Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Moving Forward: What Does YA Need?

We all know that YA is beautifully diverse; but it's got some gaps.  So, let's discuss what it needs for the next generation of YA readers... 

  • More Asexual spectrum representation. 
The ace spectrum is basically the forgotten spectrum. It contains so many sexualities; from asexual, to demi, to grey-ace. YA forgets about all of this and forgets that not everyone wants sex. Which brings me on to...

  • More acknowledgement of romantic orientations! 
 The fact that aces/demis might want a romantic relationship is also forgotten; that aromantics do exist; that not everyone's sexual and romantic orientations line up. Our society tells us that we have to be, or want to be, in a relationship to be normal, and YA honestly does the same. The endless love triangles and romance being the center of every single novel doesn't help. Books shouldn't NOT have romance, but it needs to be acknowledged that not everyone wants that. 

  • Culture variation!
Alright... YA does this pretty well, I'll say that. But I think there are still gaps to fill and stereotypes to squash, y'know?
  •   More about gender identity.
 NOT EVERYONE IDENTIFIES WITH THEIR BIOLOGICAL GENDER. YA is getting better at acknowledging Trans* people, but there is so much more to it. Being gender fluid, agender or other types of non-binary is not uncommon and there needs to be more about it.

  • Stop keeping up with the gender roles. 
 I've come to the conclusion that this one will come with time, y'know? A lot of YA is slowly squashing that boys can't cry and girls can't do the asking out; but it's still there, even if it's stuff hidden in the sidelines.

  • Mental health representation
We're slowly seeing more of this, but it can be pretty inaccurate. And I don't mean inaccurate about the illness, necessarily, more like inaccurate that it tries to say that a mental illness is the same for everyone. It isn't. There are so many components to every mental health condition, whether that be depression, OCD or anxiety.

  • STOP WITH THE SLURS (And slut shaming)  
Hey, you. Yeah, you. I don't care what context you're saying that in, just don't. Alright? Thanks for that. 

So there you are! Those were a few things I thought of when I wondered what YA needs, can you think of anything else? Let me know. 


  1. Replies
    1. yay! Glad I'm not the only one feeling this way!

  2. This is such a great post! I agree with everything, especially asexual and MCs outside of the gender binary. I'd especially love to see an aromantic protagonist!!

    1. I fear that the generation that are currently authors don't know enough about the ace spectrum and romantic orientations and that's why that isn't happening. But hey, we'll see. <3

  3. This is such an amazing post! You're so right on all of these - I agree with you on every one :)


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