posted a Genreville blog today that, while it doesn't shock me, drives home the institutionalized homophobia (and transphobia, and biphobia, and racism, and ableism, and so many more) that still needs to be battled before queers (and anyone else who falls into a minority group) can achieve true acceptance. Apparently two authors of a dystopian YA novel were asked to remove or make straight a gay character in their novel before it would be accepted by an agent. Based on the comments, theirs is not an isolated experience.
As a writer, I do find the idea of writing protagonists who are part of a minority I don't belong to intimidating (though for the record, I do identify as queer). But I consider it unquestionably my job to challenge myself on that level, to try, and probably fail, and try again and hopefully do a little better. Because that's the only way to create real change.
And as a reader, I plan to read a good chunk of the books on the LGBTQ and POC YA lists linked to in the blog post. Because, again -- how else can I do anything change the industry, in however small a way?