Lee Wind hosted another great LGBTQ chat today by the pool. The cabanas were overflowing with attendees, including Arthur Levine, Bruce Coville, Laurent Linn and Judy Blume! This was a great chance for authors and illustrators to meet and begin conversations that can continue through the week. Honest and open, attendees shared personal experiences and ideas.
One thing most mentioned was the desire to see more LGBTQ characters included in stories, but not having them BE the story. A true reflection of our diverse community. We discussed picture books, chapter books and YA novels, plus Arthur Levine gave great advice on using your own feelings to portray true human experiences for your characters.
Judy Blume told the group that the most important thing is to write the story and not to self-censor. And Bruce Coville told everyone to not operate out of fear, or it will constipate your story.
Inspiring, the LGBTQ chat is a great experience I look forward to every year!