coraa: (keep calm and carry on)
[personal profile] coraa
Yesterday, Rachel Manina Brown ([livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija) and Sherwood Smith ([livejournal.com profile] sartorias) posted Say Yes to Gay YA, about difficulties they've had finding an agent for their YA novel with a gay protagonist; specifically, an agent offered to represent them—if they removed the gay POV character, and/or made him straight instead.

As you might expect, I find that infuriating. While they are my good friends, they are also talented and proven authors—and furthermore, the situation they describe is clear: the book was rejected not for quality, but for having a gay main character. And other comments around the blogosphere make it pretty clear to me that this is a systemic problem, not a one-off bad-apple.

I'm not going to natter on. Instead, I'll suggest you go read the article—all the way to the bottom, where they suggest what we (all of us) can do to help improve the situation. There isn't a lot most of us can do, but there is something.

Say Yes to Gay YA (or, if that site is down—it has been linked by Neil Gaiman and similar, which can be hard on a server—there's a mirror here.)

Date: 2011-09-14 10:21 am (UTC)
green_knight: (Don Quixote)
From: [personal profile] green_knight
this is a systemic problem

Yes indeed. And I've already seen at least one agent saying 'oh no, this doesn't happen' and declaring the agent in question to be a single bad apple - but I don't think the agent making that demand would see themselves as being 'way out there' but as 'making a mainstream request because otherwise it won't sell'.

I am ever so glad people are _talking_ about this.

Date: 2011-09-14 01:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] canis-ridens.livejournal.com
The hell? Have they read some of what's in that section? Compared to Piers Anthony's obsessive, detailed descriptions of what are often at best coercive sexual sexual situations (Throbbing members and climaxes! Throbbing members and climaxes everywhere!), a gay main character seems downright tame.

Date: 2011-09-15 05:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] clairebaxter.livejournal.com
Got some new reading recommendations from there. (And added a suggestion to add to one of the lists.) I do get the impression that most authors our age have at least one character be gay as a matter of course. (So now, I guess, we need there to be more agents and editors our age.)

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