10 LGBTQIA+ Banned or Challenged Books to Read


Brock Brimhall

Books relating to the LGBTQIA+ community have recently come under increased attack and have been banned in various school districts.

Terranie Bennett, Local News Editor

A list of LGBTQIA+ books that have been challenged or banned in America by school districts and the ALA (American Library Association) within the last 7 years; ranked by the number of times banned or challenged.


1. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Challenged 3 times, 2015, 2016, 2018; now banned.

Thought to “condone public displays of affection.”

Summary: A story based on true events, about two boys planning on kissing for 32 hours straight to beat the Guinness World Record. In doing so, they become the spotlight for other boys on their discovery of self and sexuality, along with sparking a discovery of their own.


2. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out  by Susan Kuklin

Challenged twice, 2015, 2019, banned in 2021; still banned.

Considered to be sexually explicit, some brought up worries of “its affect on any young people who may read it,” and unsuited for its age group.

Summary: A memoir that dives into the life of 6 transgender or gender-neutral teens before, during, and after their journey of identity using photography.


3. Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Challenged in 2015, banned from 2016-2019; still banned.

Banned for going against “family values/morals”, and considered to be sexually explicit.

Summary: An entertaining story about a girl, Callie, who loves the theater life. Unfortunately, due to her lack of singing ability, she becomes the backstage set designer and embarks on an adventure between actors and crew members not working well together in and out of the play, and a pair of cute twins who make things even more complicated. Drama is a cute story that involves real conflicts that a middle or high schooler may encounter, and if you like this book you’ll probably also like “Smile” and “Sisters,” also written by Raina Telgemeier.


4. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison

Challenged and banned in 2021.

Banned for sexually explicit content.

Summary: A coming of age story about someone named Mike Munoz, who was recently fired from his landscaping gig, anticipating something interesting in his life. It isn’t until he takes a challenging  trip does he find something that might be what he’s looking for.


5. Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe

Banned in 2021, still banned.

Banned for sexually explicit content.

Summary: An autobiography that focuses on Maia Kobabe’s (e/em/eir) adolescent journey on identity and sexuality.


6. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki

Challenged in 2016.

Banned for sexually explicit content, and containing LGBT characters.

Summary: A fictional story about a girl named Rose going on the usual summer vacation with her parents to a lake house in Awego Beach, with her friend Windy. However, this summer isn’t like the others; her parents are constantly arguing, and in the midst of finding a distraction, she encounters a slew of other problems. While all this chaos is ensuing, Rose and Windy know they have each other.


7. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

Banned in 2022.

Banned for sexually ecplicit content.

Summary: A series of personal essays written by George M. Johnson (they/them,) about their childhood, teen years, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia as a queer black individual.


8. This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson

Challenged in 2016, banned, relocated, and restricted in 2021 and 2022.

Banned for providing sexual education.

Summary: A light-hearted nonfiction “instruction manual” on what it means to be part of the LGBTQIA+ Community. It’s inclusive for anyone to read, whether that’s to be informed, or to discover more about yourself, and it has the answer to every question, ranging from politics, sexuality, coming out, etc.


9. Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

Challenged in 2020.

Challenged for LGBT content.

Summary: A fictional story about a boy named Rafe, who is out to his friends, but would rather keep it under wraps, especially when he transfers to an all-boy school in England where nobody knows he’s gay. However, that all may soon become null and void as he encounters some situations where keeping it a secret could prove impossible. And maybe that’s ok? Openly Straight is a nice read, because it realistically tackles self-conflict, whether it’s for being “Out” or “still in the closet.” It brings up most teens anxieties for fitting into social groups, and takes us along Rafe’s path of self acceptance.


10. You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Challenged in 2022.

Challenged for LGBT Content.

Summary: A fictional story about a queer black girl, Liz, who plans on leaving her current life behind, playing in Pennington Colleges world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor. However, Liz’s financial situation makes much of that impossible. Fortunately, and unfortunately for her, her school has scholarships for Prom King and Queen. While Liz would rather turn in the opposite direction of all the drama and attention, she wants to play in that orchestra even more. Good news? There’s a new girl also running for Queen. Bad news? Liz might be falling for her.