Hi all, I'm very new here, so good to meet you all along with my question.

I'm running into a bit of an impasse with my current project because I'm finding it difficult to make it clear that some of my LGBTQ characters are, in fact, LGBTQ. Most notably, one of my major characters is a lesbian, but it's hard to get that across since she isn't out to the main character and everything is told from his perspective. I can't think of a way to unambiguously say she's a lesbian without either switching perspectives (which I don't want to do) or having someone out her (obviously problematic). Her being a lesbian doesn't affect the plot of the story, but I also really don't want to omit that.

I'm not sure if I'm really looking for an answer to my specific problem, since I think I just need to work out the answer myself, but thinking about this topic generated some questions: first, how much do you believe counts as representation? Can I subtly hint and hope that readers get the idea, or is it necessary to outright state that the character is a lesbian? And second, do you think that we as writers have a responsibility to represent LGBTQ characters (or really all types of diverse characters) in our writing? Have I failed as an LGBTQ writer if I don't make it clear when my characters are LGBTQ?

Again, excited to join the community, hoping for some insightful opinions.