This post on popular lesbian site After Ellen really riled me. The author wonders if dudes can write lesbian comic-book characters as complex as those created by lesbians. Jeezus, why are we still having this debate?!?
First of all, Love & Rockets' Hopey, created by Jaime Hernandez, is a character with as much depth and shades as any I can think of in contemporary fiction. Setting Hernandez up against Alison Bechdel or Paige Braddock is creating a strawman.
Second, following this line of inquiry, should we infer that gay and lesbian authors can't create good straight characters? The arts would be in a sorry state if people only wrote about what they personally know. I find this prospect utterly depressing.
And third, let's expand this reasoning to acting. Should gay characters be played by gay actors? (Think of the hoopla as to which of the L Word actresses actually are gay.) Does it ring false when Cherry Jones play a straight woman? Give me a break!