I get that writing a story with a black character is crossing the line or at least questionable.
There’s a thread going nuclear.
Sean Howard
4716

Sean, I originally wrote this to a different group and then decided not to reignite something that was already dying down, so keep in mind that no heat from this is directed at you (nor anyone I even currently see in this discussion), but this entire idea as a whole.

I was shocked that, as a writer, I’m supposedly forbidden to write from the perspective of a character who is not a white guy.

I’ve recently been exploring an extinct form of 8th century Heian period Japanese poetry. It involves conversation between a Japanese man and Japanese woman, and I write from the perspective of both. I have been extremely careful along the way to be as respectful of the culture as possible and to do my research.

I, a “white” guy, have been helped by jaden violet.

Do I feel like I am appropriating a culture? Not a bit.

I’m a writer. I write. I tell stories.

I look white. Am I white? Who decides that? I’m 1/8th Cherokee. What does that make me? Am I allowed to write from the perspective of a Native American? What percentage is the threshhold? Or does it not matter as long as I look the part (which I do not)?

Guess what else? My pasty Irish-looking ass has African blood as well.

How much? How much matters? I’m not claiming to be black, but am I allowed to write about my black ancestors, my black slave ancestors?

I’m a writer. I write. I tell stories.

I’ve got a book halfway finished. Four of the characters are gay men, 2 White, 1 Black, and 1 Asian. Why? Because gay men exist in the world, as do gay Black men and gay Asian men.

They get dialogue, they have relationships, they act and respond.

I’m not gay, so who am I to write from the perspective of a gay man?

I’m a writer. I write. I tell stories.

I have a Latino character in there as well. He talks, responds, interacts.

Women too. Two main characters are women. I speak through them with no regard as to whether someone thinks that’s inappropriate. Frankly I don’t care.

I’m a writer. I write. I tell stories.

I just recently wrote a story from the perspective of a teenage girl.

I have never, that I am aware of, been a teenage girl.

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