L is for…LGBTQ

Controversial Song of the Day:  “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry

For the entire month of April, we’ll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.

Taken from delireum.deviantart.com
So one day, Quita and I went to the movies (which could be ANY day because, well, we love movies). I was waiting for Quita to get some popcorn when in walked this lovely lesbian couple. They came in, holding hands and clearly in love (you could tell by the way they kept smiling at each other). After one of the employees took their tickets, he then proceeded to laugh loudly and call his co-workers. All of them laughed and pointed at the ladies, and then had the nerve to look at Quita and me to see if we, too, would join in with the taunting.

We never took another step in that theater.

LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Questioning) issues in YA have always been important to me. In fact, I wrote guest posts about this topic in detail on both YA Highway and Elizabeth Scott’s blog. The manuscript that landed me Sarah LaPolla as an agent was all about girls who find out their respective boyfriends are in love with each other. The contemporary YA I just finished revising is all about my male narrator developing feelings for his school’s most vocal lesbian. Quita even makes sure to include LGBTQ characters in her stories, as well.

Why do we do this? The same reason we write about black characters, and white characters, and biracial characters, and overweight characters, and characters with illnesses and disabilities.


Because they’re real.

We like to write about real people. So we’ll keep plotting “coming out” stories (which, I’m sorry, there’s NEVER enough of), or tales where we just happen to have a bisexual character because we’re being authentic. And here are a few novels that feature LGBTQ characters:

Do you all include LGBTQ characters in your own writing? What are some of your favorite novels that feature LGBTQ characters?


10 thoughts on “L is for…LGBTQ

  1. I've included a number of gay and lesbian characters in my own writing, of all types. My W day is actually going to feature one of those gay characters, a man who was imprisoned under Germany's anti-gay Paragraph 175 and goes on to become the surrogate father and dear friend of a French teen girl who lost her parents.I recently read the YA classic Annie on My Mind, by Nancy Garden. I enjoyed it, though I was a bit disappointed the love scenes were so vague. I'm certainly not expecting explicit erotica in YA, but at least give me some descriptive, tasteful language to let me picture what exactly they did! Even by 1982 standards, it seemed a bit prudish, though I do respect it for being the first book, YA or otherwise, to feature a happy ending for a gay couple. The lesbian classic The Well of Loneliness is also on my to-be read stack, another book I've wanted to read for a long time.

  2. I was about to say….ANNIE ON MY MIND!!!! but Carrie-Ann beat me to it. ;-)I also really second The Geography Club. And I could not get into Will Grayson Will Grayson – I don't know what it is about that book because I like both DL and JG but…eh not my thing.

  3. Libba Bray's BEAUTY QUEENS had gay, bi-curious, and transgender characters – what a great romp of a read. Loved Ash and Will Grayson, Will Grayson. One of my manuscripts features a lesbian protagonist, she's totally fine with herself and the story is more about older child adoption than her sexuality. My current WIP does feature a gay best friend, but that's how he presented himself so who am I to argue?It's easier for me to write gay, since I am, than to write black, which I'm not. I find myself really nervous about my black characters, but I've decided to heck with it, they're going in anyway, and if I've got it wrong, somebody along the critique line will let me know.Books need to represent all of us.

  4. I don't know that there really need to be more coming out stories. I feel like, in general, we need more stories where otherness* is NOT an issue, in addition to those we already get of struggling with otherness. *I use otherness to mean characters who don't fit the "average white American" norm, due to race, disability, sexual orientation, etc. PS, I don't think I could ever write a LGBTQ MC. I hope to post on my blog about why. If I do I'll be sure to leave a linky.

  5. Can't believe those idiot employees acting that way! It's disgraceful!I've got heaps of gay/bi friends but haven't put any characters in my books yet. I don't really know why! It just never occurred to me. But I wouldn't want to put one in just for the sake of it, i.e. as a "token".

  6. I just finished rewriting a YA WIP w/ a MC that is bisexual and I have other stories with LGBTQ characters as well as straight characters. I just see no reason for not writing stories that include all different kinds of characters. I don't think I've read any YA so far but I have read plenty of good adult romances w/ LBGTQ characters.

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