is it okay for me to write a hiv+ character even if i myself am hiv-?
of course! i have a general guide here on writing hiv+ people from an hiv- perspective if you aren’t sure where to start.
tbh the idea that u must be a member of a certain group to write a member of a certain group is often used as a lazy crutch by writers reluctant to portray anything but the formulaic. this is most commonly applied to avoid developing characters of colour and/or lgbt characters. never be afraid to strive for respectful representation in your work!
a few notes:
- people are allowed to criticise your representation. they are allowed to tell you that it is stereotyping, fetishising, or otherwise offensive. if you have non-performative intentions with the writing you will listen & respond to concerns & questions.
- consider very seriously if your story would be best told by you. there is lots of grey area here but good rule of thumb: if the piece requires significant co-opting of others’ lived experiences, it’s probably not your narrative to tell. instead support the stories you would have borrowed from.