Monday, October 13, 2008

The Girl in the Cupboard Comes Out; Or, Where My Sapphists At

Saturday was National Coming Out Day.

As usual, I'm late to the party.

If you haven't guessed already, I'm definitely of the lady-loving lady persuasion. Yep, that's me. I like macarons, I can para-para dance, I want to be a librarian when I grow up and I date girls.

This is para-para dancing, if you were curious. I dare you not to get up and try it.

I'm proud of my heritage, of the strong, brave women who fought for my right to drink tea and type my thoughts without persecution.

Of YA lit? Not so much.

Lots of books are coming out (ha!) about awesome boys that like boys and lead interesting lives beyond that. I'm thinking Totally Joe, How I Paid for College, Boy Meets Boy,
Freak Show...but where my sapphists at?

Where are the books about awesome, strong, empowered young lesbians (or heaven forfend, genderqueer/trans/etc individuals) that aren't about falling in or out of love with a girl and the usually-terrible consequences thereof? Where are the Sassy Femme Companions(tm) to balance out all the Flamboyant Gay Best Friends(tm)? Where are the young lesbians solving mysteries, fighting dragons, time-hopping, swing-dancing, llama-ranching?

Readers, point me the way or I'll be forced to write them myself.


Penelope said...

Llama ranching - oh man, that brings back terrible memories of pre-teendom when my mother insisted on starting her own alpaca ranch. (Or at least insisted on pursuing the idea to the end of the internet.)

Regardless, happy coming out day! I have to agree that there's a huge chasm where sapphist literature should be, but I think part of that is that society is just now starting to grasp boy-on-boy love as somewhere close to "normal" and, dare I say, marketable. Mainstream publishers have yet to pick up on the fact that yes, there are lesbians out there too who, shockingly enough, can read. That pendulum swings both ways, boys.

Nevertheless, If anyone is going to write a book about funky, female-loving heroines, I do believe, Miss Rie, that you're the girl to do it. (Just promise me that I can get a signed copy to show off!)

Penelope ♥

Lee Wind said...

You're not late to the party, because you ARE the party!
Congratulations on Coming Out and standing up for your passions - I'm proud of you, and of all of us willing to live our truths in this less-than-perfect world of ours!
And yes, YA lit is just getting beyond the "oh my gosh I'm gay!" books and starting on the "I've got to go kill that dragon - are you with me?" and then the two teenage guys or gals kiss books!
So we get to lead the literature parade! Get writing - I can't wait to read all about your funky, female-loving heroines!

carey said...

i agree! and selfishly, i also want to see more books like how i paid for college that acknowledge that bisexuality ACTUALLY EXISTS.

celerysoda said...


I have a few "wonderings" about why girls who like girls are outnumbered by boys who like boys -- I think this is what I heard at the ILA conference -- 3 to 1 (yikes).
- average coming out age is higher for girls?
- physical affection between girl friends is more expected/accepted than affection between boy friends, so it's not as interesting?
- sexual fluidity is more common for women so it's not a conveniently black & white issue?
- lesbian stereotypes aren't as fun as gay stereotypes?

I say those all with a touch of irony, because I really don't know. They're all lame excuses at this point, anyway.

On the bright side, I just read and enjoyed My Tiki Girl, by Jennifer McMahon, which does involve a girl's first romance with another girl but spends refreshingly little time on angst over the possibility of being gay.

- lisa chellman

Lisa Clark said...

Hey gorgeous girl - this post is rockin' - YOU'RE rockin'! There is deffo SO much need for some kick-ass girl-on-girl fiction and you're most deffo the girl to do it 'k?

Big love...

L x

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