Are We There Yet? Queer Representation in Three Young Adult Novels Between 1952 and 1994
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The queer young adult genre is one that has only recently been established. Before 1969 queer teenagers had to look for representation in adult novels rather than in the genre specifically meant for their demographic. Three novels, Spring Fire, I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip, and Deliver Us From Evie, are analysed in order to determine whether they reject or conform to societal ideas about homosexuality in the United States. Queer theory is used to see how these novels manage to have positive queer representation despite the overt homophobia that is present in the novels as well as the society in which the authors wrote their works. The didactic importance of having positive representation for young people is also addressed. All novels conform to the societal expectations of the times in which they were written: homophobic attitudes can therefore be seen in all novels, as well as a growing acceptance of homosexuality after the 1960s.