Queer Representation

Boy Meets Boy and Luna are obviously more similar because they are both young adult novels that depict the lives of two queer protagonist. Boy Meets Boy tells the story of a young gay teen who falls in love with a guy from his high school at a record shop. Luna on the other hand tells a story about the daily struggles of transgender teen who has not shared her truths with her closes family and friends. Both novels also follow their everyday lives looking at the triumphs and tribulations that queer youth negotiate on a daily basis. These stories are remarkable because they prioritize the identities of queer youth in young adult novels, while also normalizing their experiences, which has been unseen in the young adult genre and within literature as a whole. While these texts are very similar, they are different in the way that they set up the lives of the main characters. In Boy Meets Boy the main character Paul is very established in his queer identities which goes against the dominant narrative of queer people always trying to discover themselves and who they truly want to be. Paul was already solidified within his sexuality and had a solid foundation within his friends and family that supported his decisions and validated his feelings. On the other hand, Luna focuses on a the main character who constantly has to negotiate their identity because of their environment. I also think that Luna differentiates from Boy Meets Boy because it touched on the thoughts and feelings of those around Luna, instead of focusing simply on Luna and her experiences alone. I think that the book shows how Luna is impacted by her surroundings, but also how her surroundings are impacted by her. For example, when Luna began behaving differently in front of their parents, Reagan was scared for the future of her sibling and thought to herself, “Why test the water? You’ll only drown.” (Peters, 58)  This clearly depicts the anguish and fear she feels for her sister because of Luna’s gender. I believe that both novels are important because there is not one specific queer experiences. It is important for audiences to see that exploring and expressing one’s queerness can be a pleasant experience, as shown in Boy Meets Boy. I also think it is important to shed light on the more challenging experiences of a queer existence which is shown throughout Luna. When a person comes out as queer they never come out one time because it is an ongoing process. There are also varied experiences of coming out and existing in a queer body within society. Ultimately, I think these two books are important because they diversify the narrative of queer youth while also prioritizing their experiences.

One thought on “Queer Representation”

  1. I think you did a good job of comparing and contrasting Luna and Boy Meets Boy. Since one of your main argument of their similarity is that they are both novels with young queer protagonists, I could not help but think how this also relates to Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit. Of course, OANTOF is not a young adult novel, but it is a similar narrative to Boy Meets Boy and Luna in its structure. The story is presented differently due to the differences in genres, but the narrative itself is similar in that it is a coming out story of a young queer individual. Additionally, your post made me think of the how interesting the comparison of OANTOF and Luna would be. You mentioned the way in which Luna’s environment affected her ability to explore her identity. That is definitely an important theme in OANTOF.

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