Hi dear friends,
Time for another weekly dicussion post! June being pride month it had me thinking about diversity in books.
Years ago you never or very rarely saw a main character being gay or bisexual or asexual or …
Neither had you many books talking about minorities and not many had people of color as main characters. Muslims had a bad rep and it was kind of hush hush except for The Kite Runner or books like A Thousand Splendid Suns.
Now you see diversity everywhere!
It is HYPE to write about diversity in books.
You nearly always have a non heterosexual main character in your story. Or someone suffering from mental illness. People of colors have their own stories and non catholic heroes have a greater place in books.
Sometimes to the point that I feel if I don’t read diverse books or if an author does not write books with diversity I and they will be shunned.
“You don’t read books with diversity? How is it possible? From which remote and savage place do you come?”
Don’t misunderstand me here.
I love diverse books!
Some of my best reads were about gay characters and they opened my eyes. I adored Wolfsong by TJ Klune, The Silver Cage by Anonymous and A Charm of Finches by Suanne Laqueur. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman was another fantastic YA.
I loved reading about islam thanks to A Very Large Expanse of Sea and The Hate U Give was a tremendous plea for a better justice towards people of color.
And as far as mental illness or differences go, The Kiss Quotient was just fantastic and A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard another prime example.
What I HATE though is authors using diversity as an excuse in their books or rather as a sale argument.
I have read some books where the hero or heroine suddenly discovered that he or she was gay completely out of the blue! It had no signs before and really felt like the author tried too muh just to be “hype”.
If diversity does not add any dimension to your story or is not the purpose of your story, please abstain!
It will just feel like a sale argument and nothing more.
The same can be said for readers.
If you don’t want to read books with diverse characters, don’t do it! This is not mandatory. You are not a subpar reader if you don’t read this kind of stories. And if you do but just because you feel compelled to chances are high that you won’t like it. Instead of opening your eyes and maybe softening your opinion towards some minorities it could harden you position.
You are FREE!
But if you NEED to tell “that” story because you want to open some eyes, because you have an important message to deliver, be my guest! Do it but do it right!
Now do tell me: what do you think about diversity in books? Stop? More? Don’t care?
Thanks for reading!