CV NEWS FEED // The National Education Association (NEA) has released its “recommended” summer reading list for educators, and the pornographic graphic novel Gender Queer is on it.
With membership totaling over 3 million, the NEA is not only the largest teachers union in the United States, it has by far the largest membership of any single labor union in the country. This is not counting the AFL-CIO, which is an amalgamation of many member unions.
FOX News reported that Gender Queer
has courted major controversy among America [sic] parents for being in public school libraries throughout the U.S. and has been challenged for its depictions and descriptions of oral sex as well as discussions on masturbation.
Fox News Digital previously reported on Gender Queer’s author, Maia Kobabe, defending the sexually explicit graphic images in the memoir during an interview with NPR in January.
“And I honestly think the book is a lot less explicit than it could be,” Kobabe told NPR.
The book also contains depictions of pedophilia – sexual acts between minors and adults.
Back in 2021, a Christian mother from Virginia, Stacy Langton, noticed that Gender Queer was displayed prominently in a Fairfax County library next to the Bible. Upon realizing that the book was also in her child’s high school library, she famously read a graphic pedophilic scene from the book at a school board meeting. Langton was subsequently shouted down by a board member who stated, “There are children in the audience.”
Gender Queer was also present in Florida school libraries until it – as well as several other pornographic and sexually violent books marketed to children – was removed last winter at the behest of Governor Ron DeSantis.
The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) included the book on their “outstanding list of comics for teen readers ages 12 to 18.”
Gender Queer’s Amazon description states:
In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e [sic] would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e [sic] felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em [sic]. Now, Gender Queer is here.
Maia’s intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir [sic] journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma and fundamental violation of pap smears.
The NEA’s 11-book-long list titled “Great Summer Reads for Educators!” also included two books that promote elements of Critical Race Theory (CRT).
One of these books, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, by Emmanuel Acho, advocates that the Fourth of July “was just independence day for [white people],” while the other, White Fragility, by Robin D’Angelo, pushes the belief that all white people are inherently racist and uses condescending language toward black people.
NEA senior writer Mary Ellen Flannery prefaced the list by saying, “Stretch out on a beach (or in your backyard), slather on your sunscreen, and dive into these summer reading recommendations.”
The following editor’s note was added to reinforce the notion that the union’s picks were meant solely for teachers and not for children:
Educators read diverse books so that they can better understand their colleagues, students, and families they serve. The books here are not recommended for students.
This is not the first time in which a major membership organization has publicly advocated for Gender Queer. In late April, CatholicVote reported on the inclusion of the graphic novel on a list of the 13 “most challenged” books which was compiled by the American Library Association (ALA).
Gender Queer also appears on CatholicVote’s 2022 and 2023 “Hide the Pride” lists.