Raise Your Voice 2016 with Nita Tyndall

Raise Your Voice is a special annual month-long series on Pop! Goes The Reader whose purpose is to celebrate diversity and inclusivity in literature, with a particular emphasis on #OwnVoices stories. In it, authors recommend books with sensitive, positive and accurate representation that will help to create a resource of diverse books that marginalized readers can turn to when they need them most. Your voice matters. Raise it! For a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates, click here.

About Nita Tyndall

Nita Tyndall is a tiny Southern queer with a deep love of sweet tea and very strong opinions about the best kind of barbecue (hint: it’s vinegar-based.) In addition to being a YA writer, she is a moderator for The Gay YA and a social media coordinator for WeNeedDiverseBooks. You can find her on Tumblr at NitaTyndall where she writes about YA and queer things, or on Twitter at @NitaTyndall. She lives in North Carolina. She is represented by Emily S. Keyes of Fuse Literary.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterTumblrInstagram

(You can add Tash Hearts Tolstoy to your Goodreads shelves Here!)

I have written about this before. It’s nothing new. I’m outspoken about my asexuality, about seeing myself on the page, about girls like me.

Growing up on the asexual spectrum (I’m demisexual, but ace is shorter and easier to type, so here we are), I did always have that feeling of being different. Not everyone does, but I did. I knew I was not like the girls in books or movies, the girls who fell in love instantly or spent all their time searching for Mr. Right, had sex on the first date, talked to their friends about crushes in hushed whispers.

This was what I was supposed to want, I was told. This is what every book told me a normal girl wanted — sex and romance.

Girls like me, who didn’t want sex, who maybe wanted to kiss girls, whose attraction came long after a connection, who kept their crushes hidden close to their chests for fear of misunderstanding? Where were we?

The first time I saw an asexual character on television was two months ago watching Bojack Horseman. And the first time I saw an asexual character — one who uses the label — in a YA book? Was in Kathryn Ormsbee’s Tash Hearts Tolstoy, out next year.

Tash is like me, and she’s not. We’re both ace, both fandom nerds, though our actual orientations are different (Tash is romantic asexual, I am homoromantic demisexual). We both like tea and older novelists, though I prefer Poe to Tolstoy.

Tash is a girl like me. And to see her on the page, so fully realized, to see an asexual character whose storyline doesn’t revolve around coming to terms with her asexuality, means more to me than I can express. Here in this book is a girl who is asexual, who is perfectly fine with her asexuality but who is not defined by it, who I can see myself in.

I want shelves to be full of books of girls like me, because right now I only have a few to point to. But these few, with representation done well, mean so much — not only to me now, but to me then, who needed these books and couldn’t find them.

2 responses to “Raise Your Voice 2016 with Nita Tyndall”

  1. Chasia Lloyd says:

    Such a beautiful last post to the end of a wonderful series!

    So excited to read Tash Hearts Tolstoy. Any rec from Nita must be good.

  2. Ambiguous_A says:

    Beautiful post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge