Many banned books in the U.S. challenged for queer content

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More than half of the top 11 most frequently challenged and banned books of 2018 include LGBTQ content, according to a report released Monday by the American Library Association.

“Books for youth with LGBTIQ+ content are consistently on our list of most challenged books; this trend goes back to the mid-1990’s, when Nancy Garden’s ‘Annie on my Mind’ was banned by a school board in Texas,” Deborah Caldwell-Stone, interim director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, said in a statement. “That said, we are noticing a greater number of challenges to books with LGBTIQ+ content, especially those that have transgender characters and themes.”

In 2017, four of the top 10 banned books were challenged for LGBTQ content, and in 2016, five were challenged for this reason.

George,” a coming-of-age story by Alex Gino, topped this year’s list. The award-winning, young-adult novel is about a transgender girl coming to terms with her gender identity. This is the third consecutive year “George” made the ALA’s “Most Challenged Books” list, which is part of the association’s annual “State of America’s Libraries Report.”

According to the report, “George” has been repeatedly “banned, challenged, and relocated” because it’s “believed to encourage children to clear browser history and change their bodies using hormones.” The ALA also noted there were complaints about the book for “mentioning ‘dirty magazines,’ describing male anatomy, ‘creating confusion,’ and including a transgender character.”

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Comments 8

  1. Someone needs to bring suit against those who are “banning” this book in the US. Since when does the government or anyone else for that matter have the right to impinge on my First Amendment rights?

  2. It’s not just LGBTQ books that people feel they have the right to ban, but a few years back there was a group here in Maine that wanted to have an open exhibition to burn Harry Potter books. They felt that these shouldn’t be allowed to be shown to children with the depiction of magic, witches, and demons. I was so upset at this that I was ready to buy extra Bibles to toss into the same fire, for this is being taught to children, with stories of sex, murder, and magic. At first, the city would not give the group the fire permit, so I didn’t go, but later they had the fire when I was unaware. But such narrow mindedness of what books you can read is how Nazi Germany started.

  3. No books are “banned.” They may be passed over by some school districts, some may even be burned by some overly-excited bluenoses, but nothing keeps them from being published and exposed for sale except one thing – low demand.
    A school district publicly announcing they are ‘banning’ a book does nothing except give everybody a reason to buy it!

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