I used to feel bad about how my casts basically turn into boy bands, but one of my other trans masc friends says that reading stories from a women’s POV ignites lots of dysphoria in him. And considering how much of my creative process is inhabiting my characters, it makes sense that I can’t inhabit characters that ignite my own dysphoria.
My art history prof told us that people worked so hard on art in the pyramids because they’re supposed to house the pharaoh’s soul in the afterlife and souls can’t inhabit something that doesn’t look like itself.
I think about that a lot from the audience’s perspective. What you make art of signals what you cherish, what people you want to be remembered and when people see nobody like themselves in your work, it signals that you don’t care about them, that you wouldn’t mind them being forgotten.
Reason #9 billion why representation is important. I’ve never thought about it from a creator’s POV until today.
I want women reading my stories and looking at my art to know they’re cherished and worthy of being remembered too. But if a creator has an unequal* gender balance in their work, and you know they’ve got their own Gender Things going on, consider cutting them some slack and go find creators who are the gender you’re looking for more representation of – they’re out there, waiting for you.
*Not that you can truly have an equal amount of every gender in a piece of media anyway. even if you had an equal amount of women, men, and nonbinary characters; guess what? There’s a nonbinary gender for every nonbinary person out there, aand some nonbinary people are also men and/or women.
Oh! and some people have been abused by particular genders, so don’t yell at them for not putting characters who remind them of their abusers in their work.