When Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith sought an agent for Stranger, their post-apocalyptic YA novel, they were met with an offer –one that came with an unacceptable condition. The agent (from a major publishing agency) requested that the novel’s gay character be rewritten as straight or be cut out of the storyline altogether.

Manja responded:

“Making a gay character straight is a line in the sand which I will not cross. That is a moral issue. I work with teenagers, and some of them are gay. They never get to read fantasy novels where people like them are the heroes, and that’s not right.”

Their manuscript remains “unagented and unsold.” [PublishersWeekly]

Arthur Evans, Gay Rights Pioneer, Dead At 68: Arthur Evans, a leader in the early gay rights movement and a founder of the Gay Activists Alliance, died from a heart attack last week in his home.

He authored a number of gay-related books including Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture and Critique of Patriarchal Reason. [OnTop]

Archie Comics’ First Gay Character to Wed: Wedding bells are in store for Kevin Keller, Riverdale’s first featured gay resident. In Life With Archie #16, Keller will return home after serving in the Army and announce his plans to get hitched.

As for the decision to finally introduce a gay character into the Archie-verse, co-chief executive Jon Goldwater explained:

“The introduction of Kevin is just about keeping the world of Archie Comics current and inclusive.Archie’s hometown of Riverdale has always been a safe world for everyone. It just makes sense to have an openly gay character in Archie comic books.” [PinkNews]

Texas School Districts Ban LGBT YA Books: This might not come as a surprise to those of you following lists of banned or challenged books in the United States, but And Tango Makes Three (a highly controversial little book about gay penguins) has been banned by Texas school districts. Also on the list is Julie Ann Peters’ Far From Xanadu. [HoustonPress]



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  • Ron Fritsch

2 Responses to “Authors Say Agent Tried to “Straighten” Gay Character in Their YA Novel”

  1. Rory 18 September 2011 at 4:02 PM #

    I think the agent should be named so we don’t waste our tme submitting gay-themed works to him/her.


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