(Blogmensgo, gay blog September 28, 2016) The American Library Association (ALA) holds its traditional Banned Books Week from September 25 through October 1st, 2016. In the United States, books with gay, lesbian, bi- or transsexual references are commonly – if not systematically – censored in public and school libraries.
In a slightly critical but humorous way, the ALA has compiled an alphabetical list of 58 books that are frequently “challenged” (or censored) because certain people do not deal well with subjects such as LGBTQIA, gender, skin color, handicaps or ethnic, cultural and religious minorities.
Hints to such books typically come from parents of students, teachers, education institutions and authorities or even librarians. The censorship decision is usually taken by the direction of the institution in question.
The Top Ten of the most frequently censored books of 2015 confirms these motivations. There are at least two books on the list that make very clear references to homosexuality and clearly were censored for that very reason:
- Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin (no. 4)
- Two Boys Kissing , by David Levithan (no. 10)
On the Top Ten page, there are also some links to book censorship in the US, such as to a page with 97 great classics in English that have long been controversial (all written in the 20th century). In fact, these correspond to about 97% of all books that even Americans themselves typically consider masterpieces of English literature of the past century. 🙂