I figured it was time to set some things straight. (Particularly since the video at the centre of all this seems to have perpetuated a lot of these misconceptions.)
I know this might be difficult to understand but THIS IS NOT ABOUT WHITE, CIS-GENDERED, HETEROSEXUAL, NEURO-TYPICAL, ABLE-BODIED PEOPLE WITH NO MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS.
Sorry, but it's not about you. It's about everyone else.
But if you can't find quality among any diverse books, then the problem isn't with the authors, it's with you.
But in one snap second, the person reading your manuscript will make a judgement.
You shouldn't have to hide who you are, but every word you write - from 'I was born in place with a high percentage of PoC...' to 'I and my same-sex spouse or partner live in...' - will form a picture of who you are in the mind of the person reviewing the application.
Myth 4 - There are no biases in stories.
How many PoC heroes can you name? A lot less, probably.
How many LGBTQ+ heroes can you think of? How many of those are queer women?
How about disabled heroes who don't get magically cured within a chapter or two?
How many confirmed autistic-spectrum characters can you name? How about characters with mental health problems who aren't walking stereotypes?
Where diverse characters are included, all too often they are either villain or victim. They are the people who either need protecting, or that the 'normal' people need to be protected from.
The other day, a book made me feel physically sick. The subtext confused gay men with paedophiles, then quickly threw a smoke-screen by having those same characters also be homophobic.
Yes, the only gay characters in this book were homophobic paedophiles.
This was not a self-published book, neither was it a book from decades ago.
It was published by an imprint of a major publishing house. It was published last year.
How many hands must this book have passed through without the clear issues being brought up? How did the editor let all this slide? WHY ARE THERE PEOPLE ONLINE GIVING THIS BOOK A RANKING OF 5/5????
(Yes, I know books and TV shows are different. But you get my point.)
Shall I sum-up for you lovely people?