Daily Briefs
1 min

Other worlds, other voices

At the end of Banned Books Week we look at why reading is amazing and subversive

Books have an extraordinary power to change minds, and that power has been terrorizing the close-minded for as long as humans have been writing them.

This past week was Banned Books Week, a fantastic time to enjoy the most seditious, subversive, sexy or critical books that certain people have attempted, but failed, to surpress.

The Washington Post published a fantastic list of books challenged since the year 2000, documented by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. It is simply astounding to see how, time and time again, works both new and old, from classics to exciting new reads, face surpression; it’s no surprise that a number of those books have LGBT themes.

Another great reflection on reading and “Why Gay Characters Matter” was published on Huffington Post, by librarian and ALA assistant director Kristin Pekoll:

"I want books with every single perspective and character jammed onto the shelves of libraries. I want every single different kind of kid — deaf, left-handed or gay — to find themselves staring back from the pages of a book,” Pekoll says.

The stories we consume are really important — in fact, it’s been proven that children who read (for example . . . oh . . . say . . . Harry Potter) are more empathetic to marginalized people. If you want to look for something a little more on the fantasy or sci-fi side of queer and trans literature there are lots of books you can look for.