Same-Sex Parents in YA Literature
By Lauren Becker
Some of the books I have read recently have featured same-sex parents and it led me to think about other YA titles that do the same. I feel like this is a really interesting and great way to include homosexuality in YA novels without making that the point. Yes, it's always great to have main characters that identify as LGBT+ in a story line that is not necessarily about "coming out" and their sexuality. Regardless, I think same-sex parents is something that should be featured in YA novels more, as it becomes more and more common in real life.
Next, we have Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid, which mostly focuses on best friends Julia and Dave. In this novel, Julia has two dads. She has a mom but she's not around much, as she prefers to travel around the world and send postcards of her adventures. Julia admires her mom and wants to live an exciting life like her some day. However, in her everyday, it is her dads that are the ones that are there. They are great guys and wonderful parents. The fact that they are gay and parenting a teen girl isn't the focus of the book. They act like any other parent, and it's books like these that are just as important as the ones that focus on the topic more (like Between Mom and Jo).
I'm sure these four books are only a drop in the YA pool of novels where the main character has parents that are same-sex. The examples I gave include two moms with a son, two dads with a son, and two books where two dads have a girl. From this sample, I think there should be more books with two moms, but I'm sure there are a lot of other examples beyond Between Mom and Jo.
What do you think about same-sex parents in YA novels? What other books would you recommend?