De-Gay YA

Discussion in 'The Written Word' started by dill616, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. dill616

    dill616 Member

    Dec 5, 2013
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    Hello, I am new to the forums but not to Afterellen. I'm looking for feedback from readers, by readers.

    I wrote a book that is the first in a dystopian series centering around a future where homosexuality has been made illegal (synopsis below). I'm querying it now in different ways. Something interesting happened yesterday. I sent out two queries with LGBTQ included in the genre. Within an hour I received a rejection from one agent. The next one came thirty minutes later. This only happened with the two letters I sent using LGBTQ in the subject line. I'm not saying one caused the other. There are still several queries sent out.

    Here is a synopsis of the work in question:

    Scientists have discovered the gay gene; known as Gene-x. People are no longer separated into gay and straight, but Positive and Negative based on the possession of this one gene. None of this makes sense to 5-year-old Blue Stevens as she is ripped from her bed in the dead of night. She and her same-sex parents are sent to live in a Compound; a city within walls meant to house dangerous persons who pose a threat to the General Population.

    For ten years, life within the Compound continues without disruption. One day by the guard station, Blue is welcoming New Arrivals when a young man’s body is dumped at her feet. He is rude, demanding, and stinks of the privilege of General Population. His appearance sparks change. Something is stirring both inside and outside the Compound walls. The once ideal community is becoming polluted. Hate crimes are no longer a thing of the past. One day, everything changes.

    A crack in the air. A puff of grey smoke. Two lumps of dead flesh are stuffed into nylon bags and heaved into the backs of transport vehicles. The fire. The gun. The bodies. The blood. Blue sees it all. A guard, hand still warm with gunpowder, leans in to whisper, “I’m going to let you go because of who you are, but I want you to remember all of this. Understood?”

    Who are you? Where did you come from? Where are you going? The questions bombard Blue Stevens from every angle. For most teenagers, they are just questions. For Blue Stevens, her answers may change the fate of the entire world.

    De-Gay YA has been going on for awhile now. As a writer, I've personally had problems with it in the past from publishers wanting me to change the sexual orientation of characters. "We don't want gay on gay crime" was a big issue. On the other hand, I have had a huge wave of positive feedback from sample chapters. Some literary agents argue that LGBT YA won't sell. Are you kidding me? Fine. Call it New Adult. Call it fiction. Call it a damn book. I am not changing the core themes of feminism and equal rights in the manuscript. I didn't write this manuscript to make money. I wrote it for every kid who has ever felt scared, alone, and different. Status: Positive is for the people who are literally dying to make a change. You are not alone. Having LGBTQ characters should be the norm and not the exception.

    This is a complicated post that leads to one essential question; would you read it?

    For more information, please see my scribd profile and blog:
    Read the first four chapters of Status: Positive here

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