Agents tell YA authors: lose the gay characters and I'll get you a deal

Rose Fox from Publishers Weekly sez, "Authors Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith wrote a YA novel featuring five POV characters, all of whom are non-white, one of whom is a gay boy with a boyfriend. An agent offered to rep the book if they would turn the gay character straight. They refused, and are asking authors, agents, publishers, and readers to fight against policies and attitudes that maintain the status quo at the expense of minority voices."

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.

Rachel replied, "Making a gay character straight is a line in the sand which I will not cross. That is a moral issue. I work with teenagers, and some of them are gay. They never get to read fantasy novels where people like them are the heroes, and that's not right."

Authors Say Agents Try to "Straighten" Gay Characters in YA


(Thanks, Rose!)