Can you please tell me the titles of YA science fiction and fantasy novels which feature main or major characters who are explicitly LGBTQ?

By “major,” I mean that they have a POV and/or a storyline of their own and/or lots of page-time.

By “explicitly,” I mean that, for the purposes of this list, Diane Duane’s Tom and Carl, awesome as they are, don’t qualify. They are never shown kissing or stated to be gay/a couple, and could easily be read as close platonic friends.

THE BOOKS MUST HAVE BEEN MARKETED AS YA, NOT AS ADULT FANTASY. Lackey's Valdemar and Duane's Tale of the Five were marketed as adult fantasy.

Books I have so far:

Vintage (Steve Berman)
Tithe; Valiant; Ironside (Holly Black)
Dangerous Angels; The Rose and the Beast (Francesca Lia Block)
Demon’s Lexicon series (Sarah Rees Brennan)
Mortal Instruments series (Cassandra Clare)
A Strong and Sudden Thaw (R. W. Day)
The Dark Wife (Sarah Diemer)
Kissing the Witch (Emma Donoghue)
Sweet Far Thing series (Gemma Doyle)
Eon; Eona (Alison Goodman)
Gone series (Michael Grant)
Unnatural (Michael Griffo)
Shadow Walkers (Brent Hartinger)
The Shattering (Karen Healey)
Guardian of the Dead (Karen Healey; is it correct to count an asexual character under the banner of Q?)
Liar (Justine Larbalestier; complicated, but I think it qualifies)
Silver Metal Lover; Don't Bite the Sun; Drinking Sapphire Wine (Tanith Lee)
Boy Meets Boy (David Levithan)
Ash and Huntress (Malinda Lo)
Wicked Lovely series (Melissa Marr)
Hero (Perry Moore)
The End (Nora Olsen)
The Will of the Empress (Tamora Pierce)
Tripping to Somewhere (Kristopher Reisz)
Heart Sense; Heart's Price (K. L. Richardsson)
Water Seekers (Michelle Rode)
The Tenth Man (Tamara Sheehan)
Cursebusters! (Julie Smith)
Banshee; Masks series (Hayden Thorne)
Witch Eyes (Scott Tracey)
The Obsidian Man (Jon Wilson)

I know that countries outside of the US have their own systems of genrification; for this purpose, I'm thinking of any book aimed at teenagers.
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From: [personal profile] gramina


Magic's Pawn, Magic's Promise, Magic's Price, Lackey
Door into Fire, Door into Shadow, Door into Sunset, Duane (not sure if that counts as YA or not, but it seems pretty YA-accessible to me)

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ambyr: my bookshelves, with books arranged by color in rainbow order, captioned, "my books are in order; why aren't yours?" (Books)

From: [personal profile] ambyr


I'm guessing ex cathedra statements about characters being LGBT, a la Dumbledore or Lalasa (in Pierce's Protector of the Small quartet), don't count?

There's one in Pierce's Provost's Dog trilogy, I'm told, but I haven't read it so I don't actually know who.

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batdina: hold your own pen (Default)

From: [personal profile] batdina


older stuff okay? Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden comes to mind. It's 80s though. Very explicitly lesbian coming of age story.

Nancy Garden has written a few others, but I can't remember titles right now (take that as you may?).

Allyson had a line of YA books in the late 80s/early 90s that might be worth taking a gander at too. I'll see if I can track down a link for you.
dancesontrains: (The Rose of Versailles in thorns)

From: [personal profile] dancesontrains


is it correct to count an asexual character under the banner of Q?

Hah, that is...an ongoing discussion. It certainly counts as part of the GSM (gender and sexual minority).
alexseanchai: quill, ink bottle, and calligraphy (Default)

From: [personal profile] alexseanchai


This is why I use the acronym QUILTBAG. Queer, questioning, intersex, lesbian, trans, bisexual, asexual, agender, ally, gay, genderqueer.
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From: [personal profile] ambyr


On the anthology front, are you looking for anthologies with all/primarily GLBT content, or will collections with one or two relevant stories do? In the latter category, Zombies vs. Unicorns and Kiss Me Deadly both come to mind.

Joan D. Vinge's Psion, which was published as both YA and adult fiction at different times, has a bisexual villain and a secondary character. However. The YA edition was bowderlized, and I'm not sure to what extent these aspects were taken out.
ambyr: my bookshelves, with books arranged by color in rainbow order, captioned, "my books are in order; why aren't yours?" (Books)

From: [personal profile] ambyr


. . .that would be "a [gay] secondary character." Look at me, bowderlizing my own comments!

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l_elfie: (Default)

From: [personal profile] l_elfie


i'm not sure how useful this will be but i just found this list while googling around for other things:
http://www.leewind.org/2009/11/gay-fantasy-bookshelf-teen-sci-fi-and.html

(frankly i'm still baffled that the vanyel stories aren't young adult. i can't imagine reading them now, and all of my friends - we basically amounted to the gsa and the anime club - were reading them in middle school and high school.)

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coffeeandink: (Default)

From: [personal profile] coffeeandink


Were the Tanith Lee books ever marketed as YA? I've only seen them put out as adult sf/f.

I'm not sure I'd call the Levithan sf or fantasy, unless musical comedies are.

From: [personal profile] tool_of_satan


I was wondering that too. I read the most recent version (I think) of the omnibus of the Sun books, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't packaged as YA.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)

From: [personal profile] oyceter


I feel like the Donoghue wasn't marketed as YA in the US? I can't say for other places, but everywhere I've found it, it's been shelved under General Fiction/Literary Fiction.

Also, I don't know if it helps or not given the purpose, but I was trying to mentally tally how many of those books came out in the past decade or so. I'm guessing more have? Though I can't say for sure...
genarti: ([avatar] sleepy time now)

From: [personal profile] genarti


Do the Valdemar books count as YA? If so, the Last Herald-Mage trilogy, of course. And Firesong is a fairly major character in the Mage Winds trilogy, although not the main character.

I am 100% sure I know of ones published more recently, but apparently I need to come back when my brain is more awake for those.

From: [identity profile] jinian.livejournal.com


Appallingly, I don't have any more in my head than you already have on the list.

(I do recall a moment later on with Tom and Carl where I thought, "wow, that was very open," but I don't remember just how explicit it got.)

From: [identity profile] vom-marlowe.livejournal.com


The Tom/Carl partnership was purposefully and explicitly retconned into het in later books. It's why I don't rec those books anymore.

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From: [identity profile] vom-marlowe.livejournal.com


I could contact one of my librarian buddies who specializes in LGBT resources and/or the ALA LGBT roundtable folks.

From: [identity profile] strange-selkie.livejournal.com


Oof. I am so bad at knowing how a thing was meant to be marketed, because I just pick it up and say "Shiny!" Thank you for amassing this, though. I hope others are more helpful.

From: [identity profile] sovay.livejournal.com


THE BOOKS MUST HAVE BEEN MARKETED AS YA, NOT AS ADULT FANTASY.

Do you know how Tanith Lee's The Silver Metal Lover (1981) was originally marketed? It was reprinted as YA.

From: [identity profile] mithrigil.livejournal.com


The Wicked Lovely series, by Melissa Marr, has Irial and Niall, who are explicitly bisexual and involved with each other in a homosexual relationship, which ends positively despite lots of drama. Both of them are POV characters and have impact on the overall plot.

From: [identity profile] telophase.livejournal.com


Phooey - there's one SF YA novel I'm trying to remember the title and author of (and whether it was the main character or secondary characters who were gay). It was near-future SF and there was a space elevator in it, and it was published sometime in the last 10 or 15 years. Male, reasonably well-known SF author. *bangs head against desk*

(Certainly had a teen protagonist - I *think* it was marketed as YA...)


ETA: Finally remembered it, and I don't think it fits, as it's the main character's brother who's gay, and I don't think he had a major role: David Gerrold's Jumping Off the Planet.

ETA2: I'm reading through the Amazon reviews, and it seems all three brothers travel together, but I can't remember enough to say how major the older brother's role was. I'll leave this here and hope someone who remembers more than I drops by and pontificates on it. :)
Edited Date: 2011-09-07 04:45 pm (UTC)

From: [identity profile] telophase.livejournal.com


Also now cannot remember author or title of somewhat-recently-published (as in, 2008/9ish) YA fantasy where the main character's mentor is TG. Has to do with dragons, the main character disguised as a boy and having to control dragons with her mind or something. May have "dragon" in title somewhere.

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From: [identity profile] woodburner.livejournal.com


Re: asexual as Q, some ID as queer and others don't. There is some controversy as to whether asexuals should be "allowed" to ID as queer. (As you might guess from the sarcasm quotes, I do not think much of people telling others how they're allowed to identify.)

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


Yeah, I was trying not to mis-identify anyone. I think I'll keep it on the list, with a little note saying, as you said, that some asexuals ID as queer and some don't. I am pretty sure the character never discusses it in those terms.

From: [identity profile] woodburner.livejournal.com


Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue, anthology of YA fairy tale retellings, many have lesbian pairings.

The Rose and the Beast by Francesca Lia Block, another anthology of YA fairy tale retellings, many have lesbian pairings.

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From: [identity profile] thecityofdis.livejournal.com


Sadly, I can't think of any additions to this list that you haven't already covered.

From: [identity profile] mroctober.livejournal.com


Tripping to Somewhere by Kristopher Reisz is a brilliant lesbian YA spec fic and one of my favorite books.

Cursebusters! by Julie Smith is a lesbian paranormal adventure.


From: [identity profile] mroctober.livejournal.com


If you're going to include anthologies it gets tricky. For instance, a lot of the Datlow/Windling anthologies contain stories with LGBT protagonists (I know as I have written some of said stories). And Paula Guran's forthcoming Brave New Love has 3 stories out of 13 that are queer, I believe (including another of mine).

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


Hmm, yeah. I hate to leave out Am I Blue, because the entire thing is YA LGBTQ and at least three stories are fantasy. But if I include anthologies which are all fantasy, it starts getting very unwieldy...

From: [identity profile] neery.livejournal.com


I guess the Vorkosigan universe wouldn't count as YA? If they do, Ethan of Athos.

is it correct to count an asexual character under the banner of Q?

Isn't that the topic of the biggest ongoing LJ wank right now? Are you sure you want to jump in? ;)

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


No, they have to be marketed as YA. Ethan definitely wasn't, and the protagonists are adults.

Re: asexuality: oops! I had not been aware of that.

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From: [identity profile] lady-ganesh.livejournal.com - Date: 2011-09-10 02:26 am (UTC) - Expand

From: [identity profile] neery.livejournal.com


Oh, and I think some of the Darkover novels were YA, and some of them featured gay characters, but it's been so long that I don't remember which ones. Maybe someone else will know?

From: [identity profile] phoenixreads.livejournal.com


The ones with gay/lesbian characters are, to the best of my recollection:

The Heritage of Hastur (POV male character)
Hawkmistress! (Significant supporting male character)
The Renunciate arc: The Shattered Chain, Thendara House, and City of Sorcery (POV female character and several significant supporting characters)
The World Wreckers (POV male character ends up in a relationship with a hermaphrodite who he initially perceived as male)

I'm pretty sure the Renunciate novels and The World Wreckers must have been marketed as adult. . . there's some moderately explicit sex, for one, and all the characters are adult. The Heritage of Hastur and Hawkmistress! could have been marketed as YA. . . they feature teenage protagonists, at least, and aren't explicit. . . but given that the rest of the series is aimed at adults I couldn't say for sure that these were marketed differently.

From: [identity profile] lnhammer.livejournal.com


I don't remember whether L'Engle's House Like a Lotus has anything explicitly specficcy,* but it is a direct sequel and prequel to a couple books that do. POV is straight, but a main secondary character is explicitly lesbian (to her distress).

* Whether to count the Kairos books as science fiction or fantasy is a whole 'nother ball o' worms.

---L.
Edited Date: 2011-09-07 08:34 pm (UTC)
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