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What do you think about gender-neutral books?

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Laurie Gray When I was writing Maybe I Will, the only gender-neutral book that I could find written in the first person was Written on the Body by Jeannette Winterson (Knopf/1993). The general consensus on that book, though, was that the narrator was a woman. After I had a contract with Luminis Books for Maybe I Will, but before it was published, Knopf released David Levithan’s Every Day in 2012. I like any book that helps shine a light on the gender bias in our society. There’s a panorama of sexual identities and we’re only just now beginning to recognize and embrace them: LGBTQIAP and of course, what is still so accepted a “normal” that it’s not even included in the list: heterosexual male/ female.

I think the traditional gender lines in our society are blurring the way they have with race over the past few centuries. Our country was founded by people who saw race in very black and white terms and only white men were considered “people” in the “We the People of the United States...” Now “people” includes every race and races mix freely in our melting pot. We no longer view race in strictly black and white terms. I think the same is becoming true for gender. We are moving beyond the limiting need to identify every human being as strictly male or female and accepting all gender expressions in humanity. Think of the yin and yang of humanity. There is a seed of feminine in everything masculine and a seed of masculine in everything feminine, and every person has a unique blend of the two. In the bigger picture, it will all balance perfectly once we allow it. But we won’t get to that balanced humanity until we stop thinking of every person as having to be either/or male/female. It shouldn't take another civil war for us to get there.
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by Laurie Gray (Goodreads Author)
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