Creating a space for YAL with LGBT content in our personal reading: Creating a place for LGBT students in our classrooms
Mason, K. (2008). "Creating a Space for YAL with LGBT Content in Our Personal Reading: Creating a Place for LGBT Students in Our Classrooms." The ALAN Review, 35 (3), 55-61.
Adolescent literature is a source of both information and validation for today's teenagers. As Adrian Fogelin revealed in her 2006 ALAN address, "Opening Middle School Minds with Young Adult Literature," these texts act as "mirrors" for readers who face challenges like those faced by characters in the texts and as "windows" for readers who don't. Young adult literature (YAL) with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) content is no exception. For teens who are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity and for those who are out and proud, YAL with LGBT content can affirm their experiences. For teens who conform to the privileged heterosexual standard and who follow traditional gender expression norms, these texts provide an opportunity to empathize with the LGBT characters whose lives often take very different paths from their own.
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