I recently wrote a gay character. My first one. He wasn't a main character, by any means, but he wasn't entirely insignificant.
I didn't set out to write a gay character--and I certainly didn't set out not to write one either. It just happened. That's the way my stories seem to go.
I am not gay, so to write a character like that was a little challenging. But no more challenging than writing women. Or a Native American. Or a lawyer. Or a homeless man. Anything that isn't an overweight white male in his early 40s. The last thing I wanted to do with it was write the character as clique as possible. I wanted to write them . . . er, normal.
Or as normal as possible.
The same could go for Blacks or Hispanics or Native Americans or Martians. For me, I want to stretch my boundaries and write them as believable as possible. I do seem to take it as a challenge to write them outside the stereotypical norm.
I hope I succeeded.
Lastly, what I don't want to do is "hang a lantern" on these differences. I didn't write the gay character as if they were a flashing billboard for homosexuality. They just happened to be attracted to the same sex.