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LGBTQ Studies

Resources for those interested in LGBTQ Studies

According to the American Library Association, 47% of titles targeted for censorship in 2023 represent the voices and lived experiences of LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC individuals.

Gender Queer number one banned book in 2003
All Boys Aren't Blue number two banned book in 2003
This Book is Gay number three banned book in 2023
Perks of Being a Wallflower number four banned book in 2023
Flamer number five banned book in 2023
Tricks tied for seventh and eighth most banned book in 2023
Let's Talk About It ninth most banned book in 2023

What's intellectual freedom and censorship?

Intellectual freedom is the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. It provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause or movement may be explored.

Censorship is limiting or removing access to words, images, or ideas. The decision to restrict or deny access is made by a governing authority. This could be a person, group, or organization/business. Censorship by the government is illegal (American Library Association.)

What's the difference between a banned book and a challenged book?

A ban is the removal of materials from a library based on the objections of a person or group.

A challenge is an attempt to have a library resource removed, or access to it restricted, based on the objections of a person or group (American Library Association.)

What's "Don't Say Gay"?

"Don't Say Gay" is the nickname critics have given the Parental Rights in Education Act passed in Florida. Many other states, including Texas, are using the Florida law as a template to pass similar restrictions on gender identity and sexual orientation instructions in K-12 classrooms (with the exclusion of health class, which parents can opt out of on behalf of their children.) This law has also had an impact on book challenges across the nation.

How does this impact LBGTQ+ kids and families?
  • “LGBTQ+ youth without access to those stories or inclusive curriculum experience higher percentages of feeling unsafe, higher instances of bullying, lower GPAs, and more missed days“ (Lambda Legal.)  
  • “When sexual orientation and gender identity are marginalized, young people can feel shamed and suppress their identities in ways that harm their mental and physical health” (New York Times.)

  • “Among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth, the risk of attempting suicide was 20% greater in unsupportive environments compared to supportive environments” (National Library of Medicine.)

What's going on in Texas?

  • In 2023 Texas was #1 in attempts to restrict access to books and second only to Florida in book challenges. 
  • In 2023 Texas lawmakers passed HB 900, known as the Restricting Explicit and Adult-Designated Educational Resources (READER) Act. This law requires book sellers to rate library materials that are "sexually explicit," citing Pico v. Board of Education, 457 U.S. 853 (1982) as reference, which included LGBTQ+ content as "pervasively vulgar or educationally unsuitable."
  • Many Texas librarians have been threatened and harassed related to materials either in, or perceived to be in, their collections (see news story below).

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