Reading and Religion: Attempt Either At Your Peril

Unpopular Opinion: Why, Riordan?!

colormebowie:

I’m really upset. Apparently one of the books in the second Percy Jackson series (I’m not sure what it’s called because I don’t read them myself) introduced a homosexual character. My little brother was going to read that book next and my mom was just about to order it, before she decoded to read some of the reviews. That’s when my mom found out about that character.

Because of this, my mother had to tell my little brother that he COULDN’T READ MORE OF HIS FAVORITE BOOK SERIES because of this character- do you know what it was like to have to tell him that he had to STOP READING his FAVORITE series?! It was awful! He was really upset, and it made me so sad.

I’m so mad. I would have been more understanding of Mr. Riordan if he had put it in a different series for older kids, because, to be honest, you’re just going to see that. But really? A kid’s book, for goodness’ sake? ERGH! It was just SO rude and disrespectful of him to have done that. I hope he’s satisfied with the amount of readers he lost.

This is an interesting post. It has 300 notes and scrolling through I’ve noticed that a lot of the comments on here are angry ones. You’ve included in your rebuttals that you feel hunted and discriminated against for expressing your opinion that Rick was being disrespectful. And you’ve mentioned you’re upset.

But what no one seems to have asked you is WHY? Why are you upset and angry about the inclusion of homosexuality in Percy Jackson? Are you upset because you believe homosexuality is wrong? Are you upset because you believe homosexuality doesn’t deserve to be written about? Are you upset because this challenges a fundamental and deeply held personal belief system? Or are you upset because your brother is mad that your mother has banned him from reading a series he loves?

If the answer is one of those first three questions I’m not sure why you’re surprised about the very vocal response. The fact of the matter is, whether you personally believe in homosexuality and gay rights the issue is being debated across all levels of society and homophobia is acknowledged in some places as a hate crime. And some people who share your opinion take it to the extreme. Just look at Russia. LGBQT people are being beaten in the streets. The response this post gets comes from a minority constantly under attack and in fear for their lives. So while it may seem extreme to you, please consider that their anger over a seemingly innocent comment comes from the same place as the feelings of the people who made up Dr. King’s protesters, Nelson Mandela’s anti-apartheid campaign and the many people (Catholic sisters, Christians, Muslims etc) who helped hide the Jews in WW2. The feeling that it isn’t right or fair to hurt people for being different from yourself and that doing so to people who are trying to live peacefully within society is an injustice.

It’s ok if you for you to have personal and deeply held convictions. It’s ok for you to be Christian. Some of the nicest people I know are Christians. What you are being called out for is being disrespectful to those homosexuals and their allies. You don’t like homosexuals: Fine. But you can’t call Rick Riordan rude or disrespectful for what was a tasteful and accurate representation of the struggles most LGBQT people go through with themselves. And the fact he put this is a kids book is a very good thing because it educates children in these matters. Because LGQBT people exist and pretending otherwise doesn’t help anyone.

As for your mother banning him from reading the series: On the one hand, while I may disagree with the reason, I respect her right as a parent to do so and I applaud the interest she is taking in your brother’s life. On the other hand, I also know how hard it is to get young boys interested in reading for pleasure so if she’s still very concerned or possibly on the fence I would encourage her to actually read the series herself so she may make a more informed decision. I’ve read the reviews, and to be honest, they really blow the reveal of Nico’s sexuality out of proportion. It was one chapter, and all it provides story wise is some very interesting character development. It’s not like in a Teen novel where the protagonist discovers their sexuality via experimentation. True to form, Riordan deals with romance and sexuality as an aside. With a conversation and a battle against the god of Love. And then it never really comes up again. Not to say it wasn’t a good scene, but it wasn’t really the whole point of the book.

Also, I’d like to point out that the only confirmed reader Uncle Rick has lost that you know of has been your brother. Who is only one person. The man is a New York Times best selling author, and has reached the annals of Young Adult fiction stardom alongside JK Rowling, Cassandra Clare, Veronica Roth and John Green. He has a movie contract for a third Percy Jackson movie. Even with the decision and subsequent debate about Nico’s sexuality (which has for the most part being resoundingly positive) I can guarantee you the man’s gained more readers than he’s lost.

Cheers.

(PS Tagging this post with #homosexuality didn’t help your case. Most of the people on that tag are there for social justice discussions. It was kind of like screaming “I HATE HORSES” at the Kentucky Derby. You were going to incur some wrath from the crowd.)

-ported from my tumblr

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