The books have also been pulled from school districts in Florida and Oregon 


This week, Alice Oseman’s LGBTQIA graphic novel series, Heartstopper, was pulled from the shelves of a public library in Mississippi. Earlier this year, the books were banned by school districts in Florida and Oregon, and the issue is currently being debated in Iowa.

Heartstopper was moved from the teen section to the adult section of Columbia-Marion County public library after concerned parents complained that the books contained “pornographic” content. It is worth noting that the Heartstopper series does not contain any explicitly sexual material. One parent accused “homosexuals” of using Heartstopper “to recruit your kid, my kid and grandkid to get into that lifestyle.” 

The Florida Freedom to Read Project disputes the idea that queer novels are ‘recruiting’ children into ‘the homosexual lifestyle’, instead pointing out that “Indoctrination happens when you remove access to ideas”.

This is just the latest in an ongoing attack from right-wing lawmakers determined to erode LGBTQIA rights. In July 2022, Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, signed the “Parental Rights in Education” or ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill preventing teachers from discussing “sexual orientation or gender identity” with their students. 

Other books being targeted by the bans include queer novels This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson, Pink Is For Boys by Robb Pearlman, All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson and Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe. The ban also targets novels dealing with issues of gender equality and race such as The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.

Posting on her Instagram story earlier this year, Oseman spoke out against the bans, saying:

“Racism, homophobia and transphobia are thriving under the guise of ‘concern for children’. This is not just a US issue either, we’re seeing the exact same ‘concern’ here in the UK.”


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