Ah, the American library. A place where anyone seeking the pleasure of reading can go to gain the wisdom, escapism, and knowledge that books have to offer. Unless those books are queer in any way, shape or form!
The American Library Association recently revealed the top 11 most banned and challenged books of 2018, considered too controversial for library shelves. These are not books which the libraries themselves sought to ban, but rather books that people asked the libraries to take out of circulation for their content. Of the 11 books on the list, 6 of them were challenged or banned because they contained LGBTQ+ content.
The number one most banned book of 2018 was George by Alex Gino, which was banned because it's a story about a young transgender girl. It was also banned because it is believed "to encourage children to clear browser history and change their bodies using hormones."
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, an LGBTQ+-themed children's book mocking an actual children's book written by Mike Pence's daughter and illustrated by his wife, Karen Pence, was also banned. Other books challenged for LGBTQ+ content include Drama by Raina Telgemeier, This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman and Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan. One book in the Captain Underpants series was also challenged for featuring a same-sex relationship.
There were 347 challenges logged in the United States this year, with 483 books in all challenged for their content.
Drama and George both appeared on last year's list as well, though George was at #6 last year. That's right, America, the book your country challenged the *most* was a book about a young transgender child being comfortable in her own skin.