My name is Alexis and I’m a pansexual booktuber who goes by The Sloth Reader. When Fadwa called for people to make guest posts regarding their specific marginalizations, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. I’m constantly in awe by the wonderful queer content being produced lately, but I’ve yet to find more than a few books that feature a character that is pansexual.
I can think of only a few books where the character describes being pansexual. However, there are only two books I can name where the characters use the actual word, and only one of those features a pan main character. The first is a novella called The Melody of You and Me written by M. Hollis, a Brazilian author who wrote this book in her second tongue. Which is so impressive that I want to make sure I tell people every chance I get. The second book is The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli, which features a minor character who identifies as pan.
I go out of my way to read twenty-five to forty queer books a year, both own-voices and not. And yet, despite that, I can only name two books with pan characters that use the word “pansexual.” It’s just really disappointing not to be able to see myself over and over again, to not have choices to choose from. I know many marginalizations that have the same experiences with representation in books. I just wish that authors, especially queer authors, would realize that they can still write the romances or fantasies or thrillers t
hat they want and include the many different facets of the queer community. I wish that publishing would give authors the chance to create vibrantly queer/diverse literature.
I really am so excited that queer literature is becoming much more desired by broad publishing and that so many queer authors are getting a chance to be published. Especially within the YA community where just being able to relate to a character could change many lives.
My best friend in the whole world is asexual and I get so excited every time I discover a new book to tell her about that features ace characters. It’s so important to read a book and connect to a character in such a specific way, to leave the experience feeling seen. I just wish other pansexual readers and I could have more opportunities for that. Not to mention that the majority of YA literature feels like it focuses on the white and mostly American queer communities. I at least have the privilege of connecting to a character in those ways.
It feels cliché to say that queer literature has come a long way but still has a lot of ground to cover. However it’s true, especially when you consider that most queer people are more than just their queerness. They have ethnic identities, and illnesses, and religious experiences. It’s time for publishing, authors, and readers to expand their horizons in an attempt to portray the queer community for how lovely and colorful it really is.
Booktuber @ The Sloth Reader
Alexis is a twentysomething year old, American booktuber with two adorable cats and a lot of pride in her Hogwarts house. Go Hufflepuff! She is also very open when it comes to discussing her mental health and sexuality. She never knew that there was an online community for book lovers until she was almost twenty, but she’s constantly thankful that it exists.
Diverse Book Bloggers Discuss is a way to boost diverse bloggers who are brilliant and have a lot to say but have smaller platforms and don’t really get as much reach as they deserve. What this is, is basically a guest post feature where twice a month diverse book bloggers will discuss things they are passionate about on my blog.