What Happens When Kids Can’t Access Information About Gender and Sexuality at the Library?
Keeping curated materials on the shelves is vital for curious young people.
Libraries have always been a place where kids with questions can come to find answers about whatever’s on their minds, whether they’re looking to learn something new or find the solution to deep, personal issues in their lives. Unfortunately, with book bans on the rise more than ever, children are losing access to books and other valuable resources that could give them the answers they need. So, what happens when they lose access to information about complex issues like gender and sexuality? Let’s take a look.
Creates Feelings of Isolation
Was there ever a time in your childhood when you thought you were the only one who experienced something, only to find out it was completely normal a few years later? Usually, it’s over something relatively minor that we can all laugh about later on, but for many closeted kids, it’s a very lonely and isolating reality.
Aside from providing useful information on gender and sexuality, the books that are being targeted by bans carry a far more important message to these kids: There’s nothing wrong with them, and they aren’t alone in their experiences. This is absolutely vital for promoting better mental health for LGBTQ+ youth and reducing the stigmas associated with the topics of gender and sexuality.
Keeps Communities from Forming
In a similar vein, a lack of access to information on gender and sexuality can prevent closeted kids from forming connections with each other, which only further serves to compound the sense of isolation that many of them feel. As people, we have an intrinsic need for community, not just with anyone, but with people who see, think of, and experience the world as we do.
By showing closeted kids they aren’t alone, libraries with books on gender and sexuality allow those kids to form a sense of community, in turn empowering them to be more open with their identity and further reducing the stigmas surrounding the matter.
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A Lack of Reliable Information
Finally, there’s the fact that if kids can’t go to the library for information, they’ll go to the internet. While the internet can be an invaluable resource for those kids, it’s also extremely prone to misinformation. A well-stocked library is full of vetted resources, ensuring that learning kids will only find accurate, verifiable information on gender and sexuality.
If you’d like to learn more about book bans, their effects, and how to fight them, visit our blog at EveryLibrary so you can always stay informed!
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