sounds like I'm in the minority in that I made the human race a little regressive. My book isn't dystopian, but it doesn't exactly show us evolving into a utopian society where everyone accepts each other either.

In my worldbuilding for Fight or Flight, the human race is not all that different from today, even scattered into space--patriarchy and oppression are part of the storyline. Gay marriage is legal for Earth citizens, however certain religious groups still preach against it. Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. This was a particular thread of conflict between two of my secondary characters, one of whom was very much in the closet due to his religious upbringing.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:40 AM   #10
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Wow my futuristic dystopia is completely the opposite of Samantha's. We already talked about this in another thread but I will talk about it more here lol. Race doesn't matter at all, because the way I see it more people will be biracial in the future. No one is labeled white or black, but pale, tan, caramel, light-skinned, or dark-skinned, if color is even mentioned at all. My MC has curly dark hair, light brown skin, and blue eyes. But the nation is divided into so-called normal towns and walled Gay Communities. Anyone who is LGBT is labed gay and banned for life. My MC is a 17 year old from a normal town who is secretly a lesbian, and joins the revolution to end the divide between gay and straight. I never pinpoint a specific time frame, but I mention The Divide was created during Civil War 2, followed by a Great Oil Shortage, and people mention that their grandparents were living in walled Gay Communities so it's been at least 2 generations since the divide was created, and it's been 20 years since the Normal Verification Test was made mandatory. (I will go into more detail about what exactly that test involves in the next book.)

I think your idea is great too! I hope your vision of at least the LGBT future is more accurate.

My book will be published next month and I can't wait . . . it's book 1 of a 2 book series.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:41 AM   #11
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In one sci-fi project I wrote, it varies throughout inhabited space. While there are planets and star systems where discrimination against LGBT is common, there are other places in the galaxy where it isn't considered to be unusual. Since space travel is common and inexpensive, LGBT people will commonly leave less-accepting worlds to go to planets which are more tolerant of them. (It's not to say that all LGBT-tolerant worlds are tolerant of all differences, though.) The two heroines lived together in a romantic relationship on a world accepting of LGBT; one of them left her homeworld because of the prejudices of her planet. There is a group that plays a notable role in the plot which advocates seeking full rights for all on all planets rather than people moving away from where they are not wanted.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:44 PM   #12
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I treat sexual identity in my Sci-Fi novel as mixture of what I see and feel in real life.

For my part, in my novel set in the 26th century,sexual identity is nothing to talk or wonder about in a certain area. The black MC's best friend and partner in mayhem is a half White human/half alien gay man. I have a Black lesbian couple who've jumped the broom and have twins. They own a jazz club together and are perfectly happy.

I also have a transgendered character who began her transition when she was in the army with her friends. Now she is happily living life with her husband. I've had some crazy beta responses about this character and at first,I patiently explained to the best of my ability,that while she was physically male in the beginning,her identity and spirit were always female. Her outside just didn't match her inside yet. By no means am I an expert on being transgendered,but I felt this was the best way to describe my character. If this is in any way wrong,I'd welcome any advice.

Chile,some people made me become unpleasant.

Yet all is not lalalala land in my novel and that corresponds with what LGBT people still face in real life. Outside the city in which my characters live,there are still some very conservative attitudes. There are states where LGBT people would do well to be very quiet and are basically forced into the closet. They face violence at the worst and social isolation/family rejection at the least. I am not sure which would hurt a person more.

Those who live in the city aren't affected at all by this prejudice as people who come to and live in the city are already open minded(crazy as hell and free spirited) and left the areas outside the city to escape the stifling conservatism. But venture outside the city and be openly gay at your own risk.
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:06 AM   #13
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your story sounds interesting, Kitty!
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamanthaLehane View Post
That seems to work for this tale but that got me wondering how others conceptualized sexual identity in their world building.

John Varley dealt with a lot of gender identity (and ease of change) issues in his earlier books.

And of course there's always Left Hand of Darkness by Le Guin (which I, personally, never liked nearly as much as The Dispossessed).

I did like what Lois McMaster Bujold did with Dr. Ethan Urquhart in Ethan of Athos.

I prefer a light hand. That sexuality and gender identity are only some of a number of issues that define a character. There's so much in my life that is more defining of me than that; and I'd rather see that in characters instead of -->Gay character here<-- which I have encountered here and there.
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