There are a thousand and one LGBTQ books all of a sudden. And this is now a normal thing almost everywhere. But there are still people who disagree and or are unaware, so this post is just me sharing my experience…..so STORY TIME
I didn’t know what homosexuality meant till I was 16. Yeah, you read that right. Till I was SIXTEEN! You might think I’m unbelievably stupid or absolutely dense and you would be wrong. You’d also be sort of right. See, I knew at the age of 13 that Dumbledore wasn’t like other men in the book (read gay) but I didn’t know what that meant. I just looked at the flamboyant clothing, the “No man like him had been seen before or after on Privet Drive” line and thought, hey, he’s different. I understood that he probably would never marry (At that age I didn’t know that men could marry men, or women marry women) and thought he was one of those intelligent brahmacharys. But I never knew, not for a second, what homosexuality was.
Cut to age 16. I had a crush on a guy and it was one heck of an awkward thing. I liked him, I told him I liked him, he told me he was gay and I thought, “Yay, he’s happy that I like him! Maybe he likes me too.” Yep, madam was that dense. Lets not go into how awkward that situation turned out to be but suffice to say I googled gay men a week later and also found out what porn was. Yep! That was a bit of a shock really. Now you’re thinking, why the hell were you so unaware. I’ll tell you why. BECAUSE NONE OF THE BOOKS I READ HAD OPENLY GAY CHARACTERS!
Before I moved to this metropolitan city I grew up in a small town. And before that, I grew up in an even smaller town. My family gave me a book on biology and the human body when it was time for me to get my period. I didn’t know anything about sex till I read that, and that book was my only source of information! You can imagine how much knowledge I’d have in other related matters. Granted I moved around now and then to metropolitan cities but I never did meet anyone who was gay or anyone who actually was open about it. In fact, I currently have met two openly gay people in person. One, a makeup artist and another, a dancer (of cliché of clichés!)
I didn’t think there were people like me but, as it turns out there are. Even adults who are shocked when their children get divorced because they can’t take it anymore. They don’t understand what their children mean, they are panicked about what society will say and ultimately, they’re blank. So here’s my list of reasons that we MUST have openly LGBTQ characters in books.
1. You won’t have ignorant people like me if there was more inclusion in books! I don’t party, I don’t really go out often to places that aren’t religious/movie theatres/cafes/stores or libraries. Where else would I gain this knowledge if not through mediums that are openly available to everyone; even those living in a conservative place?
2. Imagine if I had no clue what homosexuality was, imagine how someone in a small town with little to no access to information, who actually was gay, would feel? It breaks my heart to think of a little boy or girl who’s attracted to someone they “shouldn’t” be attracted to and thinks they’re bad for that! It’s awful!
3. We need another source that ISN’T a conservative anti-gay group to provide a different opinion on being gay! How else would we know it is okay?
4. Regular representation would normalise homosexuality even for the smallest of towns. I don’t know how much gossip spreads information but I sure as hell know that i doesn’t spread acceptance. Having these characters like this more often would normalise
5. God only know show many of the people I met were secretly gay and married to the opposite gender because they had to be. They can’t actually be happy right? We make movies of love being opposed and winning over society at the end but WHY is it always a straight couple? Why can’t it be a gay couple? Don’t you think rooting for gay couple in books (or movies) would actually allow them to be happily married in real life?
6. More rep means more awareness, more awareness means more acceptance, more acceptance means less chances of stupid laws like that “unnaturalness” rule that was passed a while back.
Think about it, we give terrorists excuses yet we condemn people who just want to love whom they want to love? Really? How shitty! I became a little more aware of how unaware I was because a friend of mine is writing a book about a gay couple and mentioned that it would be appropriate for both YA and A audiences and it suddenly hit me that I’d never read anything as a YA or a child! My post may be basic AF but if you knew how many people still are unaware or unaccepting, you’d understand. So I just thought I’d share my thoughts, if you disagree that LGBTQ people should have a representation in books, please get off my blog. if you have any points to add to why there should be more rep in children’s and YA books, please add them in the comments. And I apologise if I’ve offended anyone with this post.