Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Widening the Scope Pt. 2: One of the best posts to come out of Tumblr

So, people may have noticed I've started using Tumblr again. It comes and goes ;) I wrote this post because I saw something on Tumblr a couple of months ago that I didn't simply want to disappear as so many things in Tumblr do.

Already this month, I've written about strength as it relates to characters who are male and female. Now I want to pay attention to a different kind of diversity and, dare I say it, one that is closer to my own heart.

When I was a teenage bisexual girl, I found that there were a lot of books that related my experiences with guys, but none that would give those strange and outlandish feelings I had for girls any credence. Oh, there was Sarah Waters and the book that the BBC mini-series brought out into the spotlight, Tipping the Velvet.

Tipping The Velvet
(Also Fingersmith and, to a lesser extent, The Night Watch.)

That was... kinda it. More commonly, there were starting to be books that would feature a side character, or best friend of the main character, who was gay. I think that Holly Black's Ironside was the first book I read where the gay side character featured in a romantic relationship of his own. 

Ironside (The Modern Faerie Tales, #3)
It's not a fun feeling when you pick up a book only to find that the characters that should be there for you to identify with, at least in some books, simply aren't there. 

Polyamory is the other minority that just doesn't get a lot of play in books though, I will freely add, that it has gotten better already since two years ago when I wrote this post.

I mean... people are actually talking about it now. O.o 

Which brings me to the Tumblr post that inspired this babbling:

Hi Sarah, I really appreciated your response on asexual representation and was curious about your thoughts on the lack of poly representation in YA lit. (read more)

What follows is a well considered question asking to the cultural attitudes that may still too much influence what can and can't be published in YA literature. 

What Sarah Rees Brennan did was reply with her own carefully considered responses, even going so far as to post, 

Here is a non-comprehensive but awesome list of YA books with LGBTQ and poly characters I found! (Linking to this one rather than the one at because it has a few indicators of favourite books and content, but is fantastic and amazing and everyone should read it!) ... So these are my (imperfect!) thoughts, summed up with I think it can be done, has been done, and I truly hope it will be done more.

Which even I didn't know about, so I'm more than happy to share about it here.

As if that wasn't all amazing enough, Melissa Marr weighed in with her own opinion:

"I’m always happy when folks comment on the poly resolutions in my Wicked Lovely books.  Yes, Radiant Shadows has a poly resolution.  So, too, does Darkest Mercy.  Sometimes the answer (in both life & fiction) is that what looks like a “love triangle” is actually NOT. Sometimes a person can have a healthy, happy relationship with two other people." (read more)

When people pull me up and ask me why I read so much YA fic, why I think it's so important: this. This is the answer to all those questions.

No comments:

Post a Comment