Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Reflection #6: LGBTQ Characters & Themes

Just one article this week!? This can't be real life? I feel like there is so much more information out there on LGBTQ literature and why it matters to the library.

Although, this article was packed with good information.

I thought it was interesting that one of the first questions asked, jokingly, about an LGBTQ book is whether or not the character dies. It leaves out the possibility for a novel with these themes having a positive, uplifting ending. What does that say for our LGBTQ students or teenagers who are just looking for answers within the pages of these novels? That it always ends in tragedy? While I'm not a supporter of LGBTQ anything, I am glad that these novels have grown and evolved to give students/readers something more positive to look for in the books.

Another big evolution in GLBT literature is the inclusion of more books about transgendered characters. This was not something that anyone felt comfortable discussing until recently. These books give confused teens another resource - characters with whom they can identify.

For me, as a future librarian, I will do just what the article for this week said to do: "put them on the shelf and treat them like any other book." I'm not going to be promoting these titles and I won't be recommending them, but I'll include them in my library. I'm not censoring information because I don't agree with it. That's ridiculous.

The two novels for this week: Between Mom and Jo and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe fit perfectly into this category. In the first mentioned book, Nick has a family with two moms - his birth mother and her wife, Jo. They have marital issues and he feels completely alone throughout the struggle. He feels like he's in the middle of it. This is a book that you can identify with if your family has issues, period. It doesn't matter that he has two moms...but if you are in a situation where you have two moms, it makes the subject matter even more relatable. The book mentioned second, Aristotle...,  is going to be more helpful for those teenagers who are struggling with their sexuality in that Dante is very open about his, and Ari is not. It's a slower read, but it really makes the reader think. That's the point of LGBTQ books, I think. To make you think. To make you curious. To push you.

Bibliographic Information:

Camacho, H. (2011). Where GLBT Literature is Going and Why It Matters. Voice of Youth Advocates, 34(2), 138-139.
Peters, J.A. (2006). Between Mom and Jo. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
Saenz, B.A. (2014). Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.