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Signal Boost: Say Yes To Gay YA

"We are published authors who co-wrote a post-apocalyptic young adult novel. When we set out to find an agent for it, we expected to get some rejections. But we never expected to be offered representation… on the condition that we make a gay character straight, or cut him out altogether ... ."

Read the rest of Rachel Manija Brown's and Sherwood Smith's article about their experience at the Publisher's Weekly-hosted blog Genreville ... or, if you want to discuss it in more familiar surroundings, check Rachel's post on LJ or DW.

This entry is also posted at Dreamwidth. Comment at either location, as you prefer.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
helliongoddess
Sep. 13th, 2011 04:00 am (UTC)
Aiiiieeeee!!!!!! The idea that the publisher would have the balls to even think to ask them to change the sexual orientation of the character is beyond comprehension, and reprehensible. Kudos to the author of that article for a well-written post, and even more kudos to the authors of the book for drawing the line in the sand and refusing to back down. As they pointed out very rightly, with the high suicide rate of GLB teens - and its even higher for trans ones - books with positive gay characters should be welcomed and encouraged, not banished and bowdlerized. That publisher needs to join the 21st Century.
rachelmanija
Oct. 13th, 2011 05:51 am (UTC)
Thank you for your support!

To continue to support YA fiction with LGBTQ characters, I have proposed creating Permanent Floating YA Diversity Book Clubs. If you wish to participate, the link will explain how to begin one, join one, or simply pass on the word.
rachelmanija
Sep. 19th, 2012 04:28 pm (UTC)
I thought you would be interested to hear that we sold Stranger (aka "the Yes Gay YA novel") to Viking. Click on this link for a post with more details. Thank you so much for your support!
helliongoddess
Sep. 19th, 2012 05:36 pm (UTC)
Yes! I saw chomiji's post this morning, but hadn't had a chance to reply to it yet. Congratulations! That really is great news, both that you are getting published, and that Viking has the balls to publish it as is, and not even think about asking you to change the characters' sexual orientation. Good for them, and good for you, for standing your ground! ♥

We're making progress in this country, slowly but surely, and with some of us kicking and screaming, but we seem to be going in the right direction - on that issue, at least. If we can get through this election cycle without the GOP forcing their agenda on us any further, perhaps we can see some real progress in the next four years. (And authors in the future might not have to fight so hard for such a simple basic thing! Wouldn't it be nice?!) Congratulations again!!
rachelmanija
Sep. 19th, 2012 05:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! I certainly hope that things are changing.
helliongoddess
Sep. 19th, 2012 05:42 pm (UTC)
I also meant to say, I can't help but think how much it would have meant to my GLBT friends, who are now in their fifties and sixties, and who had such a terrible time coming to grips with being gay in the closeted 1960's and '70's, to have books like yours, with strong, positive gay role models - or ANY gay characters at all! - in them! It really is a different world now than it was then. *smiles*
theskywasblue
Sep. 13th, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
How sad that this publisher has to be so narrow-minded.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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