• Carmen Milligan

Banned Books Week: Day 4

The more we talk about censorship, the more we can spread the notion that every individual has a right to decide for themselves what to read and what not to read. Since the hot topic this year is LGBTQ+ issues, I have some thoughts on that.

I live in the deep south, where there are more churches than banks, and that's saying a lot. There is the pervasive notion that everyone is an Evangelical Christian, and if you're not, you're going to hell. If you don't believe exactly as they believe, you are wrong. If you don't live as they live, you are wrong. If you don't act like they act, you are wrong.

Listen, growing up is hard enough. To grow up in any way "different" from what you perceive to be everyone else can be emotionally dismantling. On top of that, to hear that you are "not normal" from someone who should support and love you is just downright cruel. It is vital for young people to see themselves on television, in movies, and in books. Vital to their mental health, self-esteem, and hope for a happy future.

Part of Banned Books Week is bringing to the forefront that we are all, everyone of us, different. And being different is not only okay, it is extraordinary. To remove material that a group dislikes hurts us all. To keep anyone from seeing themselves reflected in a positive way, whether it's in books, magazines, graphic novels, nonfiction, music, or movies is dictatorial, and ignorant.

Goodreads has a good list of books that will reflect the LGBTQ+ community, found here.

Read, People! Read!!

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