LGBTQ+ Young Adult Books
Ever since gay marriage was made federally legal back in 2015, there’s been more and more exposure to the LGBTQ+ community for people who, perhaps, haven’t experienced much or any of it. From gay comic-book superheroes, lesbian movie spies, transsexual athletes, your bisexual neighbor, and more, the LGBTQ+ community isn’t just here, it’s now becoming a normal part of society Since the federal legislation passed, non-heterosexual people express themselves publicly the way they would in their own homes.
What’s that got to do with entertainment? Well, since these people aren’t afraid to express themselves, that attitude carries over to their wallets, and that means that there’s a whole new market to advertise to. That’s what.
Since this isn’t a movie article, or about a fun Halloween theme, let’s talk about some juicy literature involving characters who are members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Closeted-gay popular high-schooler Simon Spier emails a mysterious flirt named Blue during his free time. When Simon forgets to log out of his email, and someone learns of his secret by looking at his chats, Simon decides to do favors for the blackmailer in order to keep his secret, you know, a secret.
Despite the blackmail, I hear this book is a fun and light-hearted romp. High school might be societal cancer, but Simon’s high-school life is portrayed the way it ought to be: a fun time with your friends. Simon isn’t ashamed of being gay, he’s just afraid of how dumb high-school kids, his many friends included, will react, and what his social standing will be like after that. It’s a romanticized youthful story about facing your fears in a real way.
When YouTuber Natasha “Tash” Zelenka unexpectedly gains 40,000 new subscribers, she goes from loving all the new fans to fearing the pressure to deliver on their exceedingly-high expectations. After her adaptation of Count Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” gets nominated for a Golden Tuba Award, she begins forming a relationship with another award nominee that could become something real. But the pressure is on as Tash struggles with the balancing act of rising to possible internet fame and the IRL relationships she has and is striving for.
Notice how that summary didn’t hinge on any character’s sexuality. While Tash’s romantic asexuality makes up many of the more fine details of the book’s narrative, the overall plot doesn’t require it. Not that that’s a nock against Simon Spiers, though. It’s just a different take, and also a very conscious decision to make that a character trait. It’s a bold move, and those are the kinds of moves musicians, artists, writers, and filmmakers should make.
Two strangers learn from a mysterious techno-doodad called Death-Cast that they will die, very soon, on the same day. Not content with dying sad deaths, the strangers, a gay Puerto Rican and a bisexual Cuban, set out to live the best day of their lives together, and with others, even though it will be their last.
This is less LGBTQ+ young-adult material, and more of a somber “how you should live your life” kind of story. The book also has an interesting subplot of looking at other people who Death-Cast considers taking away, and what role actions have on a person’s life. I think it should be said that whether you tolerate LGBTQ+ people or not, we’re all stuck on the same planet, and we’re all going to die someday. So, maybe, cut it out with the discrimination.
If you like books, you can go check those out, because they are available for purchase wherever books are sold. We read and we write to learn, but also to be entertained. So, why not just have a blast while learning? But, if you don’t like hearing about the LGBTQ+ community, I will say that you should probably get over it, because being an agoraphobic home-body doesn’t sound great. As the old saying goes, “we’re here, and we’re queer,” and I’d say they are also here to stay, too.