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Del Campo Roar

The Student News Site of Del Campo High School

Del Campo Roar

The Student News Site of Del Campo High School

Del Campo Roar

Gay students need gay books

With the rise of book bannings in the US gay kids are losing valuable opportunities to see themselves in media

There has been a significant increase in the banning of books across America. With these bannings, a large number of titles dealing with queer topics, or that just have a queer character, are being removed from libraries and bookstores. This censorship is taking books away from those who need it. 

While it is true that a small percentage of people actually oppose books, The Washington Post found that there are small groups of people challenging huge numbers of books per year. These people are dedicating far too much of their lives to being petty. It’s a horrific movement.

The reason commonly given when banning books is that the stories go against the beliefs the opposers hold. To put the personal beliefs of a small group of people into school districts, book stores, and legislation is enforcing a belief onto everyone. The banning of books in one’s household is a personal choice, to ban books for all is an overstep. 

Books are meant to represent the people found in real life. Taking away books with queer characters kills the normalization of these people’s existence. People who are queer are having relatable stories ripped away from them and people who sympathize, or want to learn of queer struggles, are losing one outlet to do so.  

The need to have queer representation in books is vital. When readers see themselves, and their struggles, in the stories they are reading it gives them a sense of belonging. This feeling of belonging is what saves lives. 

When I was young I knew something was off about me. Compared to my peers I didn’t seem to follow what we all had laid out for us. I couldn’t have told you what was different about me if it wasn’t for finding characters I related too. The first book I read with queer characters was Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi. I instantly connected to the two of the main characters, Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus, who were dating. Later in the book it is revealed that Sailor Uranus is somewhere on the trans spectrum. I couldn’t let these two go. 

The connection I felt with these two characters was unbreakable. I knew they easily represented me. Sailor Uranus was a lifeline to me as I struggled with my gender identity and to better understand myself. My love for these two characters didn’t end when I was finally able to understand myself better. I still hold them dear. 

Younger queer kids deserve the right to connect to characters in the way that I did. 

With the thousands of new books for kids to read we have a whole new range of diversity for kids indulging in. Every kid can find themselves in the characters they are reading about. This connection is a magical thing for the kid. 

I want younger queer kids than me to have the experience I did. I want queer kids to be able to see themselves in the books they read, on every page they turn. These kids deserve to grow up and be seen in books both fiction and nonfiction alike.

 I hope there is still room in this country for nine year olds to pick up a book and feel connected to the characters on the page. Like I was able to when I was nine with Sailor Uranus and sailor Neptune.

 Too strip kids of that right strips them of ways to see themselves. To be seen can be the biggest help for people. To understand themselves coming of age, it’s a beautiful thing. I don’t want to see this trend end due to the cries of bigots clinging to past notions. With big companies like Scholastic bending to their whims. The future looks bleak. 

I hope we can see a better day when queer literature is no longer persecuted. That I can see the day kids decades younger than me are going though the same journey I did, but with ten times more love and support than I could have dreamed of. 

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About the Contributor
Maxx Zander, Writer
Maxx Zander is a Junior at Del Campo in their first year on The DC Roar staff. They love writing with a passion, which lead them to become a part of the writing department. They love to write when they can, whatever genre it may be. When they graduate with the class of 2025, Maxx plans to study Children's Physiology and English Literature. They want to write books for young kids to enjoy and grow with, like they did with so many book series of their own.