Friday, March 2, 2012

Gay Parents in YA Lit

In August 2011, Jonathan Arnston and I were debating the lack of gay families represented in Kid Lit. 

We did some research, read some books, and sponsored a series on our blogs. (Click on my link at the top of my banner for the series from last summer).

This year, we’re doing it again. Bigger, Better, and More Organized. We’d also like to focus it exclusively on YA. And we’d love to include our favorite bloggers and writers.


Can you commit to reading at least one YA book featuring (in some fashion) a gay parent or guardian? We’d love the book to have been published in the last five years.

Can you commit to a post (or two or three) in May 2012?

If you want to participate, leave your name and contact information below and one of us will get back to you with details.


Theresa Milstein said...

I'll read anything if it's a good premise. I haven't written a gay protagonist, but I do have a gay friend in the manuscript I submitted to ABNA.

Matthew MacNish said...

I can't commit just yet, but I want to take part in this, so I'm hoping I can find the time.

Jonathon Arntson said...

Theresa, we agree, a good story is essential, but we are also focused on the bibliotherapy potential of YA books.

Last time we ran the series, I read JACK, by A.M. Homes. In the book, Jack mourns for his father when his father comes out. He feels he's lost his dad to something. I liked the book for that aspect, even if the story itself was not all that compelling.

Hopefully, through this series, we'll discover books that hit all the right points.

Jonathon Arntson said...

Matt - Make it work for you and your curiosities. Whatever that looks like, we'd love to have you.

Kristine Asselin said...

Yes to what Jon said. :)

Kristine Asselin said...

I don't want anyone to add a gay character (or any particular "type" for that matter) just for the sake of it. It needs to make sense for the story, for the character. But I do think we shouldn't be afraid of writing certain types of characters--as writers, we need to be free to write characters even if we don't necessarily identify with all of their personal characteristics.

This exercise is both to identify and celebrate books that embrace families who are different--or rather, not so different.

I read one novel during the series last summer whose focus was on AIDs, which thankfully, is less deadly than it was 20 years ago.

I'd rather read something more current that provides a window into a life, a normal life--not a tragedy.

Whew--didn't mean to write such a long comment on my own post. If anyone is interested in participating, let us know!

Shoshana said...

I'd love to participate! You can contact me at shoshana dot flax at gmail dot com. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Myrna Foster said...

I'm not committing. I just wanted to say that I loved Lola's dads in Lola and the Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins. It's the best example I've ever read.

ms. lix said...

Hello! I'd love to! I'm a high school English teacher and writer also, and would love a chance to read more in the field :)!

My e-mail is

Thanks for giving more visibility to all our families!