Things I want to see in LGBT YA

Things I Want to See in LGBT YA

(This post was actually written a long time before the USA gay marriage ruling – but I couldn’t let such a golden opportunity pass without posting something relevant!)

#WeNeedDiverseBooks has been going for a while, which is great – but here are some things I’d LOVE to see in YA fiction, because I feel like a lot of LGBT fiction is (rightly so) about coming out and identity; but being gay or bi or lesbian or transgender is SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT. So here goes.

I want to see:

  • Sci-fi and dystopian societies where LGBT issues are included in the world-building rather than just ignored or taken for granted. Is your future-society a place in which homosexual behaviour is normalised, indeed, the norm, or is it discriminated against? Too many sci-fi/dystopian societies are too close to our own; there are so many opportunities to explore issues and ideas relating to sexual ethics, sexuality and gender identity in those genres that I feel like it’s being underused. An oppressive oligarchy does not a dystopian story make!
  • A young gay (or LGBT) couple in a long(ish)-term relationship. Too many books are about falling in love: I want to read about BEING in love; the trials, tribulations and successes. I want to read about successful and failing relationships; recently-ended relationships. ANYTHING EXCEPT FALLING IN LOVE. Falling in love is the easy bit; but how do those couples deal with the pressures of being in a steady relationship? There are so many opportunities to explore this theme.
  • A gay love story of Tolstoyan proportions. ADAM KARENINA? Something big and dramatic and epic that spans decades…

Got any more things you’d like to see in LGBT stories? Share them below!

About Rhys

Rhys is a 19 year old with roots in the UK and Germany. Aside from reading and blogging, he also produces theatre, loves Kate Bush and hopes to pursue a career in publishing. His reviews have been widely quoted in books such as Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines Quartet, Catherine Bruton’s Pop!, James Treadwell’s Advent and Anarchy and he has presented at such events as Book Expo America.

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What did you think about Things I Want to See in LGBT YA?

  1. Rachael June 30, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    These are all really good points about how although we are getting more diversity within what is being published, we also need diversity within those books. Number 1 particularly struck me because it always frustrates me how sci-fi/ fantasy has so many opportunities to increase the diversity without having to adhere to our own social constructs, and yet they can have books about green martians and not about LGBTQ or other minorities.

    • Rhys June 30, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      Right – sexual ethics are such a HUGE part of our culture that it seems weird that we just completely ignore it in those genres. Hopefully this post gets at least a few people thinking!

  2. Hebe July 1, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Adam Karenina is a title of genius 🙂

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