LGBTQ Science Fiction Writers
A large number of popular science fiction writers have identified as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Queer (LGBTQ). Many of the themes in science fiction novels themselves originate from the life experiences of the LGBTQ community. These include escapism, marginalization, sexual desire, super-intelligence, feminism, deviant desires, and more. After all, the imagined worlds of science fiction includes worlds that are different than our own and often include minority aspects of sexual desire.
It is believed that the very first science fiction writer in history, the Greek writer Lucian (120-150 AD), was also the first gay writer in history. Perhaps the most famous science fiction writer of all time is gay writer Arthur C. Clarke, the author of the book 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Similar to Lucian, many of the LGBTQ science fiction writers are also academics and teach courses on gender issues, race, and sexual diversity. Several are important leaders in the feminist community and have used science fiction as a means to express their vision of the ideal world. Several of these LGBTQ authors are recipients of major awards, including the Lambda Literary Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award.
There has been concern raised about the lack of explicit LGBTQ representation in science fiction novels themselves. This is certainly a hot topic of discussion when it comes to the translation of such works to film and television. A recent example has been the news and publicity surrounding the inclusion of a gay character in the new Star Trek series of films. The issue is gaining in prominence today when the science fiction genre is prevalent in digital games and other new forms of entertainment. Whenever a gay character is included in a new release of a video game (which are often based on science fiction writings), considerable press and commentary follows.
Having gay characters in science fiction writing and their spinoffs (movies, television, and video games) challenges the perception of homosexuality adopted by the public. Unfortunately, including homosexual characters often means they are portrayed as flamboyant, sissy, or effeminate.
We have identified the following individuals as LGBTQ science fiction writers. They hail from Canada, the United States, Jamaica, Great Britain, Ireland, and Greece.
- Charlie Jane Anders
- Richard Bowes
- Octavia Butler
- Fletcher DeLancey
- Samuel R. Delany
- Thomas M. Disch
- Jane C. Esther
- Sally Miller Gearhart
- David Gerrold
- Peter Tuesday Hughes
- Janis Ian
- Karin Kallmaker
- Elizabeth A. Lynn
- Claire O'Dell
- Joanna Russ
- Darieck Scott
- Melissa Scott
- Alice Bradley Sheldon
- Jeremy Sorese
- James L. Sutter
- Tom Tryon
- LGBTQ Romance Writers
- LGBTQ Mystery and Horror Writers
- LGBTQ Authors of Children and Teen Books
- LGBTQ Magicians and Illusionists
- LGBTQ Writers and Illustrators of Comic Books
- Pulitzer Prize Winning LGBTQ Authors and Poets
- Notable LGBTQ Playwrights
- Prominent Biographers Who are LGBTQ