1) Don’t be racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or any of those other things. It’s bad. Think to yourself “How would I feel if this character was suppose to be a representation of me.”
b)Then, if you’re super privileged and have no idea what life is like for other people and think your bigoted interpretation of them is one they should be pleased with, go talk to some people from that particular group. At least two different people from different backgrounds. I promise it’ll help you out.
2) Now this is the most important one. Write more than one. Do you know why people are real jumpy when Vixen gets screwed over at DC? Cause she’s pretty much the only Black Woman that gets screen time (and she hardly even gets that). Why is one mini series for her not enough? Because finding a black woman in DC comics is hard.
See, if they bugger up a white male then there’s five hundred others starring in books or leading groups or having a prominent role. It doesn’t matter. Sure fans of that particular character care, but that’s a subgroup.
If DC goes and screws up Batwoman then they’ve screwed up the FIRST (see, first in 2011. it’s a problem) Gay Woman to have a solo title for their company. There are a lot of people riding hard for this character because it’s the only one they have to pull for. Midnighter and Apollo are in Stormwatch, but it’s not their book.
When you kill off Ryan Choi, who’s left to fill in the Korean super hero gap? . . .Exactly. When You toss Cass Cain out on her ass to replace her with a blonde haired white girl what Asian Woman with absolutely no cultural heritage or background do you go to follow now? . . .
When you mention wanting to be more diverse in your character selection and only put out a token number of any characters you’re in for trouble. First, you force anyone who asks for this to be a fan of the one or two characters you give them. There’s no shortage of straight cis gendered white men to be a fan of. If one character doesn’t suit you, pick from seven thousand others. This isn’t the case for people not looking for that. We’re told to just take what we’re given and be happy with it. That we have to support characters we may not even like just to prove that a book/movie/whatever with them in it can succeed. It’s complete and total junk.
This is the biggest problem with your writing, your novel, your webcomic.
You say to me “I would love to add a black/gay/woman/trans (well not so much the last one. People are still super bigoted in that category) character but I’m afraid I’ll do them wrong, so I just don’t include the character at all.”
That’s some top of the line bullshit. The reason we yell at you for your sucky representation of us is because there’s only one character meant to represent us and that character sucks. Throw a bunch more our way and the problem you have quicky disappears. It’s not even that big a deal.
So, in conclusion.
1) don’t be racist
2) throw in variety.
You’ll be surprised how much less heat you get.