I wish I could say I’m surprised.
It may be misguided to say that I had difficulty accepting the whole “truth” of the article referenced in my last post because what was detailed there was so counter to my own experience, and indeed I may be guilty of making my own generalizations because of said experience, but nevertheless, I did have a hard time buying that the story as it was laid out was true. As willing as I was to give the authors of that article the benefit of the doubt, accept that something posted on the Publishers Weekly blog had been fact-checked, and not jump to conclusions simply based on my one case, with my one book, I had a nagging feeling at the back of my brain that there was more to the story.
And that turns out to be the case.
On the wonderful Colleen Lindsay’s blog today, the truth comes out, a truth which makes it clear that, whether the authors of the original article simply took from that agent interaction what they wanted to hear, or whether different motives were at play, the agent in question – and the whole episode – were wildly misrepresented. I won’t attempt to repeat everything Colleen and her guest blogger, Joanna Stampfel-Volpe, say, I’ll just urge you to go and read the post here.
I stand by my opinion that this kind of thing does happen, simply because we live in a world where, well, this kind of thing does happen, sad and unfortunate as that is. Much of the impetus behind my first post on the subject, however, was my belief that it is dangerous, unhealthy, and sensationalist to bandy about labels like “homophobia” without incontestable grounds for it. To do so is not just – to put it mildly – unfair to the person about whom it’s being said, it also diminishes the power of such labels, and therefore they mean less in situations when it’s justifiably called for.
Again, we need more of all kinds of realism in our YA, even in the fantastical, the paranormal, the speculative. It saddens me that a false route was taken in an attempt to make that point. That, too, diminishes something powerful.