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Aired May 7, 2020

Books Challenged for LGBTQ+ Content (Part 2)

This week we’re going to continue our conversation about banned books! We’d planned on having author Lesléa Newman with us last week, but due to technical issues, she wasn’t able to join us. So this week, please check out the discussion article and questions below and join us for a special Something to Talk About to talk in depth on writing inclusively, experiencing protest, and looking at the shape of youth literature.

We hosted a conversation about this article as a part of PFLAG Connects and Something to Talk About Live on Thursday, May 7. Did you miss it? You can still watch it here!


Looking for ways to keep the conversation going about LGBTQ+ issues with your ERG, community group, or PFLAG chapter? Welcome to Something to Talk About, a monthly series designed by PFLAG National’s Straight for Equality program to create conversation about LGBTQ+ issues. Each month we’ll offer an article on LGBTQ+ topics and suggest a few questions you can use to lead a discussion.

We also hosted a conversation with PFLAG National Staff about this article as a part of PFLAG Connects and Something to Talk About Live on Thursday, April 30. Did you miss it? You can still watch it here!

Have feedback about how your conversation went? Let us know by e-mailing [email protected].

Article: 8 of last year’s 10 most challenged books had one thing in common: LGBTQ content

Source: CNN

Author: Alaa Elassar

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Are you surprised that eight of 10 of the most commonly challenged books in 2019 contained LGBTQ+ content and characters? Why or why not? What impact do you think such challenges have on people who identify as LGBTQ+?
  2. The ALA infographic included with the article notes mentions that of the 377 challenges received in 2019, about 31% of the challenges appeared when the books were in schools nd school libraries. Do you feel differently about their placement and availability in school libraries vs. public libraries?
  3. The ALA infographic included with the article notes that 12% of challenges to remove books came from political/religious organizations. In our current political and social climate, what can we all do to push back against censorship like this?

Did you know?

The American Library Association clearly states:

     “The American Library Association stringently and unequivocally maintains that libraries and
      librarians have an obligation to resist efforts that systematically exclude materials dealing with any
      subject matter, including sex, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.”  

It also has a standing Rainbow Roundtable, has offered the Stonewall Book Award since 1971, and releases the ALA Rainbow Booklist every year!