YA Characters “Straightened”


Two co-authors of a post-apocalyptic young adult novel discuss how they were offered representation on the condition that they remove or straighten a gay character.

“The conversation made it clear that the agent thought our book would be an easy sale if we just made that change. But it doesn’t matter if the agent rejected the character because of personal feelings or because of assumptions about the market. What matters is that a gay character would be quite literally written out of his own story.”

The article outlines possible solutions for editors, agents, readers, and writers to combat the pervasive problem of pressuring “all major characters in YA novels into a straight white mold.”

(Via Book Bench)

Lisa Dusenbery is the former managing editor of The Rumpus. More from this author →