Lamenting The Lack of Diversity; Or, We Need Diverse Books

I need to stop getting my hopes up I guess.

I have recently acquired two new books (one I bought, one was given to me). The first one I tore through in two days because it was so fantastic, and the other one I started reading yesterday. I’m only on page 13, but it hasn’t yet gripped me like Miss Peregrine’s had. Still, it’s enjoyable. Both are perfectly fine books.

What I need to stop getting my hopes up for is…finding a queer character. Having to go to a specialty section for that. I don’t really mind all of the queer books being grouped together (it makes them easy to find!), but once in awhile it would be nice to be surprised to find a queer character when I didn’t go looking for a specifically queer book.

There are more than a dozen characters in Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. You would think ONE of them would be queer. The Creeping (the book I’m reading now) stars four best friends and…all of them are boy crazy. There is nothing wrong with characters being straight, and having straight characters doesn’t mean the books are any less good. It just means that I won’t see someone like me in their pages. I won’t get to see a love blossom between two girls the way I long to.

It means that I still have to hunt for specifically queer books.

What this boils down to is needing more queer characters in books across the board. I don’t mean just in Young Adult, which is the primary fiction genre I read, but in all fiction genres. Queer characters shouldn’t be found only in specific books, or as side characters. They shouldn’t be found only in a specific section of the bookstore. I dream of a day when I can go to Target, find a book on a shelf, and be pleasantly surprised to find that the main character is a lesbian. That day just can’t come soon enough.

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