Friday, April 1, 2016

Discussion: Can LGBT+ Books Be Funny?!

In honor of April Fool's Day, I thought this would be an appropriate topic to discuss today. When people think of LGBT+ books, the common trope seems to be angst and sadness. Whether it's teenagers worrying about coming out or dealing with close-minded friends and family. Sometimes these teens are even bullied or beaten up. When the characters get older, they still deal with being misunderstood and ending up in bad relationships. Sure, I love dramatic novels; the ones that show the dark and grittiness of the real world. These things happen and they should be shown instead of shoved to the side. For those that relate, they can see themselves. For those that do not, they can learn more about other people and learn to be more empathetic.

However, there is more to the LGBT+ world than darkness, bullying, and anger. Sometimes people come out and are treated fine. Some people have no problem identifying as LGBT+ and are proud to flaunt it. Some LGBT+ people are really happy and fun and funny. These types of stories need to be
told too.

To be honest, I can't think of that many books that are about LGBT+ characters and are actually funny. Sure, there are funny moments and enjoyable characters. But what about a book that is mostly just lighthearted and fun? The one book I can really think of is the YA novel Simon Vs. the Homo-Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. Simon's life isn't perfect and there are some tougher moments. I mean, come on, he's a high school student! What do you expect? However, the book isn't that heavy. Simon is a nice, amusing guy who loves Oreos! This is one book where it shows that being LGBT+ isn't a bad thing...being a teen is tough for everyone...and you can find happiness in a lot of different ways!

I'm not saying this is the only LGBT+ book I've ever read that was mostly positive and funny, but it's the one I can think of right now. I'd love to know what books you feel fit these categories! Even if the book isn't all that humorous, if mostly good things happen, let me know!



Lisa Mandina said...

I know I've heard of one or two more, but can't think of them right off the top. I'll have to go ask my friend about it, who told me about them. I think the LGBT books should be just like any other story, and have whatever it takes to make it that kind of story. But I do agree that most that are popular seem to be more angsty. Great post!

Verushka Byrow said...

You make a good point -- I can't actually think of any?

Braine TS said...

That's a great observation. I hope there are because every time I'm out with my gay friends, I have a roaring good time. Sure there are challenges, but they're resilient and have great sense of humor. That lightness should be reflected more in books.

Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity said...

LGBTQIA+ novels can definitely be more lighthearted, it's just that the majority of the books tend to tackle more serious topics (even if that topic isn't necessarily the character's sexual or gender identity, like Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe). I don't really mind this, because LGBTQIA+ teens and adults DO face pretty serious things in their lives, but I also recognise the need for more lighthearted stories. There are a few that I know of:
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
Between You & Me by Marisa Calin
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
All of the Above by Juno Dawson (released under the name James Dawson)

Hopefully there are some titles you haven't read in that list!

Jennifer @ Bad Bird Reads said...

I gotta say, you make a good point.

Lola R said...

I actually can think of very few books that I've read that are actually funny. I always feel like it's hard to write really funny books. But I do agree that like with every genre there is more than the sadness and I am sure there are more uplifting LBGT books as well. I haven't read a lot of books that classify as such, but the one I did read was more on the sad side, but not too overwhelming. And that's certainly true, being a teen is hard for everyone, but there are fun moments too.

Jaclyn Canada said...

I like that cover! I'm sure that in the future it will span all genres and plot lines. I know in my paranormal stories, their are some hilariously funny gay sidekicks. Surely there will be more stories with characters like that in the starring roles.