MAINE: Speak Up To Protect LGBTQ+ Graphic Novels From Ban Today

September 17, 2018
By

LGBTQME

 

CBLDF has learned of an attempt to ban several books, including the LGBTQ themed graphic novels My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness by Nagata Kabi and Queer: A Graphic History by Meg John-Barker and Julia Scheele from the Rumford Public Library in Maine. Locals supporting the books have expressed an urgent call to Maine residents in the Rumford area to speak up in support of keeping these books in the library ahead of a library board meeting today at 2:30 PM Eastern Time.

 

Three local church leaders objected to these and other books within a Banned Books Week display. The challenge specifically targets the Nagata Kabi manga as “immodest and inappropriate for a public setting” on the basis of its cover alone. The letter also states, “A number of other books in the display were promoting homosexuality, such as the book Two Boys Kissing and others.” According to a Facebook post by local resident Katrina Ray-Saulis, one of the letter’s signers “has verbally expressed that he would like to pursue the destruction of all books regarding homosexuality in the library.”

 

Local residents are being called upon to “let the Rumford Public Library know you support this display, you support your LGBT+ community members, and consider attending the meeting on Monday.”

 

CBLDF is following this story closely and supports efforts to protect access to these valuable books. We encourage patrons in the Rumford area to please consider voicing their support in a brief, respectful email to the library’s director [tbutler at rumford dot lib dot me dot us], and for non-residents to please share this story with patrons in the Rumford area who may have an interest in voicing their support or attending the meeting.

 

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My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness by Nagata Kabi has achieved wide acclaim in the United States and its native Japan. Publishers Weekly and Amazon named the book as one of the best comics of 2018. Teen Vogue named the book to their list of “The Best Queer Books to Celebrate Pride.” It has received praise from outlets including Bookish, The Mary Sue, The Beat, Natalie, The Comics Journal, and Teen Vogue. The book is nominated in the Best Manga category in the Harvey Awards, coming up next month.

Charles Brownstein is the Executive Director of Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. His work at CBLDF includes the development of the organization’s program, fundraising, and administrative work. Beyond CBLDF he is prolific and sought out writer, lecturer, and curator whose work has reached audiences all over the world. His publications include Eisner/Miller, and he has been featured in documentaries including Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics. Most recently, he co-curated The Art of March: A Civil Rights with John Lind.

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