When you think of the young adult books capturing the attention of America's adolescents and pre-teens, predominately-white, predominately-straight novels like the Twilight and Hunger Games series come to mind. In a post on Publishers Weekly's website, two writers argue that the reason most YA books don't include LGBT characters, especially ones of color, is because book agents don't have the balls to sell manuscripts with them.
Rachel Manija Brown, author of the memoir All the Fishes Come Home to Roost: An American Misfit in India, and Sherwood Smith, writer of the YA novel Crown Duel, say that fear is running the YA book industry. Brown and Smith wrote an unpublished novel together called Stranger, featuring a young Asian gay male character with a boyfriend.
"An agent from a major agency, one which represents a bestselling YA novel in the same genre as ours, called us," Brown and Smith write. "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."
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