More Diverse YA Books = More Diverse YA Movies

richincolor:

I had intended to share another excerpt from my MFA paper, but a more pressing concern, or real world example expressed itself to me and I felt compelled to write about this instead. While we here at RiC focus on diversity in YA literature, it must be mentioned that the need for diverse characters is even more important when we look at the number of YA books being turned into movies. Those of us who are already reading diversely are able to balance out the pervasiveness of the dominate culture in movies with our literature, but what about the kids who aren’t as well versed, whose only exposure to literature is from the movies that are made from books?

This question popped into my head recently through an assignment I gave my students for our first unit. We are studying the elements of fiction and instead of having the entire class read one book, I thought it would be fun to have the students choose their own book, have them read something they are interested in. Last year when I did this, I had a number of students asking me for recommendations and you know I encouraged diverse texts. This year, not so much, and well, sadly most of the books the students chose were novels that hit the big screen in 2014. The books my students have chosen….

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I want to just let you think about something for a minute….my student population is 60% Hispanic and 40% African-American, and those 5 books are what most of my students chose. Let it sink in that none of my students are able to see a reflection of themselves as the hero, the love interest, in any of these stories. It was during a class activity when the students had their books out that I started to get irritated with the situation. I feel that if stories that featured characters of color were seen as “marketable” or “popular” (whatever that means), then my students would have more diverse reading lists. As it is, they’re only reading diverse stories because I choose diverse texts for class! I’m only one teacher, what about all the other teachers whose population numbers are similar to mine? Are they sharing diverse texts with their students or only teaching one voice, with the exception to a novel about slavery or the Civil Rights movement one month a year? I’d hope they’re not, but the sad reality is that many students, especially students of color in low-income areas, do not have access to diverse texts and only read books that have been made into movies, because the rational is “it must be a good book if it was made into a movie.” I find this unacceptable, do you? African-American and Hispanic teens throw down large numbers of cash on movies and movie tie-in stuff, is it so hard for a book that features a character of  color to be made into a movie? The audience is already there and I can guarantee that teens will run to the theaters. Hollywood and publishers do not get that “If they build it, we will come”. They don’t get that the reason why they are not seeing big numbers for diverse books and movies is that they are not putting the money behind the authors to get the word out, to find the audience. Again, the audience is there as the #WeNeedDiverseBooks juggernaut keeps proving time and time again.

I will admit that the only movie on this list that I have seen is Catching Fire, as I really have no desire to see the other movies (okay, maybe Maze Runner). I read all of the books and can honestly think of other, better books that feature diverse casts that should be made into movies. So, to end this rant on a positive note, here is a list of books that I would love to see made into movies.

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This book needs to be made into a tv show as we follow Holly through her high school years.

What do you think, dear readers? What books would you like see be made into movies?

I would kill for an Otherbound movie.  Seriously.  Like if any of our followers work in Hollywood and have tons of cash laying around, you should option the shit out of Otherbound.   Not just because it has awesome diverse character but because it has a very cinematic tension with the flashing back and forth between our world and the fantasy world. 

- Sarah

› Biphobia: Not in My Name
msnydiaswaby:

Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Ntozake Shange, June Jordan, Lori Sharpe, and Audrey Edwards circa 1977 at a Black women’s writing group. 

msnydiaswaby:

Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Ntozake Shange, June Jordan, Lori Sharpe, and Audrey Edwards circa 1977 at a Black women’s writing group. 

inkdusted:

Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis is currently $3.99 on Amazon Kindle!

Have you read the Lucifer Box series? I've been told it's about a bisexual detective or something like that and was thinking about buying it. Do you guys reccomend it (if you've read it that is)?

from jon-is-my-lord


tuulikki:

bisexual-books:

The Lucifer Box series is an espionage/spy thriller parody with Edwardian gentlemen and lots of British humor. None of us have read it, but while researching it I kept tripping over the phrase “openly bisexual.” That phrase exactly, “openly bisexual,” kept cropping up everywhere. It’s very important to reviewers that you know he’s openly bisexual. And I’m a big fan of that! I don’t know how exactly that works in an Edwardian setting, but given the fierce avoidance of the b-word in lots of books, I’m going to go out on a limb and tentatively (sooo tentatively) call that a good thing.

 I say tentatively, because the main character is a bisexual secret agent. That’s awfully close to the untrustworthy bisexual trope, which we’ve talked about before. That, and it’s written by Mark “I think a lot of people who say they are bisexual aren’t” Gatiss, and I worry that that attitude might bleed into the narrative.

But I like espionage books, and I like parodies even more, and  it sounds like there might be an emphasis on portraying the main character as bi. Other readers out there want to confirm or deny that for us? 

~ Ellie

I wouldn’t say he’s openly bisexual. He’s not living openly as a bisexual man in his society, as far as we know. He sleeps with a guy maybe 3/4 of the way into the book, and they stay in a sexual relationship for a bit, but it’s not like his sexuality is discussed in any thoughtful way. His male relationship is also not really on the same level of his female relationship.

It’s not really the kind of book you’d go to for thoughtful, carefully-crafted character development, though: Lucifer Box is an amiable cad, a little like Harry Flashman from the Flashman series. To be frank, I think Gatiss took Lord Henry Wotton from “The Portrait of Dorian Grey” and made him a young spy.
Overall, I’d say there’s no particularly brilliant bi representation, but I would still heartily recommend the book. It’s a cheerful romp, no more, no less.

lauraroselam:

thegayya:

Announcing our October Book of the Month: Pantomime by Laura Lam!

Every month we choose a book as our Book of the Month, one of our favorites that has contributed something great and unique to queer YA literature. We chose Pantomime because it is an excellently written fantasy/steampunk series with an intersex, nonbinary, and bisexual protagonist. There is also a large amount of diversity within the rest of the characters. All of these things are unique in queer YA, and when you put them all together, what you get is a wonderful and important read.

Shadowplay is the sequel to Pantomime. The third book Masquerade is in the works. Unfortunately, Laura Lam’s publisher Angry Robot closed down, leaving the authors stranded. It was just recently bought, but authors from the YA imprint Strange Chemistry still don’t know what this means for them. Laura Lam is planning a Kickstarter project to raise funds for everything needed to get Masquerade published, but due to this recent development will be holding back to see if she can get the rights to all three of her books. 

While we wait for news on that, check out the Vestigial Tales, short stories from the same world and featuring the same characters as The Micah Grey seriesor buy up your own copies of Pantomime and Shadowplay. Make sure and keep up with lauraroselam's tumblr for the latest news (and fabulous posts!).

As usual, we’ll be interviewing Laura Lam at some point within the next two weeks— so if you have a question you’d like us to ask her, send it our way! We’ll also be hosting a mini book club for Pantomime, and having a giveaway of some Pantomime-related stuff later in the month, so stay tuned!

Super excited that Pantomime is Gay YA’s book of the month for October! Cool stuff to come.

Have you read the Lucifer Box series? I've been told it's about a bisexual detective or something like that and was thinking about buying it. Do you guys reccomend it (if you've read it that is)?

from jon-is-my-lord


The Lucifer Box series is an espionage/spy thriller parody with Edwardian gentlemen and lots of British humor. None of us have read it, but while researching it I kept tripping over the phrase “openly bisexual.” That phrase exactly, “openly bisexual,” kept cropping up everywhere. It’s very important to reviewers that you know he’s openly bisexual. And I’m a big fan of that! I don’t know how exactly that works in an Edwardian setting, but given the fierce avoidance of the b-word in lots of books, I’m going to go out on a limb and tentatively (sooo tentatively) call that a good thing.

 I say tentatively, because the main character is a bisexual secret agent. That’s awfully close to the untrustworthy bisexual trope, which we’ve talked about before. That, and it’s written by Mark “I think a lot of people who say they are bisexual aren’t” Gatiss, and I worry that that attitude might bleed into the narrative.

But I like espionage books, and I like parodies even more, and  it sounds like there might be an emphasis on portraying the main character as bi. Other readers out there want to confirm or deny that for us? 

~ Ellie

OH my god we have 10,000 followers O_O



It is amazing that 10,000 people care about what we have to say about bisexuality, literature, and media representation.  We are so incredibly grateful to all our wonderful followers!!  Thank you guys so much!!

OH my god we have 10,000 followers O_O

It is amazing that 10,000 people care about what we have to say about bisexuality, literature, and media representation.  We are so incredibly grateful to all our wonderful followers!!  Thank you guys so much!!

this is hella random, but I'm always feel like I can either mention that I really like being kinky, having sex, want to do threesomes or whatever, or that I'm bisexual, and if I happen to reveal both that people start thinking I'm bisexual because I want to do all sorts of sexual shit (not true), or that I like to do that stuff because I'm bisexual, which also isn't true. It just opens up my options. And especially since I'm more into guys, but they're the ones more likely to be scummy :/

from kitkatpurrpurr


You know, people really struggle with the idea that 

sexual orientation =/= sexual behavior

They have nothing to do with each other.  

I’m sorry you have to deal with guys being scummy though.  You don’t deserve any of that.  

- Sarah 

› The invisible stereotypes of bisexual men. [Arch Sex Behav. 2014] - PubMed - NCBI
Call for Contributors!

thegayya:

We are looking for 5 new regular contributors for GayYA.org. 

Regular contributors are people who write monthly posts for us. The posts must be somehow related to queer characters in YA lit. 

Contributors can go wide and talk about a lot of different things, or go deep and focus on one topic. Or they can do like a “Top 5 ___” type thing. They can be serious or fun, or anywhere in between. 

We’re open to people of all ages! We’re especially looking for people who are able to commit for a long period of time. This call will be open till the end of October, but if you’re interested, get in touch quickly! We only have so many slots. 

As a contributor, you’ll need to be able to send in a post a month without much prompting from us. A few exceptions can be made, but if you are routinely not performing to our standards, you will no longer be a contributor. 

If you’re interested, please email victoria@gayya.org with a little bit about yourself, why you think you’d be a good choice, whether you’ve written for us before (and if not a link to your blog or somewhere else we can check out your writing), and if you have an idea of what topics/format you’d like your posts to follow. Feel free to point us in the direction of a post of yours you’re particularly proud of! 

Thanks for your time! If you have any questions, please email me victoria@gayya.org, or send us a message. 

› The Black Bisexual Experience Presentation at Out on the Hill Conference
rachelfershleiser:

The Toast just somehow hired Roxane Gay to run its forthcoming Roxane Gay vertical which will be called The Butter! Here’s Jess Zimmerman’s extremely well-timed column about Gay’s book Bad Feminist. Setting aside a lot of obligatory we’re not worthy-ing from the Toast team, I’d like to point out that literally no other site is more worthy, and internet publishers of all kinds would do well to pair up this event and the Awl’s recent ginger simul-poaching and draw some lessons about the relative merits of focusing on metrics vs focusing on quality and voice and letting good people get on with their dang work.
(via Today in Tabs: The Butter Slides In ⚙ Co.Labs ⚙ code community)

rachelfershleiser:

The Toast just somehow hired Roxane Gay to run its forthcoming Roxane Gay vertical which will be called The Butter! Here’s Jess Zimmerman’s extremely well-timed column about Gay’s book Bad Feminist. Setting aside a lot of obligatory we’re not worthy-ing from the Toast team, I’d like to point out that literally no other site is more worthy, and internet publishers of all kinds would do well to pair up this event and the Awl’s recent ginger simul-poaching and draw some lessons about the relative merits of focusing on metrics vs focusing on quality and voice and letting good people get on with their dang work.

(via Today in Tabs: The Butter Slides In ⚙ Co.Labs ⚙ code community)

Let me just say thank you. Love this blog, and thank you recommending far from you. Read it in like two daya. Beautiful book, love the way it's written, love the story, little bit of a tear jerker. Anyways thank you!

from audacioussoleil


Yeah I LOVED Far From You.  It is beautiful and precious and I will love it to pieces until a make everyone read it mwahahahaha!

- Sarah

PS: Read the book people.  Just read the book. 

My greatest dislike when I explain that I am bi is all the straight guys asking me if I do threesomes or if I will let them and their friends run a train on me. As if being Bi means I am a huge whore. It's so demeaning..

from isaakbutler


I hear you and I’m so sorry you have to put up with that.  Being treated in demeaning sexualized ways for being out is really gross.   And there is nothing wrong with doing sex work but the way that bisexual women and girls are treated in our society is about the constant assumption of availability.  And that is so gross.  Straight guys are the worst *gag*

- Sarah

Notte Themes     ☾