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Across the country, books by LGBTQ+ authors and about the experiences of LGBTQ+ people are being protested and removed from school and public libraries. This episode of Something To Talk About Live, we will be discussing Nadra Nittle’s article in the 19th, “Librarians are resisting censorship of children’s books by LGBTQ+ and Black authors” with Malinda Lo, author of Last Night at the Telegraph Club, Maia Kobabe, author of Gender Queer: A Memoir, and Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Something to Talk About Live is a series designed by PFLAG National’s Straight for Equality program to create conversation about LGBTQ+ issues. Each week we offer an article on LGBTQ+ topics and suggest a few questions you can use to lead a discussion with your ERG, community group, or PFLAG chapter.

We hosted a conversation about this article as a part of PFLAG Connects and Something to Talk About Live on Thursday, December 9. Did you miss it? You can still watch it here

Article: Librarians are resisting censorship of children’s books by LGBTQ+ and Black authors

Source: The 19th

Author: Nadra Nittle

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Jill Bellomy, the chair for the Texas Association of School Librarians is quoted in the article, saying:

    “We completely understand that a parent would have the right to decide what their child reads. But our problem always is when a parent decides that they think they need to decide what’s best for every child in that school or that district. So, when we start seeing this restricting of access to material, it’s very concerning."

    Based on your personal experience, do you agree with that assessment? Do you have any concerns that you would add?

  2. The article mentions that the movement to ban books has led some librarians to leave, or consider leaving, their positions in schools and public libraries. What impact do you think that will have both short- and long-term? What do you think the impact of being forced to follow bans will have on perceptions of libraries themselves?

  3. What can people opposed to these kinds of book bans and censorship do to demonstrate support for diverse and inclusive library collections? Is there anything people can do to ensure that those who don’t see themselves reflected in their school or public library collections have access to titles that have been banned if they need them? 

Bonus read: Check out Conservatives Are Targeting This Tame, Queer Graphic Novel as "Porn" and A White Woman Literally Called the Cops on a Book About Black Queerness, which both appeared in them. in November, by Samantha Riedel.

About Our Guests:

Malinda Lo, author of Last Night at the Telegraph Club

Maia Kobabe, author of Gender Queer: A Memoir

Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom

Ways to Watch:

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