I want to take a quick, informal survey about representation of marginalized people: Do you see yourself and the people you care about in stories? Who’s missing? Who don’t you see in stories who you would like to see represented more often and/or better?
Maybe you care about representation is a general way but don’t feel invested in any specific issues–that’s okay, you can sit back and listen. But I know that stories erase or misrepresent many of you and the people you care about (me, too!) and if that’s the case, I’d love to hear who some of those people are.
I don’t need a list of every hypothetical kind of marginalized identity you can think of–thoughtful contributions are more constructive than cutting and pasting lists. On the other hand, if there are people in your live who are both missing from stories and from most mainstream discussions about representation, I really want to hear about them.
Why am I asking? I am aware of my own limitations enough to realize I am vastly ignorant of just how many people are erased from stories. I would like to do a better job of realistically depicting the world around me and undo the erasure of people from my own work. And, as I know many of you share the same ambitions, I wanted to open up this conversation with all of you. Most importantly, discussions about representation are too often framed in terms of “those Other people over there”, when representation is really about us and the people we love. On the flip side, it’s much easier to be aware of the erasure of people you care about than about the rest of the people in the world–I’m hoping we can all open each others eyes a little about just how many people are missing from stories.
So many people get left out of books, video games, film, TV. So many people get erased by our culture. Who is missing that you care about?
[Moderation Warning: when I talk about diversity and representation, on occasion a jackass will wander in to “play devil’s advocate” which is more accurately termed “derailing the conversation”. Sorry, it’s not my first day on the Internet and I don’t fall for troll games, especially devil’s advocates and concern trolls. You’re on notice that comments on this thread will be moderated. Please don’t try my patience. I control the “delete” and “ban” buttons so I assure you I’m the one who will come out the victor. Go ahead and impress me by how sensitively and inclusively you can discuss a topic like representation instead.]