I’ve posted before about the thorny issues that face white writers who are writing stories about brown people’s lives and oppressions. Here’s one writer’s answer to the need for writers to hire “sensitivity” readers: diversify the publishing industry! If more editors and marketers were people of color and/or queer, the company would have the cultural knowledge and sensitivity at its disposal to vet and edit these books with skill.
Juno Dawson is a British white trans woman who writes young adult fiction. Her current book is about, among other things, mixed-race women. She lobbied her publisher to hire a sensitivity reader to ensure that her story was authentic and sensitive. She herself has acted informally as a sensitivity reader for a friend writing about trans characters. Read her piece here in the Guardian: Stop Whining About Sensitivity Readers
I’m now looking for an Indian writer/editor to give feedback on my draft novel. Send me ideas! Ideally, I would love to find someone who knows modern young lives in India, preferably in Tamilnadu, and has some knowledge of LGBT issues as well.