Foto: Frederik Solli Wandem
It’s no secret that the HeartCore editorial staff consists of people who have plenty of thoughts and opinions when it comes to media – especially regardring LGBTI+ representation, for better or worse. Since our theme this time is NARRATIVES, we decided to share a selection of examples of representation for the better, in a variety of media. We hope this inspires you to explore the world of LGBTI+ inclusive content!
Antonia Popescu (She/Her)
Recommendation: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (Book)
How it represents the LGBTI+ community: A beautifully written story about queerness in the context of migration and a painful family history.
Why you recommend it: By far one of the best reads from last year. Poetic but also super engaging and at times a page turner. Important representation from a contemporary point of view.
Recommendation: She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (Series)
How it represents the LGBTI+ community: Everyone is gay and stupid about it – it’s marvellous!
Why you recommend it: She-Ra is on Netflix, and it’s a really good show with normalized queerness and an exciting plot. It’s comforting and made by queer people, and you can watch it alone, with your friends, family, kids, or cat!
Editor in chief
Recommendation: The Sandman by Neil Gaiman (Comic)
How it represents the LGBTI+ community: Neil Gaiman’s universe contains characters all over the identity spectrum – with very varying moral alignments.
Why you recommend it: The Sandman is an incredible piece of fiction. The characters are nuanced, yet never reduced to their sexual orientation or gender identity. For instance Desire (played to perfection by Mason Alexander Park in the Netflix show), whose non-binary gender is a seamless part of their portrayal. Despite being centered around supernatural beings, The Sandman says a lot about what it means to be human.
Recommendation: Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters (Book)
How it represents the LGBTI+ community: Topics such as love, the exploration of gender, being a parent, and living a trans life are all a part of this wonderful piece.
Why you recommend it: It was the first real experience where I understood the complexity of being trans and living as a trans person in a very heteronormative world, where our idea of gender is mostly taught as binary. It is also a constant reminder of how important narratives are – and what a lack of narratives does to a society. I’m continuously reminded that when we talk about people, we must always remember nuances and to make sure they are a part of the conversation.
Translation and copy editing coordinator
Recommendation: Wylde Flowers (Game)
How it represents the LGBTI+ community: You can romance up to seven different characters of different orientations and with different gender identities – or romance no one.
Why you recommend it: Inclusivity was at the top of the list when this game was developed and was specifically intended to provide representations of people not often portrayed in video games. Some inhabitants of Fairhaven that you can either befriend or romance include Kim (They/Them), Amira (She/Her) and Damian (He/Him). Also, you perform witchcraft at night in secret – let’s appreciate the symbolism, shall we?
Kirsten Marie (She/Her)
Translator and copy editor
Recommendation: Bi. The Hidden Culture, History and Science of Bisexuality by Julia Shaw (Book)
How it represents the LGBTI+ community: This is a non-fiction book about bisexuality.
Why you recommend it: This made a huge impression on me. A very accessible book about bisexuality, both from a cultural, historical, and scientific angle. Lots of good points about bi erasure and queerness, bisexuality as an umbrella term and about sexuality and how we think about it in general. Much recommended to anyone identifying as bi+.
Visual content coordinator
Recommendation: Daddy Dating Simulator (Game)
How it represents the LGBTI+ community: It’s a game where you’re a “daddy” and dating other “daddies” in the neighborhood
Why you recommend it: Because it’s fun and light-hearted and filled with many fun jokes and non-stereotypical gay men.
Translator and copy editor
Recommendation: The Last Of Us (Game)
How it represents the LGBTI+ community: Several queer NPC (non-playable) characters as well as the first queer female protagonist featured in a major blockbuster game series.
Why you recommend it: The story, the character development, and the amazing, gruesome, apocalyptic scenario.
Recommendation: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (Book)
How it represents the LGBTI+ community: The story takes place on the planet Gethen, where people are mostly genderless but turn physically male or female once a month.
Why you recommend it: “Queer aliens” are not always good representation, but hear me out (also, some of Le Guin’s Earth humans are queer too). It’s a good story and the social norms and different biology are relevant topics.