I’ve been asked a lot lately why I write lesbian heroes. The answer seems simple: I’m gay and I’m part of the LGBTQ community. Makes sense, right? But the more I get asked this question, the more I think that answer really is too simple.
It’s easy to say “Well, I’m gay,” and just leave it at that. But here’s the thing: Growing up, I never had any heroes who were like me.
Growing up, my favorite heroines were Princess Leia, Buffy, Sarah Connor, Eowyn.
I was a huge Star Wars fan. Epic fantasy has always been in my blood, and I was super excited to see a badass space princess alongside Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. Princess Leia was out there saving the galaxy (and oftentimes, her male sidekicks). She was powerful, both on and off the battlefield, she was smart and sassy and spoke her mind, she was capable, and she didn’t settle for anything less than justice. She was a princess, but she wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. In short, she rocked.
Then there was Buffy. I’m dating myself a little here because I’m referring to the movie starring Kristy Swanson (though Sarah MG’s Buffy was also tres cool). Who could forget the Buffster, half girly-girl/half badass slayer? She fought hard, loved harder, and pretty much smashed the patriarchy. She, too, rocked.
Sarah Connor. Who could forget Linda Hamilton’s transformation from plucky, determined heroine to gun-toting, muscle-bound babe? She threw down with Arnie and never gave up. Also, she totally Terminated that mofo.
Then there was Eowyn from The Lord of the Rings. She fought alongside all the fiercest warriors in Middle Earth. She singlehandedly slew the Witch-King of Angmar when no man could even touch him. She even dressed as a man. Then she married one.
And there it was.
I loved Princess Leia and Buffy and Sarah Connor and Eowyn, but at the end of the day, they went all went home with men. In many ways, they were very much like me. But they weren’t like me. Not completely.
Growing up gay, I was disappointed every time my favorite heroine ended up with a man. It seemed like everyone in my life was straight–from my real-life heroes right down to my fictional heroes. If the people I admired most were all straight, who was I to be gay?
So that, my pretties, is why I write lesbian heroes. So young gay women don’t ever have to ask that question.
Thank you for reading!
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