Here is the latest list of queer books conservatives really DON’T want you to read

The American Library Association publishes a list each year of its “most challenged” books. These are the titles that they are most often asked to ban or restrict. The organization publishes its list to highlight the issue of censorship.

“The American Library Association condemns censorship and works to defend each person’s right to read under the First Amendment and to ensure free access to information,” it said in a press statement.

It goes on to report a surge in requests to remove books from libraries across the US.

“ALA documented 4,240 unique book titles targeted for censorship in 2023—a 65% surge over 2022 numbers—as well as 1,247 demands to censor library books, materials, and resources.

“Pressure groups focused on public libraries in addition to targeting school libraries. The number of titles targeted for censorship at public libraries increased by 92% over the previous year, accounting for about 46% of all book challenges in 2023.”

Unsurprisingly, the list typically includes several queer-oriented titles.

Gender Queer

The ALA published its latest list this week. It covers 2023 and includes several titles that have appeared on previous lists.

It is once again topped by Maia Kobabe´s award-winning graphic memoir, Gender Queer. This is the third straight year Kobabe’s book has topped the list.

The book received a boost in publicity last fall when Louisiana Senator John Kennedy decided to read out extracts during a Senate Judiciary Hearing.

Kobaba responded by saying, “Gender Queer is a comic, and in full color, but that doesn’t mean it’s for children. I originally wrote it for my parents, and then for older teens who were already asking these questions about themselves. I don’t recommend this book for kids!”

The 2023 top ten is as follows.

1. Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe

Maia Kobabe and 'Gender Queer'
Maia Kobabe and ‘Gender Queer’ (Photo: Chelsea Kurnick)

Published in 2019 and winner of the Alex Award from the American Library Association for being of special interest to teens.

2. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

Journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores their childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia.

3. This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson

A candid, coming-out manual for those with questions about sexuality and gender identity, by acclaimed trans author Juno Dawson.

4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

A coming of age novel about Charlie, a shy and introspective freshman in high school. It’s been content some claim is too sexually explicit and queer-oriented for younger readers.

5. Flamer by Mike Curato

Aiden is at summer camp, between middle school and high school. “As he navigates friendships, deals with bullies, and spends time with Elias (a boy he can’t stop thinking about), he finds himself on a path of self-discovery and acceptance.”

6. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison’s haunting first novel was first published in 1970. It centers on an 11-year-old Black girl who dreams of having blue eyes. It’s been challenged for its sexual and exploring issues of equity and diversity.

7/8. (tie) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

High school loners Greg and Earl bond over a mutual love of filmmaking. They are drawn into a project to make a film about a school friend dying of cancer. Published in 2012, some people have challenged libraries over the book’s “sexual content and profanity.”

7/8. (tie) Tricks by Ellen Hopkins

Tricks is a young adult verse novel by Ellen Hopkins, released in August 2009. It contains sexual content and queer themes.

9. Let’s Talk About It: The Teen’s Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan

Says exactly what it says on the cover. It has upset some folks who don’t want teenagers learning about sex or queer stuff

10. Sold by Patricia McCormick

A young adult novel about a 13-year-old Nepalese girl who takes a job as a maid in the city, only to discover she has been sold into the sex slave trade in India. It’s been challenged for sexually explicit content.

If you want to read any of these titles but have trouble finding them in a local library, you might want to check out the Queer Liberation Library (QLL, pronounced “quill”) online. contains hundreds of LGBTQ+ titles in ebook and audiobook form, including George M Johnson’s All Boys Aren’t Blue and Maia Kobabe’s Gender Queer.

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