GenreQueer: Consider This





Along with the wonderful and brilliant Katelyn Browne,  Malinda Lo (Ash, Adaption), Robin Talley (Lies We Tell Ourselves), Kristen Elizabeth Clark (Freakboy), I am speaking on Sunday at the YALSA Young Adult Literature Symposium. How I got to be up there with all these awesome people I’m not sure, but I get to bask in their glory!

We are going to be talking about GLBTQI (or LGBTQI or QUILTBAG or whichever/however you’d like to call them- I prefer QUILTBAG) people in teen and young adult GENRE fiction (mysteries, fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, romance, dystopia, sports, etc.). The program states it like this (all applause to Katelyn):

GenreQueer: Smashing the Closet

Panelists will explore the representation of LGBTQI people in young adult genre fiction (mystery, fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, romance, sports fiction, etc.). The discussion will include an overview of the genre, a guide to any prominent stereotypes or tropes involving LGBTQI people, and examples of books that librarians should consider including in their collections.

Presenters: Christie Gibrich, Katelyn Browne Participating authors: Malinda Lo, Robin Talley,  Kristen Elizabeth Clark Room:  Texas IV – VII, 2nd floor

So, think of these as Genrequeer: Consider this.  Whether or not you’re coming to our panel dealing with teen/young adult QUILTBAG materials, libraries, materials, genres, and a hodgepodge of other things:

  • Some people have said that teen/young adult fiction in its whole is a genre- what do you think?
  • Do you think that books that feature strong QUILTBAG characters, main or secondary, should be labeled and/or pulled out of their juvenile/teen/young adult collection and shelved together?
  • Where is your personal line when deciding if a book is a “QUILTBAG” book? When the main character is QUILTBAG? When a secondary character, who is important to the plot, is QUILTBAG? How much is enough?
  • Do you genrefy your teen/young adult collection?
  • Do you think that QUILTBAG books outside of a genre (contemporary fiction) are more likely to be challenged than those that are of a genre (science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction)?
  • Do you think that QUILTBAG books dealing with specific QUILTBAG issues (homophobia, coming out, “reeducation,” love) regardless of genre, are more likely to be challenged that those dealing with what could be seen as broader issues (acceptance, bullying)?
  • Do you have QUILTBAG teens that you knowingly serve? Do you think you have QUILTBAG teens that you unknowingly serve? Do you know the stats for the adults who report as QUILTBAG for your community?
  • Do you know the resources available for QUILTBAG teens in your community?
  • Does your library come across as a welcoming place for ALL teens, including QUILTBAG teens? If not, what steps can you take to change it?
  • Can teens who are not willing to talk to staff find QUILTBAG resources (fiction, nonfiction, media, online, etc.) through your catalog? Do you have QUILTBAG subject headings? If so, how deep are they buried?
  • Do you know the major awards and bibliographies for QUILTBAG teen and young adult books?
  • Do you have a reconsideration policy in place for materials?
  • Do your QUILTBAG materials go missing on a regular basis? Are they being claimed because someone’s needing them, or someone’s censoring them?

If you’re coming to Austin, please come see us on Sunday! And come find me sometime and say hi!

What do you think?