1. Jenna, do you have some to recommend? I have noticed more gay and lesbian characters in YA than you would have seen even five years ago, but I can’t think of any where the main character is gay or lesbian.
    One of the major characters in my new YA is gay and it is a fairly major plot line, although kind of an unknown one until fairly late in the book.

  2. To Jenna & Lori:

    I agree that the market needs to tap into more of the gay/lesbian theme, but perhaps without the major tendency to pigeonhole the literature into only that niche within book store sections.

    My novel which I’m hoping to publish as an ebook very soon entitled “Blue Car Racer” deals with that theme set in rural Montana where one of the major characters is gay, though is also somewhat of a sociopath in nature. It deals with bullying as a major theme, which I believe is also significant for YA literature.

    I haven’t seen much YA literature with gay themes, though I’m sure some exists. As with television shows though, I’m certain it will be on the rise very soon. It is extremely important that libraries and public schools lift some of their censorship, because a lot of struggling gay/lesbian/trans teens need something they can relate to on their level.

    And as always, it can be worked into any genre. Just have to keep our eyes open, I suppose. Since I’m gay myself, I’ll be working with such themes as much as I can. Thanks for raising an important point =)

  3. Gay/Lesbian Themes can really go in either direction. I think that might be a reasonable prediction in trends for YA fiction and possibly some non-fiction.

    How their sexual identity might clash with their spiritual identity or at least one will curtail the other significantly. And whether this alone, completely separated from the social and cultural stigmas on being gay, this internal struggle has just about as negative effects on young people as say… schizophrenic disorders or other deeply rooted developmental problems and psychological unbalances and disorders.

    Maybe it can lead to it, maybe the disorders lead to the inability to cope with this internal (and external) struggle.

    I have gone through this struggle myself, and I have chosen to be heterosexual for personal reasons. But I still went through this very struggle that young adults, teens, and young children possibly too, go through when discerning their sexual and spiritual identities.

    This very well might be a big up-and-coming trend across all genres in children’s fiction demographics. Other commenters have touched on good points too. Anyway, everyone keep writing outside the trends of today, and who knows maybe you’ll spark a trend of tomorrow.

  4. Claire

    Peter, I’m a librarian in a major urban centre in Canada and I can tell you from personal experience that libraries, at least here, are very queer positive. I am a selector of teen materials and we make sure to include LGBTQ materials within our mix. My branch has a big queer materials display each year to coincide with Pride week, and our system has hosted many queer authors over the years. Give your public library a chance and it might surprise you! We librarians are a very inclusive bunch.

  5. Liz Berges

    GLBT Books:
    • Garden, Nancy. Annie On My Mind. New York : Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1982.
    This was the first LGBT novel for teens that had a happy ending, it would probably be more appropriate for the 8th grade students.
    • Hartinger, Brent. The Geography Club. New York : HarperTempest, 2003.
    About a group of kids that try to start a GSA .
    • Moore, Perry. Hero. New York : Hyperion, 2007
    About a superhero who is also gay.
    • Peters, Julie Anne. Luna. Boston : Little, Brown, 2004.
    One of the first, and certainly the best book about Trans teens.
    • Woodson, Jacqueline. After Tupac & D Foster. New York : Putnam, 2008.
    • Kluger, Steve. My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, & Fenway Park. New York : Dial, 2008
    • Harmon, Michael. The Last Exit to Normal. New York : Knopf, 2008
    • Sanchez, Alex. The God Box. New York : Simon & Schuster, 2007
    • Lockhart, E. Dramarama. New York : Hyperion, 2007
    • Hartinger, Brent. Split Screen: Attack of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies / Bride of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies. New York : HarperTeen, 2007.
    • Garden, Nancy. Hear Us Out: Lesbian and Gay Stories of Struggle, Progress, and Hope, 1950 to the Present. New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2007
    • Peters, Julie Anne. Between Mom and Jo. Boston : Little, Brown, 2006.
    • Levithan, David. Wide Awake. New York : Knopf, 2006
    • Hartinger, Brent. Grand & Humble. New York : Harper Teen, 2006
    • Papademetriou, Lisa and Christopher Tebbetts. M or F? New York : Razorbill/Penguin, 2005.
    • Peters, Julie Anne. Far from Xanadu. Boston : Little, Brown, 2005.
    • Howe, James. Totally Joe. New York : Atheneum, 2005
    • Hartinger, Brent. Order of the Poison Oak. New York : HarperTempest, 2005.
    • Sanchez, Alex. So Hard to Say. New York : Simon & Schuster, 2004.
    • Peters, Julie Anne. Keeping You a Secret. Boston : Little, Brown, 2003
    • Levithan, David. Boy Meets Boy. New York : Knopf, 2003
    • Howe, James. The Misfits. New York : Simon & Schuster, 2001
    • Appelt, Kathi. Kissing Tennessee, and Other Stories from the Stardust Dance. New York : Harcourt, 2000.
    • Garden, Nancy. The Year They Burned the Books. New York : Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1999.
    • Bauer, Marion Dane, ed. Am I Blue? Coming Out from the Silence. New York : HarperCollins, 1994
    • GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Queer and Questioning Teens
    by Kelly Huegel (Free Spirit Publishing)
    • What if Someone I Know Is Gay? Answers to Questions about Gay and Lesbian People, by Eric Marcus (Price Stern Sloan)
    • Pedro and Me : Friendship, Loss, and What I Learned, a graphic novel by Judd Winick (Henry Holt)
    • Queer 13 : Lesbian and Gay Writers Recall Seventh Grade, edited by Clifford Chase (Morrow)
    • A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner (Penguin)
    • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Leviathan (Dutton)

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