June is Pride month, so I decided that I would write some posts centered around LGBTQ+ representation in books. I am always on the lookout for LGBTQ+ books and although they have been implemented in YA a lot more as of late, there are still many ways I think authors could do to represent the LGBTQ+ community in their books better.
Arguably, the LGBTQ+ community doesn’t get enough representation in most entertainment platforms. Many YA books have been released recently with LGBTQ+ themes. Themes is a keyword because although there might be an LGBTQ+ character in the book doesn’t mean it’s considered an LGBTQ+ book.
One of the biggest issues I find with YA books recently is when they claim to be LGBTQ+ books but only have one character who is LGBTQ+ and that character is a side character, not the main character or anybody important. And then there are the books where there is wonderful LGBTQ+ representation but the entire book focuses on how that main character is gay/bi/etc. and that’s the only defining aspect of the character.
I want better representation. I want more books where there are diverse characters (not just sexuality, ethnicity/race as well, of course) but where the book isn’t only about how the characters are diverse. I hope you understand the point I’m trying to get across here because if not this probably all sounds like a bunch of gibberish nonsense.
But I’m starting to ramble a bit here and this post wasn’t supposed to be a rambling session so let’s get onto what this post is actually about. Here are a few ways I would like to see LGBTQ+ representation in books!
Plot that isn’t centered around the person’s sexuality.
In mentioned this earlier but it seriously needs to be on here. I like books where there’s a diverse set of characters each with a different ethnicity and sexuality without the plot having to revolve around that aspect of them.
If you’re unsure why I want it like this, it’s because whenever a book is diverse but the plot and everything that’s happening is centered around those characters being diverse, it kind of takes away from the diversity because it doesn’t feel natural for the characters to be diverse. Characters should just be diverse without the plot having to center around their diversity. I’m completely okay with books where the plot is centered around one’s sexuality or ethnicity, but I don’t want every diverse book to have that as a central theme, if you get what I mean.
I crave for the day when LGBTQ+ characters are a norm in other genres besides contemporary books. I want a Fantasy book with characters of every flipping sexuality imaginable. I want a hero that shoots rainbows out of their hands. Literally fighting off the bad guys with their sexuality.
Other genres I’d like LGBTQ+ representation in is… ALL OF THEM! Give me your bisexual gunslinger from the Old West, give me your gender-fluid space time-traveling pirate, give me your trans heiress from Victorian England!
And casually add it in because if the entire freaking plot is about their sexuality and identity what’s the point of adding in the representation in the first place?
Break the stereotypes.
Not every gay guy likes fashion. Not ever lesbian has short hair. Make your diverse characters like you craft any other characters, don’t let their sexuality the one thing that defines them as a character! My biggest pet peeve is whenever there’s a diverse character but literally their entire personality is defined by the stereotypes of what makes them diverse.
Don’t make diverse characters just to have them defined by their sexuality. That’s not how it works, y’all!
That’s the end of this post! I hope you enjoyed reading it and let me know some ways you’d like LGBTQ+ to be represented in more books! And if you’ve been writing your own posts for Pride Month, let me know so that I can check them out!
Oh! And also, before I sign off here, stop killing all of the diverse characters! That’s all *drops mic and walks out*