When I first came out, more than twenty years ago, there weren’t many queer characters in teen novels. One could probably count the books on two hands—Sandra Scoppetone’s TRYING HARD TO HEAR YOU (1973) and HAPPY ENDINGS ARE ALL ALIKE (1978), Nancy Garden’s ANNIE ON MY MIND (1982), Francesca Lia Block’s wonderful WEETZIE BAT books, and a handful of others.
And now? We’ve come a long way. There are some fabulous YA novels out there with lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, questioning and transgendered characters– and lots of terrific new books come out every year.
There are some very powerful novels about coming out, about identity, about loves and losses, about changes and challenges in relationships with family and friends and peers. And we need more of these novels. Despite what some have suggested, coming out novels have NOT been “done to death” any more than YA novels about heterosexual relationships.~ read more ~