How To Write Diversity

by bdhesse


Diversity is a difficult thing to write about. One of the biggest problems with writing diversity is we only have one set of experiences. We can hear and learn about other peoples’ experiences, but we can’t live them. We can’t really know what those experiences are like. There is also the issue of what is okay and what isn’t. We may want to add gender, sexuality, racial, etc. diversity into our stories, but it is very intimidating to add that diversity when you aren’t a member of a certain group. So how do we add diversity to our stories?

There are a number of ways to add diversity without having lived the experiences and without being offensive. The best way to do so is to talk about people within the group. If you’re a white woman and you want a black man as a character in your story, talk to a black man. It may be intimidating, but most people would be fine with helping you, especially since you are obviously trying to be accurate. The same goes for if you are trying to write a trans* character, or a lesbian character, etc. If you don’t know somebody who is a member of the group you are writing about, read the stories of those who are. The internet is a great place to find stories written from different peoples’ perspectives. Reading these stories will help you understand other peoples’ experiences, even if you will never fully understand them.

Diversity is an important part of stories. Diverse characters make a story more interesting. Diverse characters also make your story more relevant to more people. And, most importantly, diversity in stories humanizes groups that are often dehumanized in the media. It helps people see those groups in a different light.