But would it be OK to treat other characteristics like that? Wouldn't it be horribly inappropriate to threaten to change the race of white rednecks, assuming such a thing was possible? It's like validating their belief that OTHER = BAD.
Sexual orientation's a divisive topic in American culture, and it needs especially careful handling in the YA genre. Some books and series make it a major component of the story, such as THE GEOGRAPHY CLUB and the MARKED series. In MARKED, some of the MC's best friends are a gay, teenage, vampire couple.
Try to find THAT box on the census form.
So I'm torn. The scene works, but I'm concerned with the greater message it sends. As it stands now, I may alienate liberal readers (e.g., MARKED fans). If I swing too far the other way, I may alienate more conservative readers (e.g., TWILIGHT fans). And I want both groups
I have another character who happens to be gay, but I haven't developed this aspect of her identity, since it's irrelevant to the plot of the first books. I'm worried that, when I finally address it, it'll seem like tokenism, like Apache Chief, whose superpower was "being Native American," apparently.
So, now I heave a trepidacious sigh and throw the question open to comments. How should sexual orientation be handled in YA fiction? I'm a little afraid to see what people will write--a few years ago, I sold purple-ribbon lapel pins in support of legalizing gay marriage, and I received several emails telling me I was going to burn in Hell.
Oh, and as for the title of today's post:
Sinister=left-handed (in Latin)
Masticates=chews. Why? What did YOU think it meant?