The ethical and moral responsibility of producing queer young adult literature

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Southern New Hampshire University
This research project is an extension of a project I entered previously for my Banned Books course in Spring 2013. This project proved to be bigger than the confines of the assignment. I originally researched Rainbow Boys in Banned Books of America. I researched why it was banned or challenged and why its representation of queer teenagers mattered to those who read the book. However, in this new project I want to take it a step further. I want to focus on why equal representations of queer youth and queer youth of color in fictional Young Adult (and adult) matters. I will research what representation is currently available and also offer a brief history of queer YA literature and how far it has come since then. In my project I will also address the lack of positive representation and how it affects people who identify as queer and how it also plays a role when it intersects with their ethnicity/race. After doing this, I will want to find a way for the media to correct such failures and offer alternatives. I will also research currently available resources for finding good representation for queer people. Hopefully by the end of this research project, I will be able to educate those about matters of intersectionality and representation and why it matters in literature and will be able to show how it will benefit our society and most importantly how offering more resources and representation in novels will help those who live in a cisgender, white and heteronormative America. (Author abstract)