The Importance of Realistic LGBTQAI+ Novels
The process of figuring out who you are is both exciting and terrifying. For me, that process mostly happened during my four years of college and came to a perfect head when my anxiety, my bisexuality, and my androgyny all kicked in at once. These things opened new worlds for me to look into. I searched for hours online and read articles about people who had similar experiences to me with anxiety, sexuality, or gender. These searches often brought both positive and negative results, but either way, I learned a lot about myself and how the world tends to perceive people like me.
Writing has always been a cathartic process for me, one that helped me to understand the labels I used above before I even had an inkling that they existed. When I was younger, I would constantly get questions such as:
- “Why is your writing so dark?”
- “Why do you only write from the male perspective?”
- “Is there something you feel like you need to tell us?”
My generic responses to all of these questions were, “I just know what makes an interesting story,” and “I’m always a girl, so I like writing as a boy instead.”
As is turned out, I was dark, and I am most certainly not a girl.
But as I grew to label these vital things about me and how to live and grow with them, I found myself wanting to do more research. Because now that I had labels, I could write about them more accurately. So, as any author usually does, I turned to books.
LGBTQAI+ books, to be exact.
I started writing my first gay love story (The Unseasonal Warm Front) in April of 2018. It was based off a short story I had written in high school, but my short story did not have a happy ending. It was not a love story, but a classic “gay guy falls for a straight guy” story. That was not the story I wanted to put out into the world. So, I read a lot of LGBTQAI+ young adult fiction, and I found a terrible thing: there were so few happy endings.
I thought maybe LGBTQAI+ movies or TV shows would be better.
I was terribly wrong.
After all the angry rampaging and book slamming that accompanied my disappointment, I came to realize that not only did I want to write this one happy story, where the boy gets the boy and also ends up proud of himself, I wanted to write a slew of LGBTQAI+ stories (that include mental health topics) that had happy endings with closure.
Of course, “happy endings” does not always mean the best-case scenario occurs, but it does mean that the characters are left in a realistic and hopeful place by the end of the book. I write in a world where mental illness is not cured just because someone loves you, and LGBTQAI+ people get the happy endings straight and cisgender people have been getting in literature for centuries. I want to pull the LGBTQAI+ community out of the typical literature tropes they are forced into and out into the real world where they are well-rounded and fully-faceted characters that work hard and can ultimately get what they want.
About the Author
B.C. Sayer is a self-published author who sells exclusively through Amazon. Sayer is an active advocate for mental health as well as the LGBTQA+ community, using literature as a tool to reach out to readers and spread awareness and understanding of minority groups.
Sayer is a strong proponent for the happy (yet realistic) endings that often seem to be missing in LGBTQA+ literature as well as literature about mental health, where the ending seems to be “all or nothing.”
Sayer is an elementary educator in Pennsylvania as well as an avid lover of dogs, dessert, grammar, and crafting.