The Missing B Word: Compulsory Binarization and Bisexual Representation in Children’s Literature

  • Jennifer Coletta
Keywords: children's literature, LGBTQ, identity politics, bisexual, genderqueer

Abstract

This project uses some LGBTQ youth’s social media posts and Allison Weir’s framework for identification-with identity politics to analyze and evaluate bisexual representation in YA literature. The essay posits that bisexual characters are often erased in literature because of common stereotypes and what the author calls “compulsory binarization,” or the assumption that a character is either gay or straight unless otherwise labelled. To combat this, the essay suggests that a superb bisexual YA novel first include a clear naming of bisexuality within the text; in addition, effective bisexual representation should challenge normative binaries and stereotypes.

Author Biography

Jennifer Coletta

Jennifer Coletta is a Ph.D. candidate at Illinois State University specializing in children’s literature. She received her MA in children’s literature from Hollins University. Her main areas of interest include queer theory, women’s and gender studies, and trauma studies.

Published
2018-09-13
How to Cite
Coletta, J. (2018). The Missing B Word: Compulsory Binarization and Bisexual Representation in Children’s Literature. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 10(1). Retrieved from http://jeunessejournal.ca/index.php/yptc/article/view/383
Section
Articles