Books show us the world we’d like to see, worlds we wouldn’t otherwise see, and sometimes they show us the world just as it is – but with better grammar and people that never talk over each other.
Books allow us to briefly escape our present situations and experience the new and exciting. When books show us characters we can relate to or that remind us of people, we feel they are authentic. When books show us queer women in all their glory, we feel they speak to us.
However, it’s more than that. When queer women fill the pages of popular novels our lives are normalised and legitimated and non-queer audiences see we aren’t all bogey men under their beds. We support queer characters and queer authors because they help to make our lives better when we’ve put the book back on the shelf. For the same reasons we criticise queer characters that paint us as two-dimensional villains, sex objects, and freaks.