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Banned Book Resources

As an LGBTQ+* literary organization and as a community, we find ourselves targeted. Again. This time we are among a group of targets in need of silencing, according to a not-insignificant movement that has determined that the stories, histories, and experiences of racially and ethnically marginalized peoples in the U.S. amount to nothing more than some warped definition of “critical race theory” (CRT). The LGBTQ+ community has been reduced and codified as “predatory.” And this movement has declared that children must be protected from exposure to any of these groups. The banning of access to literature by or featuring BIPOC** and LGBTQ+ people has become one of the more popular means by which they can achieve their ends. This is a violation of our freedom of speech. 

These attacks are rooted in bigotry and are transparent attempts at erasure for reasons based in hatred. It’s hard to know where to begin in combating messaging or legislation that demands that LGBTQ+ people go back into hiding, that we cease any contribution to culture, that we stop speaking to children in ways that affirm their individuality and their place in the world. 

Here, we have compiled a list of resources from organizations following and responding to the current book banning crisis. Whether you are a reader, author, student, librarian, educator, or advocate, we hope you will find in these tools a way to navigate conversations and coordinate actions in defense of works by marginalized creators. If these prejudicial instigators of book banning THINK they have the power to attack our civil liberties, then we will RESIST.

*Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, and all emerging identities

**Black, Indigenous, and People of Color

What’s the difference between a book ban and a challenge?

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.  A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others.  Due to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, students and other concerned citizens, most challenges are unsuccessful and most materials are retained in the school curriculum or library collection.

What is book censorship?

Book banning, a form of censorship, occurs when private individuals, government officials, or organizations remove books from libraries, school reading lists, or bookstore shelves because they object to their content, ideas, or themes. Those advocating a ban complain typically that the book in question contains graphic violence, expresses disrespect for parents and family, is sexually explicit, exalts evil, lacks literary merit, is unsuitable for a particular age group, or includes offensive language.

Click on the topic to view resources for each dropdown menu.

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