Gay in YA

Should Gay in YA be allowed?
There's always been a lot of controversy whether or not authors should write LGBT characters. Some authors are known for their LGBT niche, where some are not and that's not always up to them, sometimes the publishers will only sign on the book if the LGBT character is written as a straight character as well.
Publishers Weekly published a blog where two authors wrote an article about trying to publish their book with a major company, but were told that the one gay character had to be written straight and if it was successful enough then they could write him as gay later on in the series. (Click here to read the article)
In the blog post they state that they didn't feel the need to change the Gay character because that's who he was and sometimes the teenagers they spoke to who were Gay always spoke about wanting a Gay character who could be shown as being strong.
“Making a gay character straight is a line in the sand which I will not cross. That is a moral issue. I work with teenagers, and some of them are gay. They never get to read fantasy novels where people like them are the heroes, and that’s not right.”
I completely agree with what Rachel had to say: Gay characters are never shown as being strong and it's not fair because there are people in the army and police force who happen to be Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender. They're courageous people who show strength, not weakness.
Rachel then went on to continue her argument as to why her character should remain Gay.
When you refuse to allow major characters in YA novels to be gay, you are telling gay teenagers that they are so utterly horrible that people like them can’t even be allowed to exist in fiction.
After coming out as LGBT we immediately get targeted, next thing you know you're being pushed into lockers, being beaten up and having people tell you to kill yourselves and it shouldn't be like that in the publishing world. We can't help being gay anymore than people can help being straight or being born with blonde hair. It's a normal thing and for it to become a normal thing in society then people have to accept it and use what they can to advertise an acceptance towards LGBT.
LGBT teenagers are four times more likely than straight teenagers to commit suicide.
LGBT teenagers don't commit suicide because there aren't LGBT characters in Young Adult books, but it's more about the prejudice. If a boy and girl were making out in public nothing would be said, but as soon as people see two boys (or girls) holding hands in public then it's rubbing their sexuality down their throats.
Rachel and Sherwood wrote the novel so that the teenagers we know—some of whom are gay, and many of whom are not white—would be able, for once, to read a fun post-apocalyptic adventure in which they are the heroes. And we were told that such a thing could not be allowed.
I love their reply!
After we thanked the agent for their time, declined the offer, and hung up, Sherwood broke the silence. “Do you think the agent missed that Becky and Brisa [supporting characters] are a couple, too? Do they ever actually kiss on-page? No? I’M ADDING A LESBIAN KISS NOW!”
I love that Rachel and Sherwood wanted to show that being LGBT was normal and that two boys (or girls) kissing is okay. (Sex is also okay). Being a gay teenager is hard, but sometimes you just want to read a book with a LGBT protagonist and there's only a small list of books we can choose from. But what I love even more about Rachel and Sherwood is that they wanted to write it for the gay people they knew, not because it was different in Young Adult fiction.
Not every publisher are against publishing books with LGBT characters, Agents can decline because of sexuality and so can Editors and we can't change their minds about that, it's up to them. But I'm also missing out a big factor: Authors. Yes, there are authors who are known Homophobes and by reading their work it looks like we're supporting them and their opinions.  
Orson Scott Card is a known Homophobe. In fact he's the biggest homophobe ever. I will never read a book by him because I'm gay myself and he is hating on people just like me, which is disgusting. In 2004, he said gays were the victims of self-loathing and child abuse. But Card’s most notorious anti-gay screed was his 2008 article in the Mormon Times, in which he wrote, “No matter how sexually attracted a man might be toward other men, or a woman toward other women, and no matter how close the bonds of affection and friendship might be within same-sex couples, there is no act of court or Congress that can make these relationships the same as the coupling between a man and a woman. This is a permanent fact of nature.”
John C Wright is another Homophobic author. After the SyFy Channel promised to be diverse in its portrayal of gay people, Wright took to LiveJournal with a shockingly homophobic post: “Why are you willing to tolerate sexual perversion but not racism? In a world with no standards, what makes a malfunction of love higher on your standard than a malfunction of hate? Is an irrational lust and longing to mimic the mating act with a sex with which one cannot mate, at its root, any more or less disconnected to reality than an irrational fear and hatred of a Negro?” He also compared being gay to bestiality, necrophilia, and the sexual abuse of children.
Another Homophobe is Kingsley Amis. The basis for Kingsley Amis’ bigotry is in his letters, which include slurs aimed at gays and Jews. He referred to gay men as “queers,” “poofters,” and “queens.”
To be honest the "queens" thing doesn't bother me because I am an aspiring Drag Queen, but there are so many gay men out there who aren't and it's offensive. I have a lot to say about all three men but I'd rather be a mature adult about it all and accept their point of view for what it is. But I will say I completely disagree with everything they stated.
The Young Adult genre's aren't that bad though, guys. There are a few well known authors who write LGBT characters and I think a lot of you will be surprised by one of them. She's massively known in the Young Adult genre and her first book City of Bones was also turned into a movie and has now been optioned for a TV Series.
Yes, Cassandra Clare, writes LGBT characters. In The Mortal Instruments there are two main gay characters: Alec and Magnus, but that's not her only LGBT characters. She is planning to write a Transgendered character and is set to appear in The Dark Artifices.
Here are five books that feature LGBT characters (James Dawson normally writes diverse characters) :

What are your opinions on having LGBT characters in Young Adult fiction? Do you agree or disagree with it? Let me know and comment down below.


  1. I'd love more diversity in books, but I have the feeling that most of the time, even when the authors try for more diversity, the gay character is a running gag. Like in YA (it's most of the time a boy) he is the gay best friend of the heroine and his only purpose seems to be to root for her, be hilarious and to show how open minded the big bad boyfriend is. Even while trying to be more diverse, authors seem to be stuck on stereotypes. I would love for a portrayal of lgbt people who are as diverse as the cast of a book. They should be able to be everything, from the hero to the villain. Which is why, even though I'm not really the biggest fan of Cassandra Clares books, I love how open Magnus and Alec and their love is shown.


    (Also, I really wanted to punsh something when you quoted those three homophobes. I'd like to think that people are better than that.)

    1. I definitely agree with you there, it's kind of the reason why I'm not a huge LGBT reader. I want something that's very relatable, but none ever seem to come close a part from TMI. I tend to find that in Young Adult the gay characters are always feminine and it's nowhere near the truth. It's also why I don't like David Levithan. Boy Meets Boy was the worst portrayal of anything to do with LGBT. There was a cross-dressing football player who read much like a guy (Seth Rogen, basically) and the whole school was all for gay people.

      Yep! Orson Scott Card isn't very nice and it's some how worse knowing that they are authors.

  2. I read a gay charecter in the House of Night series (sorry for bad spelling) who was both portrayed manly and feminine...well, actually, there was two gays I think, in a relationship with each other, and they weren't portrayed as weak at all. I liked the fact they were portrayed feminine and stereotypical, in a way, because...well, usually, when they're shown, they're there to be a girl's best friend and give fashion advice and blahblahblah, but not only did he do that, he kicked ass and showed a lot of personality traits a lot of people don't have, such as selfishness and kindess.

    But, saying that, I agree with you...there never seems to a variation of gays, they always seem to be a stereotypical type of person, like they're breeds and not actual humans with personalities and emotions, there just to be "Look at us writing about homosexuals!"....which is actually kinda how humans are, now that I say that. Gays are not accesories! D:

    1. That's exactly what I loved about Magnus and Alec in TMI. They kicked some serious ass.

      Lol, I agree with the whole writing about homosexuals part. It's like if they think they write a gay or lesbian character then people are going to love them, but sometimes authors don't do it well and write to a stereotypical view point.