Hey everyone! I know links and links and more links are annoying, but I was featured as a guest blogger on YAWednesday, a blog dedicated to young adult literature and run by Dr. Bickmore, a professor of English Lit at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas!
As part of a project, I'd done some research on various YA Science Fiction novels to assess the way they portray LGBTQ youth. A large component had been on the effect on classrooms. This was an extremely important topic to me from both media and educational standpoints, so take a look at the excerpt below!
"Searching for LGBTQ YA science fiction is like trying to find shells, whole and intact, on the edge of a frothing, chaotic ocean—certainly possible, but maddening. I (Marilena) was 18 the first time I tried to find YA fantasy or science fiction with an LGBTQ protagonist. Early into my bookstore trek, I realized finding literature would be harder than I’d thought. Three hours later, I left the bookstore empty-handed and disheartened. Fast forward four years and here I am putting together a short list of LGBTQ YA science fiction that completely exceeded my expectations. I’d originally wanted to explore this theme to finally complete what my 18-year-old self had set out to find; however, the more research read, the more I realized such a great need for narratively diverse LGBTQ media.
In “Reading LGBT-Themed Literature with Young People: What’s Possible?” authors Blackburn and Clark (2009) noted the strange assumption by which teachers framed classroom conversations about sexuality and gender-identity. All too often, educators, school institutions, and even the text selected “invariably presumed student readers to be straight and…aggressively homophobic” (p. 27). Such beliefs led teachers to hand-hold their students, allowing them to opt-out of uncomfortable readings and normalizing homophobia as opposed to challenging heteronormativity...."