Today (6 Oct.) is the last day of Banned Books Week in the US. Since 1982, thousands of librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers have used the seven days to argue for open access to information. Even to those ideas and books that might be considered unpopular.
Unfortunately many of the works targeted over the years have LGBT content. As reported by the American Library Association between 1990 and 1999 children’s books ‘Daddy’s Roommate’ and ‘Heather Has Two Mommies’ were on the top ten list of challenged books.
The Huffington Post lists 16 books that have been challenged over the years because of gay content. A few of the ‘offenders’ will be surprising. Augusten Burroughs’ 2002 memoir ‘Running With Scissors’ has been banned in a few American high-schools due to its ‘homosexual content, along with profanity, drug use, and "moral shortcomings."’
The history of E. M. Forster’s ‘Maurice’ is an example of self-censorship. The book was not published until 1971, after the writer’s death. The plot chronicles Maurice Hall and his struggles accepting his love for men. Forster did not think the work could be published because of its content. In the manuscript a note was discovered that said: ‘Publishable, but worth it?’
Alice Walker’s ‘The Color Purple’ seems to be in constant trouble. The 1982 novel about life in the 1930s US South is always being cited due to its frank descriptions of lesbian sex, rape, and incest.