Tuesday, April 21, 2020

LGBTQ Books Dominate the ALA's Challenged Books List

George by Alex Gino
The American Library Association has released its State of America's Libraries Report 2020.
Challenges to library materials and programs addressing issues of concern to those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, intersex, asexual, and related (LGBTQIA+) communities continued unabated in 2019, with a rising number of coordinated, organized challenges to books, programs, speakers, and other library resources that address LGBTQIA+ issues and themes.

A notable feature of these challenges is an effort to frame any material with LGBTQIA+ themes or characters as inherently pornographic or unsuitable for minors, even when the materials are intended for children and families and they are age and developmentally appropriate.
As an example the ALA points to a West Virginia pastor who challenged Prince & Knight, claiming that the fractured fairy tale “is a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children, especially boys, into the LGBTQA lifestyle.”

When will these idiots ever learn that such verbiage makes them look even stupider than they are?

An organized group in Loudoun County, Virginia claimed that some books advanced the LGBTQ community's political agenda. Of course Drag Queen Story Hour got attention from people who wanted to impose their judgment on everyone else:
Organized groups also continued to protest and disrupt Drag Queen Story Hour events held in libraries, claiming that the events advance political, social, and religious agendas that are inconsistent with the groups’ conservative Christian beliefs… More than 30 challenges to Drag Queen Story Hours and other Pride programs [were tracked], … and [a] distressing trend of disinviting authors who had been invited to speak or read from their books, solely on the grounds that the authors identify as LGTBQIA+ or because their books include LGBTQIA+ themes.
Then there is this item unrelated to LGBTQ matters:
The decision made by county commissioners in Citrus County, Florida, to deny funding for a digital subscription to the New York Times demonstrated how partisan differences can impair public library users’ access to high quality information resources. The commissioners unanimously denied a request from their local library to spend $2,700 annually on the digital resource, stating that the paper is “fake news” and that they “agree with Donald Trump.”
And those fucking idiots are elected commissioners.

The list of the top ten most challenged books:
  1. George by Alex Gino.
    Reasons: challenged, banned, restricted, and hidden to avoid controversy; for LGBTQIA+ content and a transgender character; because schools and libraries should not “put books in a child’s hand that require discussion”; for sexual references; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint and “traditional family structure”
  2. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, for “its effect on any young people who would read it,” and for concerns that it was sexually explicit and biased
  3. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller
    Reasons: Challenged and vandalized for LGBTQIA+ content and political viewpoints, for concerns that it is “designed to pollute the morals of its readers,” and for not including a content warning
  4. Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth
    Reasons: Challenged, banned, and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content; for discussing gender identity and sex education; and for concerns that the title and illustrations were “inappropriate”
  5. Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis
    Reasons: Challenged and restricted for featuring a gay marriage and LGBTQIA+ content; for being “a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children” with the potential to cause confusion, curiosity, and gender dysphoria; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint
  6. I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
    Reasons: Challenged and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content, for a transgender character, and for confronting a topic that is “sensitive, controversial, and politically charged”
  7. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity and for “vulgarity and sexual overtones”
  8. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
    Reasons: Challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and for concerns that it goes against “family values/morals”
  9. Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
    Reasons: Banned and forbidden from discussion for referring to magic and witchcraft, for containing actual curses and spells, and for characters that use “nefarious means” to attain goals
  10. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson illustrated by Henry Cole
    Reason: Challenged and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content

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