• Jasmine Holly Bullock

LGBT+ History Month 2020

Brief thoughts on young fiction available to the LGBT+ community, and how it has changed. This years theme is: Poetry, Prose and Plays!

For some, the time when literature has its most profound effect on us is when we are in our teens, on the verge of becoming adults. It is at this time that a lot of self discovery occurs, yet for the LGBTQ+ community there is a gap in young queer literature. For example, John Donovan's I'll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip is considered to be the first young adult novel featuring homosexuality to be published, it was published in 1969... just over 50 years ago, and coincidentally the same year that the Stonewall Riots occurred. Rosa Guy's young adult novel Ruby is known as the first to feature a lesbian relationship and was published in 1979, a relatively short time ago.

Although, this gap in literature is being filled in, especially looking at young adult literature. From 1969 to 1979, there were only SIX young adult books published which contained LGBTQ+ content. However, from 2006 to 2016 there were more than SIX HUNDRED books with  LGBTQ+ content published! This was a huge improvement and the progress continues. I think this years theme for LGBTQ history month (Poetry, Prose and Plays) should encourage us to appreciate and explore the queer works available to us... and to keep asking for more of it!

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