Hop on over to Hunger Mountain, kiddies, and watch our own Lee Wind weigh in on "GLBTQ Teen Coming Out Stories: Move Beyond Them, or Keep ‘Em Coming?"
For me, I love GLBTQ books that show kids who are homosexual and that's their life. The coming out to the major players in their life is accomplished, and now they're dealing with other Life Stuff, just like any other kid. They're a gay kid or a lesbian, but they're not The Gay Kid or The Lesbian, like that's the sum total of their existence. For gay or lesbian kids reading about themselves, it's good to know that they are not their sexuality. For straight friends and family, that's also good to know that their friend/brother/sister is still their friend/brother/sister even with this new aspect of their identity.
On the other hand, as Lee says, a lot of places and people aren't so accepting as we would like, and for a lot of kids, understanding their sexuality and coming out are a major source of angst and even fear. They need books that show these experiences honestly, with all the bumps and bruises but the reassurance that's it's better to be yourself than to live a lie.
So . . . what do you think? Do we still need coming out novels on our shelves or should we focus on books with kids who happen to be gay?