Friday, February 4, 2011

A New Study Finds That LGBT Kids Face More Punishments... and why that makes queer kid lit even more important!

Reported in School Library Journal this week is a new study from Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics that finds:

" and bisexual youth are being punished more than straight peers," says Kathryn E. W. Himmelstein, who coauthored the study. "And that's not because they're misbehaving more."

LGBT youth faced 1.25 to 3 times the chances of being punished, according to the study. "Thus, nonheterosexual youth who are harassed or engage in risky behaviors may find that instead of support, therapy, or services, their behaviors elicit punishment," write the authors.

And the article in SLJ, by Lauren Barack, said it so well:

The study is yet another example of why libraries are so crucial in the lives of LGBT kids who are looking for safe havens to find the materials and resources they need.

And a big part of queer and questioning kids finding the books and materials they need is having writers and illustrators include LGBTQ characters and themes in their work.

That's why I'm so proud to have these Find the LGBTQ in SCBWI discussions at the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators national conferences, to encourage and support the creators of content for children to include LGBTQ characters and themes!

Think about it. If you're a writer or illustrator, can YOU include gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning or gender non-conforming characters or themes in YOUR work?

Let's make our world a better place for all kids - one LGBTQ-inclusive story at a time.


Thanks to Caroline for the heads-up on the SLJ article!


Pam Harris said...

That's so sad--and exactly why I'm including an LGBTQ character in all of my YA books.

Shveta Thakrar said...


Thank you for the heads-up, Lee.

Martha Brockenbrough said...

Lee, one of my WIPs has a gay character, and it scares me to try this. He's a secondary character, but I want to get him right/real/free of stereotypes. I guess next time I need to go to your panel, eh?