Seeking YA with LBGTQ characters

So, there’s been a bit of internet flap lately about a pair of authors who say they were offered agent representation–but only if they agreed to “straighten” a prominent gay character.

Now, there are two sides to every story, and the agent’s is worth reading. She claims she suggested the gay character’s viewpoint be removed, but not because he was gay–because the book had too many viewpoint characters, and presumably he seemed like one who could be reduced to a supporting role.

Maybe there was a misunderstanding, or maybe someone is being less than honest. Either way, it’s gotten me excited about the possibility of reviewing a YA with prominent LBGTQ characters for the podcast.

Because if agents/publishers are avoiding such characters, it doesn’t really sit right with me. Nor does it seem to accurately reflect an understanding of what readers want. As a reader, it’s honestly never mattered to me whether a character is gay or straight–what matters is whether he’s interesting, admirable, and worth spending time with.

So if you know any titles you can recommend, please, please send them my way.

4 thoughts on “Seeking YA with LBGTQ characters

  1. Saw your comment in the thread of the massive Genreville Gay in YA flap. I’ve got two books coming out this fall with a small press that have prominent gay characters and gay storylines. (I’ve had agents ask me to remove the characters before they’d offer representation.) They are rom-com/mysteries, not YA. Do you review other genres besides YA?

  2. Well, duh, I should have looked at your home page. I see you do both Romance and “uncategorized.” I hope you’ll be interested when the books come out. One due Oct 15, the other mid Dec. I’m glad you’re standing up for diversity. I think this move away from it is new. Reflects the scary climate in this country.

  3. Big thanks to both of you! I will definitely check those titles out. Anne, we’re pretty focused on sticking with self-pubbed work for the moment, though I will keep your books in mind if we ever begin expanding to cover work from small presses. I do so love a funny, romantic mystery!

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