Monday, September 12, 2011

Straightwashing? Is that like when you wash your colors with your whites?

So we're all abuzz about this article, and it's pretty damn upsetting.  In fact, I'm fuming.

Okay, sorry, no I'm not.

Why?  Because I have an amazing agent who is so pro-gay-characters, she's the one telling me to keep my characters snogging the same sex.  And so far, every editor we've contacted (and every editor that, out of the blue, contacted us) has shared the sentiment.  Including the Big 6.

Yes, there are agents and editors and readers out there who are against gay characters.  Period.  It happens.  I'll probably encounter them soon.  There are also agents and editors and readers who don't really want to see people of color or feminists or Muslims or whatever makes them uncomfy in their books.  That's just the way the world is right now.  Yes, it sucks, but it's always been like that and it will be for quite some time.  Some people just suck. But changes are happening and we're on the crest of the wave.  Hell, we're surfing the change as you read this.  Because there are agents and editors and readers who want--nay, love--gay characters.

What makes me laugh about the agents/editors mentioned in that article is this: they are missing an amazing opportunity.

I hate to make it about money, but gay YA is going to be a HUGE cashmarket soon.  Think about the "It gets better" movement, the overwhelming publicity that going AGAINST homosexuality has.  If there's no such thing as bad publicity, then the homosexual world is getting a lot of great press.  As gay characters grow more pronounced as sidekicks in YA lit and their fandom grows (Magnus/Alec, anyone??), imagine just how big the boom will be when there are more books centering around gay chars!

(I could write about social justice and all that, but many have already done it.  I didn't write gay characters because I saw a trend, I did it because I felt it needed to be done.  'Nuff said.)

I look at it just like I look at the agents/editors that passed over Harry Potter.
A few years from now and they'll be kicking themselves while the ones who saw potential are living in a castle off the coast of Norway.***

***This may not be where J.K. Rowling is, but it sounds good to me.


Laurie McLean said...

Rock on, Alex! Art imitates life...or was it the other way around?!?

A. R. Kahler said...

I think it goes both ways. :)

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