A contentious queer novel has returned to the Rochester, New York’s Webster School District’s summer reading list.
Alex Sanchez’s Rainbow Boys tells the story of teeny-bopper faglings coming into their out own. And, needless to say, the story caused a bit of a stir, but garnered even more praise.
The book’s 2001 publication led School Library Journal to plead: “…Please, have the courage to make [Rainbow Boys] available to those who need it – it can open eyes and change lives.” Regardless, Webster officials worried the text crossed a few too many lines, particularly lines of the sexual variety. Unsure of the explicit carnal content (not the homosexual overtones) they removed the book from its summer reading list, thus making it ineligible for the two essays due come September. The book would remain available in the library.
Sanchez, however, cried “censorship”…
The outspoken author declared the district’s actions “un-American” and railed, “Every attempt to censor a book is an attack on our constitutional freedoms.” Sanzhez also released a statement reading: Books can have an astounding effect on people. It’s a power some individuals fear. And in the case of books like Rainbow Boys that find appeal among young readers, the fears of some individuals can become even more charged.
These fears – often disguised as moral outrage – are often at the root of censorship, something with which gay and lesbian people are well familiar. From the time we are children we are taught to censor our feelings, keep secret our thoughts, and deny our true selves.
Well, now Sanchez’s censorship crusade can rest, because Bovard and other concerned parties have lifted the ban, ensuring that faglings everywhere can learn the tricks of the homo trades and then write an essay about it. Just like our forefathers foresaw…