I keep seeing and talking to people who fret over how to write PoC characters because they feel like they can’t win either way. They don’t want to make them the villain because of the unfortunate implications but they also feel trapped into making them perfect with no character flaws.
Guys. There’s an easy way out of this.
Have more than one person of color. The reason you keep having trouble with this is because your cast of a dozen important characters has exactly one character who isn’t white. That’s why it makes it seem like they are representing or speaking for their entire race.
Have a more diverse cast and treat them like three-dimensional people.
And for the love of all things good, keep intersectionality in mind. A White gay man and a Black gay man likely have very different experiences within the gay community because of their race. And a Black gay man and another Black gay man are likely to have extremely different life experiences as well.
Having an all-white cast is a choice. It’s no less of a choice, no less contrived than having a more diverse cast. People like to say that they feel like trying to have more diversity in their cast takes away from the storyline because they have to try to intentionally insert different races into their casts. But picking “Black” or “Middle Eastern” or “Asian” or “Latino” is no more contrived than picking “White”. One of them is just constantly fed to us as “normal”.
Seriously. All of your fretting can end if you just stop having tokens.