I wanted to put this post up ASAP, rather than waiting any longer; there's an awful story going around the internet about literary agents telling authors to take gay/lesbian/bi/trans characters out of their novels. The link I have is here.
I don't have a lot of time today to get creative with this, but I wanted to go on the record as saying (and here I'm going to blatantly copy and paste from the link!)
I would love to see books whose characters are diverse in all or any respects, including but not limited to gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, and national origin.
The words may not be mine, but the sentiments are.
I can't speak to the veracity of the story (EDIT: see link below), but I'm happy to say I don't personally know anyone in the business who would counsel such a change. The publishing industry is always struggling with diversity; it's an industry that tends to be overwhemingly white/European-American, college educated, East Coast (specifically NYC), and with a slight female majority. But that means that there are many, many points of view that are less familiar to the industry as a whole, and those points of view tend to be underrepresented.
It's up to all of us, whatever our part in the process, to work to overcome that. I hope you'll help me bring more diversity to the books that are published.
EDIT, a bit later: The industry is still swirling about the post I linked above; in the interest of fairness and not stirring the pot, here's a link to another blog post giving the other side of the story: http://theswivet.blogspot.com/2011/09/guest-blogger-joanna-stampfel-volpe.html
I still absolutely, really believe that the publishing industry needs more diversity, but I also don't want to get dragged into finger-pointing or anything of the sort, on this or any other issue. As a colleague of mine just Tweeted, one of the best things we can ALL do is to vote with our wallets. Here's a list that Malinda Lo put together of recent LGBTQ YA novels. http://www.malindalo.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/LGBTQ-YA-2009-11.pdf