I'm so excited to be back covering the LGBTQ Q&A hosted by Lee Wind. This year the panel members included Arthur Levine, Sonya Sones, Natalie Fischer, and Neil Porter.
From the start, Arthur brought out a box of books from Scholastic featuring queer content and characters that he’s published just this year. Some of the titles include ABOVE and THE LETTER Q.
And although everyone was encouraged to see the increase in LGBTQ lit, the panel stressed that there is both room and need for more.
Sonya and Arthur told the audience that to make authentic characters, find the related feelings--"love is love"--and make the connections. Arthur doesn't want authors to use the excuse of "getting it wrong," and that as writers we shouldn't be afraid of perception--there are all types of queer people.
The audience was not only engaged, but having a lively and deep discussion about why and how to write LGBTQ content. Arthur really tried to encourage writers to set aside their worries and consider that their feelings aren't much different than that of the characters they want to write. If you're concerned that your character might be offensive, check your stereotypes and just write a good character.
All in all, this was a great, safe space for authors to share what they're working on, and hear different perspectives.