Banning LGBTQ + writing from our libraries hurts us all

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OPINION AND COMMENT

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“Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe.

The Wake County Public Library announced on Wednesday that it was withdrawing all three copies of the graphic novel’s memoir Homosexual gender out of circulation. In a statement to The news and the observer, a spokesperson said this was due to “explicit illustrations that do not correspond to WCPL’s selection policy.”

There were 33 people on the waiting list to view the book in Wake County when they made the decision.

The news and the observer read the novel and found nine pages of sexual scenarios in the 239-page book. They include sex toys – that more than half of women in the United States declared having used – and illustrations of erect men. All of this results in the perpetrator being identified as asexual or not sexually attracted to anyone.

It is understandable that there is some discomfort with sexually explicit images. It can be difficult to talk about this in any context, especially for those who have never had sex outside of a straight relationship.

There are still sexually explicit books available in Wake County libraries. The three books of the Fifty shades of Grey the trilogy can be viewed. Even with Lolita. Over 3,000 romance novels for adults are recorded; most of them probably also represent sexual acts.

There is no record of the ages of people who have it or want to verify it, whether they are in high school or older. Gender Queer author Maia Kobabe (who uses e / eir pronouns) wrote the book with a specific audience in mind.

“The truth is, the readers I mainly wrote it for were my own parents and extended family,” e said in a column for The Washington Post. “When I first came out as a non-binary, I kept getting responses like, ‘We love you, we support you, but we have no idea what you’re talking about. “”

When the book was banned in Virginia earlier this year, Kobabe received a message from a queer college student who read the book with his mother, to better understand the confusion that comes with determining your gender.

This is important for those who are starting their own journey towards understanding their gender and sexuality. It’s beautiful to see the people you love become fully themselves and happier than ever before, but it can be hard to understand if you’ve never experienced this. Books like Kobabe’s help us all understand a little more about the experiences of our LGBTQ neighbors.

This story was originally published 16 December 2021 13:04.

Sara Pequeño is a Raleigh-based opinion writer for the McClatchy Opinion Team in North Carolina and a member of the Editorial Board. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2019 and has been writing in North Carolina since.

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