Eight of 10 most-banned books challenged for LGBTQ content

Eight of 10 most-banned books challenged for LGBTQ content

Almost 600 books spanning a variety of categories and reading levels were the target of censorship efforts at libraries, schools and universities last year, and 8 out of the 10 that made the American Library Association’s “A lot of Challenged Books” of 2019 list shared a common denominator: LGBTQ material.

This latest ranking marks the 4th successive year that books with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer stories composed a minimum of half of the list, which is consisted of in the association’s annual “State of America’s Libraries” report.

” Books with LGBTQ characters and styles have frequently been amongst the most challenged,” Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the American Library Association’s Workplace for Intellectual Flexibility, told NBC News. “The pattern goes back to the ’90 s, when Nancy Garden’s ‘Annie on my Mind’ was prohibited by a school board in Texas, and we’ve seen a boost in arranged efforts to pull these books from school and neighborhood libraries recently, particularly books that consist of transgender characters.”

The library association reported a 17 percent increase in the variety of books challenged in 2019 compared to the year prior, and noted its report is just a “snapshot of book challenges,” adding that studies suggest 82-97 percent of book obstacles “stay unreported and receive no media.”

This year marked the very first time Daniel Haack’s “Prince & Knight,” a children’s book that includes a gay fairytale wedding, appeared on the list. Haack told HuffPost that he was motivated to write the book– which was published in 2018 as the lead title in a collaboration between LGBTQ media advocacy organization GLAAD and the children’s book publisher Little Bee Books– since he wished to show LGBTQ children that they “are simply as efficient in being the brave heroes, and are just as worthwhile as anybody of being in love.”

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

Susan Kuklin’s “Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Up,” which, as its title recommends, consists of interviews with transgender and gender-nonconforming teenagers, reemerged on the list, after not appearing on it considering that 2015.

The majority of the books featured on this year’s list are consistently among the most-challenged, including Alex Gino’s “George.” The award-winning, young-adult book, which informs the story of a transgender woman concerning terms with her gender identity, had been limited to “avoid debate” and “for LGBTQIA content and a transgender character” for the last 4 years.

Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings’ “I am Jazz,” Raina Telgemeier’s “Drama” and Jill Twiss’ “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo” have actually also made repeat looks on the list. All 3 books include gay or transgender characters and have actually been amongst the top 10 most-challenged books because 2016.

In arguing for the removal of these books from school and library shelves, challengers claimed that schools and libraries should not “put books in a child’s hand that require discussion” and expressed issues that such books are “created to pollute the morals of its readers” and are “an intentional effort to indoctrinate young children.”

Yet, Stone stated that efforts to censor such books are not based on a “genuine” desire to make sure children read age-appropriate texts, however rather, on a single person or a group’s attempt to weaken the diversity of and cause their viewpoint on a whole community.

” The challenges we have actually been tracking are based upon the belief that some people can dictate what everybody should check out, and I would not consider that reasoning legitimate,” Stone said. “These books are developmentally appropriate, and families and children who want and needs to read them ought to have access to them.”

Other books included on the list included Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series. The American Library Association says they were targeted for “indecency and sexual undertones” and depictions of witchcraft, respectively, both likewise include gay characters.

According to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, less than 4 percent of the nearly 4,000 kids’s books it analyzed “had significant LGBTQ content” in 2017, the most current year for which data is readily available.

” LGBTQ families, like mine, are frequently excluded of programming for kids and families, creating difficulties for LGBTQ moms and dads and kids alike,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis stated in a statement. “These gorgeous titles must not be challenged, they must be commemorated, but this list is an essential pointer of the work ahead for LGBTQ households.”

While physical libraries have actually been closed amid the coronavirus break out, Stone said that their role in offering people and families with resources extends beyond their physical areas. While the library association anticipates less reports of prohibited books throughout the lockdown, it will continue to support libraries who are dealing with calls to ban particular books, particularly throughout National Library Week, which is from April 19-25

Follow NBC Out on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

Gwen Aviles

Gwen Aviles is a trending news and culture reporter for NBC News.

Find Out More


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here