There’s been a big kerfuddle in the press lately over Star Wars – The Old Republic, the new MMO from EA and Bioware. It appears that some… well, let’s face it, homophobes …have got all bent out of shape because there are now *shock* *horror* homosexuals in the Star Wars universe… and they are kissing and everything!
Hooray, I say! It’s about time.
It feels slightly pretentious saying this (OK, so it feels massively pretentious!), but I think it’s important that creators let this be known about the worlds they create. Maybe (and most likely) our works will die with us unpublished, or maybe they will still be read in five hundred years time spanning various different media, reinvented and reinterpreted. Whichever it is, I think it’s equally important to be clear to save any arguments, as well as make a statement surrounding diversity.

All of my worlds are diverse. Whether the societies I dream up may consider it socially acceptable or not, the ‘other’ still exists. My basic rule with diversity is that if it exists in our world then it exists in my imagined worlds whether it features directly in the story or not. So all my worlds have gay and bisexual people, transgendered people, and whatever else you care to think of in terms of defining ‘the other’.
It’s possible that because I am a person of my time (and human), that any future generations might look back and tut and say I was prejudiced against something based on the socially acceptable norms of the future. If that’s the case, then I am sorry. But even then, just because I was prejudice against X, doesn’t mean X doesn’t exist in my worlds.
I support and recognise diversity. I’m not perfect, but don’t ever use my failings to argue that the ‘other’ doesn’t exist in my worlds.