Friday, March 29, 2013

LGBT Book Blogging

Rainbow flag. Symbol of gay pride.
If you're in the US, or are friends with USians on social media, you're probably aware already that LGBT rights, specifically same-sex marriage, is a Big Thing right now. The Supreme Court is hearing challenges to two major pieces of discriminatory legislation: California's infamous Proposition 8 (reversing marriage equality) and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (which doesn't allow the government to recognize marriage or anything like marriage between same-sex coupes). So the news is all over this, reporting breathlessly on oral arguments (despite it being almost impossible to predict which way any given justice will vote based on their reactions during oral arguments. Also, we really need to stop feeding the troll Scalia), and social media avatars are turning red and pink using the logo of the Human Rights Campaign (in related news, see why some people may not want to use the HRC's logo).

With that current-events background out of the way, here's how this post applies to books! I noticed The Horn Book has been writing extensively on LGBT-related books this week, and wanted to share their posts with you.

A Second Look: Annie on My Mind - Annie on My Mind was historic - a book about lesbian kids, told by those kids, and (spoiler!) no one dies at the end! Roger Sutton, editor of The Horn Book, "grew up" with Annie, as it's one of the first books he ever reviewed. He looks back fondly on the book and its historic place in the LGBT and YA canon.

What Makes a Good YA Coming Out Novel? - Claire Gross explores some more LGBT YA book history, looking at the growth and evolution of the "coming out" novel. While the best of these "weave their coming-out stories into larger dramatic narratives," the emphasis is still usually on finding one's identity and place in the world - making it not so different from the standard "coming of age" novel in general.

Too Gay or Not Gay Enough? - Iconic YA author Ellen Wittlinger looks at the reactions to her books and to her as a writer from two perspectives: those who find her books "too gay," and thus don't want to publicize her "controversial" works; and those who find her "not gay enough" - namely the Lambda Literary Award that changed its award parameters not too far ago so the award is now specifically for LGBT authors writing books about the LGBT experience.

If you want to read my own recommendations for LGBT-related YA books, look no further than my list of recommendations right here!
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