No, not me being shouty this time. Other people.
First of all over at the excellent Bad Reputation blog, Juliet E. McKenna talks about writing female characters in fantasy fiction. Juliet does an excellent job of steering a middle way between the people who claim that women were irrelevant in mediaeval societies (save presumably to be raped or rescued) and the desire to avoid something that is as unrealistic as farm boys discovering that they are the long lost heir to the throne.
Also check out the comment from Elizabeth Moon who talks about men who tell her that they don’t read books by women, or with women characters. And worse:
A woman at a booksigning told me proudly that her sons would not read books by women or with girl characters–as she was providing their reading material, it was clear that she approved and probably created their attitude.
Meanwhile over at Fantasy Faction there is an interview with Mark Charan Newton. The interviewer spends several questions talking to Mark about the LGBT characters in his books. As I have said before, I was very impressed by the way Mark went about researching the trans character, Lan. His responses to the questions are very good too.