International Association
of School Librarianship

IASL Research Abstracts: 142

Findings: While the number of books for young people in which homosexuality is the theme or in which gay or lesbian characters appear has increased since the 1960's, few of these are appropriate for young children or reluctant readers. Images of gays and lesbians in the books are generally conservative, and bisexuality is almost ignored. More of the books deal with male homosexuality than with female. Access to these books is a problem in both school and public libraries.

Abstract: This paper reports on an ongoing project, Out of the Closet and Into the Classroom: Homosexuality in Literature for Young People, which commenced in 1989. The project is to record the books that are available for young people in which there are gay, lesbian, or bisexual characters, or in which issues related to homosexuality are discussed. A secondary aim is to investigate the access that young people actually have to these books through their school or public libraries. The majority of the books are novels for teens or sub-teens, but there are also picture books for young children, the latter aimed particularly (though not exclusively) at children growing up in gay or lesbian families. In general it seems that, for a variety of reasons, young people may not have ready access to many of these books. See:

Clyde, A. (2004). Homosexuality in literature for young people: The story and access to the story. In P. Moore, E. Howe, R. Lonsdale, R. McChaon & D. Singh (Eds). IASL Reports, 2004, From Aesop to e-book: The story goes on (pp. 18-28). Erie, PA: International Association of School Librarianship.

Subject Categories: 2, 15

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