“And if you’re upset because I put gay characters and a gay protagonist in the book, I got nothing for you. Sorry, you squawking saurian — meteor’s coming. And it’s a fabulously gay Nyan Cat meteor with a rainbow trailing behind it and your mode of thought will be extinct. You’re not the Rebel Alliance. You’re not the good guys. You’re the fucking Empire, man. You’re the shitty, oppressive, totalitarian Empire. If you can imagine a world where Luke Skywalker would be irritated that there were gay people around him, you completely missed the point of Star Wars. It’s like trying to picture Jesus kicking lepers in the throat instead of curing them. Stop being the Empire. Join the Rebel Alliance. We have love and inclusion and great music and cute droids.”
While we didn’t get any canonically LGBTQ+ characters in TFA, Temmin “Snap” Wexley, who was raised by his aunt Esmelle, and Esmelle’s wife Shirene did jump from book canon to movie canon. I’d call that half a victory since he was raised by a lesbian couple.
Also in the book Aftermath are Esmelle Susser, and her wife Shirene. Esmelle is the older sister of one of the books protagonists, Norra. Esmelle and her wife took care of Norra’s son while Norra was off fighting with the Rebellion. Esmelle is described as “thin, reedy, pale as a ghost… Esmelle’s [hair] is long, a silver cascade down her back.” Shirene is described as “rounded, pillowy, skin as dark as a handful of overturned soil. Her hair is short and curly and close to the scalp.”
(Note that at the time of this posting none of these three Aftermath characters have Wookieepedia pages. If you’re a Wookieepedia contributor please create pages for them.)
Ferus Olin, from the Jedi Quest and Last of the Jedi chapter books was recently confirmed by the author of those series to be gay. He also appears in several of the Rebel Force novels by Alex Wheeler. Ferus was a Jedi who left the Order shortly before the beginning of the Clone Wars. He then befriended Roan Lands, whom he became very close to, and started a business with. With the confirmation that Ferus is gay, and the closeness between them, it can be assumed that Roan was his romantic partner. After the fall of the Republic, Ferus started a rebel organization, and eventually became involved with the Rebel Alliance. He then took the role of watching over Leia Organa on Alderaan, just as Obi-Wan watched over Luke on Tatooine.
I’d heard that there was a major gay character, and two more minor characters who are lesbians in Aftermath, but I haven’t gotten to that part of the book yet myself. This article sums it up well while avoiding any major plot points that I know of. I’m not going to discuss anything else here yet because the book has only been out for a day, so I don’t want to go too far into spoilers. We’ll start posting more about this soon, so if you don’t want to see spoilers, blacklist “#Aftermath spoilers,” now.