How To Write An LGBT Book (AD)

How To Write An LGBT Book (AD)

– Hey, it’s Rowan. Just a very quick bit of context before we dive into the video. So last year, I was
contacted by a publisher, Stripes, saying, hey, would
you like an advanced copy of this book that we’re publishing, and I was like, cool, what’s it about? And they were like, oh, it’s
just an LGBTQ+ anthology series with short stories and illustrations by British LGBTQ+
writers and illustrators, and I was like, get it in my
eyeballs right now, please, and then obviously,
devoured it, adored it, got asked to write a quote for the cover, and then they were like,
hey, do you wanna maybe interview Juno Dawson and
maybe one of the writers and illustrators of the book for a video or something on your channel, and I was like, yes, 100% yes, so that is essentially
what you’re about to watch. We did it at Gay’s The Word, which is this amazing
LGBTQ+ bookstore in London. It is an amazing historical
site for our community. I will leave some details
in the description as well, if you wanna check it out. So yeah, basically, we just
had these lovely chill chats about representation and
writing LGBT characters, and the stories that
aren’t being told yet, coming out narratives,
just a load of stuff, and then we bought a lot of books from Gay’s The Word afterwards. So you know, had a really
brilliant time doing this video. Because this is an
entirely queer anthology, it means it isn’t like a queer story that’s had to be shoehorned
into other short stories, and it doesn’t have to be one story that represents the
whole of our community. This is a load of stories, taking lots of different
people’s narratives. It’s got poetry, it’s got
coming out narratives, it’s got mythology, it’s
got one of my favourites, which is Someone on the Run, I don’t wanna say anymore about it, I don’t wanna spoil it, but it’s great. So yeah, if that seems up your street, and honestly, if you’re subscribed to me, this 100% is up your street. Give it a go, there’s a
link in the description of somewhere you can purchase it, so yeah, on with these interviews with Juno, Simon, and Alice. So I’m here with Alice and
Simon, who are responsible for one of the stories in the book. And we’re just gonna have a little chat. We’ll have a little chat about it. So if we’re talking about
writing kind of LGBT books or stories with those characters, was that something that you were drawn to like from the very start when
you first started writing, or is it something that
you’ve come to later, and come to appreciate a bit later on? – I feel like, for me, it did sort of grow from when I wrote my
first book, Solitaire, ’cause (laughing) when I
wrote Solitaire, obviously, I thought I was straight, for example, and it just wasn’t something
that was at the front of my mind and a lot of
the YA that I was reading had no LGBT characters. Like this was in, when I was reading YA, and coming up with
Solitaire, it was like 2012, and most YA was all
straight, all white, all cis. There was just no
representation of most things, and I, it wasn’t something
that I felt like, would be interesting to write about, ’cause I didn’t see it anywhere. I feel like the extent
of LGBT representation that I saw was like the side character in Perks of Being a Wallflower. – Yeah, yeah.
– Yeah. – Yeah, yeah, yeah.
– Yeah, yeah. (Alice laughing)
– You’re absolutely right. – Yeah, but then, as I grew, like with Solitaire, obviously, in Solitaire you’ve got Nick and Charlie, and I really enjoyed writing about them, so then, in Radio Silence, I
brought in more LGBT characters ’cause I found this was
something that I really enjoyed writing about and it ended up
being really personal to me and just kind of grew from there, and I became more comfortable with it, and it became like a part of my writing. ‘Cause I feel like you had
a different experience, ’cause obviously, Noah
was your first book. – Yeah, Noah Can’t Even was my first book, and I think with that, there
was two things, I suppose, I was really, wanted to do,
and one was I really wanted something that was funny,
’cause I felt that I had read a fair bit of LGBT YA which was, and while we need all, you
know, it’s important to have all types of stories, but I had read a lot where tragedy would occur–
– Yeah. – To the gay character,
inevitably, in some point in it, or he would be dead at
the end, or whatever, so, so I really wanted to show
a different side to that, and yeah, we always
talk a lot about readers needing to see themselves in books, and I think it’s important
for British schoolkids to have their British
experience reflected in books, as well, however glamorous
the U.S., and appealing is. – ‘Cause I feel like
there are people out there who would be like, well, why
do we need a whole anthology? Why not just, you can have
a story in an anthology, like who’s gonna read a
whole anthology of the gays, (all laughing)
of the gays’ stories. Like what do you think is so important about having something that is purely about those experiences? – Gosh, I mean, I think, I always think about the types of, particularly when we’re writing YA, you know, the types of teenagers who will, hopefully encounter the
book and look at it, and what it’s going to mean to them, and I know that whenever I, for example, go into schools and do
talks and workshops, you know, and I meet a whole variety of, a full spectrum of kids, you
know, I think about them, when I think about what
it’s gonna mean to them to have all this different
type of representation within the book, actually, and I think, you know,
because Proud, you know, does have representation of
more sections of the community, I think that’s great because
you don’t necessarily always get that so easily
in full length YA novels, necessarily, or it can be
harder to kind of, sometimes, locate those titles. – How did they pair you up? Was it like, we went to
author/art speed dating. We saw who fit, like,
– Honestly, I don’t know. – Did you guys–
– Well, no, we, no, I believe they did all that in house, and made the decisions once
they had all the stories. – I didn’t hear for ages who
I was gonna be drawing for. And I don’t know how they decided. – No.
(Alice laughing) I mean, obviously, I
had my fingers crossed it might end up being Alice. – Yeah, yeah.
– Obviously. – ‘Cause I think we both quite
enjoy writing/illustrating about, you know, soft boys.
– Indeed. Happy, happy love stories. – I mean, that kinda brings
me on to what was the, I guess, inspiration for you
behind what you were writing? Was there any kind of guidance from Juno or for anyone else in the team, or was it just like, go,
do what you wanna do? – The guidance was fairly general, in the, you know, the books is called Proud, and they were looking at
the them of being proud, and of Pride in general,
so but within that, you know, we were free to
go in whatever direction we wanted to, really,
so I’d been mulling over for awhile, actually, the idea of a story about gay penguins, not necessarily centred
particularly around the penguins, but just about, it’s something
that always has made me quite amused, really, because
it seems that every year, almost, there’s a story in the press about some gay penguins in the zoo. If you’ve got all this fuss going on, what happens if you’re
trying to kind of come out at the same time, as all this stuff is going on with the penguins? How might that make you feel? How might it kind of
influence what your thinking, and what you’re going through? So that’s where it sort of came from. – So when you read the story,
did you know which part of it you wanted to draw, was it kind of, quite immediate, or were
you sort of like, mm, this, this I could see.
– Yeah, I don’t know, I feel like it was quite
immediate, when I knew. So I’d read the whole thing,
I read the whole thing just as a reader, like trying
not to think about the art, and then, I went back
and read through again, making notes on it, thinking
what part of it could I draw, ’cause I’ve never illustrated
someone else’s story before, and I didn’t know, kind
of how I would do that, and what it would look like,
what my style would look like, but then, I think, the ending,
I just had to do the ending, ’cause it’s such a happy, lovely story. I feel like the kiss at the
end, that just summarises the whole thing and the
mood of the story, so, and that would make the most
impact drawing, so yeah. – Hmm, yeah, I think you
picked the exact right moment, as well.
– Good. – I was really pleased when I saw it, and it was that section,
it’s the perfect– – Yay.
– Perfect little ending, really, wrapped up, isn’t it?
– Yeah. – It’s beautiful. – I feel like it’s such a cute,
like I spent the entire time reading that story, just like,
grinning quietly to myself. As I was reading it. I mean, have you read
any of the other stories in the anthology? – Mm.
– Yeah. – Yeah.
– Absolutely. – ‘Cause it’s such a, I don’t know, I find it such a range
of stuff, I was like, laughing one minute, then
I was having a little cry, if anyone knows me, not so unusual. Do you feel like, what
do you think about that, the range that they have in there? And the importance, I guess,
of more than just this one kind of gay story or this one
kind of vibe for gay stories? – I think that’s kind of
the point of it, isn’t it? It’s the point, to show all
these different experiences. – Yeah.
– And they’ve got really lovely, happy stories like Simon’s, and you’ve got stories that
are more kind of complex, and about dealing with hard feelings, and that’s just kind of a summary of all the different things that are going on in the LGBT+ community. – But do you remember what your first, when you were like, YA age, I guess, what the first kind of gay
character that you saw was, or the representation, whether
it was a real bad time, or whether you were like, yes, I feel like I’ve got, I
see something in this? – Mine was definitely Glee. – (laughing) Oh, ho. That’s a wild ride. – Yeah, not the best, but you know, it was there, it was a thing. – So it probably would be TV, actually, I’m just trying to think what it was. I mean, I’m trying to think of the first, I suppose, you know, shows like, actually, you know, things like
Queer as Folk on Channel 4, way back in the day. – I was, I remember watching
the American version of that, when we were doing our GCSEs, and pretending that we
were going to revise, and then we just played, we found some site, and
found the American version, just like played that when
we were like 15 instead. – I suppose there’s, A Beautiful Thing, Jonathan Harvey’s play,
which was made into a film by Channel 4, but that’s actually
probably one of the first actual things I had. – The one at the end when they’re dancing. – Yeah, it’s a really,
– So lovely. – Really great play, and it’s
a really cute film, actually. – Even now, there’s so
many covers or blurbs will hide the fact that something’s about, – Yeah.
– Yeah. – LGBT characters, which, conveniently, that wasn’t even meant to be a segue, but the front cover of this book could not be more obviously gay. (all laughing) I mean, why do you think that happens? I mean, do you think it’s useful in a way to have those things where people can pick them up and not realise, or do you think, actually,
we should be having it quite explicitly in, on the covers, or at least in the blurb saying, like, if it’s gonna be part of the story, actually make it part of the– – Yeah, I mean, I really think
it should be in the blurb, because in the YA community at the moment, if it specifies in the blurb,
there are so many people who will go out and find it and buy it, but it’s interesting, and it’s difficult. I don’t think it’s as
black and white as that, because my books, for example,
have lots of LGBT+ characters but it’s not in the blurb, and I don’t think that’s
a deliberate thing that my publisher have done. It’s just because my books
are not really focused on LGBT+ issues, so it
would, it’d be difficult to put it in the blurb in a
way that would make sense, so it’s tricky.
– Yeah. I also think, as well,
there is a lot of value in having books that are
slightly under the gaydar, as it were, and not obviously LGBT, because not all teenagers
are either comfortable or able to, for example, buy those books, or borrow them from the library. I quite often, well,
woeingly often meet kids, teenagers on school visits, and they’ll say to me, you know, I’m really sorry I wasn’t
able to bring any money to buy this book, because
my dad wouldn’t let me, because it’s a gay book. And that’s horrible, but
you know, so sometimes, I think, you know, for those teenagers, it’s really important
that you can have a book that isn’t, perhaps, in
your face, you know, LGBT, just so they can take it home,
or borrow it from the library without fear of any repercussion
from unsympathetic parents or whoever it might be,
so it’s really difficult. I mean, obviously, it would be
great if that wasn’t the case but you know, sadly, sadly, it is, so, but having said that, of course, also really important to
have those books out there that are loud and proud and very clear about what they are,
and are unashamedly so, and that’s absolutely right, too. – If someone watching this was interested in writing and they’re
thinking, like, ooh, I’d like to include LGBT
characters and experiences in there, do you have any advice, any things they should read or look at or any things
that you’d kinda wished someone had talked to you about? – One thing I would say is, just be careful, if you’re
writing an experience that you really know nothing about, research is so important. For example, in my third book, I included a trans protagonist and I did a lot of research around that, sort of listening and reading
stuff about trans people, and reading books written by trans people, and it just, it teaches you so much, and it’s just good to
approach it the same way you would approach researching
anything in a book, so if you’re writing a history book, you would go and research
stuff about that time period, to just make sure you’re aware of things that you could possibly do wrong, if you’re writing about an
experience that you haven’t had. – So I got a comment
the other day on a video that was from someone
saying, I’m writing something and there is a character in it who’s gay, but who isn’t in a relationship, but I don’t know how, I don’t want to, you know, not include their sexuality, but I have no idea how to. – Yeah.
– And it’s just, and it’s interesting, it’s
like, if you do that research, I think you’d start to understand the fact that it isn’t just, like gay
people will say they’re gay, like that’s a thing that they can do. It’s not like we never say it, but also, you can talk about exes,
you can talk about people they fancy, they can go to gay bars. – Yes, of course, there are
things that are different, and there are things
that you would, perhaps, never think of if you were heterosexual and if you were gay, for example, like, you know, kissing
your partner in the street might become more of an issue. – You’ve gotta make sure
you treat them the same as other characters and
that you’re giving them a full personality or
relationships and a role in the story and don’t sacrifice
all that just to point out that they’re gay.
– No. They’re more than their sexuality, that’s the thing, isn’t it? Otherwise, they do just become that sort of gay best friend character. – Yeah, exactly.
– Who’s hilarious and fun. But that’s it.
– But that’s it. – So what would you say to people who, if we’re talking about
the kinds of LGBT stories that we tell, who say, for
example, coming out stories, we’ve had enough of those. Surely, it’s time to talk
about something else. We don’t need those anymore. – Well, I’ll tell you for why. – Let’s go. – Invariably, I think the
people who say that are, perhaps, a little bit older. They’re normally at least
in their 20s or older, and I think, actually, you
shouldn’t forget that, you know, in writing YA, your
target audience really is, you know, is teenagers or you know, that’s essentially who we’re
writing about, and for, though, of course, lots of
people read it, fantastic, but you know, we shouldn’t
lose sight of the fact of that demographic, and you know, when you’re 13, 14, 15 or whatever, you know, coming out is still a thing. It’s still quite a big
thing for a lot of them. Of course it is. Along with, kind of the
whole process of working out who they are, and how they’re feeling, and it’s confusing and it’s complicated, and it can be quite scary, and I think we shouldn’t
lose sight of all of that, and I think while there
are a number of books that do tackle that, there
is definitely always room for something new. So I say, the more the merrier. – Yeah. – You know?
– Excellent. Can you explain a bit
about what your involvement is with it? – I didn’t actually do
the art for this book. That all came from
other poets and writers. I have written an essay, the sort of the foreword to the book, which was about how shooketh I am even now that a book like this can exist, and that it can live in school libraries. – Yeah.
– Because, obviously, when I was at school,
it would’ve been illegal for a book like Proud
to be in that library. And really, that’s what my essay is about. Right from the beginning,
when I was talking to everyone at Stripes, we kind
of came up with a dream team of I was just involved
in the authors and poets, a dream team of who we’d
really love to see in it, and we particularly wanted
to focus on UK talent and UK YA talent, and obviously, the caveat was everybody had to belong to the LGBTQ+ community, as well, and I’m very pleased to
say that everyone we asked said yes pretty much straightaway. The only sad part was I
could’ve easily thought of another 10, 20 people. – Yeah.
– And that was, that was really tough, and
so what we sort of did, and it was really difficult meeting, was we kind of drew 10 people
that I desperately wanted to take part, and Stripes
desperately wanted to take part and then we also kind of had a plan B, but it wasn’t a plan B we ever had to use. – Yeah. – I mean, of course,
the only answer would be to do Proud 2: Revenge of the Pride, and get all those other authors
and poets involved, as well. – You were saying about
how, it being illegal, which is, obviously, a
reference to Section 28. – Yeah. – How quickly has, especially
YA and children’s fiction, picked up this idea of actually talking about LGBT identities is
important, that it’s something that we can do? Do you feel like it’s been super recent? And it is kind of increasing,
even into the future now? – I hope so. I mean, I think literature
has always been a way to explore some really big ideas, and I think, I also think,
particularly children’s and YA, you can be quite subversive, and I think the one I mentioned in my
essay is Judy Blume’s Forever, which came out in 1974. There’s a gay character,
there’s an abortion, there’s talk of sexually
transmitted infections, and that was all in a children’s book. – Yeah.
– You know, and so much of what we do kinda flies under the radar. I think sort of explicit
conversation about LGBTQ youth is a relatively recent thing. I mean, this, David isn’t
gonna like me for saying this, but obviously, Boy Meets
Boy came out in 2003, which does make it 16? Is that, have I got my maths right? – Wow, yeah.
– Is that book 16 years old? So I mean, that is now,
and I think, you know, Boy Meets Boy, when it came out, was quite groundbreaking.
– Absolutely. – And still is, actually. I reread Boy Meets Boy not so long ago, and it is still incredibly groundbreaking, in that it kind of posits this world, where LGBTQ kids can just all
live free from harassment, and you know, in the real
world, we’re not there yet. – Not so much. – Not so much, but I think in the years that followed Boy Meets
Boy, you know, we’ve seen LGBTQ+ representation improve. There’s still stuff to do. I mean, and I think, the
danger of representation in children’s or YA
fiction is that people say, oh, we’ve done it. (mumbling) came out around the
same time as Boy Meets Boy, and for a long time, it felt like, oh, well, you know, there’s a diverse book. You know, we’ve done it,
we can call off the search. – Tick.
– We’ve ticked off diversity. And so, of course, it doesn’t
really matter what year we find ourselves in,
you know, Love, Simon, or The Art of Being Normal
shouldn’t be the only books about gay kids or trans kids. You know, we need lots
and lots and lots of them. – Do you feel like there
are any particular stories or elements or experiences
that you really wanna see written about next or you wanna
see more stuff to do with? – I mean, it’s such a huge one, because the thing is,
what I always say is, and I remember saying this awhile back, which is there’s a
constant call and demand, and urgency to have representation, but very often, it is there. It’s just possibly we
have discovered it yet, and so, I think, you
know, it would be nice to see more from nonbinary identities, it would be nice to see
more bisexual characters or pansexual characters. I remember, in one of my
books, All of the Above, I got some fan mail, saying,
I’d never seen the word asexual in a book before, and I was
like, that can’t be the case. It cannot be the case that
my book is the first time you’ve seen the word asexual on the page, and so, sometimes, I imagine there is some probably really wonderful
representation out there, but it might just be the case
that I haven’t found it yet. But of course, the trick is, is to just, and I’d say this advice
for writers out there, just keep on keeping on, you know, and I think what’s wonderful
about Proud is that you know, it has it all, and that’s
the wonder of an anthology which is that it’s like
a tapas tasting menu. There are lots and lots of
different characters in there, and lots and lots of
different types of people being represented. – Do you have any advice
for people who maybe aren’t LGBT themselves, who wanna include that kind of diversity, in their own stories,
but are a bit worried about where do I start? – Yeah, I think representation
is everyone’s responsibility. I don’t think the
responsibility to represent minority groups should
necessarily fall on people from minorities, ’cause
otherwise, I will be writing about trans girls until the end of time, and while I have done that, part of my job as an
author, it’s to imagine what it would be like to be someone else. You know, that is kind of its (mumbling), authors, imagine what it’s like
to be other types of people. So I would encourage writers
to explore characters who don’t necessarily
come from the same groups that they do, but I think,
never make assumptions, and as well, come from
similarities before differences, and I think when, particularly
thinking about trans people, you know, I suppose it’d be really easy to think about these are the ways that trans people might be
different to cis people, but actually, my life is largely informed by the same things as a
cisgendered person’s life. My likes, you know, we’re
all looking for love and happiness and warmth and shelter, and work and money, and really, I think that’s the more
interesting angle to start from, but then, at the same time,
always keeping in mind that a person from a minority group has lived with oppression. There’s no other word for it, and they will have been
oppressed in different ways, and so I have to think about
well, what would that be like? What ways have I been
oppressed, and can I relate the types of ways I have been oppressed with the types of ways that
a woman or a trans woman or a person of colour
might’ve been oppressed, and how would that
oppression have affected me, and where and how? And so I think, that
is a really good thing for somebody doing creative
writing to think about. It’s, and bear I mind that for you, it’s a thought experiment, for them, it’s a lived experience. – Yeah.
– And really, the word that it boils
down to is compassion, and I think that’s not just for authors. That’s for all of us, to try and imagine what life is like for
people who aren’t us. I think we have to be super mindful that we are not 13 anymore, and living in a suburb of
West Yorkshire or something. You know, for those people, for those people who haven’t come out yet, coming out is still a massive,
life changing, big deal, and just because there
have been other stories doesn’t necessarily mean
they speak to that person, who is in the suburb of West Yorkshire. And you know, we do keep needing them to keep them centre stage, and as well, there’s lots of different
ways to come out, infinite ways to come out, and you know, social media has complicated
matters, as well, so a whole raft of those
coming out stories existed in an age where you
couldn’t come out online, publicly, to your followers, and so I think there is absolutely a place for coming out stories, however, that isn’t the only story
and we have to be mindful of that then what? And I’m very interested
in then what stories, you know, what happens? So you’ve done the big
coming out, then what? You have a whole life to live, you know. Being trans or being gay
or bi or queer or lesbian, it’s not who you are, you
know, it’s what you are, and you know, what’s gonna happen then, and so I think, part of the
answer to that is to inhabit all kinds of fantasy worlds
with queer characters. So we need queer characters
in ghost stories, we need queer characters
in historical works, we need queer characters
in science fiction, and that way, we can see
LGBTQ+ characters doing stuff, that’s not just coming out,
because once you’ve come out, you’ve got a whole adventure to have. – Hello, it’s present Rowan again. I hope you enjoyed that. I had an absolute blast
filming those interviews. Just blooming loved it, and as usual, if you like my videos, you
can subscribe, if you fancy, get more of them in your sub box. If you really like my videos and wanna help support make them, I’m gonna leave a link
to my Patreon below, along with all my social media, so you can find me all over the internet, and until I see you next time, bye! Did you do a lot of penguin research? – Oh my god, penguins.
(Rowan laughing) – Penguins are so cute, though. – They’re very–
– They, yeah. I’m glad, because it took
me so long to work out how to draw penguins, ’cause
I’m so bad at drawing animals. (Simon laughing) But penguins, literally, just me scrolling through Google Images of penguins like, nesting on eggs, like that
was me, for like an hour. – Yeah.
– You just like, okay, a person, dah, dah, dah, dah. – That’s done. Oh, now.
– Penguins now. – Penguins.
(all laughing)

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  1. I adored this! I always love championing queer books and playing recommendation games to help people find more of them (hit me up if you like LGBTQ YA fantasy for example, I got lots of those!) so getting to hear what the authors think was lovely. Thank you for putting this together ❤

  2. Literally came here from a video about how Brie Larson and Tessa Thompson are pushing for a cannon romance between Captain Marvel and Valkyrie. I feel so spoilt rn and I couldn't have asked for a more uplifting end to a somewhat awful day.

  3. I think my friends and I were going to go to Gay's the word on the day you guys were shooting this video! We were there too early before it was open and saw you guys filming. I love Gay's the word, it's one of my favourite places in London.

  4. So I only just found you via your EPIC video about Captain Marvel Gayness (TM), and now you're talking to Alice Oseman who is LITERALLY my favourite author of all time??? YOU'RE AMAZING THANK YOU FOR EXISTING 😀 😀 xxxxxx

  5. Super Interesting video, especially for me as a young queer. I really want to go London, now I have to add this bookstore to my bucket list!!!

  6. Hearing all of the thought and care they're putting into trying to reach queer british kids is making me even more angry about our current LGBT+ school """row""". So glad there are compassionate queer authors like this (and compassionate queer youtubers!) who are working to help these kids feel seen and accepted ❤

  7. I found your channel earlier today through you captain marvel video (and subscribed because of that video), and I was going through your channel looking at your videos and I saw Alice Oseman in the thumbnail of this one and clicked immediately! She's like my favorite author ever, I love her so much

  8. before i realized i was gay i used to think i was "over-representing" LGBTQ characters in my stories and thought nobody would like my stories if i had too many gay characters. now i know i'm gay and it's so nice to be able to write lesbian fiction with my own characters and create my own representation!

  9. Hey Rowan I was wondering if maybe when the IT chapter 2 trailer comes out you can speak on Reddie? That's the pairing of Richie Tozier and Eddie Kaspbrak. People actually have always A. Thought Eddie was coded as Gay in the book and Richie Bisexual. And B. That Richie and Eddie had unresolved crushes on eachother. Hope your having a wonderful day. 😄

  10. Aww Nick and Charlie kissing in the background during the second half of the video, my heaaaaart. If these topics interest you, please read Heartstopper or Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. I can't wait to read Proud.

  11. 0:58 — If You Could Be Mine and Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel are two of my FAVORITE BOOKS EVER MADE. Love Sara Farizan! Highly recommend both books.

  12. rowan!!! i love your videos so much and was wondering if you could react to the show "andi mack" that's on disney channel? they have the first ever gay character (in the us) AND has actually said the words "im gay" on TV! also, just the show overall is amazing and also very progressive. it would be wonderful if i could get your opinion/reaction on it!

  13. My fave YouTuber AND Alice,my fave yA writer!? In the same video!? Am I blessed!?! Thank you so much for this!!! I shall now research on the other to writers and get myself a copy of PROUD 💙

  14. Sugar Rush was one of the first shows I remember watching and being like "YES GIRLS LIKING GIRLS OMG I FEEL SO SEEN" even though it had it's own issues.

  15. That’s so awesome!! I love Alice Oseman’s writing and that anthology looks amazing. There’s an Australian Queer Anthology coming out soon and I’m so very excited for it. And I’ll be able to get it a month early because the Sydney Writers Festival is coming up and I’ll be able to get it then. There was also another amazing anthology that came out recently called Unbroken: 13 stories starring disabled teens, and lots of the stories in there were queer as well. I didn’t love all of the stories but it was amazing to feel so very represented. I’m so glad I get to live in a time where I can find so many stories that are truly representative of my identity

  16. 21:31, she said 'plumbers mend toilets', so you can fix the subtitles with that instead of (mumbling). 🙂
    She meant to say like 'plumbers mend toilets, that is their job, and it's an author's job to imagine what it's like to be other types of people', so it does actually make sense, I'm not just making stuff up 🙂

  17. If y’all are looking for a real fun LGBT fantasy series look up “The Lightning Struck Heart” it’s by TJ Klune and it’s about a gay wizard’s apprentice thats biracial. The books are quite vulgar in case that’s not your thing but they’re also hilariously over the top and my favorite thing about the world the story takes place in is that the concept of homophobia just doesn’t exist. All the main characters, the crown prince, even the dragon are all LGBT characters and it’s just great I only have one book left and I’m sad to be nearly done with it.

  18. I think the problem with inclusion of queer characters in ghost/fantasy/horror stories is deciding to what degree you have room for this subplot about oppression.
    when we casually include a trans girl just because they exist in real life and that should be normal, are we then ignoring her problems?
    every developed character has struggles but a fantasy story isn't usually primarily about them. some stories have this sort of feel-good-happy vibe (which LGBTQ+ people shouldn't be denied??) but that doesn't rly allow for a realistic portrayal of oppression.
    so idk even if you do your research very thoroughly it's complicated

  19. Looking back on the story I tried to write four years ago. It was about people very different than me. Research didn't work out at all. My attempts were ridiculous, but I wouldn't know what else to do. I couldn't bring them to life. Is it even possible to research how it's like to be straight?

  20. This is such an amazing interview and fuck homophobic parents and im soft and tender and hurt and happy about the world

  21. on the subject of gay penguins I think the penguin on the British gas ad might be trans as I hear the name Wilma or Wilbur

  22. Any writing which is meant to represent some group is trash. Literature should aim to be universal, not segregated.

  23. I would like to recommend a great series of LGBT children's books. the Promised Land books form New Zealand. Promised Land is a fairy tale romance between two young men. Maiden Voyage is a seafaring adventure romance between two young women. The third book is soon to be released and is called Raven Wild. I haven't read it yet but my understanding is it is about a transgender character.

  24. I really want to write about a trans person in my fantasy storys but I don't want to have that there only feature any tips?

  25. This is lovely to see on your channel, Rowan. To see authors speak about their experiences, media representation, and to see an anthology out like this makes my heart warm up. Imagine all the teens growing up now who may read it and feel less alone. Media still has a long way to go, but to see authors doing this kind of good gives me hope.

  26. I'm sorry to kind of plug, but something else not really well known that you might be interested in it's Bible Belt Queers, it's essays, artwork, stories, etc from 70 LGBTQ+ persons. You can check them out on GoFundMe and they have rewards for $30 donations

  27. Omg this is so great, it's just like putting my queer icons all together in a video(i mean not all of them but 3 is enough)

  28. I think books like this should have more discreet covers instead of rainbows all over it, so closeted teens can still get a chance to read it without outing themselves if they are seen reading it in public.

  29. Petition for 'Proud 2: Revenge of the Pride' to be a thing
    In all seriousness, I'm so glad something like this could come together and I'm definitely gonna check it out!

  30. Thank you so much for this video. I'm a young, bisexual, cis, aspiring writer, and I've tried to find time in my busy schedule to watch this video, particularly with my very religious family present (they're not anti-LGBT+ or anything, they know about and accept me, they're just really interrogative about LGBT+ stuff). This is exactly what I need, simply to write about LGBT+ experiences in my works, particularly LGT+ (outside B), so I thank you, and all those writers for this. God bless you all.

  31. So after watching the second season of the chilling adventures of Sabrina I've come to the conclusion that roberto is dealing with internalized homophobia. Like the show is overwhelming heterosexual. But we can't have one same sex relationship. What are your thoughts on the show

  32. I'm writing a book with a gay romance… Ad my main series has a Ace lead. I am trying to make well developed stories with us

  33. I just bought this book today!
    From a lovely independent bookshop that sold plenty of feminist and LGBTQ+ works!
    Thank you for making me aware of it!

  34. love how in the background of the interview with Juno theres just a giant poster of nick and charlie kissing and another print of alice's comics :DD
    ah love these people
    lovely video rowan, thank you
    and i really am glad simon brought up the point o f more discreet lgbt books because i am in hte closet and dont feel comfortable being able to even check out obviously lgbt books because im too afraid my librarian (even though shes lovely) might think something, not to mention then hiding it from friends and family
    and so it was lovely recently checking out radio silence (by alice oseman) and getting to read about lgbt+ people without drawing attention to it (also its so nice to be able to read a regular story about lgbt+ people, like oh yes they're queer but they're still just people with other things going on)

  35. In high school I wrote an essay on “boy meets boy” which made up the whole grade for one of my subjects. I compared it to “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, and talked about the portrayal of the LGBT community that was possible at their respective times. Writing that essay (and especially reading that book) was quite a big part of my personal coming out story. These days I have “This Book is Gay” proudly displayed in my bookcase and very much look forward to reading “Proud” and works of the authors mentioned in this. Rowan, thank you so much for this video 🙂

  36. Harman is a gay man, an elementary school teacher and someone who is completely competent in who he is

  37. Oh!! Is that the same Alice Oseman that made heartstopper? I got a copy and leant it to my sister and never saw it again because she has read it far too many times

  38. Hey this video got me thinking, could you recommend some lgbtq novels, particularly ones with wlw characters?

  39. I'm pretty sure captain Jack Harkness was the first bi/pan character I came across. He's still the best one.

  40. I still don't have any books about trans people because I'm scared of what my mum will think of me. I'm out to her but she thinks it's weird and is trying to ignore it.

    I don't know why I even try to hide it any more. I'm so sick of this.

  41. on the "whole anthology" comment, I wanted to say that when I taught critical theory and for one week we did Queer Theory a student actually said THERE ARE SO FEW GAYS WHY DO THEY GET A WHOLE THEORY?

  42. i saw alice in the thumbnail and viciously clicked. literally my favourite author and artist to ever exist. top notch person.

  43. It's funny going through my writing over the years because over the course of 15 years I went from fairly generic, anime-esque fantasy without any LGBTQ characters whatsoever to having them be the overwhelming majority (I pitched a story once as "gay communist xcom")

  44. Cheers and power to you all. And I’m like the ladies to Rowan ! Thank you for the content from your heterosexual fan Danny from Canada 🇨🇦

  45. I'm proud of myself for recognising gays the word from the thumbnail only! Went there last autumn absolutely a wonderful place!

  46. There is an Australian equivalent of this book called, "Growing Up Queer in Australia". It felt great to have growing up stories that I could relate too.

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