So, to be clear from the start, I happen to be straight but I have lots of friends, relatives and colleagues who are gay, so I feel as comfortable about putting homosexual characters in my books as I would characters with red, blond or black hair (or no hair at all), characters with physical disabilities, male characters, characters who live in the future or the past or are a different age, nationality or social background from myself. Of course I do. My fiction would be very sad and limited if I only ever wrote about me!
And part of the fun of writing is becoming someone else - tasting the world from a different point of view.
So is there are a problem? Maybe not, but when Charity's Child first came out in paperback I did get a couple of remarks from people who tentatively and very politely suggested that perhaps I didn't know what I was talking about and shouldn't be trying to write from the point of view of a gay character.
That's the problem, I suppose, if there is one. Joanne, the narrator of Charity's Child, is a young lesbian, as is her friend Charity, though there is also some suggestion that Charity may be bisexual, as you'll discover if you read the book. So the question was, I suppose, 'How can you, a straight person, get inside the mind of a lesbian character sufficiently well to write convincingly with her voice?'
How successfully I achieved that aim can only be judged by my readers. It doesn't seem to me to be much different from my trying to write from the point of view of a man. Which is something that female authors do all the time, and vice versa - sometimes with great success and sometimes not.
As far as I can tell, there's a lack of fiction, especially YA fiction, with gay protagonists, so the more the better, perhaps... whoever writes it?
Anyway, please tell me what you think, whether or not you've read the book. If you've read it, I'll be especially interested to hear your views.