LGBTQ+ content is most frequently targeted by identity censorship. ALA just revealed that 8 of the 10 most banned books of 2019 were challenged because they featured LGBTQ+ characters and themes. This National Library Week CBLDF is creating resources to do our part in fighting identity censorship.
You can join the fight against identity censorship by becoming a CBLDF member. In honor of ALA’s Library Week, for a limited time when you join CBLDF as a member you’ll receive a bonus set of CBLDF Don’t Ban Me pronoun pins. Let censors know that you can’t ban people for being who they are.
Comic book retailers everywhere can also join the fight against identity censorship. By providing access to LGBTQ+ stories and featuring them in your shop, you’re helping get these stories into the hands of people who need them. You can still accomplish this during the COVID-19 crisis. Here are some tips on how you can help combat identity censorship by highlighting LGBTQ+ comics remotely.
Spotlight LGBTQ+ Comics at Your Shop Remotely
Develop a Collection Spotlighting LGBTQ+ Comics in Your Online Store
Have you set up an awesome LGBTQ+ Spotlight display in your shop before? This is no different. Check through your online inventory and see which LGBTQ+ comics that you have in stock and would like to highlight. Add these books to an “LGBTQ+ Recommendations” Collection featured in your online store!
Don’t have an online store but want to get started? Check out our retailer resource Put Your Comic Shop Online, written by shop owner Django Bohren of The Comics Place.
No Website? No Problem! Create a Graphic or Video Spotlight for Your Social Media
Customers come to your shop because of your great recommendations. See what you have in stock or what you’re able to order. Come up with a Top 10 LGBTQ+ comics list filled with books you recommend to customers. You can create a cool graphic featuring the covers of books on your list and share it on your social media pages!
Another great way to hand-sell your picks to customers is to film a quick video of you talking them up. Share it on your pages! If you want to be able to interact with your customers while you’re talking LGBTQ+ comics, try streaming your video on Facebook Live.
Host an LGBTQ+ Remote Book Club
What better way to celebrate Library week than to host a book club for your customers? Pick a graphic novel that’s been targeted by identity censorship. Need some conversation starters? Check out CBLDF’s discussion guides. We have resources for books like Fun Home by Alison Bechdel and Raina Telgemeier’s Drama that can help get you started!
Check out CBLDF’s Going Remote Book Club resource for some tips on hosting an online book club. The retailer specific book club guide has some more tips on how to make a book club work for your business.
Organize and Online Talk with an LGBTQ+ Creator
Many local LGBTQ+ centers are also working remotely. They’re looking for ways to provide community in new ways. They’d most likely love to highlight events like an LGBTQ+ book club or talk featuring an LGBTQ+ creator to community members. See what you’re able to collaborate on.
Become a CBLDF Retail Member
Join CBLDF as a Retail Member today! Your membership fuels our fight against identity censorship.
When identity censorship arises CBLDF provides:
- Legal aid
- Opposition to censorship laws
- Expert support for book challenges
- Counseling to assist librarians and educators fighting challenges
- Training resources to prevent censorship
- Education tools to increase understanding and support for diverse comics
None of this work would be possible without your help!
Want more retailer resources? Check out our article on Remote Retailing Strategies! For the complete guide for comic book retailers, check out CBLDF Presents Selling Comics: A Guide to Retailing available for purchase at the CBLDF Rewards Zone.
Selling Comics is a practical guide to the nuts and bolts of modern comics retailing, with essays and “best practices” guidelines from some of the sharpest minds in the industry. Featuring articles on almost every aspect of comic retailing, including staging successful in-store events, training staff, and diversifying product lines, Selling Comics is a ground level guide to building, developing, and growing your shop.
Join CBLDF and share our resources with your community to help fight identity censorship. Use the hashtag #DontBanMe and spread the word that every voice should be heard no matter how the speaker identifies. Voice your support by checking out the CBLDF Don’t Ban Me collection on Teespring. Grab a t-shirt or a sticker and show that you’re willing to take a stand against identity censorship.