Since the beginning of her writing career, Cassandra Clare has been inserting the LGBTQ+ community into her infamous series, Shadowhunter Chronicles. Now, seventeen books in, Clare has created over ten LGBTQ+ characters and has hinted at more “coming out” stories for eager readers in the future.
Clare started paving the way for diversity in Young Adult literature since her debut. On her ten+ year journey, she has spotlighted a plethora of LGBTQ+ sexualities that have brought light and laugher into the story’s plot.
Clare’s most notorious LGBTQ+ couple, Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood, were the first LGBTQ+ characters introduced to the series back in 2007 in City of Bones; the first book in Clare’s spellbinding fantasy series. Since then, Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood are still going strong, but the beginning of their relationship was not all roses. Alec Lightwood, a half-angel, demon-killing Shadowhunter, faced unacceptance from his family and fellow Shadowhunters for being in love with a man. By spotlighting Alec’s emotional trauma from coming out to his family, Clare gave her younger readers a snapshot into some of the harsh realities the LGBTQ+ community faces.
Over the years, Alec was not the only character in Clare’s Shadowhunter novels that was scathed by unacceptance and sociality rejection. Many other characters had to fight for approval and love among their Shadowhunter comrades. Each one of these LGBTQ+ characters walked down a different trial-filled path, but despite the hardships they faced, Clare always made sure there was light and love for them at the tunnel’s end.
In the latest addition to the Shadowhunter Chronicles, Chain of Gold, which came out earlier this year, Clare added some new LGBTQ+ shadowhunters to her cast of characters. Most would have thought avid readers would be supportive of Clare’s continued effort to provide diversity into the publishing industry. Still, many fans were disappointed with the new Shadowhunters introduced to the series. Readers said that Clare added too many LGBTQ+ characters to the book, which takes place in 1903. Clare took to Twitter, responding that there were not less LGBTQ+ people in “the past.” Many avid Cassandra Clare fans backed the author up, saying that, of course, LGBTQ+ individuals existed during that period and did not appear out of thin air.
Despite the backlash Clare received, the author plans to continue to provide LGBTQ+ representation to her novels in the future and support the growing community. Keep your eyes peeled for the next book in the Shadowhunter Chronicles, The Lost Book of White, starring Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood, which will be released September 1st, 2020!