HexMozart88

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OK, so I was thinking of this idea for an OC. Everyone makes fun of him because he "acts gay." Their idea of acting gay is stereotypical behaviours such as "the gay voice", and just liking traditionally feminine stuff. He's constantly bullied for this, but I intend to make it clear he's not gay. I thought it would be OK because feminine guys do exist, but I wanted to check to make sure it's not stepping on any toes. And to clear things up, he's not the butt of a joke within the story itself, his backstory is just that he likes feminine stuff and gets bullied because everyone thinks he's gay.
 

alice_gristle

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I totes want more guy chars like this! :wub Guys who like flowers and scents and lovely patterned fabrics and who are not gay, or who are gay, or whose gayness is totally irrelevant and never gets mentioned, and I want masculine guys who are into flowers, and feminine guys who are into brawling, and basically all the multitude of guys in all the ways! :wub :wub :kaoluv: Basically no, I don't see yo OC as queerbaiting, at least not by this post alone.
 

mlogan

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I'm just going to step in at the beginning of this conversation and say that it needs to remain civil.



@HexMozart88 Is this a character for a game? If so, it should be moved to the game dev forums.
 

HexMozart88

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I'm not sure what this is for yet. At the moment, it's a random character that I just thought of.
 

Silenity

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What does the bullying do for the character?

Does it make him resent his femininity? Is he motivated to become more masculine? Do they shrug it off and embrace their femininity? Does he grow resentment towards those who make comments?

What is the why behind them making fun of the character? In fantasy world is it seen as immoral/sinful as it is in the real world (in a religious context)?

What is the why behind the character being feminine? Raised by women their whole life and has grown to appreciate both sides of the world, both masculine and feminine? Are they a romancer and embrace the divine feminine in order to appeal to his opposite gender?
 

TinyRecorder

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I would say look into Persona 4's Kanji Tatsumi for an example of this type of thing done right.
 

Iron_Brew

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All I'd say is be suuuuper careful if other characters are actively making fun of this character ingame. Sounds like it could hit quite close to home for a lot of people, and depending on how it's handled could be a real cause for offense.
 

HexMozart88

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What does the bullying do for the character?

Does it make him resent his femininity? Is he motivated to become more masculine? Do they shrug it off and embrace their femininity? Does he grow resentment towards those who make comments?

What is the why behind them making fun of the character? In fantasy world is it seen as immoral/sinful as it is in the real world (in a religious context)?

What is the why behind the character being feminine? Raised by women their whole life and has grown to appreciate both sides of the world, both masculine and feminine? Are they a romancer and embrace the divine feminine in order to appeal to his opposite gender?
I honestly haven't figured out that far yet. I'm thinking he becomes super unapproachable as a result of the teasing and when he's in trouble, he's not willing to let people know about it because he doesn't want to seem weak. It's also not going to be a hyper-fantasy world either. I was thinking a modern world.

All I'd say is be suuuuper careful if other characters are actively making fun of this character ingame. Sounds like it could hit quite close to home for a lot of people, and depending on how it's handled could be a real cause for offense.
There will be no one actively making fun of him throughout the story, I don't think. He's going to be hanging out with the people who saved him and though they find him strange, they're the ones who kind of encourage him to be more comfortable with himself down the line.
 

Tamsyn548

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I'm just going to step in at the beginning of this conversation and say that it needs to remain civil.
First thing I thought of as soon as I saw this thread come up on my notifications.
Their idea of acting gay is stereotypical behaviours such as "the gay voice", and just liking traditionally feminine stuff. He's constantly bullied for this, but I intend to make it clear he's not gay. I thought it would be OK because feminine guys do exist, but I wanted to check to make sure it's not stepping on any toes.
I have a co-worker who is gay and who definitely fulfills the stereotype you're thinking of. For example, he goes to perfuming school. I'm totally pro- whatever he wants to do in that field of life, of course.

Like @Iron_Brew said you gotta be careful with bullying storylines like this because it can trigger people, but they can also be very helpful for a lot of people. Having a character in a book or game with whom they can relate, and who is bullied like they are and gets through it - yeah, that can inspire a lot of people.

It's inspired me.
 

sunnyFVA

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Note that my flippant use of "queer" here is surely in the reappropriated sense. It has fallen somewhat out of fashion these days in some circles (especially among younger people), so I thought I ought to be clear.

My understanding of queerbaiting is that it's a creator or company (often large-scale and monied) including an ambiguously queer character to appear progressive without committing to providing meaningful queer representation. In doing this, they seek to cash the check (figuratively and literally) without sacrificing any plausible deniability they can use to make distributing the work easier. Sometimes, this takes the form of one-off claims in interviews (or otherwise outside the work itself) that are not ambiguous, but don't feel very meaningful since they aren't really connected to the character or work proper (and so again don't represent a real commitment).

I would not describe this situation that way. Especially if your messaging is thoughtful, I think writing a straight male character that is not traditionally "masculine" is definitely achievable and worthwhile. One can contribute to the space of gender role/expression commentary without getting lumped in with other adjacent topics.

Also, on the topic of Kanji Tatsumi (I don't know if this constitutes a major spoiler or if the game is old enough at this point that it doesn't matter, but it just got a re-release so I'll err on the cautious side):

Kanji is meaningfully, explicitly not straight. He grapples with what this means in the context of his hypermasculine self-image, and that process drives his interactions with other major characters at times. If anything, I'd say Kanji is in the opposite of your character's situation: "manly man" has to reevaluate his ideas of strength and manhood as he realizes he isn't straight.

I only make this detour because I have seen commentaries that try to scrub away parts of the character. He is not just a confused tough guy who decides it's okay to both be strong and make dolls. He, on the screen, reconciles and evolves his old philosophies as he comes to new understandings about his own sexuality.
 

Mike-Turtle

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I don't find it offensive that you'd include a scenario like that; they play out all the time irl. I'm a big hairy man now, so it doesn't happen to me any-more, but in high-school, idiots loved to call me gay because of my long hair.

Also, definitely not queerbaiting. Source: me! Happy pride month!

—Pngtree—rainbow glitter colorful rainbow bridge_7269256.png
 

HexMozart88

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OK, so I've started to figure out his story a bit. His name is Peter for now.

So, Peter's lived with his mom his whole life. He's never really had a positive male influence around him, so he's always preferred to be "girly". Of course, his peers were not very happy about this, constantly calling him queer with a few slurs thrown in from time to time. Peter never really thought of himself as a girl, or as liking men, so he just shrugged these comments off for most of his early life, until he got to high school. He tried to make himself at home in his school by joining clubs. Coming home from an extracurricular one night, he was harassed by a clique from his school. Turns out they were part of a gang, and they beat him up and pushed him into the street, where he was hit by a car. The gang, knowing they'd be in trouble with the police for this, ditched the scene, but two girls found him shortly after when they heard a lot of noise from their house.
He was hospitalized, and told that he had a head injury from the accident, and he wasn't able to walk without assistance. From that point on, he made a point of always wearing suits so that the cane that he walked with would just be seen as part of the outfit. His mom moved him to another school after that, and he soon learned that the girls who had rescued him went there. They eventually became friends, but Peter was very reserved with them about his feminine nature. Whenever an issue came up in his life, he said nothing to them because he didn't want to seem like a damsel. This soon started to eat away at him, and that's where our story begins.
 

Finnuval

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Short answer : no it's not

Also, it's a good set up for a character driven narrative you have and one that is (sadly) very realistic as well.

My main advice would be to be sure to also highlight his strengths (personality wise) outside this subject to maintain a balance.

And those are my two cents and remember... We're all wrong anyway xD
 

HexMozart88

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My main advice would be to be sure to also highlight his strengths (personality wise) outside this subject to maintain a balance.
Oh, absolutely. I normally just try and figure out strengths and weaknesses after I do the backstory because for some reason backstories are easier for me than actual personality.

But I did do some thinking and here's what I've got:
Aside from the standard things with which he helps his mom (cooking, gardening, etc.), the few people who aren't cruel to him can see that he's a kind and gentle soul, and a very smart boy. When you explain a problem to him, he almost always has good advice for you, and will support you through a hard decision.

EDIT: While we're at this, I gotta figure out a storytelling format. I'm thinking maybe visual novel for the simple reason that I can't see this having a battle system or anything, but I don't just want to make it a book because I'm good at art and I want people to see the characters. Need to flesh out what actually happens in the story, though, before I even think about starting work on it.
 
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HexMozart88

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Made this thing quickly. It's the main cast of the... game/book/Idon'tevenknow. He's so cute I can't even.

1656121141350.png
 

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