feature image photo by Daniel Boczarski / Stringer via Getty Images
This is a books-heavy iteration of this column, so I wanted to share I just started reading Family Meal by Bryan Washington and quite literally cannot put it down!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Comes out October 10, and you can preorder it now 📣
Queer as in F*ck You
Banned Books Week starts in a few days, so let’s look at some recent news stories and features about LGBTQ book bans, censorship, etc. from the past week.
Here are news stories about the people and movements leading the nation’s increasing book bans:
- These Are the Far Right-Groups Leading the Book Ban Explosion: “Despite the fact that the majority of Americans do not support book bans, they have been skyrocketing in the U.S., with a new report from PEN America recording a 33% year-over-year increase in book bans in American public school classrooms and libraries.”
- Another look at PEN America’s latest findings (which are also summarized in infographic form below): Want to Know How Far-Reaching the Right-Wing Movement Against Free Expression in Schools Is?
- She Challenges One School Book a Week. She Says She’ll Never Stop. “The majority of all school book challenges in the United States came from just 11 people. Meet Jennifer Petersen.”
- Florida School District Pulls Queer Books: “These Characters and Themes Cannot Exist”
- The unfortunate unofficial capital of book banning is in Clay County, Florida, which is part of the greater Jacksonville area. Clay County Leads the Nation in Banned Books. It May Ban Thousands More.
- Appeals Court Gives Texas Book Ban Law The Green Light. “A Trump-appointed judge previously ruled that Texas’ new law is probably unconstitutional. An appeals court says it can go ahead.
And here are the news stories and features about resistance and who’s fighting the bans:
- How Libraries Are Fighting Book Banning. This opens with a simple but evocative quote issued by the American Library Association in 1953 that could just as easily have been said today: “The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack.”
- Brooklyn Public Library’s Leigh Hurwitz on Helping Young People Resist Censorship.
- ‘Reading Is Resistance’: Students and Parents Take on DeSantis’s Book Bans.
- Florida Churches, Groups Step Up To Teach Black History and Banned Books.
Unrelated to books, but here’s a small yet cool thing happening in Florida: Gainesville, Florida Is Giving Trans Punk Legend Laura Jane Grace a Key to the City.
And let’s delve into some queer history as well: One Magazine Secretly Built Community in the ’50s. Now It’s Celebrated in L.A.’s Queer History Festival.
Saw This, Thought of You
Hot Strike Summer is now officially Fair Wage Fight Fall: What’s at Stake in the UAW Strike.
One More Thing
It’s soup season.