Working in animation, video games and comics, i encounter this questions more than I’d like to. I was surprised how so many people don’t have a clue, and its a very sincere and valid question, because education doesn’t make people understand each other naturally.
Thank you for reading, I hope its useful.
God fucking /BLESS/ this person.
A particular series concept of mine that’s gone through a lot of development and changes over the course of well over a decade, has had a lot of changes specifically to the gender, sexuality and race of its cast. The personalities of those characters have developed and grown over a long period of time, completely separately from those three key things I just mentioned. Over time, mainly for the sake of differentiation, variety and relatability (as I had made many friends of different races, genders and sexual-orientations and grew to understand them more) I changed several of them to women, gave a few of them different sexual preferences and tried to diversify some of their racial/ethnic backgrounds.
Not once did any of those changes water-down or negatively affect the characters as they were, -the characters-. Case in point, as well as to back up this lovely comic’s point, I recently changed one of my OLDEST characters ever (from when I was like, 10) based on one of my best friends in the world, to a girl. I found that I had next to NOTHING to change about their personality, their drive, their backstory, their goals…the character was still very much the character. That’s entirely what it comes down to.
I’ve never been one to jump on the tumblr social justice bandwagon, as it’s some shaky territory that tends to just give me a headache more than anything…but I’ll say this much: I agree that we could totally use more female characters in media. I agree we could use more transgendered, homosexual and anything in-between characters. I agree we could use more characters of different racial and ethnic backgrounds. More than anything, I agree that we need more /GOOD/ characters that fall into all of those “categories” (I use that word lightly, here)…but that’s just it. It has to start with simply writing a good character and THEN the diversity comes second. That secondary attribute should NOT be a definition of the character, under any circumstance. This person’s got it right.