I'm religious and I need help with the LGBTQ community

( I apologise that the title was really badly worded but I don’t know how else to word it) Hello all I’m thinking about starting to write a book/game and anyway I know this is a very sensitive topic so please don’t attack me,

but because of my religion I don’t feel comfortable writing LGBTQ Characters and ( couples) for example having them as background characters like Mcs Friends or something.

I was wondering if this would be a issue getting published on hosted games and also how to handle this Sensitively.

Another thing and this might sound hypercritical but I would be willing to have the Romance options be able to be available to both genders of the Mc if need be. And one last thing I know this whole thing probably sounded rude but I have no hate towards the LGBTQ community and I have no issue with them appearing in other works and I do know people that are LGBTQ and I love them regardless.

Anyway I’m not really sure what to do? please help and (I’m asking from advice the LGBTQ community too) and again please don’t attack me. Thank you all.

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You should message the HG publication staff for this type of question as this is somewhat beyond the scope of the forum of whether or not you’d get published or not.

We can give you our opinions but we’re not the final say whether or not you get published or not.

Edit: Adding onto what @Jayffel and @Chimmy have eloquently said!

Being part of a minority isn’t the defining characteristic of most people. Just like being part of a majority isn’t the defining characteristic of most people. Don’t just have your character be the X or Y character.

You could have a surgeon who’s deeply religious, is married to his husband of 7 years, has a kid, 2 dogs, and he enjoys baking.

I guess my advice if you want to have romance available to anyone is to focus on creating the characters first and then decide their sexuality after you’ve defined them as a person. I don’t think about my sexuality 24/7. We’re all more than just one defining feature of ourselves.

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@Blazingdragon Treat LGBTQ people as people who deserve love and respect just like everyone else, and you’ll do fine. Whether or not you want to represent them in your games is up to you, just be respectful and take it seriously if someone points out something comes across as hurtful or harmful.

It took me a while to adjust to the community too, because I was subconsciously raised with a lot of prejudices about the LGBTQ community, but those can be unlearned too.

If you want to have some input from someone who’s a little more well-versed in (Christian) religious stuff, if that’s the direction you hail from, try talking with @Havenstone

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I appreciate you coming at this from a place of respect, so I hope I’m able to do the same for you.

(obligatory disclaimer that, though I am a gay man, these are just my opinions, not necessarily indicative of all LGBTQ+ people)

I guess my main statement on this would be that if you don’t want to write LGBTQ+ characters, then just don’t. Besides the whole “it’s your story and do what you want” angle, I also personally would much rather read a story with no gay/trans/etc characters than one that included them in an offensive or insensitive capacity. I’ve certainly seen a few works that tried to include queer people for “cred” or whatever, and it almost always wound up making the story much weaker. So in this case, if you aren’t willing to make the effort or just don’t have the interest in writing a well-handled queer character, then the next most sensitive thing to do would be to just not include them at all.

It might also be worth asking your IRL LGBTQ+ friends what they think on the topic, if you haven’t already and are comfortable doing so. They might have a better idea of your intentions and where you’re coming from and how to weigh in a little bit better.

I can’t speak to whether or not this would be a problem with getting your work published, or how it might affect interest on the whole. But that’s just my main thought. I hope I was able to present it eloquently. :sweat_smile:

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If they’re background characters you won’t have to specify their sexual orientation if you don’t want to, if it doesn’t have anything to do with the story plot and it won’t change anything then it’s not crucial and you don’t need to specify.

But if they are supposed to be a RO then you can just code it for all genders without any trouble. Hope this helps!

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Always you are respectful and treat LGBTQ in your work as real people the same as everyone else and not be grossly racist or bigoted all will be fine. My advice is LET CLEAR in your game OP and in a disclaimer that you don’t include LGTBQ pc or romance.

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Thank you!

Thank you! And of course all always treat everyone with respect and if you ever see me being thoughtless or something on the form let me know!

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Thanks!

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Thanks so much and I have talked to my friends and they said they understand, I’m just getting a second opinion here

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Thank you I appreciate it!

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Just a heads’ up for future posts?

Instead of replying to each and every single person and cluttering the thread, you can make a single post and put the @ symbol in front of someone’s username so that they’ll get your message.

That way you can reply to multiple people in a single post!

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To answer your question about publication, nothing about gender or sexuality limitations would be prohibitive for Hosted Games publication, although it sounds like you would definitely not want to ever try to publish on Choice of Games itself.

By the way, I appreciate everyone in this thread; the OP asked this in a fairly respectful way, and the responses he received have been similarly considerate. I asked something similar when I first came here, and the responses I received were part of what convinced me this was a good place to be.

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I’d say that the most important thing any writer should do when writing characters is to just write them as people.

That way, you’ll end up with characters who just happen to be women/men/gay/lesbians/etc… instead of that being their sole defining trait.

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Thanks!

@hustlertwo thank you for your feedback back and I don’t mean this in a sarcastic way but you said I was being “fairly” respectful I was just wondering is their anyway I could say this more respectfully? I just didn’t know how to word this

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No, I think you did just fine. I just don’t necessarily consider myself the ultimate arbiter of appropriateness in this issue (or any other, really, since I am so hard to offend as a general rule). To me it seemed respectful, maybe to someone else who is close to this issue it might come off a little tone-deaf.

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I’m just reiterating all the information here to make sure that anyone who reads this topic understands what is the average consensus on this forum:

While this forum values gender options for both the player character as well as romantic interests, no one here will actually stop you from writing a game that contains neither of those options. We will highly advise that you at least give it a shot though, because some of the greatest skills a writer needs to develop is their imagination and empathy. If you, a normal person with a relatively normal life, can imagine writing about a swashbuckling pirate who sails the seas fighting monsters and hording treasure, or a scientist in a far off space station studying the secrets of a mysterious, unexplored planet, then it only stands to reason that you should at least try to write as another normal human whose only difference is that they don’t share your (the author’s) gender identity or preference, and to do so in a sensitive manner that treats these other groups with respect. The vast majority of humanity is remarkably identical in its experiences and desires, the differences only start popping up when you get granular and start taking into account things like socioeconomic status, gender, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, etc. It is then that you are most encouraged to look through our forum and to read through the diversity of experiences and opinion that we have lurking here. If you can’t find a specific answer to your question, ask it! As you can see, everyone here is willing to help in their own way.

If, however, you are still not comfortable or confident—or you simply don’t think it would fit well with your story—then there’s nothing we can do to stop you. Ultimately this game is yours to create, not ours. We can only provide a diversity of opinion, though you will often hear the refrain that the more limited of scope a game is, the less popular it is—at least on the forum—and that part is in fact true. It’s not a conspiracy of any kind, it’s just that people oftentimes prefer to play as someone who resembles themself or someone they can at least identify with, and if a game doesn’t provide that then it only makes sense is not interested in play such a game. This is partly why I will always suggest that a writer still try to write outside of their own immediate experiences, if not now then eventually, as you are simply going to receive more interest in your story when you cast as wide a net as possible.

On the topic of publication, Hosted Games is a separate company from Choice of Games (and both are separate from Heart’s Choice)—its staff overlaps, as does the coding language you are expected to develop your game in (ChoiceScript), but besides that they are legally distinct with each company having its own requirements for publication. Choice of Games is the most strigent as, firstly, you need to be invited to publish for the label. More detailed information can be found on the Choice of Games website but to summarize, you can’t just submit a game to be published, it’s something that you develop with an editor’s oversight to make sure that your game meets all the company’s criteria. This includes (but is not limited to) giving choices for, or leaving unspecified, the player character’s gender or sexuality. Please note that romance options are not a requirement for Choice of Games, but if there are, then you must make the romance options inclusive to all sexualities. These requirements are different from, say, Heart’s Choice where there can in fact be strict gender and sexuality locks because the entire conceit of the company is to write high quality romance-focused games. Though, like Choice of Games, you can’t simply submit a game to Heart’s Choice either, you must be contracted by the company to write for them under the oversight of an editor, etc.

Now all that said, none of those requirements exist for Hosted Games!! None! :smiley: The goal of Hosted Games is to provide a platform for amateur writers to publish their first, real, professional work. This means that the criteria is set very low so as to be accessible to as wide a variety of people as possible. This means that there’s no requirements on having gender options for either player characters or romance options—there’s also no requirement for romance options. There are very few requirements needed to be published under Hosted Games (the game needs to be in English, be beta tested on the forums, etc—more detailed requirements can be found on the Choice of Games website), so you can submit what you wish so long as it isn’t offensive or violate any other company policies (found in the FAQ).

Okay, this was a lot to write, but I hope I’ve been able to answer your question and to clear up some things regarding Hosted Games. I’ll leave the topic open for a little while longer in case anyone has any questions, but if not—since I believe this discussion has run its couese—this topic will automatically close after a few days with no response.

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Think of it this way. You, yourself, are not actually writing LGBT+ characters; you’re giving players the options to choose, to create the character they want to play. All you’re doing is giving them the wheels, they have to make them move.

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@Zakle thank you that makes a lot of sense :).

@rose-court thank you for all the feedback it means a lot and I definitely have a better understanding :blush:.

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Just realized I misread your original post. Sorry, my attention span poofs into nothing when I’m tired.

Honestly, in regards to writing NPC LGBT+ relationships, you could make the characters genderable. You could also just not do them. I don’t notice all that many NPC romantic relationships so it’s probably common for them to not be included, regardless of sexuality/gender.

For my own project, I’m only really planning one NPC relationship that has the potential to become romantic. It can also become a poly relationship with the player character or be completely platonic.

I love inter-personal relationships between characters; it’s satisfying and more realistic to see them grow and change as well, not just your character.

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