Hello there! This is a forum that is safe for LGBTQ+ books and writers to express their stories, and just make friends! As a member of the LGBTQ+ I have ran into issues that heterosexual writers just can’t give feedback about. Such as a coming out story for a character. This is also a safe place to express the bullying and do something about it. Us, as a group should be able to pursue writing without being afraid of being harrassed because someone is insecure about their sexuality. Its time to stand up and put a stop to it.
I feel lucky in that I’ve never had anyone be rude/transphobic about my story, and I have received some great feedback from cis readers. However, I do find that trans readers connect more with my MC. And that makes sense because it is a coming of age tale with a gender nonconforming protagonist. What I’ve been feeling frustrated by lately is the lack of a “share-your-story” thread for LGBT works. While I hope anyone who reads my story would be entertained, I would like the ability to advertise more specifically to an LGBT audience. I know not everyone agrees with this. What are your thoughts?
I agree with you 100%. I know that the reason that I write some of my stories is to help people who are going through similar things. And while, like you said; I am really happy that a cis/straight/something different from my MC is finding some kind of entertainment from my story I really want it to resonate with some people and that is more difficult if the person and the MC don’t have something in common. (just like with any two people). Its kinda a game where the MC points to themselves and is like “I’m this” and then the reader points to themselves and is like “oh yeah I’m that too”
I’m going to have to slightly edit your post as asking for feedback on stories (and not posting excerpts directly to the forums) is not allowed outside of the #story-services:critiques-and-feedback .
I’m also moving this to #the-cafe as this is not a feedback for the Community Forums or for Wattpad.
Thanks for understanding,
Fray - Community Ambassador
And now when that’s out of the way, Imma chime in. I’ve been very lucky to actually not get critics who’re critical of the queer elements in my stories. But I also make it abundantly clear that every single one of my stories feature queer MCs and characters in general. It serves both as promotion for the people looking for queer rep but also as a “warning” for people who don’t want to read anything related to the LGBTQ+ community. It’s annoying it has to be that way because IMO I just write Fantasy. Not queer Fantasy or anything like that.
Which is also why I’m heavily against a SYS thread for works that feature LGBTQ+ characters. We don’t have a genre either for one very specific reason: books with queer characters don’t make them another genre. It doesn’t make them not Teen Fiction or Romance. Sci-Fi or Fantasy. They just happen to feature queer characters. And if we want to be on the same level as the cis/het people and the cis/het centred books, we gotta not seclude ourselves in our own genres or our own SYS.
I agree with you as well about not putting the lgbtq+ character stories in their own catagory. I was talking to my friend about racial injustice back in the day (this is going to link up I promise) and he was saying how if all Febuary (black history month) everyone is talking about how African American people used to be slaves it is counter productive. That is because its only driving the spotlight to one thing about the black community. When they are so much more than that, just as the Latino, Asian and all other racial minorities. Just like with the LGBTQ, if we just shine a light on “OH THAT PERSON LIKES THIS PERSON” or “That person wants to be called this, but they don’t look like that” it’s counterproductive as well. A gay man is more then his boyfriend or husband, a lesbian woman is more then her wife or girlfriend and a Gender Non-conforming/Transgender person is more than they’re pronouns and gender.
Yep, I completely agree. I also think it’s kind of wrong with Black History month how a lot of black history is only discussed during Black History month. It should be discussed all the time as history. It’s part of the US and how it was shaped into what it is today. But I guess I can’t really say anything about that since I’m not from the US and we don’t have Black History month in my country
But yes, I agree with you.
you know what they say, great minds think alike.
I write erotic bxb and mxm books and have, in the past, been attacked here on Watty about content. I remove hate messages and comments and mute the users. A couple times I had to report them as they just started up with another account. Often they will have two accounts, so that if one is muted or closed, they can continue with the other. It does happen, and one of the times the culprit turned out to be someone put up to it by another LGBT person who had been bugging me and I muted.
Often what we write about will trigger someone off into weird behavior. But that’s their problem and we can mute and report them. Other than that there is no way to stop it. One just has to deal with it. That’s why I totally disagree with no SYS thread and no LGBT genre. Our own genre and thread will give a huge amount of power to the LGBT writers and their works on Wattpad. Power brings respect … slowly at times, but nevertheless. If bookstores, publishing houses, libraries, other websites, etc, can have LGBT genres and sections, so can Wattpad. Same as Black History Month here in the USA gives power and attention and respect to a people tortured and marginalized throughout our history, we the LBGT deserve that too. We did not receive an apology and reparation from our leader as did the LGBT of Canada and the UK, and there is still a huge backlash against us in the military and same sex marriage by those who want it all changed back. LGBT History Month here would be great too. People need to be properly educated!
I see your point and I’m not saying that we should just “ignore” the LGBTQ community. I’m saying that it would seem as “special treatment” for lack of better words. And as part of the community I wouldn’t want someone to think that they should feel bad for me because I’m part of a minority that gets shitted on all the time. I’d want them to read it because it intrigued them. As well as if they’re was a whole category then that would make the targeted hate even worse. At least thats how I see it.
I write 95 %YA/NA femslash/lesbian fanfiction. (About 5 %Straight) I’ve only been on this site actively for about a month, but on Fanfiction(dot)net I got zero hate regarding my lesbian couples, as a matter of fact, people loved them. I think in general the fanfic community in particular is just so chill. They just want to feed their obsession, and on a site like the one I just mentioned, you can search for stories by fandom and by pairing, so if someone comes across your gay story, they were most likely searching for it in the first place. That’s a stark contrast to irl where most of my family is religiously bigoted, so yeah.
@AWFrasier, I know you have one of your stories listed on the Wattpad LGBT community page. I assume you submitted that story because you hoped to attract LGBT readers. How is the purpose behind the SYS threads different than the purpose behind the community pages’ reading lists? They are both tools to advise stories to potential readers.
I agree that “LGBT” is not a genre. I also agree that I don’t want my story to be segregated and placed in a solely LGBT corner. But I don’t understand why the SYS threads don’t align to the sub-categories of the community pages. I’d like the option to advertise and promote my story to both readers interested in historical fiction and readers looking specifically for stories with a trans protagonist. Why can’t I have both options?
I think the community profile is different as it also serves a different purpose than just secluding us and our works for advertising purposes. It helps educating people on queer issues and how to write queer characters. The reading lists helps people find works with queer characters that they can read for fun - but also for research. That’s how I view the ambassador run profiles anyways.
I’m heavily against the SYS threads as they’re are for genres. And LGBTQ+ is not a genre. What you can do is use the Historical Fic SYS and just make it clear you have a trans MC. That’s what I’ve done and it has worked pretty well.
My story also appears on several community pages and I do share it on the historical fiction SYS thread. I’ve also shared it on the Adventure SYS thread because it is tagged as an adventure story. If I understand the guidelines correctly, you are not limited to one SYS thread, as long as your story is tagged appropriately. Hence why I wouldn’t find an LGBT SYS thread as a way to seclude LGBT stories.
So, my central question is: Why do the SYS threads have to be limited to genre? If they are a way to find a target audience, then there should be more flexibility.
The goal of the SYS threads are to share your stories with people who will be interested in reading them. Right? Even from a reader’s perspective I would appreciate a centralized place to browse literature with LGBT characters. I think The Watcher was one of the first books I ever added to my reading list and it was because I saw it on the LGBT community page.
I guess we see things differently, but from my perspective, the main difference between the SYS threads and the community page is that the SYS threads are readily available to authors of ongoing and undiscovered works.
I can definitely see where you’re coming from, but I think we just don’t agree on this one. Which is okay. We can’t always agree
I also just think the community profiles are better for promotion in general as readers actually go there - no one but thread dwellers go to the SYS and I don’t actually think there’s a whole lot of people who go to them to find books. I haven’t noticed any big changes from when I posted regularly on them and when I didn’t.
The good thing about the community profiles is also that they serve as a motivation to actually finish works. Not to mention, your read count doesn’t matter. When Watcher was added it had less than 1k reads, I think. It was very undiscovered and it was very early in my Wattpad “career” too. Also, now when I think of it, the editing wasn’t too well either
Anyways, good thing is we do get to make threads like these where we can interact with other queer writers. I think I’d rather find works this way. Then we also get to chat. I do like to chat after all.
No, we don’t have to agree, and that’s fine And I know that the SYS threads are a small thing that don’t seem to actually affect read counts much.
Honestly, I always considered my story historical fiction first, LGBT literature second. But I’ve had some recent interactions with readers that have made me rethink this. My story seems to resonate most strongly with trans guys, even those who “don’t like historical fiction.” So I’ve been bemoaning the lack of tools to “micro-target” particular demographics. An LGBT SYS thread just seems like a logical and easy solution. Although you are right, most of those trans guys did find my story through conversations on the forums. I’m just not as conversational as you are and would find a thread easier!
Oh well, I guess there aren’t any short cuts to success
Oh dear, I can talk about branding and promotional targeting aaaaaall day! I’ve very consciously parked my ass in queer centred Fantasy - that is still Fantasy first - but at this point it’s part of my brand that the MCs are queer. It’s super cold to talk about it like that and I kind of hate it, but at the same time… It’s getting me them sweet sweet reads and I’m hoping it’s reaching the queer people who’re longing for more people like them front and centre.
One way to do that is getting involved with the community - which you are! And then there’s participating in awards that have LGBTQ+ categories. And LGBTQ+ awards. And using the different tags - like #freethelgbt. Last year there was Pride Month - and getting involved with that is a good way to get out there too.
But all of those are hardly shortcuts and it does take a lot of time If only it was easier.
I’m probably biased because my two stories on Wattpad both deal with LGBT history (one is historical fiction and one is nonfiction based on my Master’s thesis), but I’d love it if the LGBT community page did a spotlight on LGBT history for LGBT history month!