This is a hard one: representation of LGBT characters as normal and human.
Growing up, I went to a very conservative Christian camp. There, I was exposed to what I now know to be hateful untruths about the LGBT community, and at home, there was only silence on the subject. These were the only two attitudes to which I was exposed.
When I went to college, and interacted with LGBT individuals and met gay couples, I was able to recognize that the attitude I had been indoctrinated into believing simply did not match the reality I observed. There was normalcy, dignity, and affection where I had been assured there was only deviance, shame, and lust. (Which is not to say that lust doesn’t have its place in the world, amIright?)
I wish I had the opportunity as a child to observe in literature what I observed in life as a young adult. I like to believe that I could have come to a clearer understanding of people earlier in life.
And I wish that because, holding those ill-informed, hateful notions for so many years, it seems unlikely that I never said anything hurtful. I can’t think of a time that I did, but just because I may not have been able to recognize LGBT individuals around me, that certainly doesn’t mean they weren’t there. And I’m sure, believing what I did, I wouldn’t be able to recognize anything I would have to say on the subject as pure ignorance and misinformation.
"What you said about Garvey and Joren—it’s not an insult in Yaman. Some men prefer other men. Some women prefer other women." -Kel
Just that simple, direct statement.