Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Worries of a Rag Doll

As some have probably worked out from my Goodreads account and my blog here, I do dabble in lesbian-related YA/teen fiction (With a few adult books in there for good measure) whether it's Malinda Lo, Nancy Garden or even male-written works from the likes of Jim C. Hines or J.A. Pitts. I love it, I'll say that and say it proudly. Annie On My Mind was an absolutely beautiful work, and Malinda Lo's Ash and Huntress almost brought me to tears at times.

But this brings me to my problem. Finding fiction in that vein is hard, doubly so for fantasy. Finding a well-written piece just about two people falling in love seems to be overly hard. Some are about abuse, some are clearly going to be overtly erotic tales, some are written from the perspective of someone not in the relationship itself. I understand all these books have a purpose and a market, but to me they're not what I'm after. I don't want to read a book about domestic abuse or rape - I hear about things like that all too often on the news for a start - I just want to read a tale about self-discovery and romance.

Fantasy is even worse for things like that. Despite being an arguably bigger genre, it's full of Bloke Meets Woman, Bloke Loves Woman, Bloke Bonks Woman, stories. There's a fair amount of gay fantasy tales, especially in the dark fantasy/paranormal sub-genre, but very little lesbian fantasy. I suppose lesbian werewolves are somehow less interesting than gay ones. Anyway, Malinda Lo is the only author I've read who has what I'm looking for. Whilst I loved Jim C. Hines' Princess series and I do love John Pitts' Black Blade/Sarah Beauhall books, they're about women with established relationships (Although there is some unrequited love in the former and soul-searching in the former) and I do honestly love those series, they're not exactly what I want.

I suppose I'm just worried that with the recent controversies about LGBT YA fiction, and the rise in popularity of genre fiction itself, publishers, agents and perhaps even authors themselves aren't stepping up to bring more diversity into the market. I'm not saying they aren't, I'm just saying that I'm not seeing a lot. I'd like to see more.

Publishers, authors, agents... If you read this, then I have just one thing to say to you. Please publish more LGBT tales, please give transpeople and lesbians in particular a bit more prominence. Please take the chance, and please give young people the ability to read a book that changes their lives for the better. Life is not a fun thing at the worst of times, and for those who are LGBT, they may feel as if they're wrong or broken. Please, put books out there that show that's not the case.

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