This was brought to my attention today, by a friend of mine on Facebook:
Essentially, it is a post written by YA scifi/fantasy authors who were informed an agent (actually a couple different agents) would accept their book on the condition that they eliminated or changed a POV character who is gay.
On one hand, I’m relieved because it doesn’t seem that this is a pervasive problem in adult scifi/fantasy, which is where I’m most comfortable writing. Yes, I do have a gay character in my book…and guess what? He’s black, too. Guess I would have trouble getting it published in the one arena of literature that seems to be financially stable these days.
On the other hand, I’m disgusted. I knew there were problems in the publishing industry, but I was of the naieve impression that most of those were financial. I mean, come on, it’s not like there’s any other industry that can produce 2,000,000 something-or-other regardless of whether or not it sells, which is essentially what the publishing world has been doing for ages. I knew there would be bias in the world, and discrimination, and even some hostility. But I thought we were coming out of it, that it wouldn’t be quite so bad now. Yeah, right.
And on the third hand, I’ve half-a-mind to start writing YA just to rock the friggin’ boat. We need more variety of perspective in ALL forms of media, not less. There are a lot more people out there in the world…all kinds of colors, beliefs, and lifestyles…and they ALL deserve to have POV characters. I got over the whole WASP thing in grade school, for crying out loud…well before I would have started reading YA. I’m sure today’s kids (even the WASPs) are over it, too. I’m sure they’d love characters that they can relate to if they are “different”…and I’m sure it would be healthy for kids who aren’t “different” to read characters who are and realize they have more in common with them than they would have ever known if they hadn’t. Its a win-win situation.
So, I’m doing my small part. The post specifically asked to link to the page, and I did. In case you missed it…
Because it’s that important.