I disagree that it's as simple as you say. These two characters coming home to each other - are they on a television program? In a character's imaginiation? It's hard to see a scene in any novel where that would be a passing moment, and not have to have any development further than that. And not even only for that specific scene. Development of experience is necessary, and in this day and age in the USA, it would be insincere to make characters who are completely unaffected by hatred against them that is blatantly seen everywhere.
Here's an example for you.
Elizabeth Bear said:
Frederick Valens let himself in the front door, expecting a silent house and darkness. Instead a puddle of light fell over the easy chair, an afghan-swaddled figure lying through it. The holo flickered in the corner, sound turned off. Valens felt around for the remote, unwilling to raise his voice to command it to darkness.
It snapped off on its own, and Valens's husband shrugged off the blanket and came across the faded Persian carpets. A sleepy African gray parrot—Valens couldn't tell whether it was Dexter or Sinister—clucked in the cage that took up the west wall of the room. "Georges," Valens said. "You waited up."
"I can never sleep when you're in space." A stocky man, bald as an egg now but with a twinkle in pale eyes that lay deepset behind spectacles he refused to give up for surgical vision correction.
"The whole time I was on Mars. You didn't sleep then either?" Valens bent down and kissed Georges on the mouth.
"Not a wink. Seven years. I wasn't bald when you left, remember?" He gave Frederick a squeeze and stepped away. "You look exhausted. Tea's hot. We've got stuff for sandwiches."
This is from Elizabeth Bear's Scardown
. It's SF, but it was the excerpt I had already keyboarded. I could have used any number of other novels, for instance, Nicola Griffith has similar scenes, and so does Robert Parker.
What's interesting about the way Bear does this is that Valens is a not-sympathetic character in most of this book and the previous book. He's presented now as sympathetic because he's suddenly a real person with a pet parrot and a home and a spouse, and not "the enemy." His sexual orientation isn't even the point of the scene—though this is our first indication of it, since Valens' home-life or lack wasn't important before.
Being queer is a facet
; it's not the most important facet of a person all the time. If you ask people--at any age--how they identify themselves, they will generally present some other aspect besides their orientation as their primary identifier.
Being queer an adolescent has some extra tribulations over what is often general misery in that you are a minority, so yeah, finding a date for the prom might be iffy, never mind actually going
to the prom at all.
But you know, a straight kid can have problems getting a date too. So can people who only dates people shorter than they are . . .
But you're still going to be more concerned with the other facets of your life--can you pass Calculus? Will you get financial aid? Will your older sister ever stop leaving her cosmetic crap all over the bathroom? And how you can you get your own car if you can't even get a job?
Yes, you get hatred. But you also get the opposite--like when you go shopping for a pair of shoes with your partner and the sales lady whips out pictures of her son and his husband at their wedding the previous week.
It's quite possible, and perfectly reasonable to write a YA novel about a character coming to terms with the fact that their orientation is not heteronormative; I think John Ford's Last Hot Time
does this brilliantly, though it's not a YA novel per se, it does feature a YA main character.
If you compare Delany's biographic memoir about his adolescence as a gay black male with those of others from the same generation, his is a very different experience; it doesn't mean he was doin' it rong. It means his experience was different, for a number of reasons.