I ran an early draft of a story past my friend who told me all my characters were white guys. Since a person's race, or sex is doesn't disqualify one from our shared humanity, I thought, "That's not right."
And then I had a second thought, "How do you know Skip Collins is a white guy? Or Art Donway?"
In a fit of pique I asked, "Should I have one of them start speaking in ebonics?"
If you are a racist and a sexist, it matters whether these characters are white or black, boy or girl. If you're a human, maybe you can relate to the characters' humanity without heavy-handed labels branded on them.
One of the reasons why I like Bollywood movies so much is that all the characters are light enough to be not-black and tan enough to be not-white.
We somehow have to please self-appointed bean counters: Who complain that there aren't enough blacks in Science Fiction, or enough women, or that there are too many cismale gendernormative fascists.
So, what's a writer to do? Write a scene where the character goes into the girls' bathroom, and laments her boy-parts? Or vice-versa?
Sure, that'll sell a lot of books.
This tendency toward bean counting has engendered push-back. And if a "cismale gendernormative fascist" isn't polite enough when he pushes back, there's someone out there to concern-troll him.
Writing should be able to effectively and richly convey who a character is with just words and no gimmicks. Giving a character an Afro hair-cut or a name like LaFonda is a gimmick.
No, wait, Napoleon Dynamite was a white guy with an Afro. But he could dance, and don't they say that black people have rhythm--Raaaaacist!
This game is not worth the candle. It doesn't matter whether my characters are black or white, male or female, because their humanity is more important.
(No, I don't think black people have rhythm, Motown records notwithstanding.)
I'm tempted to write a story with characters named Alex and Sidney who are the opposite sex, race, etc. than what everyone expects.