Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] darkspirited1 at SIGNAL BOOST: SAY YES TO GAY YA
This comes from an article by [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija entitled, Say Yes to Gay YA.
(click the link for the full article)

Our novel Stranger has five viewpoint characters; one, Yuki Nakamura, is
gay and has a boyfriend. Yuki's romance, like the heterosexual ones in
the novel, involves nothing more explicit than kissing.

An agent from a major agency, one which represents a bestselling YA novel in the same genre as ours, called us.

The agent offered to sign us on the condition that we make the gay
character straight, or else remove his viewpoint and all references to
his sexual orientation.

This isn't about that specific agent; we'd gotten other rewrite requests before this one. Previous agents had also offered to take a second look if we did rewrites… including cutting the viewpoint of Yuki, the gay character.

It's time to stand up and demand change. Spread the word everywhere if you are just as angry and outraged by this.


Agents? Publishers? Listen to me carefully: GAY PEOPLE BUY NOVELS, TOO. Whatever straight readers you may lose to including ONE gay character when FOUR others are hetero, you're going to get back double or triple from gay readers who are thrilled to have a romance they can actually relate to for once. Why would you continue to ignore and erase a virtually untapped demographic WITH MONEY TO SPEND ON YOUR BOOKS?

One day, you're going to realize that this behavior is no different than telling an author to remove a character just because they're black, or female, or Jewish. When that day comes, you're going to be kicking yourselves for years over all the potential sales you've lost, just because you had to hold fast to outdated and bigoted views. What people can or cannot read is not and never will be up to you. This story WILL get out and be told, one way or another. You aren't "protecting" anyone. What IS up to you is whether you'll be the publishers and agents to profit from it, or if you'll just sit back and allow another firm to rake in the cash from an unexpected best seller.

You're business people, right?
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