Those attempting to ban books in schools and public libraries are specifically targeting books that include LGBTQ+ themes and characters. Many believe this is an attempt to prevent young people from forming queer identity in the first place and/or forcing them to stay in the closest. This episode of Something To Talk About Live, we will be discussing Samantha Riedel’s article in them. “Queer Book Bans Aren't About Books At All” with author and trans trailblazer Kate Bornstein.
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, March 3. Did you miss it? You can still watch it here!
Author: Samantha Riedel
Questions for Discussion:
- What, if anything, did you learn in school about the destruction of the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft by Nazis in 1933? Do you think that referring to that event in this article about book-banning is accurate? Why or why not?
- The author of this article asserts that those attempting to ban books often use the word “pornography” to describe “any display of queer desire or joy.” Do you agree with that assessment? Why or why not? Do you find that people are less comfortable with positive portrayals of LGBTQ+ people than they are stories about the tragedies and adversity the community often faces?
- What are some of the ways you might be able to persuade someone that what the author claims is true: This current movement isn’t about banning books, but rather shielding youth from any and all conversations about identity and how it relates to them. (And if you don’t agree with this argument, can you explain why?)
Bonus read: Check out “What Students Are Saying About Banning Books From School Libraries” which appeared in the New York Times, by The Learning Network and “How a Queer Christian Student Helped Defeat a Proposed Book Ban” which appeared in Sojourners by Quinn Clark.
About Our Guests:
Kate Bornstein, Author and Trans Trailblazer
Ways to Watch: