The Queer Children’s Books Targeted By the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill


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Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill took effect this month. Signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis, it limits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grade-school classrooms, in some cases banning it completely. It also threatens the ability of teachers to affirm the existence of L.G.B.T.Q. students, and to share materials, such as books, that depict or discuss queer lives. The legislation has inspired a number of copycat laws across the country, including in Texas, South Dakota, Indiana, Tennessee, and Alabama. For a special digital-only issue about the notion of family, Jessica Winter, a New Yorker writer and editor, has taken an in-depth look at the history of queer children’s literature, and the threats it faces in today’s political climate. She joins the guest host Tyler Foggatt to discuss what these books mean to L.G.B.T.Q. families, why the right finds them so dangerous, and how their banning will affect the lives and education of young people.

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