As a pre-teen (mid-1970’s), I read an SF story that had two characters, a man and a woman, in post-coital discussion. And one of the things that was mentioned in passing was the fact that, “back when,” it hadn’t been acceptable for people of the same gender to have sex. And good lord, how awful for those on single-gender missions!
It was, even at the time, a kind of heavy-handed social interjection, although not (if I recall correctly) out of character or out of place for the scene. But the point is, as a young child I came across a passing mention of homosexuality being socially acceptable. So I - casually, without drama - accepted it, too.
That’s how we shape the future. By showing it what it needs to look like.
Not every representation will be note-perfect. Not every representation will be all-inclusive. And no matter how well it's done, there will still be negative comments. This is true about every creative endeavor. But the fact that it's important means we should expect and do more, not less.
- Why representation is important - and not just for those represented