Bleats

Banning An LGBT Kids' Book Won't Stop Them From Learning About Love

Watch the sales of it skyrocket.

Kids are way smarter than we give them credit for. They understand the effects of climate change, they’re playful enough to think and explore life without boundaries, and most importantly, they recognise that love is love – and banning an LGBT kids’ book isn’t ever going to change that.

Credit: Amazon/Bonnier AB

The Guardian reports that earlier this week, the kid’s picture book Prince & Knight was pulled from Upshur County public library in West Virginia after local Pastor Josh Layfield called it “a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children, especially boys, into the LGBQTA lifestyle.” 

Cue the eye roll. 

According to Booktopia, Prince & Knight is a modern fairytale in which “a noble prince and a brave knight come together to defeat a terrible monster and in the process find true love in a most unexpected place.”

After Pastor Layfield claimed the book was an “intentional leading of children into sin,” the National Coalition Against Censorship, the American Library Association Office of Intellectual Freedom and West Virginia Library Association hit back in a letter to board members.

“While we firmly believe that parents know their children best and should guide their children’s reading, one parent’s – or community member’s – belief that a book is inappropriate for their family should not be grounds for restricting that title when the book may be a treasured favourite for other children and other families,” they wrote.

GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis added, “Inclusive children’s books do not ‘indoctrinate’ but do allow LGBTQ families and their children the chance to see themselves reflected in the world.”

Even the book’s author, Daniel Haack, weighed in, stating, “Prince & Knight is meant to be a fun little adventure story that also just happens to better reflect the reality of millions of families not seen in other children’s stories.”

The Guardian states that Upshur library will hold a review this week to decide whether Prince & Knight should stay withdrawn from shelves, or return. It sounds like there are a lot of people, including myself, hoping for the latter – telling LGBTQIA+ stories are just as important as telling heterosexual ones in shaping children’s understanding of the world around them. 

Another comforting thought that comes from this story is the Streisand Effect – the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicising the information more widely. 

Just sit back, relax and watch the sales of Haack’s book skyrocket now it’s been banned from Upshur library shelves.

Hey Karamo Brown, Here's A Reminder Of The Hell Sean Spicer Peddled

No makeover can cover up this mess.

Sean Spicer. He’s that guy who repeatedly lied to the public on behalf of his old mate Donald Trump, left the big white building and is now salsa dancing his ruffles onto American TV screens on Dancing With The Stars.

Yeah, people are hellbent on making fallen politicians cute.

Spicer has made a fair amount of enemies along the road, but he has one unlikely ally: Karamo Brown from Queer Eye’s Fab Five.

Brown, who also appears on Dancing With The Stars, told Access in August that “people would look at [Spicer and I] and think that we’re polar opposites.”

“But I’m a believer that if you can talk to someone and meet in the middle, you can learn about each other and help each other both grow.” Brown even called Spicer a “good guy, really sweet guy.” 

It’s not the first time Brown has defended the former White House Press Secretary. Just this week, the Queer Eye star told PEOPLE, “my goal coming into this was to introduce myself to people who have never seen Queer Eye, to let them know who I am…and also, my goal has always been to show how if you can show kindness and lead with love, things can change.”

“Day one I got backlash [for supporting Sean Spicer]” he said. “I started this show with people telling me, ‘You’re horrible, you’re crazy, you’re stupid.’ Because I showed someone who has a different political view than mine kindness.” 

It’s a romantic idea, to think that putting opposites together could encourage positive change, but unfortunately, it won’t erase the damage Sean Spicer has already done.

Let’s not forget that Spicer made a false claim just one day after Trump’s inauguration and two days before his first official press conference. Spicer claimed the ceremony had drawn “the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period – both in person and around the globe,” which was later found to be complete BS.

This is, of course, where Kellyanne Conway’s infamous “alternative facts” phrase came from. 

Just three months later, in a statement referencing the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack, Spicer said: “You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.” Not only were his comments criticised for denying the realities of the Holocaust, but he made them during Passover – only adding insult to injury. 

Perhaps it’s Sean Spicer’s, and more specifically, the Trump Administration’s stance on LGBTQ issues that makes Karamo Brown’s defence that much more hard to believe. Despite Trump’s promise at the 2016 Republican National Convention that he would “do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens,” Spicer has been part of an administration that according to American Civil Liberties Union rep Ian Thompson is “easily the most anti-LGBT administration in at least a generation.”

“They are hard at work trying to dismantle and erase every gain LGBT people have made since 2009,” Thompson told The Hill in 2017.

A member of an LGBT group shouts slogans as anti-US President Donald Trump placards are displayed during a rally south of Manila, 2017. Credit: TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images

In the first year of his presidency, the Trump administration tried to reinstate a ban on transgender people in the military, nominated multiple people to courts who have anti-LGBTQ records, directed federal lawyers to take the anti-LGBTQ side in court cases and even refused to recognise Pride Month, according to Vox

Karamo Brown’s intentions are good, but it’s important to acknowledge the reality of the situation – that Sean Spicer hasn’t had the LGBTQ community’s best interests at heart. It’s harsh, but it’s the truth.

Pop-up Channel

Follow Us