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Discuss the Inclusion of a Gay Character


Luckers
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Here is where you may discuss your thoughts on Brandon's revelation that he chose to include a gay character in TofM. This thread will be heavily moderated in terms of phrasing of thoughts--no position is wrong, but think before you speak. Antagonistic comments such as what filled the 'who is it' thread will not be tolerated.

 

Be honest of course, but be thoughtful and considerate in phrasing that honesty.

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I just don't see the big deal about it from any side. I mean its not as if hes rewriting the entire book to focus on it, most likely it will be a line or two, far less than the time spent on describing the exact details of clothes tot he point that they could be reproduced identically like RJ did. It just seems to me to be BS attempting to be politically correct, or just throwing something in there that, though unimportant, is the kind of thing RJ would do, though admittedly he only ever did it for the female equivalent. Basically, I don't see why there is a big deal about it, it is what it is.

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I just don't see the big deal about it from any side. I mean its not as if hes rewriting the entire book to focus on it, most likely it will be a line or two, far less than the time spent on describing the exact details of clothes tot he point that they could be reproduced identically like RJ did. It just seems to me to be BS attempting to be politically correct, or just throwing something in there that, though unimportant, is the kind of thing RJ would do, though admittedly he only ever did it for the female equivalent. Basically, I don't see why there is a big deal about it, it is what it is.

I'm right there with you. I don't really care one way or the other.

 

If Sanderson handles this the way he's handled the entire story since he's taken over, then no worries.

 

I do think a new character works better as it will flow more smoothly, story-wise. A character we 'know' who is 'now' gay might come off as a bit of a retcon job & therefore clunky. This is, however, dependent on how 'major' the minor character is.

 

What I do find interesting is the logic being used by people to decide which current character is gay. It definitely shows that we all have preconceptions about this.

 

HGT

 

PS - I posted this on the original thread after it had been shut down to this subject matter. Sorry about that. New to this site. Mea cuplea, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. ;-)

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If it doesn't change the story at all, who cares? It's not worth the amount of discussion there's been on the subject thusfar IMO. So long as he doesn't go overboard and dedicate the better part of a chapter or something to such a trivial matter, it's not a big deal.

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No. She conveniently didn't become bi until she adapted to her female body.

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It's not like he's dedicating more than a line or two to the subject, after all. It'll simply be Brandon adding a tiny bit more depth to a certain character.

What's the big deal?

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Who cares? There've been a few lesbians here and there and it won't be much different to have a gay guy in a scene or two. Unless it's Gawyn, of course, because that would mean that there's even more space wasted by Egwene complaining about stuff.

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Well my opinion on this matter depends on WHY this character has been added (or why it was suddenly decided an existing character is gay). Is it just for the sake of having a gay character, because people have commented on the lack? If so then that's just stupid. I hate hate hate people giving into peer pressure. If it's for the sake of the story, or it's just naturally part of the character then fine. Just don't throw in something like that purely for the sake of seeming PC. It's embarrassing.

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Well my opinion on this matter depends on WHY this character has been added (or why it was suddenly decided an existing character is gay). Is it just for the sake of having a gay character, because people have commented on the lack? If so then that's just stupid. I hate hate hate people giving into peer pressure. If it's for the sake of the story, or it's just naturally part of the character then fine. Just don't throw in something like that purely for the sake of seeming PC. It's embarrassing.

 

Well, apparently Sanderson was one of the people commenting on the lack, so it's not giving into peer pressure if it's simply his adding something that he himself felt the story was missing. He thought it was a bit weird that there were lesbian references every couple of books but not a single gay male, so he added a couple of lines that make up for that like which are likely as irrelevant as all the lesbian references were.

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Well if we're going to include a gay character simply because it's "realistic" or whatever, then we need to take half the marriages in WOT universe and divorce them, otherwise all the divorcees out there will feel left out and the series will not be very realistic when it comes to relationships and sexuality. After all, the percentage of people in relationships who will end up divorced is exponentialy higher than the number of gay people in relationships, so it is not fair to include one group, claiming that it's how the real world functions and the story would be unreal without it, and leave the other one, which shares a much bigger role in the real world, out of the story alltogether.

 

So... Brandon... you better get divorcin'

 

You can start with Perrin and Faile.

Edited by El Oscuro
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Well, apparently Sanderson was one of the people commenting on the lack, so it's not giving into peer pressure if it's simply his adding something that he himself felt the story was missing. He thought it was a bit weird that there were lesbian references every couple of books but not a single gay male, so he added a couple of lines that make up for that like which are likely as irrelevant as all the lesbian references were.

 

Correct and finally someone has gotten to the point. It has nothing to do with being pc or peer pressure. This is something that fans have commented on as being unrealistic for a very long time. BS being one of those people is finally addressing the issue.

Edited by Suttree
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When I pointed out that the matriarchy of Far Madding was unrealistic, within the limits of the series' own logic, I got comments along the lines of, "you're worrying about realism in a world with MAGIC!"

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Well, apparently Sanderson was one of the people commenting on the lack, so it's not giving into peer pressure if it's simply his adding something that he himself felt the story was missing. He thought it was a bit weird that there were lesbian references every couple of books but not a single gay male, so he added a couple of lines that make up for that like which are likely as irrelevant as all the lesbian references were.

 

Correct and finally someone has gotten to the point. It has nothing to do with being pc or peer pressure. This is something that fans have commented on as being unrealistic for a very long time. BS being one of those people is finally addressing the issue.

 

I did say "if" that was the case. At the end of the day, it'll depend on how it's handled in AMoL (if it's even mentioned). Hopefully it'll just fit in naturally, but if it seems forced then I'll just see it as being rather condescending.

 

And yeah I don't get the realistic argument. For starters, fantasy isn't reality. Secondly at the end of the day, the majority of people are straight. So if we're only seeing an incredibly small proportion of Randland's population then its just as realistic for them to all be straight, as it is to have a few homosexuals.

Edited by Feral
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Well, apparently Sanderson was one of the people commenting on the lack, so it's not giving into peer pressure if it's simply his adding something that he himself felt the story was missing. He thought it was a bit weird that there were lesbian references every couple of books but not a single gay male, so he added a couple of lines that make up for that like which are likely as irrelevant as all the lesbian references were.

 

Correct and finally someone has gotten to the point. It has nothing to do with being pc or peer pressure. This is something that fans have commented on as being unrealistic for a very long time. BS being one of those people is finally addressing the issue.

 

I did say "if" that was the case. At the end of the day, it'll depend on how it's handled in AMoL (if it's even mentioned). Hopefully it'll just fit in naturally, but if it seems forced then I'll just see it as being rather condescending.

 

And yeah I don't get the realistic argument. For starters, fantasy isn't reality. Secondly at the end of the day, the majority of people are straight. So if we're only seeing an incredibly small proportion of Randland's population then its just as realistic for them to all be straight, as it is to have a few homosexuals.

 

Look we know from RJ's quote that there are gay male characters in his story

 

I have gay and lesbian characters in my books, but the only time it has really come into the open is with the Aes Sedai because I haven’t been inside the heads of any other characters who are either gay or bi. For the most part, in this world such things are taken as a matter of course.

 

- The Official Robert Jordan Blog, October 6, 2005

 

What struck some as unrealistic is the female only portrayal of these relationships. Anything in my mind that fleshes out the story, adds more detail, adds more realism is a good thing. The "fantasy ins't reality" line is complete crap. Look at modern fantasy and the "gritty realism" that is being hyped as best in genre with Martin, Bakker, Erikson, and Abercrombie.

 

Btw @Randsc I agree with your Far Madding take and anyone who argues as to why you're worried about realism in a story with magic is just too lazy or intellectually unable to come up with a counter argumant.

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The lesbians we see in WoT are more of a convenient lesbians. With that I mean that in a closed social setting where there are no men available the women besides masturbation decide to have a little fun with each other aka pillowfriends as they did in convents and such in the old days. I don´t think we have seen that many lesbians that truly fall in love with women cause that´s their sexual nature. Two exceptions that I remember of the bat are that seafolk woman and the noble lady that Cadsuane blackmailed and possibly Galina. Thevara I dk if she is an actual lesbian or more sadistic in nature, and is happy to exert that sadism/control on anyone, no matter if they are man or woman.

 

With that said I think that Brandon saw something that needed to be adressed and he adressed it. Many fans have complained about there being no gay character as Tom Sawyer did, and Brandon is fixing that, end of story.

Edited by Logains Pet
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When I pointed out that the matriarchy of Far Madding was unrealistic, within the limits of the series' own logic, I got comments along the lines of, "you're worrying about realism in a world with MAGIC!"

Hahaha, wow.

 

FYI, I agree with you. Far Madding's system does seem strange given the context.

Edited by Sleeper
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Well, apparently Sanderson was one of the people commenting on the lack, so it's not giving into peer pressure if it's simply his adding something that he himself felt the story was missing. He thought it was a bit weird that there were lesbian references every couple of books but not a single gay male, so he added a couple of lines that make up for that like which are likely as irrelevant as all the lesbian references were.

 

Correct and finally someone has gotten to the point. It has nothing to do with being pc or peer pressure. This is something that fans have commented on as being unrealistic for a very long time. BS being one of those people is finally addressing the issue.

 

I did say "if" that was the case. At the end of the day, it'll depend on how it's handled in AMoL (if it's even mentioned). Hopefully it'll just fit in naturally, but if it seems forced then I'll just see it as being rather condescending.

 

And yeah I don't get the realistic argument. For starters, fantasy isn't reality. Secondly at the end of the day, the majority of people are straight. So if we're only seeing an incredibly small proportion of Randland's population then its just as realistic for them to all be straight, as it is to have a few homosexuals.

 

Look we know from RJ's quote that there are gay male characters in his story

 

I have gay and lesbian characters in my books, but the only time it has really come into the open is with the Aes Sedai because I haven’t been inside the heads of any other characters who are either gay or bi. For the most part, in this world such things are taken as a matter of course.

 

- The Official Robert Jordan Blog, October 6, 2005

 

What struck some as unrealistic is the female only portrayal of these relationships. Anything in my mind that fleshes out the story, adds more detail, adds more realism is a good thing. The "fantasy ins't reality" line is complete crap. Look at modern fantasy and the "gritty realism" that is being hyped as best in genre with Martin, Bakker, Erikson, and Abercrombie.

 

Btw @Randsc I agree with your Far Madding take and anyone who argues as to why you're worried about realism in a story with magic is just too lazy or intellectually unable to come up with a counter argumant.

 

It's nothing to do with being lazy. I like fantasy because the author can create a world exactly as he/she wants, never mind the restrictions of "reality" or the current social ideals we have. That's what fantasy is all about to me. After all, fantasy is usually set in a completely different world to ours, so why should our ideas of what's realistic apply? It's a matter of preference, not being "intellectually unable to come up with a counter argumant".

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I think people are missing an aspect of Jordan's treatment of homosexual relationships.

 

I don't think it is a question of him being titilated by the thought of lesbian sex. I think Jordan was trying to show how he thinks people would channel their sexuality when part of a single-sex organization that either outright prohibits contact with the opposite sex(in the case of novices) or segregates one sex from the other, with a healty dose of gender-based chauvinism layered on top (in the case of the other Aes Sedai.) If there were a similar organization of men, perhaps male homosexual contact would have been included.

 

As far as I can recall, there is only a single mention of a lesbian relationship that doesn't fit the above parameters. Which means that the portrayals of lesbian as opposed to gay male relationships isn't quite as unbalanced as it might first appear.

 

Now, I'm not suggesting that a position that essentially holds that, "homosexual behavior is what happens when other outlets are unavailable" is especially enlightened. But it is DIFFERENT from a position that gay male sex is icky, and lesbians hawt.

 

There is perhaps a generational aspect to this as well. I am old enough to remember when women chose to live as lesbians. (*tick, tick, tick* Cue explosive anger) I know, I know, "People don't choose to be gay!!!" But the fact is that for a certain type of 1970's feminist, a conscious decision to engage only in lesbian relationships was a willful political statement. Jordan was born early enough to remember that.

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The lesbians we see in WoT are more of a convenient lesbians. With that I mean that in a closed social setting where there are no men available the women besides masturbation decide to have a little fun with each other aka pillowfriends as they did in convents and such in the old days. I don´t think we have seen that many lesbians that truly fall in love with women cause that´s their sexual nature. Two exceptions that I remember of the bat are that seafolk woman and the noble lady that Cadsuane blackmailed and possibly Galina. Thevara I dk if she is an actual lesbian or more sadistic in nature, and is happy to exert that sadism/control on anyone, no matter if they are man or woman.

 

With that said I think that Brandon saw something that needed to be adressed and he adressed it. Many fans have complained about there being no gay character as Tom Sawyer did, and Brandon is fixing that, end of story.

 

My thoughts exactly. If you add Arrela or whatever her name was to your list.

 

But now, even though we don't count the pillow friends in the tower (and some of them may be "real" lesbians too) we still have a few gay woman. And not a single gay man. The writer finishing this series, and who this far has done a great job with it, thought that was odd, and wanted to add a gay man. That's awesone, in a way.

 

I apologise for any spelling mistakes, English is my second language and I was never very good with languages.

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The lesbians we see in WoT are more of a convenient lesbians. With that I mean that in a closed social setting where there are no men available the women besides masturbation decide to have a little fun with each other aka pillowfriends as they did in convents and such in the old days. I don´t think we have seen that many lesbians that truly fall in love with women cause that´s their sexual nature. Two exceptions that I remember of the bat are that seafolk woman and the noble lady that Cadsuane blackmailed and possibly Galina. Thevara I dk if she is an actual lesbian or more sadistic in nature, and is happy to exert that sadism/control on anyone, no matter if they are man or woman.

 

With that said I think that Brandon saw something that needed to be adressed and he adressed it. Many fans have complained about there being no gay character as Tom Sawyer did, and Brandon is fixing that, end of story.

 

My thoughts exactly. If you add Arrela or whatever her name was to your list.

 

But now, even though we don't count the pillow friends in the tower (and some of them may be "real" lesbians too) we still have a few gay woman. And not a single gay man. The writer finishing this series, and who this far has done a great job with it, thought that was odd, and wanted to add a gay man. That's awesone, in a way.

 

I apologise for any spelling mistakes, English is my second language and I was never very good with languages.

I'm pretty sure your grammar/spelling is better than quite a few native English speakers :biggrin: .

Edited by Sleeper
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