We’re a little late on this one, but in case you missed it, a recent national Associated Press story chronicled the apparent growth in gay-themed literature for teens, led by “Will Grayson, Will Grayson,” which recently made The New York Times Best Seller list (can’t there only be one best seller?) Anyhow, this is great news, right? Well, depends where you live, according to this little nugget at the end of the article:
Funny and good is well and good for kids with access to LGBT lit. What about readers like Brent who don’t have inclusive libraries, deep pockets or technology to download ebooks? Recent research in Texas, for instance, indicated a strong “I don’t serve those teens” attitude among librarians.
“It’s the argument that drives me crazy,” said Teri Lesesne, who teaches young adult lit in the Department of Library Science at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.
“It’s like, `Yeah, you do.’ They might not be coming in and saying, `Hi, I’m gay or I’m bi or I’m transgender or I’m questioning my own identity,’ because they’re afraid,” she said. “But they’re there and they’re looking for these books.”
Fortunately, while they may not be able to find them in some parts of the state, they can in Dallas, according to Oak Lawn Library volunteer Phyllis Guest. In an e-mail pointing us to another recent piece from Salon.com about “Will Grayson, Will Grayson,” Guest reminds us that when it comes to gay stuff, Dallas isn’t really part of Texas:
“Oak Lawn Library has this book, as do two other Dallas Public Library branches; four have the DVD. In the 10 years I have volunteered at the Oak Lawn branch, Young Adult lit for the LGBT community has gone from 0 to 100,” Guest wrote.
Enough of this blogging, we’re gonna go get started on that novel.