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School libraries

2020

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies

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Going Beyond Book Displays: Providing Safe Spaces For Lgbtq Youth, Lisa Gay-Milliken, Jeffrey Discala Jan 2020

Going Beyond Book Displays: Providing Safe Spaces For Lgbtq Youth, Lisa Gay-Milliken, Jeffrey Discala

STEMPS Faculty Publications

School libraries should be a space where students of all ages feel welcome and safe. I (Lisa) can speak from experience when I say this is not always the case, not in the 1980s and not today. Even in the school library, a place I now cherish, I was fearful of ridicule and harassment. I was frustrated because I did not see myself—a young, questioning, and confused lesbian—in any of the books. Gay and lesbian characters didn’t exist on those high school shelves. “But that was the 1980s,” you say. It hasn’t gotten much better for much of the LGBTQ …