“No child will become transgender, gay, or lesbian by reading a book,” said the beloved YA author. “It won’t happen.”
Are you there, Judy Blume? We are modern America.
The beloved YA author and Key West resident has issued a call to action in the wake of Ron DeSantis’ Florida bill banning the discussion of menstruation in schools. “I’m sorry, Margaret,” Blume said he tweeted Referring to his 1970 novel, “Are You There, My God? It’s Me, Margaret,” which is being adapted for the big screen.
Blume’s books have been censored in the United States in the years since their publication, notably 1973’s “Deenie,” which deals with masturbation, and 1975’s “Forever,” about a high school student exploring his sexuality. .
“Everything went wild in the 1980s after Reagan was elected,” Blume said. Species, citing the censors’ denial of “Margaret” for inclusion in libraries. “She thought menstruation wasn’t a topic girls should be reading about, no matter how many kids had periods.”
Blume continued, “It was bad in the ’80s, but it didn’t come from the government. Laws are now being made that librarians can go to jail if found guilty of having pornographic content on the shelves. Try to define pornography today and you will find that it is everything.”
As Blume noted, “pornography” is not a “know it when I see it” statement, but a personal and false moral debate rooted in religion and right-wing politics.
“There’s a little picture book that I like called ‘Julián is a Mermaid,'” Blume said. “He’s a little guy, he likes to dress up in fancy clothes, and he has a wonderful aunt who has all kinds of pearls and feathers.” She supports him. If you go back to the ’80s, it was, “Heather has two moms.” That picture book was banned everywhere. Well, a lot of kids have two moms or two dads, and this book is important! Today, some legislatures consider it pornographic.”
He continued: “This is the real danger. That a governor can appoint someone to the legislature who thinks that way because he thinks that way and can get laws made about it. We need laws on the other side! That’s why organizations that work to protect the freedom to read widely and freely are so important.”
Blume added: “What are you protecting your children from? Protecting your children means educating and equipping them with knowledge and reading and supporting what they want to read. No child will become transgender or gay or lesbian by reading a book. It won’t happen. They might say, “Oh, that’s just like me. This is what I feel and think. Or, “I’m interested in this because I have friends who are gay, bisexual, or lesbian.” They want to know! I just read a book that was wonderfully enlightening for me. It’s called “Gender Queer” (Memoir by Maia Kobabe). It is probably the number one banned book in America. And I thought, “This young man is telling the story of how they became what they are today.” I learned a lot and became even more empathetic. That’s what books are about.”
When it comes to modern rewritings of Roald Dahl’s classics, the subject of the documentary “Judy Blume Forever” looked to his own literary legacy.
“I think if Roald Dahl was around, he would hear what he thought about it. Whatever it is, whatever they’re accused of, there’s a lot of truth in it. But books are books. The children still love the books and love them the way he wrote them. So I don’t believe in that,” Blume said.
Does Blume update his own books? “Not as long as I’m around,” she finished.
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