Lately I have been privy to a lot of talk about diversity in literature; the pivotal point being that the main protagonists, especially in fantasy and/or sci-fi, shouldn't be so predominantly male, white and straight.
Is diversity a good thing? To be sure; but, and this is an important but, only when it happens organically. What do I mean?
In Paths of the Shadow, I have a character who is gay (or rather, bisexual who considers himself gay). Right now I am working on a novel in which the MC is a colored man. Was it done to promote the agenda of diversity? No; those characters simply appeared in my mind, took on a life of their own, and demanded to be written.
I'm against the introduction of diversity along the lines of, "Well, I'm going to sit down and write a sci-fi novel. Let's make the main character, Zoe, black with some Native American lineage thrown in for good measure. Zoe is also lesbian, overweight, vehemently opposed to shaving under her arms, and saves the world from an invasion of blood-sucking badgers."
What is thus created isn't a character. It's a walking agenda.
You think you can get away with that? You can't. Just like the books of many writers in Soviet Russia reeked of communism, many books today reek of Political Correctness, with authors walking on eggshells lest they, God forbid, forget to pay homage to "diversity".
My two cents? Write whatever you want. Put in whatever characters take your fancy. Men, women black, white, Asian, young, old, beautiful, ugly, super-powerful, crippled. Concentrate on your message, your voice and let it shine.
Because there's only one you. You're unique. And that's the peak of diversity.