A worrying trend has emerged, as nearly half of the most-banned books for this year have LGBT themes.
We’ve learned thanks to Banned Books Week, which aims to challenge censorship in both schools and libraries in America by raising the profile of books that have been frequently complained about and removed from collections.
The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) also receives reports from the media, plus schools and libraries on attempts to ban literature in communities across the US.
The list of most-banned books for 2016 contains the sadly familiar collection of LGBT-related books that have been objected to by discriminatory people.
Coming in at number three on the most-banned list is I am Jazz, the recounting of trans author Jazz Jennings’ experiences as a transgender kid. We also have Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin at number four, another book which is another one featuring the experiences of young transgender people.
There’s also Fun Home by Alison Bechdel at number seven, which has earned it’s spot here due to it’s “graphic images” of her early experiences with women.
According to the ALA, this list is but a sampling of the requests that they see all the time.
“This list is a snapshot of the reports we receive every day. Our goal is not to focus on the numbers, but to educate the community that censorship is still a very serious problem. Even with all of our efforts to follow up and provide support, surveys indicate that up to 85% of book challenges receive no media attention and remain unreported.”
You can find the full list below.
Looking for Alaska, by John Green
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”).
I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”).
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).
The Holy Bible
Reasons: Religious viewpoint.
Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”).
Habibi, by Craig Thompson
Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.
Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”).
The concerns of censorship are a pretty large concern, especially in the last few years’ themes of censoring in the name of not causing offense, and to see so many LGBT positive books in the most-banned list is certainly disheartening.
What are you thoughts on this list?