First, props to whoever gets that. Second, a nod to Leah Clifford, since it’s an oft-repeated quote in our household.
Jessica Verday just posted this on her blog. You should go check it out immediately and leave her a comment. I have to admit, I definitely had A Moment reading her blog post, and seeing her stand up for her beliefs.
I actually hate talking about gay issues on my blog normally. I’d rather ramble, or unleash some sarcasm, or talk about craft. Most of the time, people far more knowledgeable and coherent can talk about these things and make their points better than I ever could. But I also think it’s important to stand up on occasion and support the people supporting you.
The truth is that publishing is a business. And in looking at it like a business, it’s easy to quantify heterosexuality in lieu of homosexuality. If a book has a straight romance, it’s perfectly targeted for the teen/twentysomething female market. Which is ideal, since they’re the ones buying YA. If the book has a gay romance, it’s perfectly targeted for…the gay kids? That’s the theory, at least.
There’s always going to be someone there who wants to whitewash the product in front of them. Whether it’s a literal whitewashing, in terms of race. Or gender. Sexuality. Religion. People who like Glee better when it only focuses on the straight kids. I mean, it happens. Even in publishing. And I’m sure that there are lots of times where issues like this crop up, and the general public don’t hear about it, because the author stood their ground. Gay characters remained gay, Asian characters remained Asian, etc.
But I think that’s why it’s important to take a moment and acknowledge those moments when someone stands up for their beliefs, and their opinion, and won’t compromise their message.
Awesome job, Jess! Thank you!