Read books, don’t ban them.
Over the past two years, there has been a rash of attempted book bans in the United States. The idea that children are being “groomed” to become LGBTQ through schools and libraries has become de rigueur among conservatives. So politicians have been trying to make names for themselves by supporting banning books with LGBTQ themes from schools and libraries .
Do they think that by removing a book from a library it’ll prevent a child from being exposed to LGBTQ people?
Greenville, South Carolina, County Councilman Joe Dill, who recently lost the Republican primary and will be losing his seat, proposed a resolution that would ban books “promoting sexuality” in the children’s sections of public libraries.
The Greenville Republican Party had recently asked the council to remove the books “Daddy & Dada” about a girl and her two dads, “Teo’s Tutu” about a boy who does ballet and “Pride Puppy” about a dog at a pride parade. What's interesting is that the books don’t promote sexuality, they simply have gay characters. The books weren't telling kids to be LGBTQ, they were merely showing that these people exist.
\u201cWe don't get a ton of good anti-censorship news these days, but parents and librarians in South Carolina have succeeded in defeating a measure that would have banned children's books on Pride, Feminism and LGBTQ issues in the Greenville Public Library. https://t.co/ZayxjjqgzB\u201d— Mike Stabile (@Mike Stabile) 1667496504
Further, reading a book is about as likely to turn a heterosexual person gay as it is to turn a gay person straight. Not very likely. However, the benefits of someone being able to see themselves represented in media can play a big part in self-acceptance, which is very important given the high suicide rates among LGBTQ youth.
The Greenville County Council held a public debate featuring 10 speakers, five for the ban and five against, and the speeches were passionate.
Susan Ward, who has a gay son and is a member of PFLAG, discussed the importance of representation in books. “All of us worry about our children. I worry because my child has been subjected to hate and discrimination,” she said according to LGBTQ Nation.
\u201cI'm in South Carolina for work and there is a resolution to ban books about lgbtq people from the public library. So, of course, I put on a protect trans kids shirt and joined a bunch of folks for the meeting.\u201d— Bekah Saxon (@Bekah Saxon) 1667340644
“Every student—no matter their race, background, sexual orientation, or gender identity—deserves to feel safe and welcomed in schools, libraries, and bookstores alike. They deserve to read books and see themselves represented,” Carolyn Caldwell, president of Upstate Pride SC, said according to The State.
Barbara Evans, who supports the ban, made a speech where she conflated the idea of representation with promotion. “I can’t even believe we’re having this conversation. Of course, we shouldn’t have any sexual material in our children’s library,” she said. But is showing that a girl has two dads sexual? By that logic seeing the parents on “The Brady Bunch” being together is sexual as well.
At the end of the debate, the council voted 9 to 3 against discussing the proposed resolution. Many of those on the council didn’t believe they should interfere with how the library operates.
“If we pass this, we’re directing them and they have to do this according to us,” Chairman Willis Meadows said, according to The Post and Courier. Next, the issue will be taken up by the library system’s board of trustees. Let’s hope they have the same common sense.