From EKA: Comment on Cheryl’s guest post to enter to win a copy of SCARS courtesy of the author!
I love seeing how many more LGBTQ books there are for teens where the queer characters aren’t coming out, but are just who they are and their being queer is only part of the story. Of course we need coming out stories, too–as long as there’s homophobia thy will be relevant. But I think we need books where being queer isn’t THE issue or the only issue–books where being queer is normal. Books that tell queer and questioning youth –hey, there’s a heck of a lot of us and we’re glad you’re here, too! Books that, for straight people who may not have had much exposure or may still be locked in their (taught) prejudice, can open their eyes a little more and see–oh, yeah, being queer is normal, too. Even if it’s not how I am.
That’s why I intentionally did not make SCARS a coming out story. Yes, Kendra has to deal with her mom being a bit homophobic, but Kendra gets to delight in her relationship with Meghan, and has people around her who not only accept her being lesbian but also celebrate her finding someone good to be with.
I think the more books (and movies and media) we have where being queer is just part of who the characters are the more we’ll gently encourage greater acceptance and a decrease in prejudice. There will always be people full of hatred–but more open-minded and caring people will lose their prejudice and open up more fully to the world around them. It’s already happening!
Cheryl Rainfield is the author of SCARS–#1 on ALA’s Top 10 Quick Picks, a Governor General Literary Award Finalist, and on the 2011 Rainbow List Bibliography (WestSide Books, March 2010), DRAGON SPEAKER: THE LAST DRAGON (HIP Books), and SKINWALKERS: WALKING BOTH SIDES (HIP Books). Her new novel HUNTED comes out in October from WestSide. You can check out Cheryl’s site, her book blog, or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.