Sunday, December 16, 2012

Meanwhile in France...


Today, in Paris, people stood up for marriage equality and homosexual couples' right to adopt. As we book bloggers often say, "show don't tell" is the best policy, so I'll just let the images speak for themselves.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(Translation: I also have the right to marry my boyfriend. My marriage, my battle.)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(Translation, left: I exist. Right: For me as well.)
 
One last thing before I close up. It has something to do with why I'm posting pictures of a political manifestation on a blog dedicated to YA books.
 
When confronted with evidence of a market over-saturated with white, middle-class, heterosexual protagonists, (raised by equally white, middle-class, heterosexual parents) with little or no representation of minorities in the main or supporting cast, people either shrug and say: "Well, it's the default," or wring their hands. Publishers white-wash covers or hide a characters' sexual orientation for fear that the book would not sell well, that it would not be interesting. We either bemoan the state of publishing (too safe), and when a minority gets a strong representation in a novel, we throw words like "pandering" and "liberal agenda" around.
 
Because presenting something that is not the default white and cisgendered in a strong, positive light is "pandering", "unrealistic". Because narratives involving gays and lesbians, or characters from an ethnic minority, are so steeped in tragedy and militantism, they cannot possibly be subject to variety.
 
Because their primary audience is, apparently, not as numerous.
 
Today, in Paris, people stood up for their rights, for the equality which makes a third of the constitutional motto of the country. They were neither few nor invisible. They were certainly not without support.
 
Dear people saying there's no room for varied narratives involving gays and lesbians: You are full of shit.

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