So I’m writing a fantasy/romance/coming of age novel based on Beauty and the Beast. It takes place in a completely made up world where most prejudice is magic/religion based.
However, though I have dealt with rejection and low self-esteem, I recognize I have not experienced nearly as much prejudice and hate as my MC has. I want to properly represent her.
My main character is biracial, and lives in a country that ostracizes her based on her skin color. They fear her because they believe the culture she represents is evil. This is fueled by their religious beliefs. My MC, Sabine, knows nothing of her heritage, only that it is the reason she’s bullied. She’s one of a handful of her race on the island, and doesn’t know any of them personally. Most of the time, she doesn’t leave the house. She has no friends: her only support system is her family, who do love her completely.
Because I want to represent Sabine in a truthful way, I’d like to hear about the experiences of people from marginalized races, religions, and/or sexual orientations.
I’d love to hear any stories you have to tell. None of them will be used in the book, and your privacy will be protected: I want most of all to get into the headspace of someone whose daily life is plagued by prejudice, how they think and react.
Here are some specific questions if you’re not sure where to begin. You can answer however many you choose.
I’d like to know your age, gender identification, race, and religion.
What was a specific instance where you felt worthless because of who you are?
What was your thought process during that time?
What lies have you believed about yourself, and who told them to you?
Did you ever feel/ were you ever brainwashed? If so, how did you overcome it?
What are your biggest fears regarding how others treat you?
What are your biggest fears regarding your own identity (ie, “I fear I’ll never be able to accept myself”)?
What do you think about those who hurt you?
If applicable, how did you overcome adversity/gain confidence in yourself?
What advice would you give to someone going through the same oppression?
If you’d like to contribute to this little impromptu study, please send your stories or thoughts or answers to firstname.lastname@example.org, or through the private messaging system here on deviantart.
I will not discuss or publish your comments without your express permission. I may want to ask you further questions about your responses. Thank you!