Lit Ignorance is Bias: The Diversity Manifesto

Discussion in 'Literature' started by CooperTFN, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. Esg Jedi Grand Master

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    Can't see it
    nevermind
    Last edited by Esg, Sep 10, 2012
  2. WynnDorvan Jedi Padawan

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    Sep 10, 2012
    Excellent post and comments. I'm glad that so many people are aware of this issue. On the subject of LGBT characters in particular, I asked a question at the Del Rey panel at CVI and got some generally supportive responses from everyone involved. The general consensus seemed to be that they wanted to include more diverse characters, but they didn't want to "shoehorn" anything in just to make a point. The emphasis was on characters defining themselves. In particular, Aaron Allston said that he suspects that Sharr Latt might be gay, but he isn't certain because it hasn't been directly relevant to the plot yet, so the character hasn't told him. I can sort of see where he's coming from given Sharr's excessive flirtations with Jaina Solo, and I'll be interested to see if we ever hear anything official in future stories. I do find it somewhat encouraging that Aaron Allston at least suspects that one of the characters he created might be gay, although its information that its the best we can do right now, aside from the known examples of Goran Beviin and Medrit Vasur.
  3. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    I stand by my statement. Wynn is white.

    [IMG]

    A white guy with a suntan.

    --Adm. Nick
  4. jedimaster203 Force Ghost

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    From now on, my Wynn is going to be Arabic.
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  5. WynnDorvan Jedi Padawan

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    I found myself getting a gay vibe from him as I read Fate of the Jedi, but that may just be wishful thinking on my part.
  6. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

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    I would go with nonwhite, except for the fact that he's pretty much drawn the same way as Allana.
    Last edited by The Loyal Imperial, Sep 11, 2012
  7. jedimaster203 Force Ghost

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    Wynn could be gay. It would throw his devotion to Raynar into a new light. There hasn't really been any information to speculate on his sexuality. Maybe he's just in love with his pocket mouse thingy.
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  8. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    By that logic any character without a confirmed heterosexual partner could be gay. I have nothing against homosexual characters in Star Wars, but I would caution from reading to much into his conversations with Rayner. I took those interactions with Raynar to be more about Wynn's evolving opinions of the Jedi Order and their role in the galaxy.

    --Adm. Nick
  9. WynnDorvan Jedi Padawan

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    Sep 10, 2012
    That's actually true. The heteronormative perspective would simply be to assume that any character without a confirmed sexual partner is in fact straight, but truthfully they are all also possibly gay. I personally got a bit of a vibe from Wynn, and for more reasons than simply the time he spent with Raynar. But its also possible that you are correct about him. We simply do not know. So textual ambiguity allows for a lot more potential diversity in universe than may actually exist, but we'll have to see how some of these characters develop over the long run.
  10. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Wynn is probably a good example of what Allston said about letting the characters decide who they are. They may not have conceived Wynn as gay (or nonwhite for that matter), but he could definitely still turn out to be gay, and based on the picture, I could see Persian easily.
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  11. jedimaster203 Force Ghost

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    Dec 19, 1999
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    What I've extrapolated from this conversation:

    Wynn Dorvan is Xerxes.

    Also, I personally don't think he is gay. I was just saying there isn't enough to confirm any way.
    Last edited by jedimaster203, Sep 11, 2012
  12. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    It's certainly true that a lot of characters could be gay, and that's worth something in and of itself, but I think the bigger question is, does DR have a responsibility to go out of its way to confirm more characters as being gay? I understand what they say about shoehorning, but disregarding orientation 90% of the time seems very much in line with this thread's titular assertion.
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Sep 11, 2012
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  13. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

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    Yes.
  14. jedimaster203 Force Ghost

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    I somewhat think it is shoehorning if you, ya know, make a big deal out if it. Wouldn't it be better to quietly mention Wynn's feeling for so an so than it is to make a spectacle of it?

    Part of my issues with comic books is that any time they have a non-white male character, they make a spectacle. "OMG! Look we have an Arab-American Gay Green Lantern!" and they have an honest to god marketing campaign for it. Makes it feel cheap. You don't "normalize" (for lack of a better term) something by make a spectacle of it. You acknowledge it and carry on.
  15. CeiranHarmony Force Ghost

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    not to be anti-diversity here... hardly am ever with my trying to get more diversity into the EU, but.. this picture of Wynn reminds me of 60s movie actors.. young Connery for one:
    [IMG]
    Last edited by CeiranHarmony, Sep 11, 2012
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  16. Esg Jedi Grand Master

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    Comics do it to generate sales. It a business. They're pretty much saying we an't your Gay/Minority money and generate interest and contreversey
    Last edited by Esg, Sep 11, 2012
  17. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

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    It's always going to be shoehorning when you start inserting a new type of character into the universe that hasn't previously been used in over three decades of fiction.
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  18. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    Exactly. Sean Connery is Scottish, and still tan and with dark hair. Not every white guy is pale white with sandy blonde or light brown hair. :p

    --Adm. Nick
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  19. CeiranHarmony Force Ghost

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    Now lets discuss Mon Cal diversity... we need more blue etc. Mon Cals, more with non-Ackbar red looks :p DISCUSS
  20. jedimaster203 Force Ghost

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    I disagree. Its shoehorning when an object doesn't fit into something. If the character fits the narrative of the story, it shouldn't feel forced at all.
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  21. Todd the Jedi Mod and Inquisitor of SWTV

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    There's a white/grey Mon Cal in the X-Wing books. That's something.
  22. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

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    That's the thing. Based on the galaxy, as we've seen it so far, large numbers of nonwhite people (and other groups) simply don't fit.

    I am greatly in favor of putting them in regardless.
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  23. Esg Jedi Grand Master

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    Except it wouldn't feel forced if the writer is skilled with it
  24. jedimaster203 Force Ghost

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    Speaking of not shoehorning, Stover is an excellent example of how to do diversity in his non-sw works.

    In the Acts of Caine, the dragon on the story is a muderous bisexual, the hero's best friend is gay, and the hero himself is half-indian. None of these even really factor into the plot at all. They're just aspects of who a character is and affects how they deal with the plot. If Berne was strictly heterosexual, nothing in the story would change at all...except maybe he wouldn't be so obsessed with Caine.
  25. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    They all look the same to me. [face_talk_hand]
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