Harvey Milk said, “Rights are won only by those who make their voices heard.” One way to make your voice heard is through story. Young adult (YA) literature has often dealt with issues of identity, friendship, and romance. Unsurprisingly, the stories within these book were told from an incredibly heteronormative perspective. (And white and middle class.) However, a change is beginning to happen in YA publishing. There are more books being published about the queer experience and with queer characters. The transformational scholarship of Rudine Sims Bishop affirmed the importance of a diversity of stories for readers.
"Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created and recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books" (Sims Bishop, 1990, p. ix).
This coupled with the #OwnVoices movement is offering an opportunity to reflect an intersectional approach to queer YA literature. In addition, some books are beginning to offer queer characters within novels that do not center their queerness as the story, which suggests progress toward more inclusive literature.