Friday, July 17, 2015

Good News Friday: Texas Librarian Stops The Banning Of LGBT-Themed Books

In  Hood County Texas, even after that SCOTUS marriage equality ruling, a same-sex couple had a hard time getting married because the not-so-good people of that county don’t like anything gay … even books.

In recent weeks, they’ve fought against same-sex marriage — until  County Clerk Katie Lang found herself being sued for discrimination — and so the fight against All Things Gay shifted to the library, and two books — “My Princess Boy,” and “This Day in June” — that some residents want removed because of The Gay.

It all started when a little boy picked up “This Day In June” — a picture book about Pride, and acceptance — from a shelf. And because of that, his mother, Melanie Graft, says she’s been “forced into this discussion … conversations which I would have preferred to have in a few years.”

So, it’s really about her son asking questions that she’s ill-prepared to answer and so no one, no one, should be allowed to read those books.

Luckily, for equality-minded folks, not everyone in Hood County is a narrow-minded, bigoted, homophobic, hateful tool, and those people have a champion in their midst: librarian Courtney Kincaid who is resisting the efforts to ban the books.

After Melanie Graft got all hot’n’bothered by The Gay Books — in a building filled with books — Kincaid referred the matter to the Library Advisory Board, which voted to keep the books.
And that spurred on one Mel Birdwell, left, wife of anti-gay GOP state Senator Brian Birdwell, to begin an email blast:
“We as Christians must begin to take a stand on these issues such as gay marriage and the indoctrination of LGBT acceptance in our children’s lives.”
How Christ-like to fight against acceptance. How lovely to want to teach children about intolerance.

After Birdwell’s bigot-mail, the County Commission decided to reconsider the board’s decision. More than 200 people packed the meeting and the crowd seemed evenly split on whether to keep the books.

Dave Eagle said the book about the boy who wants to dress like a princess is actually about “transvestic behavior.” He says the books can stay, but should be moved to the adult section because “as adults we have a duty to protect children’s innocence.”

Seriously? A story about a boy who wants to dress like a princess will, what, make your son a drag queen? Following that logic, “The Wizard of Oz” might make a child run into a tornado so they can take a trip to the Emerald City. “The Jungle Book”? Kids would be stowing away on ships bound for Africa.

Give the kids a break; most are smarter than their parents and know that a story is a story and not a how-to book on dressing like a princess … unless they want to dress like a princess, and then they might not feel so alone which is a good thing.

After the meeting, attorneys for the County Commission pointed out that banning the books amounts to illegal censorship, so it was decided both books would stay. Courtney Kincaid, right, kept “My Boy Princess” in the children’s area, while “This Day In June” was sent to adult non-fiction.
“It’s adult issues, of course. But what children would probably get out of this is a pretty book, pretty illustrations, and people just being accepted. And appreciated and not bullied. We have lesbians and gays in the community and they deserve to have items in the collection for themselves or for their families.” — Courtney Kincaid
Band Courtney Kincaid had a very simple message for the parents who don’t like the idea of gay-related books in the library:
“Don’t check it out.”
‘Nuff said.
Texas Observor


the dogs' mother said...

(I really want to run away to Hogwarts...)
Nice to hear good news out of Texas :-)

Professor Chaos said...

Librarians are awesome.

But to be fair, after I read Charlotte's Web, I became for a short time a talking spider who spun words into her webs.

Helen Lashbrook said...

Children have to be taught to hate; why not teach tolerance instead?