There have always been people who are different. Whether it is their sexuality, mental health, or their way of experiencing the world. Throughout history, perceptions of abnormality have changed for the better (much like fashion, though that hasn’t improved all that much so that’s probably a bad comparison – horrible fashion seems to be cyclical, much like the negative attitudes towards difference) There are still battles to be won, but on the whole, attitudes and treatment have improved.
The aim of this collection is to represent the misunderstood and challenge those who hold prejudice. They are set in different decades to show improvement of treatment, however minor. In these stories, the most important message is for those who can relate to the characters and/or situations and for you to know that things have gotten better, and will continue to get better still.
1. Tell me a bit about your character. Who are they, how old are they? What do they look like?
Melinda is 17 years old, though she has a much older and wiser soul. She has shoulder length blonde hair, green eyes, and a toned outdoors-y body. She is super intelligent, and definitely cheeky!
2. Do they have any strange or unique physical traits?
Mel has incredible hearing.
3. Does the character have any quirks?
She is very sure of herself, and extremely cocky.
4. Where do they live? What’s it like there?
Mel lives in England in the 1950-60s, which is a fine enough location, but not so much for a proud, unapologetic lesbian.
5. What is their role in the story? Are they the protagonist/antagonist, a supporting character?
Mel is a supporting character who is a new resident at Greymore – a mental institution for gay and lesbian patients. Her presence is crucial for the main character, Catherine, to realise that it is, in fact, okay to be herself and to start living her life for herself rather than for her parents or society.
6. What do they do for a living?
Mel’s job isn’t mentioned, but she definitely spends her days flirting with ladies. Including Catherine on several occasions.
7. What do they do for fun?
Mel enjoys pushing Catherine’s buttons – saying the things she knows will get a reaction out of her, or force her to think about her own reasoning and motives.
8. What is their greatest weakness, their greatest strength?
Mel’s greatest weakness is her unabashed honesty – living in a time where speaking up about homosexuality was dangerous, this is ultimately the reason her parents committed her to Greymore. Her greatest strength is that she cares deeply. Though her and Catherine are complete polar opposites, Mel has a genuine affection for her and becomes an almost mentor figure despite being almost ten years Catherine’s junior.
9. What is the best that ever happened to them? The worst?
The best and worst thing for Mel was being committed to Greymore – Mel views the entire thing as another life experience, and doesn’t regret it because it meant she got to meet Catherine and help her with her self-worth and general outlook on life. Despite the atrocities that occurred in the institution, it is also ultimately how Mel manages to free herself.
10. What do they want from life? What are their goals?
All Mel wants is to have the same life afforded to heterosexual individuals. She wants to be happy and find love, and not be attacked or judged for it. She wants to live her best life and not leave with any regrets.
11. Does this character of a “theme” song (or several)?
Edge of Seventeen – Stevie Nicks
What’s Up? – 4 Non Blondes
Iris – The Goo Goo Dolls
Girls Like Girls – Hayley Kiyoko
I Don’t Do Boys – Elektra