Authors, people – please don’t say or suggest “all girls” anything, especially for romance.

I am reading a #YAlit book I am loving, even though I’m lesbian and there is a strong heterosexual romance thread in the book. As a lesbian I can still enjoy and identify with books with heterosexual romances, just as heterosexuals can enjoy books with queer romances.

In fact, most of the #YAlit books I read have a thread of heterosexual romance because there are so many more heterosexual books than queer or lesbian. And for much of my life I only had access to heterosexual characters in books, and yet still I loved them.

That makes sense to me because in reading we live within a character, their emotions and soul. But I’d have been able to identify more and not felt outsider if there had been more queer books. I am grateful there are increasing numbers of queer #YAlit, though there aren’t enough.

But as a lesbian I can still love hetorosexual character books, though when there are no queer characters at all it is annoying and can make me feel invisible. But there is something I wish authors wouldn’t do. When a book says/ suggests “all girls” would be attracted to a guy I instantly fall out of the book.

First, I don’t think you can say “all girls…” anything. We are all so different and diverse although we have commonalities. But even for heterosexual girls they aren’t all attracted to the same type of guy. As a lesbian I’m sure not attracted to the exact same lesbian others are.

And when you say all girls would be attracted to a guy, you are especially leaving out lesbian readers (and some trans readers). I’ve seen that for years in books, especially when authors are trying to say how attractive a guy is – but it makes me angry. It doesn’t just leave me out, it pushes me out.

So that’s just something to think about when you write or talk about attraction. Or about any opinion. Even if it said “some girls,” I wouldn’t I feel so excluded.

I love books that make me care about the characters and what is happening, and the book I’m reading right now does. So I’m back in the book. But I still wish that the author had somehow made room to include me more. #lgbtqia

About Cheryl Rainfield

I write the books I needed and couldn't find as a teen. I write teen fiction--paranormal fantasy and gritty realistic fiction. I'm the author of SCARS (WestSide Books, 2010) #1 ALA QuickPicks, and Governor General Literary Award Finalist, HUNTED (WestSide Books, Oct 2011), STAINED (Harcourt, 2013), The Last Dragon (HIP Books, Sept 2009), and Walking Both Sides (HIP Books, 2011). I also enjoy drawing, surfing the web, connecting with people I like, doing crafts, and being with my dog.
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