18 BANNED LGBTQ+ Books in America

Books often serve as windows into experiences and identities different from our own, offering valuable perspectives. However, throughout history and even today, many books, especially those exploring LGBTQ themes, have faced censorship in various parts of the United States. Here are 18 significant LGBTQ-themed books that have been challenged or banned in America, complete with their titles, authors, publication years, and a brief synopsis of each.

1. “And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell (2005)

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images

This children’s book is based on a true story from the Central Park Zoo, where two male penguins bond and start a family by hatching a donated egg. It has been frequently challenged due to its portrayal of a same-sex relationship.

2. “I Am Jazz” by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings (2014)

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kichigin

A picture book that describes the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, a transgender girl, which aims to provide a gentle introduction to gender identity for young readers. It has faced bans for addressing transgender themes.

3. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky (1999)

Image Credit: Shutterstock / hamdi bendali

This novel follows Charlie, a high school freshman, as he writes letters to a stranger, detailing his experiences with friendship, first love, and his own mental health. The book has been banned and challenged due to its content regarding sexual orientation and LGBTQ themes.

4. “Drama” by Raina Telgemeier (2012)

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Rawpixel.com

This graphic novel follows Callie, a middle schooler who loves theater, and her friends, who experience various forms of young love. It’s been banned in school libraries due to its positive portrayal of gay characters.

5. “George” by Alex Gino (2015)

Image Credit: Shutterstock / MKPhoto12

This children’s novel features a transgender girl who wants to play Charlotte in her school’s production of Charlotte’s Web. The book has been banned in multiple districts for its transgender content.

6. “This One Summer” by Mariko Tamaki (2014)

Image Credit: Shutterstock / silverkblackstock

A graphic novel that delves into the story of two teenage girls during a summer in Awago Beach. It touches on the subjects of identity, growth, and the transition from youth to adulthood, challenged for LGBTQ content.

7. “Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan (2013)

Image Credit: Shutterstock / MKPhoto12

Based on true events, this novel follows two seventeen-year-old boys who attempt to set a record for the longest kiss, while other stories of young gay men unfold around them. It’s been challenged for detailing LGBTQ experiences.

8. “It’s Perfectly Normal” by Robie H. Harris (1994)

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alina Kruk

An informative book aimed at pre-teens and teens that covers changes during puberty, sexual identity, and safe sexual behavior. It has faced censorship for LGBTQ content and explicit sexual education.

9. “Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out” by Susan Kuklin (2014)

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sunrise Team

The author interviews six transgender or gender-neutral young adults, which includes their stories and personal photos from before and after their transitions. It has been banned for addressing gender identity.

10. “Sex As a Funny Word” by Cory Silverberg (2015)

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Anna Nahabed

A comic book about bodies, gender, and sexuality for children that is inclusive of LGBT families and children. This book has been challenged for its open discussion of sexual education.

11. “Fun Home” by Alison Bechdel (2006)

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Zoran Zeremski

A graphic memoir wherein the author explores her childhood with a closeted gay father and her own coming out as a lesbian. It has been subject to bans in multiple libraries and universities.

12. “Heather Has Two Mommies” by Lesléa Newman (1989)

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Roman Samborskyi

One of the first children’s books to depict a lesbian family in a positive light. It’s been frequently challenged and banned since its publication.

13. “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker (1982)

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, detailing the life of African American women in the early 20th century southern United States, includes lesbian themes and has been frequently challenged and banned.

14. “Annie on My Mind” by Nancy Garden (1982)

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pixel-Shot

A novel that tells the story of two high school girls who fall in love. It’s been a frequent target for bans due to its positive portrayal of a lesbian relationship.

15. “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” by Emily M. Danforth (2012)

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sviatlana Yankouskaya

This novel follows a girl sent to a conversion therapy home in rural Montana after her aunt discovers she is lesbian. It’s been banned for its LGBTQ content and language.

16. “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie (2007)

Image Credit: Shutterstock / MKPhoto12

While primarily focused on the life of a Native American teenager, the book includes LGBTQ themes and has faced bans for these alongside discussions of racism and alcoholism.

17. “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison (2018)

Image Credit: Shutterstock / zadirako

This novel is a coming-of-age story about a young bisexual man dealing with racial and sexual identity alongside economic issues. It has been challenged for its sexual content and LGBTQ themes.

18. “My Princess Boy” by Cheryl Kilodavis (2009)

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dean Drobot

A non-fiction picture book about a boy who enjoys traditional “girl” things like wearing dresses and the color pink, aimed at teaching young children about acceptance and diversity. It has been criticized and challenged in various educational settings.

The Story Continues

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Valeria Valeria

These books have sparked significant debate about what is appropriate for readers of various ages, highlighting the ongoing struggles around LGBTQ acceptance and the censorship of literature that discusses these issues.

The post 18 BANNED LGBTQ+ Books in America first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / MKPhoto12.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

+ posts