diversity tips

Should you write diversity?

Many others have answered this question, from Daniel Jose Older to the We Need Diverse Books campaign. I’m answering:

Should you write about diverse elements in the query?

Your protagonist is bi. But it’s a ghost comedy set in Missouri: their sexuality isn’t the focus. Do you mention their sexuality or not?

On the one hand, we want to normalize previously-marginalized protagonists, not single them out for being bi or autistic or Muslim. On the other hand, in order to normalize these identities, we need to talk about them.

I believe ignoring the marginal aspects of someone’s identity in order to normalize them actually does the opposite.

Omitting your protagonist’s sexuality normalizes bi-erasure. Especially since people will assume your protagonist is straight unless otherwise specified. So tell me your protagonist is bi, and then include other descriptors along with it. “Randy, an old bisexual geezer who knows a ghost when he sees one…” Let us know your character is neither WASP messiah nor flat stereotype.

(You can also put the diverse mention later on in the pitch or in the descriptive info, such as, “It is a paranormal comedy with LGBTQ characters.”)

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