This weeks topic for Top Ten Tuesday is “Father’s Day Freebie”. Top Ten Tuesday is a blogging meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Okay so I thought about this for a long time, and while I had some easy lists, I also still wanted to make it queer for Pride Month. Which is where I ran into problems.
As it turns out, LGBTAIQ* people are finally barely allowed to exist in books, but we’re still not exactly allowed to have families. I barely came up with eight queer parental figures, two of which were guardians, while two more were lesbians (which is fine obviously but also… it’s father’s day and I would have preferred to focus on fathers), and then there was one who only got on the list because he fathered a child before he went to war with his boyfriend and died (I don’t know about you but I barely count that as a father).
Together with my friends I somehow managed to get to eleven. But that was the best we could do in a joint effort. Obviously we probably missed some, because none of us have read every single book out there, but I think the problems we had are not something that can be easily dismissed. It has become fairly easy to list off books with LGBTAIQ* characters, obviously some orientations and gender identities are still a lot harder than others. But since I wasn’t looking for parents with a specific sexuality, simply parents who are on the spectrum somewhere, I’m not going it a whole other set of problems.
The point is, I can fairly easily list you ten good books with LGBTAIQ* characters (I’d probably have problems choosing just ten), but I can barely list six books with LGBTAIQ* parents on my own. And this is without filtering out books I did not like or haven’t read yet. Even with help I only missed three books. That’s not enough. I know we already have a problem with missing parents in YA, but for this I actually went through every book I h ave on my shelf, without care for intended age groups, and it still didn’t get better.
It’s not like LGBTAIQ* people don’t have families and don’t become parents. There are so many non-straight and/or non-cis parents out there, why don’t we get to see more of them in literature? It shouldn’t be this hard.
Now that was a lot of talk. Either way I present to you the eleven books with LGBTAIQ* parental figures my friends and I could find.
Achilles (The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller)
I very barely count him, because he essentially fathered a son and went off with Patroclus to lay siege on Troy where he died. But I’m also
a little very desperate.
Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’s mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.
Apollo (The Camp Half-Blood Chronicles by Rick Riordan)
Incidentally the second figure out of Greek mythology on this list. Also kind of an absent father to be quite honest. Still, very much queer.
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
I know that’s not a name, but I haven’t read this yet and all I know is that Sal has been adopted by a gay father. I wish I could tell you more but my copy is still mysteriously absent from my life.
The first day of senior year:
Everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.
Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is—but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?
Lucas Corta (Luna Duology by Ian McDonald)
The moon works under the assumption that everyone is somewhere on the spectrum so we could make a case for more queer parents existing in this duology, but he’s the most obvious one.
Raoul and Henri (About a Girl (Metamorphoses, #3) by Sarah McCarry)
Technically they’re not even related to Tally but they raise her together with her aunt Beast (who is not related to Tally either). And since Tally’s parents are out of the picture they’re all the parents she has.
Eighteen-year-old Tally is absolutely sure of everything: her genius, the love of her adoptive family, the loyalty of her best friend, Shane, and her future career as a Nobel prize-winning astronomer. There’s no room in her tidy world for heartbreak or uncertainty—or the charismatic, troubled mother who abandoned her soon after she was born.
But when a sudden discovery upends her fiercely ordered world, Tally sets out on an unexpected quest to seek out the reclusive musician who may hold the key to her past—and instead finds Maddy, an enigmatic and beautiful girl who will unlock the door to her future. The deeper she falls in love with Maddy, the more Tally begins to realize that the universe is bigger—and more complicated—than she ever imagined. Can Tally face the truth about her family—and find her way home in time to save herself from its consequences?
Emmie and Jo (The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2) by Rick Riordan)
I don’t want to give away too much, but they’re one of the Lesbian couples on the list and they have a daughter.
Mathew and Habim (Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1) by Susan Dennard)
Goodreads | Review to come soon
They are Safi’s tutors and she lives with them, so I’m tentatively sorting them into the guardians category of this list? As I said, I’m desperate.
In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.
Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.
Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.
In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.
Carol and Eve (Magonia series by Maria Dahvana Headley)
They’re the mums of the best friend of the main character, and they’re really cool. One of them does something with the UN if I recall correctly.
Magnus and Alec (Shadowhunters books by Cassandra Clare)
I’ve only read the first five books of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices Trilogy because I don’t like either Clare or her books, but my friends inform me that Magnus and Alec adopted kids and I believe them. (The link up there leads you to the series page for The Mortal Instruments btw but there are links to the other series on there)
The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1) by Patrick Ness
I haven’t read this one either but a friend tells me there’s a gay couple with a son.
Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.
But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?
Lieutenant Apollo Floros (At Attention (Out of Uniform, #2) by Annabeth Albert)
Another recommendation from a friend. This is an MM Romance about a former SEAL and a friend’s younger brother who comes to live with him to help with Apollo’s twin daughters.
Lieutenant Apollo Floros can ace tactical training missions, but being a single dad to his twin daughters is more than he can handle. He needs live-in help, and he’s lucky a friend’s younger brother needs a place to stay. He’s surprised to see Dylan all grown up with a college degree…and a college athlete’s body. Apollo’s widowed heart may still be broken, but Dylan has his blood heating up.
It’s been eight years since the teenage Dylan followed Apollo around like a lovesick puppy, and it’s time he showed Lieutenant Hard-to-Please that he’s all man now—an adult who’s fully capable of choosing responsibility over lust. He can handle Apollo’s muscular sex appeal, but Apollo the caring father? Dylan can’t afford to fall for that guy. He’s determined to hold out for someone who’s able to love him back, not someone who only sees him as a kid brother.
Apollo is shocked by the intensity of his attraction to Dylan. Maybe some no-strings summer fun will bring this former SEAL back to life. But the combination of scorching desire and warm affection is more than he’d expected, and the emotion between them scares him senseless. No fling lasts forever, and Apollo will need to decide what’s more important—his past or his future—if he wants to keep Dylan in his life.