Loudoun County, Virginia, schools will remove a controversial book called “Gender Queer: A Memoir” from library shelves, claiming its color illustrations were inappropriate.
The Washington Post reported that the “graphic novel, written by Maia Kobabe and published in 2019, is about a young person’s struggle with gender identity and chronicles, in comic book-style drawings, the twists and turns of the author’s journey to adulthood.”
Loudoun County schools superintendent Scott A. Ziegler asked for a review of the book after parents questions its content, schools spokesman Wayde Byard told the Post on Friday.
A “committee recommended (on a split vote) to retain the book in the high school library collection [but] the superintendent decided to remove the book from circulation,” Byard told the Post in a written statement. The decision to keep the book was appealed, Byard said, writing that “the School Board appeal committee met [Thursday] evening and voted 3-0 to uphold the superintendent’s decision.”
Ziegler released a statement regarding the decision to remove the book.
“I read every book that is submitted for my review in its entirety. I am not generally in favor of removing books from the library. I believe our students need to see themselves reflected in the literature available to them,” he said.
“The pictorial depictions in this book ran counter to what is appropriate in school,” he added.
The move in Loudoun County follows the actions of Fairfax County, Virginia, which previously removed “Gender Queer” and another book from its school libraries before reinstating them last November. The Daily Wire previously reviewed “Gender Queer,” writing:
… [I]t shows a nonbinary teenager and young adult who says her “sexual fantasies involved two male partners” and whose sister tells her to “taste yourself,” leading her to put what she calls “vagina slime” on her finger. In her journey of self-discovery, Maia visits the headquarters of a porn company that produced films called “Public Disgrace,” “Bound in Public,” and “Hardcore Gangbangs.” …
As a young adult, Maia wears boys’ cartoon underwear and wants the “high-fantasy-gay-wizard-prince look of my dreams.” After dating a sex shop owner for two months, Maia’s partner says, “I got a new strap-on harness today. I can’t wait to put it on you it [sic] will fit my favorite dildo perfectly.” When the partner attaches the sex toy and performs oral sex on it, Maia complains that “I can’t feel anything.”
Maia gets a job as a librarian and starts teaching classes to girls between the ages of 11 and 14. “I wonder if any of these kids are trans or nonbinary, but don’t have words for it yet?” the author says. “How would I help support a young person who came to me with the same feelings I have about gender? … if the kid hadn’t hit puberty yet, I’d say try hormone blockers.”
The Daily Wire also reported that the book’s author, Maia Kobabe, “defended the book in an error-filled op-ed in The Washington Post, falsely claiming that the book had been banned by FCPS September 23 and that someone had been arrested at the school board meeting, and claiming the opposition was because of its ‘queer’ nature rather than the explicit drawings of sex.”