Gender Queer Could Be Possibly Censored After Conservative Activist’s Complaint

Gender Queer Could Be Possibly Censored After Conservative Activist’s Complaint
Image: Maia Kobabe/Facebook

Australia could be following in the footsteps of US states after a conservative activist complained about a certain award-winning graphic memoir.

The memoir in question is called Gender Queer by non-binary cartoonist Maia Kobabe, which looks at sexuality and gender aimed at teenagers.

The Australian Classification Board has “called in” the book, stating that there are reasonable grounds to believe the memoir should be classified.

The book was removed from the shelves of a library in Queensland after the complaint was made.

Filled with illustrations of sex toys, masturbation and oral sex, the book which came out in 2019 is centered around coming out to family and friends.

According to the American Library Association, it is the most commonly banned book in the US. Currently, the book is available to borrow at a number of libraries across Australia.

The California-based author and supporters of Gender Queer have stated that book helps teens with self-identity, through its inclusive language and off-loading the emotions and feelings young people may be experiencing.

Conservative Activist Complaint

What prompted the four-day investigation conducted by Queensland police was a complaint made by 43-year-old conservative activist Bernard Gaynor.

Gaynor made the complaint to Logan City Council, which then later opened it up to investigation by the police and alerted the federal arts department and the classification board.

At the core of Gaynor’s complaint was that the book was pornographic. He pointed to one scene which highlights a sexual fantasy involving a man and a boy. This scene was inspired by Plato’s The Symposium, which Gaynor believes depicts child abuse.

While this doesn’t mean it will immediately be banned or restricted, it could potentially receive an ‘unrestricted’ classification which will make it unsuitable to children under 15.

The board had informed him that it would assess Gender Queer, according to Gaynor who wrote this in an emailed newsletter to his followers.

“This is an important step in having this obscene book removed from libraries and, hopefully, completely banned in Australia,” Gaynor said, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Nothing Against Gender Identity

Gaynor was sacked from the Australian Defence Force in 2013 for making anti-gay comments on social media. He later won the appeal against the decision until the court overturned that ruling.

Gaynor insists that his complaint has nothing to do with the gender identity debate.

“The book is highly pornographic,” he said, as reported by 9News.

“And that alone is enough to have it removed from the library, regardless of what people might think about the book’s content.”

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