I am writing a young-adult fantasy in which nobody is white. And also in which gender issues are not an issue. I have built these qualities into my invented world because I feel that repeating the same tropes about minorities having to overcome the same old disadvantages has the unintended consequence of making these disadvantages seem normal and acceptable. Presumably non-white readers would like to see some stories about non-white people who aren’t having to slog uphill through racism on their way to the plot about as much as I’d like to see women being bad-ass without having to fight the patriarchy on the way to saving the world. For them and myself, I have cheerfully up-ended various tropes.
But! This race and gender stuff is, essentially, background. The plot of my story centers about other issues entirely. My question is: should I mention these things in my query? And if so, how?
The purpose of your query is to entice your reader (me) to want to read more.
Whatever you can use to entice me is fair game.
The most compelling enticement is a great story.
A great story is most-often something that turns expectations sideways.
(I love those. LOVE)
BUT you must SHOW me that in the story.
And if you can show me that in the query, all the better.
BUT if you're having trouble getting the plot on the page AND showing this colorful gender bending world, a paragraph like you started with at the end of the query would NOT be out of order. You'd put it at the end of the query right before Thank you for your time and consideration. You'd start with I wrote this novel because I'd like to see women being bad ass without fighting the patriarchy and people of color who don't have to fight racism.
Generally I don't much care for "why I wrote this novel" kind of stuff. I figure you wrote a novel cause you have a story to tell.
But you're right that people are looking for things that upend stereotypes.
Telling me your book is intended to do that might get you farther than not including it.
Just make sure you tell me enough about the story. Plot is the key.