Resident cautions of challenges of books with LGBTQ characters and themes


Letter to the Editor logoDear Editor,

I am writing this letter anonymously because my son’s father does not support LGBTQ rights and does not know the information below.

The recent Westborough Public Library book challenge was on We Need to Talk About Vaginas: An Important Book About Vulvas, Periods, Puberty, and Sex! by Dr. Allison K. Rodgers. This was an attempt at book censorship. Censorship isn’t only removing a book from the library entirely. Books being moved to different areas of the library collection that restrict access is also censorship.

I want to bring awareness to the importance of having books with LGBTQ characters and
themes in the Westborough Public Library collection. I am a Westborough resident, a physician and a mother of 2 awesome kids. I have a middle school aged son who is athletic, kind, a good student and has great friends. He also happens to be gay. About a year ago, he told me about a book he was reading that he found really informative and helpful. The book is This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson. This book helped him understand himself and his thoughts and feelings; it helped him realize there is nothing wrong with being gay. He recommended that I read it. I borrowed it from the Westborough Public Library and I read it.

This is not sexualizing or grooming our children. It is informing, supporting and empowering them. LGBTQ children have higher rates of depression and self-harm. I truly believe that this book may have saved my son’s life. This and other LGBTQ books belong in the WPL collection. I have learned from my son that inclusion, acceptance and representation matter. He wishes there were more gay characters in the novels he reads – not just main characters, but friends of the main character and secondary characters.

I expect there will be more book challenges and that they will be toward books with LGBTQ
characters and themes. It is critical that these books remain in the collection for my son and others in the LGBTQ community.

Thank you,
A Westborough resident, physician, and mom to a gay son

Editor’s note: While the Community Advocate does not typically accept anonymous letters, our editorial team agreed to publish the letter anonymously to protect the child’s identity.

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