If you read my blog in 2011, you may remember an experimental event known as LGBTQ Voice 2011. My goal with the event was to promote awareness of LGBTQ novels for young adults and the authors that write them. The event is inspired by the Day of Silence, which is a day in which people silence themselves at school and other public vicinities in order to promote LGBTQ awareness and civil rights. This year marks the second year of LGBTQ Voice.
Today, we live in a world where the LGBTQ community is thriving and becoming more and more aware of itself. The LGBTQ community is also becoming more vocal about its treatment. People treat the community and its members awfully. Not every person, certainly, but there is no shortage of hate crimes, speech, and breached civil liberties. We are, however, a community that is growing and becoming more of a fixture in the world. We gain new rights slowly but surely, and discrimination is thankfully becoming a bit less of an issue - although it remains a large issue that we have to fight every day.
The biggest way that we can improve the community is by being vocal about it and our support for it. We can't hide or pretend like the crap that we go through is nothing. We have to be critical and express our opinions. We have to fight for our liberties. This goes for non-LGBTQ people as well. Equality is something to work and strive for. We can't excuse people saying, thinking, or doing things that are hateful towards the community, and we combat that by using our voices.
Literature is just one way of doing that, but it's a large one. Novels can last for years - decades. One of the Voice posters last year was Nancy Garden, whose book Annie On My Mind has been in print for a few decades now. Her book is considered a classic LGBTQ young adult book and will hopefully be read for many years to come. Even now, it has relevance despite how much better things have gotten. These kinds of books are what we want to promote - the kind of books that will not only show LGBTQ teen readers that they are not alone in the world and in their suffering, but the kind of books that will inspire them to go out in the world and be themselves.
Young adult literature is about making a difference. It's about inspiring teenagers and showing them that they can do things with their lives. It's about providing an escapist realm as well as a platform for them to become stronger individuals. It's about entertainment and inspiration. LGBTQ Voice will be a series of interviews, guest posts, and reviews over the next two weeks. It will promote the authors of novels that do all of the above for LGBTQ teenager. Novels that deserve to have their voices heard so teenagers can respond. A few giveaways will be going on as well. This event is about making a difference - no matter how small - in the world of literature. It's also about putting the information out there to lead LGBTQ teenagers to a better place where they know that they don't have to take their voices being stifled.
I welcome everyone to participate. Join in and comment on posts. Link to them. Read them. Enter the giveaways. Let someone know about one of the books or authors that you hear of. Small things. Help make a difference, and hopefully LGBTQ Voice 2012 will be a good way to do just that. With authors such as Catherine Ryan Hyde, Frank Anthony Polito, Emily Danforth, Madeline George, and Hayden Thorne, the event will showcase all types of authors and their unique voices.
*Note* The image used in the banner is credited to -Marlith-