Author speaks out after 'Gender Queer: A Memoir' is banned from school libraries

Sat. November 6, 2021 12:16 PM by Gerald Farinas

gender queer: a memoir by maia kobabe

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Parents are moving to criminalize making LGBTQ books available to children

An LGBTQ affirming book is appearing on school library bookshelves recently but it isn't sitting well with some homophobic and transphobic parents. Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe is now the subject of attempts to ban the book.

Kitsap County, Wa. parents went as far as to ask the county prosecutor to file charges against the librarian and Central Kitsap School District officials.

Published in 2019, the book covers honest discussions about sex, sexual and gender identity, how the body changes as one grows up, and even masturbation as part of exploring and understanding one's self.

On what bases would they be charged in Washington state? Providing pornographic material to children.

A Whidbey Island, Wa. resident argued with Kitsap Sun that making the book available to children is criminal.

The prosecutor said it failed to meet the standards for a charge and the effort failed.

But that could change as conservative parents would like lawmakers to make this a chargeable offense, despite any obvious First Amendment issues.

Nonetheless, the school district deemed the book as "not thoroughly reviewed" and removed the book from their libraries.

The American Library Association is raising the alarm as more communities see efforts to ban LGBTQ related books and create legal consequences for making them available to young readers.

The Washington Post recently published an op-ed by Kobabe responding to the flurry of activity against her book.

"Removing or restricting queer books in libraries and schools is like cutting a lifeline for queer youth, who might not yet even know what terms to ask Google to find out more about their identities, bodies and health," she wrote.