So if you know me at all by now, I think you will have realised that diversity in YA is extremely important to me. I want to see more diverse characters and themes introduced into the books I read, and want myself to search more for those books that are already out there.
Intersectionality is the inclusion of more than one marginalisation. So a POC character who also has a disability would be considered an intersectional character. Of course, this doesn’t mean that every book has to be intersectional at all, but chances are it’s going to reach and relate to more people like this. It’s unfair that there are people who have never seen themselves represented in this book, and honestly, it’s time that changed. *
Growing up a Muslim girl was hard enough when it came to the books I read. I started reading chapter books at the age of 6 (albeit being very short books) and did not once come across a book that had a Muslim character in it until I was 12. I was so shocked and excited to see someone like me, who wore a headscarf and was a Muslim, and better yet the story wasn’t just about her being a Muslim. It was a fantasy mythological novel and this girl was badass.
Two years later, I finally realised that I was not in fact straight and came out to some of my closest friends as Pansexual. My quest was on to find another book that I could closely identify to – in the past two years I’d only found 3 books I’d been interested in with Muslim characters (I wasn’t going to read a book just because a character was Muslim, it still had to interest me). I knew my chances were low. Now, nearly a year later I still can’t find a book about a pansexual Muslim girl. One of my best friends is also Muslim and he is also trans – he loves reading so I tried to find him a book that maybe he could relate to a little. Nothing. I came up with literally nothing.
I want to be able to find books that I can relate to. I’m sure many others want to as well. It’s tiring to read books with the same characters over and over and over again. If you ever plan on writing a book please consider including intersectionality in it because it can mean so much to so many people. Support books with intersectional authors. Support books with intersectional characters. Support books that promote diversity.
Intersectionality is important – and can really change someone’s day.
I hope this didn’t come off as angry or attacking; this is just how I feel about this topic!