We continue our Pride week with our second guest blogger, Derick. Today he reviews one of his favorite reads with LGBTQ+ representation.
When I was young, during a time when there was barely any LGBTQ+ representation on TV or movies, I turned to books to find characters I could connect to. Characters who were like me. One of my favorite LGBTQ+ books is Hero by Perry Moore. It tells the story of a boy who develops superpowers and has to hide them from his dad. Not only does he develop powers but is asked to join the superhero league that rejected his father. He leads a double life, keeping a secret he’s afraid will destroy his dad.
I think the reason I connected with it so much was the relationship between the main character, Thom, and his dad. Their relationship was taunt, much like my own with my own father, and throughout the story the theme of being something your parent wouldn’t approve of is prevalent. Thom does turn out to be gay, but it’s him developing superpowers that rock the already fragile relationship between father and son. I liked that this played as a metaphor for many people who have feared coming out to a parent, who have made their negative stance on queer people known. No one wants to be something their parents hate.
This is a common feeling a lot of LGBTQ+ youth experience when struggling with their identity and fearing what their parent's reaction will be. It felt good to connect with Thom on this level and know that I wasn’t alone in my fear. This is why representation matters. There aren’t always people in your life who know what you’re going through, or even that you feel ready to share with. It’s through media that so many people find escape, advice, or just a hand to hold when it feels like you’re all alone. I will always welcome more representation and more stories from different perspectives, even if it’s not from my own. I want everyone to find a character who they can see themselves in and feel just a little bit better.
Written by Derick, @derickXVI
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