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The Kids Are Not All Right: Why LGBTQIA+ Representation in Literature Matters

Jayne Walters


Let’s start off with a question. How old were you when you read your first book with a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, or asexual character in it?

Now another question—how did that story end? Probably not well, and that’s not uncommon.

Throughout much of history, in literature featuring LGBTQIA+ themes, the character, or characters, does not have a good outcome. These books feature common themes, which often revolve around being assaulted, contemplating or completing suicide, being murdered, dying alone—often of an incurable disease—a woven death shroud of dark conclusions for characters who stray from the straight and cisgender.

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