Writing Gay Men of Color
by Sharita Lira
Unfortunately the media is filled with stereotypes. How people perceive men of any color is a guy lacking emotion, rough, most of the time an alpha with a bad attitude. Then there’s the gay man who is sometimes portrayed as overly girly, weak, and more often than not, a sex addict. In the early 2000’s we were blessed with Queer as Folk, showing beautiful gay men of all types, embracing their sexuality, dealing with the same issues as straight couples trying to survive in the modern era. As brilliant as QAF was, it was missing a key element. In my opinion, a gay man of color who was also a main character would’ve added something to the show.
Some time later, Noah’s Arc came along and I believed it only lasted two seasons. From the couple of episodes I did see, it portrayed gay men of color in a positive light. Seemingly, this series might not have been interesting enough to keep running so it disappeared without a trace.
What about in fiction? These days we have a wealth of colorful gay characters in many books. The question is how do we write them? Do we draw on the stereotypes? Black and or Hispanic men who are angry and always intense; Asian men who seem timid and weak. Those are just a couple of examples. Do we need to add this to our books for them to seem real? In my estimation we don’t. I often wondered why authors, whether it be books, TV, and or movies can’t make a character, especially a gay male character of color, who doesn’t fit that mold. Sure, you can add to the setting to make it more “real”; a young black man from a poorer neighborhood. Perhaps his family hates that he’s gay and his friends don’t accept him. Yes that’s all the reality I need and let me say, not every black man comes from a background like that. But with his attitude? Must he be overly angry at the world and seething all the time? Well hell, he could be a goth boy. That would make BL happy. *grins* Or could he be an intelligent scholar, from a not so poor neighborhood. Perhaps he was the rich one and his white counterpart the middle class working man. My favorite with that kind of background was Bonnie Dee’s Undeniable Magnetism which I enjoyed thoroughly.
What’s my point here? When I write a gay man of color, I try to avoid the stereotypes unless it is a central part of the plot. I feel people should be written as people, without pulling from the so called mold.
Regardless of race or nationality or orientation, we’re all human with unique traits and attitudes that make us stand out from others. Characters should be treated in the same fashion.
About Something About Jayden
Isaac Bridges has it all; wealth, a beautiful wife, and success. Yet and still, there are two things he desires more than anything. Denton & Associates back under his family’s name and a male lover he can call his own.
Jayden Demario, a handsome college student from a tough neighborhood is looking to make his career in advertising. His “madre” encourages him to take time out and find love but he wishes to follow his career path first and foremost.
Both men are missing a significant other in their lives, will stupid pride and hurtful secrets stand in the way of what could be a perfect union?
Available at: Amira Press, Amazon, B&N, & All Romance eBooks
An Excerpt from Something About Jayden
Isaac grimaced when Silas finished his statement. “Right…I…” When a man approached with his secretary in tow, he stopped talking.
“Isaac? You what, man?” Silas tilted his head, asking a question.
Isaac gulped hard, glancing at the young gentleman coming into view.
Damn, who is this?
Isaac blinked, “I agree, I totally… um, Silas, you got…” Isaac nodded his head in the man’s direction. He could barely form the words looking at this pretty sight standing behind his boss.
Silas turned around. “Oh, hello, and you…are… my goodness, who are you?” He reached for the man and grasped his hands tightly.
Yeah, who the heck are you, sexy man?
“Mr. Denton, this is Jayden DeMario. He’s one of the interns from Roosevelt University.” The lady with him smiled sweetly and winked at Isaac. “Hey, Mr. and Mrs. Bridges. You both look amazing tonight.”
Isaac had to change his focus and stop staring at the hot young intern. “Well thank you. I’m really loving that dress on you, Tamela. It’s uh…” Isaac didn’t want to be disrespectful to Debra, but he had to do something not to give away his interest in Jayden.
“Oh, thanks.” Tamela gushed and kissed him on the cheek.
When Debra elbowed him, Isaac squeezed her hand and glanced in the direction of the intern who’d moved away from them.
Maybe it was for the best they did. Jayden was a beauty, tall and of Latino decent. His black ponytail reached the small of his back. Even through the suit, Isaac could tell the man took care of himself. He’d love to see more of that up close and personal. Shit. Dark brown eyes lay behind those black frames, and his face chiseled from stone; perfect nose and narrow cheekbones, and the chin. Damn, the man was so well put together he looked like he just stepped out of a magazine or movie.
Who was this kid, and when could he start so he and Isaac could get to know one another before Silas corrupted him?
“Isaac. You okay?” Debra’s voice broke him out of his trance.
Isaac glanced down at her and pulled her hand up to his lips. “Sorry about that, honey, but I think I just found love. And I… I swear, I don’t think I’ve ever been hit like this.”
“Whoa, babes.” Debra whispered to him, looking around her while she talked. “The kid? I mean, he is pretty hot, but he’s an intern. Didn’t you just tell me about dating men half my age?”
“Yeah, I did but… I mean, look at him.” Isaac peered over at Silas, most likely wooing him with his Twitter account followers and the spiel on being his favorite boy. Isaac had to admit he’d probably be doing the same thing if he had the chance.
“Isaac, you don’t wanna date where you work. That’s dangerous, and besides, again, you told me about Darnell and…”
“And that was for you, my friend, not me.” Isaac cleared his throat, hoping to get Silas’ attention and meet the man in person. “Hey, um, Silas, you need another drink or…”
Silas looked up and laughed, taking Jayden by the hand.
Oh, hell, it might be too late to save him from Silas.
“This, my friends, is Jayden DeMario, our new intern. I think I’m going to put him under your tutelage, Isaac. You’re great at what you do, and the man seems to know a lot about our company.”
Isaac smiled, wishing he could do a silent fist pump.
Jayden’s eyes widened when Silas stopped speaking. “So… you mean I got the job? I…”
“Of course, young man. You’re…” Silas moistened his lips and gripped his palm. “You’re too smart and well qualified. I’d love to have you on my team. So… this is Isaac Bridges and his lovely wife. Isaac, Jayden DeMario. Let me inform the ladies at the front that the position’s been filled. They can turn away all other interns for the evening. We found our man!” Silas let go of Jayden’s hand and grasped his shoulder instead, shaking it. “Why don’t the two of you get acquainted?” Silas slapped Jayden’s back and walked away.
Isaac held out his hand for Jayden. Once they connected, a shot of adrenaline went from his hand straight to his cock. Damn, this was only the first meeting, and the man already had an effect on his libido. “Nice to meet you, Jayden. I’m, uh… very excited to work with you. This is my beautiful wife, Debra.”
“Hi, Jayden, lovely to meet you.”
About Sharita Lira
RAWIYA is the more sensual erotica writer in the BLRawiya duo. She loves multiracial characters who overcome obstacles other than race. Sweet, sassy, and spicy would be the best way to describe her work. Happily married mother of two, loves music, computers, and travel. For more please visit the Rawiya’s blog on WordPress.
Author Sharita Lira: In one word, crazy. Just crazy enough to have 3 different muses running around in her head, driving her to sheer exhaustion with new plot bunnies and complex characters.
This happily married mother of two beautiful children loves music, computers, reading, and still enjoys reading and writing fanfiction. She’s a proud member of the Erotica Readers & Writers Association, as well as an advocate for rights of LGBT citizens. She’s also a contributor to the heavy metal ezine Fourteeng.net.
For more information, please visit http://www.thelitriad.com as well as her Facebook fanpage, The Literary Triad.
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