Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bits and Bobs

I don't really have anything specific to write about today, but it seems like THINGS are happening.  Lots of things.  All the things.  And it's kind of exciting.

Don't Ask Don't Tell is finally over.  This makes me happier than states allowing gay marriage.  Being a patriot means upholding the constitution.  And the constitution has not ever and will not ever institutionalize the oppression of any group.  Every single person who claims to be a patriot while simultaneously trying to deny basic, unassailable rights, is a hypocrite of the highest order.  That's all I'm going to say about that.

Remember that kerfuffle last week about the authors who were supposedly asked to remove a gay character from their book?  Turns out it may not have been true...at least not in the way it was portrayed.  It's turned into a game of he-said/she-said that I'm, quite frankly, not interested in.  Any agent that discriminates against anyone, won't be an agent for long.  And any author who tries to manipulate readers, bloggers, and other authors in order to make a name for themselves, won't be writers for very long.  However, what I am interested in is the response.  A lot of other agents rallied and claimed that YA is a super inclusive group, that homophobia isn't really an issue in publishing.  To which I call bullshit.

Listen, people may not be sitting around trying to figure out ways to keep gays or blacks or muslims or christians out of books, but there is a subconscious vein discrimination in publishing and YA.  Every time someone says, "Gay books are harder to sell," or "Black protagonists aren't popular in bookstores," they're discriminating.  There ARE publishers who take chances.  There ARE writers who sell these stories.  Hannah Moskowitz recently sold an MG book featuring a gay protagonist.  In fact, it's about a kid who's breaking into a high school prom to meet the guy he's got a crush on.  But to suggest that there's no discrimination in YA or publishing is ridiculous.  The excuse that books with black protags don't sell well, therefore it's best to put a white girl on the cover, isn't just discriminatory, it's insulting.  It's insulting to readers, to writers, and to anyone with half a brain.

I know publishing is a business, but it's also more than that.  Especially in YA, we're reaching out to kids.  We're showing them the world.  If we wrap a book about a black girl in a cover featuring a white girl, we're telling black girls everywhere that they're not as good.  If we eliminate gay characters from books, we're telling gay kids they're not worthwhile.  So, you know, there's that.

Here's a happy thing:  I got new dogs!  Matt and I adopted Chewie (the obese Pomeranian) and his buddy Rory (the maltese/poodle).  They came as a package deal and they're super sweet.  The surprise was finding out that Rory is deaf.  I'm not sure if the shelter knew, but it was pretty clear to me and Matt that he couldn't hear.  They're a handful, but totally sweet and awesome.  Chewie clearly needs to shed some pounds.  He's supposed to be like 5-7 lbs and he's currently approaching 17lbs!

Enjoy some pictures :)

Chewie chillin'

Matt and Rory about to nap.

Rory and Chewie excited for a walk.


  1. Word to your mother.

    There was a Major in the marines who officially came out on NPR this morning, and it had me crying on my way to work.

    Three of the most important people in my life are LGBTQ and while things are still incredibly unfair for them is most of the arenas of life, it's nice to see one injustice fall to the wayside.

    Maybe books can be the next battle.

  2. Great post Shaun. While I'm not in the military any longer, I always considered it a great travesty for the military to differentiate between its troops by the nature of their personal life. We were all supposed to be equal, and this is a much needed step towards that. I won't say it eliminates the problem of stupid people and their prejudices, but at least it gets rid of a useless and unnecessary policy.

    Congrats on the dogs. You've got quite a handful now, but they are a fun handful I imagine.


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