The fight to keep LGBT-friendly children's books on the shelves of one public library may be over. In early June, adults in Granbury, Texas petitioned to remove two children's books from the Hood County Library. Both This Day in June and My Princess Boy have LGBT themes; the first depicts a pride parade, and the second is about a young, gender-nonconforming child.
On June 8, the Hood County Library Advisory Board voted unanimously to keep both books on the shelves. Library Director Courtney Kincaid decided to relocate This Day in June to the library's adult collection. Despite this concession, anti-gay community members were not satisfied. Mel Birdwell, the wife of Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), emailed Hood County residents to encourage them to petition the Commissioners' Court, saying: "We as Christians must begin to take a stand on these issues such as gay marriage and the indoctrination of LGBT acceptance in our children’s lives."
Anti-gay sentiments are rampant in Hood County, where, earlier this month, residents brought a lawsuit against County Clerk Katie Lang for refusing to provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But although the original complaints to the Advisory Board came from more than 50 county residents, arguments for and against the books were presented in equal measure at the Commissioners' Court meeting on Tuesday. Advised by an unnamed county attorney, the commissioners decided to uphold Kincaid's decision to keep the books in the Hood County Library.
Although arguments against Kincaid's reclassification of This Day In June as an adult book are valid, the availability of LGBT-friendly books to children is the more important issue at hand. By welcoming materials for and about queer and gender-nonconforming children, the Hood County local government appears to be aligning itself with the right side of history. And that's something to celebrate.