Men who write lesbians right

Batwoman (Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III)

Comic books are famous for their fascination with big boobs, lycra, and titillating girl-on-girl action, but when Batwoman took over Detective Comics last year, her costume and her sexuality were the last things on anyone’s mind. And that is all down to Williams and Rucka, who didn’t pull any punches with her orientation. They also didn’t use it as an excuse to tell a weak story. The compelling art and the honest, gritty writing earned the reincarnated heroine legions of fans (boys and girls).

Naomi and Emily, Skins (Jack Thorne, Ed Hime, Bryan Elsley, Jamie Brittain)

There’s a reason Skins swept our 2010 Visibility Awards: Naomi and Emily’s two-year journey was one of the most honest and amazing and gorgeous and fabulous and insane and wretched and perfect, perfect, perfect stories we’ve ever seen. We laughed with them and swooned with them and cried with them because we always felt exactly what they were feeling. It was never about the gay thing; it was always about the epic love thing. And we believed it.

Rachel and Luce, Imagine Me & You (Ol Parker)

I don’t know a lesbian on earth whose go-to feel-good movie isn’t Imagine Me & You. It’s sweet and fun and so deeply real. Every character resonates, even Matthew Goode‘s Heck (who could easily have been a stock villain). There are no wankers in Ol Parker’s film (except, of course, Number 9).

Straight men can’t fully know what it’s like for a lesbian to come terms with her sexuality in a male-dominated world. Straight men can’t fully know what it’s like to come out. Straight men can’t fully know what it’s like to be oppressed. But J.K. Rowling didn’t know what it was like to attend a school of magic, and Mark Twain didn’t know what it was like to be a slave, and Roald Dahl never lived in a chocolate factory, and F Scott Fitzgerald never plowed down anyone with a car. Do we need lesbian and bisexual writers and directors and artists to tell queer-specific stories, full of all the arcane language and customs that accompany every minority group? Absolutely.

But some struggles are universal: The desire to be known, to be loved, to embrace the you-ness of you and live your life out loud. Everyone bleeds if you prick them, everyone laughs if you tickle them, everyone dies if you poison them. A dude wrote that. Shakespeare. And this little lesbian is better for having read it.

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