To keep this short, as starting my first-ever job has kept me heinously busy, I’m no longer going to be rating books on their diversity.
Thanks to Twitter’s not-always-great feature of showing you what tweets the people you follow liked, I saw one tweet from a reader who was cringing at someone’s diversity ratings in their book reviews. Checking out that tweet and seeing the reader elaborate on how the ratings were divided into QUILTBAG, racial-ethnic, disability, and intersectional representation made it hit that yeah, they were talking about me and my reviews.
A while back, I started using the diversity ratings in order to give readers a way to tell at a glance whether a book has representation present as well as whether that representation was good. It was meant to be a starting point, but I got complacent, never tried to evolve it, and it never occurred to me how much it hurt other marginalized people to see their identities reduced to quantitative data like that. It doesn’t matter that I was okay with it as an aromantic asexual woman with GAD and OCD. If it hurts another marginalized person, it’s not okay.
So that’s it. No more diversity ratings. I will find a better way to get the point (an at-a-glance tool denoting the presence and quality of marginalized representation) across without causing other people harm.
I offer both my deepest apologies and my deepest thanks to the lovely people on Twitter who were criticizing my diversity ratings. I mean it: never be afraid to tell me when I’m fucking up. I will listen to you and make improvements. (Unless you’re, say, the TERF that tried to comment on my recent review of Echo After Echo, but that’s different. TERFs are inherently wrong.)
The people remain unnamed and unlinked to protect them from harassment, but if you find them, don’t you fucking bother them or I will end you. If they give me the OK, that’s when I’ll name and/or link them. They are the readers, reviewers, and writers we need in YA.