It’s a dubious honor to be the author/editor of a banned book. My first book, Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology (Alyson, 2000), was banned by the Texas Youth Commission in 2004. According to TYC the book is “inconsistent with the educational goals of the state.” Makes you wonder what these goals are when a book written to break the isolation many young people feel is considered too dangerous.
Contributor Margot Kelley Rodriguez writes in the book’s introduction:
As artists, we come together in this book to share ourselves with each other and with you….Included here are stories of loss (how religion can force a grandmother to turn her back on her granddaughter), stories of rage (against our parents, against hunger, against the state of things), and stories of love (about the awesome power of desire, about the beauty of touch). Throughout these testimonials runs a thread of hope; hope in love, hope that by writing this down we can help some other queer kid out there. We know the answer to June Jordan’s question, “Where Is the Love?” The answer is us. “We are the ones we have been waiting for.”
We are still the ones. Young and old.
The ACLU of Texas reported on this and other removals in their invaluable annual edition of Free People Read Freely.